NORTON — The 45th annual Dock Boggs and Kate Peters Sturgill Memorial Festival will be held at the Country Cabin in Norton on Sept. 14, with music beginning at 1 p.m.
Headlining and performing two big shows will be the Whitetop Mountain Band, one of the premier bands in the eastern U.S. The band’s performances are versatile and entertaining with everything from fiddle and banjo instrumentals to powerful solos and harmony vocals on blues, classic country, traditional bluegrass, honky-tonk, old time ballads and four part harmony mountain gospel.
The Whitetop Mountain Band has toured most of the eastern U.S. as well as the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia.
Also performing will be the Empty Bottle String Band composed of members who met at East Tennessee State University’s Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies program. The group is dedicated to preservation of traditional Appalachian songs, ballads and tunes as well as fresh interpretations of standards in the old time repertoire.
Papa Joe Smiddy, chancellor emeritus of The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, will also grace the festival. Papa Joe has traveled and played mountain music for over seven decades as well as attended the Dock Boggs Festival every year since its inception. He has played with Dock Boggs and Kate Peters Sturgill as well as with the Reedy Creek Band for many years.
Other performers will include:
•The Boggs Family, a bluegrass gospel band from Norton that has traveled and performed together for 30 years;
•The UVa-Wise Bluegrass Band, relatively new on the scene, that consists of some of the region’s most talented and award-winning musicians;
•Sycamore Hollow, formed earlier this year and transcendin genre lines in bluegrass, taking the traditional bluegrass to blend with upbeat and energetic performances to create a completely unique sound of hard-driving bluegrass;
•The Mountain Empire Community College String Band, made up of talented youngsters who have learned in the college’s revered Mountain Music School.
Rounding out the program will be the Country Cabin Line Dancers.