California, MD – The award winning male vocalist and traditionalist, Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice will kick off the concert series Sunday Nov. 5 at the American Legion Post 238 in Hughesville. The show starts at 2:00 pm with the Just Us Band. The series is presented by Jay Armsworthy and the Sons of the American Legion.
Since his solo career has taken off, Junior Sisk has released one successful recording after another. The newest recording, “The Mountains Are Calling Me Home”, has delivered a textbook example of today’s traditional bluegrass. And the multi-award winning group never lets up. This is traditional bluegrass the way it should be played.
Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice is widely recognized as one of today’s premier traditional bluegrass bands. Sisk’s bluegrass pedigree runs deep – hailing from the Virginia Blue Ridge; he first made his mark as a songwriter in the early 1990s. Several years later, as a member of Wyatt Rice & Santa Cruz and then the band, Blueridge, he helped define the sound of driving, modern traditional bluegrass music. Sisk founded his band, “Ramblers Choice” in 1998, releasing “Sounds of the Mountains” on Rounder Records. After a brief hiatus, he reformed the group and began a successful career with Rebel Records. He now records for Mountain Fever Records.
His 2011 album, “Heart of a Song” helped bring the band into the spotlight and reminded bluegrass fans of the power of tradition. The album’s single “A Far Cry from Lester and Earl” became a rallying cry for a resurgence of traditional sounds in bluegrass and received the 2012 Song of the Year award from the IBMA. The band was further honored when “Heart of a Song” received IBMA Album of the Year. Sisk was honored with the 2013 Male Vocalist of the Year award from the IBMA, and the group was named 2014 SPBGMA Bluegrass Band of the Year. “Longneck Blues”, collaboration with noted singer-songwriter Ronnie Bowman, was named 2016 Recorded Event of the Year by the IBMA. Sisk received the 2017 Male Vocalist of the Year award from SPBGMA.
Opening the show will be the “Just Us Band” from Ridgely. They have been together a little over 2 years. Bill Crater plays mandolin, guitar, and fiddle; sings lead and tenor. Bill’s wife Jean Crater plays bass; sings lead and alto. They live in Seaford, Delaware. Tom Blades plays guitar; sings lead. Tom’s wife Janice Blades plays banjo; sings lead, alto, tenor. They live in Ridgely, Maryland. Janice’s daughter Darlene McKinney plays guitar; sings lead and alto. She lives in Federalsburg, Maryland. So when you hear the ringing mandolin, driving bass, 5 string banjo, and the flat top bluegrass guitar, it’ll be JUST US!
Tickets for the Sunday Nov. 5 show as well as all shows in the season will be $20.00 per person. Children under 12 are admitted free with a paid adult. You can purchase tickets by mail by sending a check made payable to “Jay Armsworthy” and mail to P.O. Box 741, California, MD 20619. Tickets will be held at the door. The American Legion Post 238 is located on the corner of MD Rt. 381 & Rt. 231 in Hughesville.
The remainder of the series will feature well known award winning groups such as: Nothin’ Fancy along with Remington Ryde on Sunday January 7, 2018; Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out on Sunday February 11, 2018; Lou Reid & Carolina, Sunday March 11, 2018; and for the first time in Southern Maryland, Karl Shiflett & the Big Country Show from Texas on Sunday April 29, 2018. Troy Jones will provide sound for each show. All shows begin at 2:00 pm with the doors opening at Noon. Food will be available for sale before the shows. Although not required, it is encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for the Helping Hands Food Bank in Southern Maryland. For more information, tickets, and directions, go to www.americanlegionbluegrass.com or call 301-737-3004.