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Junior Blankenship Plays Mountain Bluegrass at Carter Fold

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Junior BlankenshipHiltons, VA -- Junior Blankenship was raised where mountain bluegrass was a corner stone to the family culture. Junior’s father, the late Hillard Blankenship, drove the tour bus for Dr. Ralph Stanley many years. Junior and his father formed a band called the Rocky Mountain Boys. Soon after that, Ralph Stanley called Junior and asked him to become a Clinch Mountain Boy after Keith Whitley left their group. Junior was only seventeen at the time. He stayed with Dr. Stanley until 1989. Saturday, August 18th, 2012, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of bluegrass music by the Junior Blankenship Band with Lonesome Will Mullins. Admission to the concert is $8 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.

Since then Junior has played with such greats as Ralph Stanley II, Ernie Thacker and Route 23, and Sammy Adkins and the Sandy Hook Mountain Boys. Junior’s unique style of cross picking earned him the privilege of recording with such greats as George Jones, Vince Gill, Emmy Lou Harris, Tom T. Hall, Dwight Yoakam, and Bill Monroe. Still playing the old traditional style music with a mix of more modern music, Junior has formed his own band – the Junior Blankenship Band.

Lonesome Will Mullins grew up near Clintwood, Virginia, in a house that was filled with family musicians and plenty of bluegrass, old time, and country music. He learned to play the banjo and guitar as a teenager, and before long he was playing in several bands while honing his trade by studying the work of bluegrass legends like Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, and Dr. Ralph Stanley. To say he learned well would be an understatement. Today, Lonesome Will is one of the most accomplished singers, song writers, and musicians around. Also influenced by Jerry Lee Lewis, he mixes traditional bluegrass music with a breathtakingly energetic stage show.

Junior will be playing lead guitar, and the upright bass will be played by Lonesome Will Mullins. Vocals will be done by Junior and Will. Backing them up will be Rocky Blankenship on rhythm guitar, Gary Moore on mandolin, and Dwayne Runyon on banjo. There will be fiddle tunes, lots of dancing, and lots of down-home fun. Don’t miss the Junior Blankenship Band at the Carter Family Fold!

Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. For further information on the center, go to Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at

Carter Music Center is part of the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. You can visit the Crooked Road Music Trail site at Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information on Saturday’s concert, contact the Mountain Music Museum at 276-645-0035. For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054.

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