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Appalachian Trail Leads to Carter Fold Saturday

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Appalachian Trail BandHiltons, VA -- Appalachian Trail is a union of seasoned and innovative singers, songwriters, and musicians who are breaking new ground in the bluegrass arena. Ireland, Scotland, England, Russia, Sweden, Canada, Holland, and Switzerland are some of the countries that have hosted the talents of the individuals in this band, as well as coast-to-coast here at home. Formed in 1984, the band combines strong lead vocals, tight harmonies, and distinctive picking. Saturday, February 21st, 2015, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of traditional bluegrass music by Appalachian Trail. Adult admission to the concert is $10, $1 for children 6 to 11, and under age 6 free.

Tommy Austin is no stranger to the bluegrass community. He started playing guitar and singing with his mother in church growing up in Fall Branch, Tennessee. After hearing Jim McCamey play, he moved to the mandolin when he became interested in the bluegrass sound. Through the years, he has played in several bands including the Horsecreek Mountain Boys, Clear Creek, the Rising Wind, Limited Edition, Tennessee Skyline, and the Hopsons. Currently he sings lead and harmony, plays mandolin, and shares the songwriting and arranging with the other members of Appalachian Trail.

Vickie Austin began singing at an early age with her dad in church. At age 13, she was given an old upright piano for her birthday. She sang with her sister for many years and eventually discovered a love for the bluegrass sound. Vickie sang and played bass for Twin Springs Bluegrass Band and eventually joined her husband in Appalachian Trail. She developed an extensive vocal range and honed her skills on the upright bass. Vickie plays bass for the group and sings lead and harmony vocals.

Allen Hughes has played guitar with Appalachian Trail for six years. A life-long love of music became apparent to his family, when, at the age of four, he declared he wanted to be “Johnny Cash” when he grew up. Traditional country, especially Merle Haggard, has been a big influence to him. As a teenager, he was introduced to, and took lessons from G.C. Matlock in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Soon after, he played with several friends from college in the band Blue Ridge Tradition. While playing jams at festivals, the back room of the Down Home, the Chuck Trading Post, and the Rheatown Store, he met his friend and band mate, Tommy Austin. Their first musical experience began in the late eighties in the band, the Rising Wind. Their friendship and music has grown over 25 years. He lends his vocals to several songs on lead, baritone, and bass. His distinctive style sets him apart from most guitar players.

Glen Rose has been playing the banjo since the age of 10 and was inspired by his cousin Buddy Rose who gave him lessons. Other influences include Earl Scruggs, J.D. Crowe, Carl Jackson, and countless others. Glen has played with several groups through the years and at an early age of 14, Glen and his brother John performed as special guests of Lester Flatt on the Grand Ole Opry. He has been a part of the ETSU Bluegrass Band while working on his BS degree in computer science. He has appeared on several albums over the years and has his own solo banjo instrumental album. In his spare time, Glen teaches guitar and banjo.

For some of the best traditional bluegrass music around, don’t miss Appalachian Trail at the Carter Family Fold! For additional information on the group, check out their web site – Vickie has been playing on the Carter Fold stage since she was a little girl, and Appalachian Trail has performed many times over the years. The Fold is always proud to welcome them back.

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 and the National Endowment for the Arts. For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter– Twitter @carterfoldinfo.

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