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Hillbilly Gypsies Return to Carter Family Fold May 20

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Hillbilly GypsiesHiltons, VA -- Saturday, May 20, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by the Hillbilly Gypsies. Hailing from the beautiful mountain state of West Virginia, the Hillbilly Gypsies have been making and performing their own brand of old time bluegrass and original mountain music for over a decade. Formed in 2001 from a chance meeting at the now infamous Wednesday night old time jam in Morgantown, West Virginia, the Hillbilly Gypsies have been pickin' and grinnin' and entertaining their loyal fans ever since.

Jamie Lynn Buckner of the Hillbilly Gypsies announced in January that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Since her announcement, both the band's website and her own have been receiving good wishes and prayers for her. She has undergone surgery and is being treated.

The band is best known for their high-energy live performances and has become a crowd favorite at major festivals, fairs and concert venues all across the mid-Atlantic region and abroad. They perform in the old fashioned style, playing around a single vintage ribbon microphone. This "old timey" approach adds an authentic high-energy barn party atmosphere to their show. Watching the whole band work around the mic is like taking a trip back in time. It'll sure make you want to get up and dance!

And don't let the flash of their lively stage performance and choreography fool ya. These folks are highly skilled musicians and seasoned entertainers. Their lightning fast, award-winning picking skills and musical arrangements mixed with natural comedic wit and high lonesome mountain vocal harmonies are sure to catch your ear right away. Combine that with a knack for original songwriting and a strong passion for old time and traditional music, and this makes for an authentic and exciting musical experience that you won't soon forget. One listen and you'll know that you are getting the real deal! The Gypsies are more than a band – they are a tight-knit family, mindful of tradition but bold explorers of new and authentic styles of acoustic music and entertainment.

Trae and Jamie Lynn Buckner, original founding members and lead singers for the band as well as husband and wife, have also performed internationally on multiple occasions. They have performed three times at the Al Ras Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival in Barcelona, Spain – headlining the festival's ten year anniversary. In addition to Barcelona, they have performed in Prague, the Czech Republic. They have travelled to Ireland where they made several appearances and lots of new friends. Trae and Jamie Lynn not only represent the Hillbilly Gypsies, they represent American mountain music and the heritage and culture of West Virginia and Appalachia while traveling abroad.

Ryan Cramer is from Hedgesville, WV and holds down the upright bass for the band. Ryan is a talented multi-instrumentalist as well as one heck of a mechanic. (Every touring band needs one!) He has worked with several bands throughout his musical career and has been running with the Hillbilly Gypsies for years! Ryan's musical interests and influences are as diverse as they come. He's a very open minded musician and always knows how to keep his bass playing very tasteful, authentic and right in the pocket!

Multi-instrumentalist Ben Townsend was born and raised in Romney, West Virginia. He has studied Appalachian traditional music extensively. With banjo mentors such as Riley Baugus and Ron Mullennex, and Fiddle mentors the likes of Dave Bing, Joe Herrmann and Earl White, Townsend has studied a variety of old-time traditions ranging from the archaic, haunting fiddle of his home to the Round Peak music of North Carolina and Virginia to the Bluegrass of East Kentucky and Ohio. He had been a member of The Fox Hunt, Old Sledge, The Iron Leg Boys, The Hackensaw Boys, and now the Hillbilly Gypsies.

Levi Houston Sanders hails from Daybrook, WV. He is a talented multi-instrumentalist as well as a historian who specializes in British Empire, Africa and Napoleon. Levi has won and placed in several regional banjo competitions and took first place in the 2016 Maryland State Clawhammer Championship, the Friendsville, MD Banjo Championship and the West Virginia Open State Banjo Competition in Elkins, WV! Levi's style and musical influences are all across the board but, right away, you'll recognize his combinations of Don Reno, Earl Scruggs & Ralph Stanley styles as well as a unique Vaudeville approach in his banjo playing. This wonderful mix of styles really makes Levi's playing uniquely stand out and sure does add perfectly to the authentic and old timey sounds that the Hillbilly Gypsies are known for!

Through the years, a dozen members of the Hillbilly Gypsies have joined the band and later moved on. Some still pop in from time to time and join the Gypsies on stage. Once a Hillbilly Gypsy – always a Hillbilly Gypsy. The group has released six CDs over the years that represent some of the best Appalachian music you'll ever hear. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $2 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.

For an evening of unforgettable old time, bluegrass, and traditional music - come out and see the Hillbilly Gypsies at the Carter Family Fold. Don't forget to bring along your dancing shoes. Their gospel tunes are reminiscent of the old time tent meetings, and there will be music to suit everyone's taste. Be prepared for an evening of high-energy, no holds barred family fun! The Gypsies have become a Carter Family Fold favorite. To learn more about the Hillbilly Gypsies, go to their site at:

Our Carter Family Museum and the A.P. Carter Birthplace Cabin both open at 6:00 p.m. and again at our intermission. You'll want to be sure to visit both of these historic landmarks.
Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. Our concerts are family friendly, with no alcohol or drugs allowed. For further information on the center, go to

Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at Partial funding for programs 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 our information line - 276-386-6054. We're on Facebook – page Carter Fold – & Twitter – @carterfoldinfo.

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