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The Blue Ridge Music Center
700 Foothills Rd
Galax, VA 24333
Milepost 213 on
The Blue Ridge Parkway

Music Center Info Call:
(276) 236-5309
Concert & Ticket Info Call:
(866) 308-2773 x 212

info@blueridgemusiccenter.org

2020 Hours of Operation:

Open Thurs.-Mon., May 1-18
Open daily, May 21 - Nov 1
10 a.m. - 5 p.m

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Bill and the Belles and
Ellis Dyson & The Shambles

Saturday, July 25th @ 7:00 PM

$15 Adult - General Admission 
Children 12 and Under - Free

Bill and the Belles

Bill and the Belles

With their enchanting debut album, Dreamsongs, Etc.Bill and the Belles have captured the freewheeling, lighthearted approach to music that has endeared them to listeners of every generation. With a spirited sound that falls somewhere between old-time country and vaudeville, the group puts its own spin on a golden era of music, specifically the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.

“We like old music and some of us are consumed by it,” says lead singer and guitarist Kris Truelsen with a knowing laugh. “But we don't have a desire to copy it. We want to sound like ourselves and tell our story.”

As a result, a majority of the material on DreamSongs, Etc., is original, from the upbeat number, “Wedding Bell Chimes,” through the yearning ode to youth, “Back to My Childhood Days.” While Truelsen’s distinctive tenor anchors the project, the Tennessee-based band’s trio harmonies gleam against a backdrop of banjo, fiddle, accordion, ukulele, and clarinet.

“The title seemed appropriate in that a lot of the songs are about dreaming for something better, better days, better lovers, better whatever it may be,” Truelsen says. “Not to mention many of the songs we chose to sing are about the sentimental dreamer.”

The band takes its name from Bill and Belle Reed, performers from the 1920s who recorded the songs “Old Lady and the Devil” and “You Shall Be Free” in Johnson City, Tennessee. Truelsen says, “That was the first time I heard ‘Old Lady and the Devil,’ and since then it’s become clear to me why it’s stood the test of time. Simple, plaintive, stripped-down but incredibly expressive, tough as nails and funny as hell. I first heard that side on the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music, a collection that continues to inspire. Our band’s name is a way to honor their music, the music of this place, and this region in general that we’ve come to call home.

In 2015 Bill and the Belles stepped into the role of house band upon the launch of a live radio show, Farm and Fun Time, presented by Radio Bristol. Truelsen launched that community radio station, housed within the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Tennessee. Along with sharing the stage with the nation’s top roots artists (Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives, Del McCoury and Earls of Leicester), the band writes and performs the snappy, comical jingles for the show’s monthly sponsors.

Of course one of the most prominent artists with ties to the area is Jimmie Rodgers, known as the Father of Country Music. DreamSongs, Etc. includes superb renditions of his compositions “Carolina Sunshine Gal” and “Tuck Away My Lonesome Blues,” which fit neatly into the album’s overall vibe.

Bill and the Belle's are Kris Truelson (guitar and vocals), Kalia Yeagle (fiddle and vocals) , Helena Hunt (banjo and vocals), and Andrew Small (bass). 

billandthebelles.com

Ellis Dyson & the Shambles

Ellis Dyson & the Shambles

Ellis Dyson & the Shambles expertly blends old-time influences ranging from early New Orleans jazz to Piedmont murder ballads. The result: foot-stompin’ and eccentric original songs that bring party music of departed eras to crowds both young and old. The Shambles have made waves with their theatrical live shows and dazzling musicianship. The original compositions evoke a bygone era while contributing to the vast tradition of storytelling through songwriting. The group released their 3rd full-length album Greetings from Shambylvania in April 2019. The album, deliberately written as a full group, is a series of whimsical vignettes from the fictional town of Shambylvania.

Ellis Dyson & the Shambles have performed hundreds of shows throughout the east coast and midwest and have shared a bill with national acts such as Lake Street Dive, Rebirth Brass Band, Pokey Lafarge, and Mipso, to name a few. The band consists of Ellis Dyson (banjo, vocals), Eli Wittmann (acoustic guitar), Kenny Phelps-McKeown (upright bass), Danny Abrams (soprano/alto/baritone saxophones, clarinet, vocals), and Danny Grewen (trombone, vocals). They came together through a series of fortuitous meetings in Chapel Hill, N.C. Beginning back in 2013 as a saxophone and banjo duo, Ellis Dyson & the Shambles has grown into a freight train string band with a flashy horn section.

shamblesmusic.com