Ben & Andrew Gilmer, The Boys, and Adam Bolt – three great acts in one show – will headline the Clinch River Valley Initiative Benefit Concert on June 30.
In their first ever fundraiser, it all begins at 7 p.m. at the recently restored Lyric Theater in St. Paul, VA.
Brothers Ben and Andrew Gilmer will take the stage at 7 p.m. The Boys will keep the entertainment going, followed by Adam Bolt. And as a special treat, all three acts will finish out the night with an incredible group jam.
Read on to learn more about the performers and their music:
The sons of a coal miner and a teacher, Ben and Andrew Gilmer were raised on a Russell County, Virginia farm that has been in their family since the 1700s. Growing up in a family full of musicians, they learned to play bluegrass and country music at church, family gatherings, and—quite literally—the local barbershop in their hometown of Lebanon, Virginia. Music was understandably everywhere, being just up the road from the home places of the Stanley Brothers, the Carter Family, and the birthplace of country music, Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia. Like many folks in their generation and the generations before, they left Appalachia but came back with a deeper love and appreciation of home and the music from these mountains. Their latest release, Russell County Fair, is undeniably a sound from these mountains, but the many miles these boys have traveled outside of the region also ring through each of the 13 original tracks.
What people are saying:
“Ben Gilmer is a young talent to watch out for in the Seattle roots music scene. He completely won us over a few months ago at Columbia City Theater by picking out heartfelt old-school bluegrass numbers with his brother, but he’s best known for his hard-swinging, soft-drawling roots country songs. Growing up in SW Virginia, Gilmer soaked up the songs of the hills, but his music now does a great job mixing that sensibility with a rain-soaked urban vibe.”
– Hearth Music
“Juxtaposed is full of intelligent country, folk, and blues as if Ben tapped into the spirit of Robert Johnson and substituted the cotton fields of the south for the mining region of Appalachia. For fans of Darrell Scott, Guy Clark & Townes Van Zandt, you will find the same story-telling excellence & musical composition with Ben Gilmer’s Juxtaposed.”
Bill Wright, WUVT Americana Director
“Ben Gilmer & The Sidearms bring you a rambling album of songs that are familiar and full of surprises all at the same time. From the rollicking “Breakaway” to the slow lilt of “Sweet Gal”, Heart That Burns will make you stomp your boots with glee and shed some tears in turns. Ben Gilmer & The Sidearms summon a sound akin to the late Whiskeytown without all the pretension and more heart and soul. This is country music the way it’s supposed to be: raw, sweet, and real.”
Maggie Thompson-Pratt, KBC
The Boys is more than a band — they are a concept, a state of mind, an ever-revolving cast of musicians and music lovers based in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia. The Boys are a bluegrass band with an identity crisis — playing the music they love: from folk to funk; jazz to jamgrass. They are musical chameleons armed with bass, percussion, guitars, keys, and more often than not, multiple mandolins. The Boys are acoustic, electric and chronically eclectic. Whether Miles or Monroe, Reggae or Soul, they cross boundaries and defy logic. Perhaps above all, The Boys like to have fun and bring joy with their unique tones.
Adam Bolt is an award winning songwriter, and self-proclaimed troubadour of Abingdon. Adam says his songs are cynical, sensationalized, and seasoned in the key of Country. His detailed observations of the natural world are hidden throughout his music. By day, Adam is a grape farmer in which mundane labor allows for a void to think about things. These things turn into songs and then the songs are garnished with stories. He is a student of Todd Snider, Tom T. Hall, Roger Miller, John Prine, and many more.
“Adam Bolt has demonstrated that he may be the best and most prolific songwriter in the region. His comic revelations of the absurdities of modern life challenge us to more closely examine the world we live in.”
Ron Short (Songwriter, Ron Short and the Possum Playboys)