The Stage

Mickey Galyean & Cullen's Bridge

After the passing of his father Cullen Galyean in 2010, Mickey felt a strong desire to keep the music of his father alive.  Cullen left a legacy of music legendary in these parts including a long list of traditional mountain bluegrass songs that have been recorded by several notable bluegrass artist over the years.  So with this rich bluegrass heritage Mickey put together his band "Cullen's Bridge," choosing personnel who understand and appreciate this traditional style of bluegrass music.  Not only performing material that Cullen wrote, the band plays original music, Monroe and Stanley classsics, and classic Country Gentleman songs as well.  This is no frills traditional bluegrass. The goal is to honor the music and the people who brought it to us. 

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Carson Peters & Iron Mountain

Carson Peters started playing the fiddle at the ripe old age of 3 when his parents bought him a 1/8 size fiddle. By age 4, he was playing in fiddle competitions and jamming at musical festivals. Carson has continued to hone the fiddling and singing talents that God has so graciously blessed him with and has won many competitions along the way. At 15 years old, Carson is a seasoned performer playing numerous venues with his band Iron Mountain throughout the United States and Canada: Bristol Rhythm and Roots, Dollywood’s Bluegrass and BBQ, Song of the Mountains, Carter Family Fold, Silver Dollar City BBQ and Bluegrass, Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival, and Bluegrass Island just to name a few. Carson has also had the honor of playing on national TV as a guest on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Little Big Shots with Steve Harvey, as well as play with Jimmy Fortune on the floor of the Tennessee State Senate. On March 28, 2014, Carson’s dream of playing on the Grand Ole Opry stage was realized when he was invited by Ricky Skaggs to perform with him and his band, Kentucky Thunder. In May of the same year, Carson was asked to make a reappearance at the Opry, but this time with his own band. On July 31, 2014, Carson made his Ryman Auditorium debut playing again with Ricky Skaggs during the 2014 Bluegrass Nights series. Since these appearances, Carson and his band have performed numerous occasions on the Opry Show. In November of 2018, Carson was thrilled to be asked to play fiddle for his buddy Ricky Skaggs when he was honored at the nationally televised 52nd CMA Awards Show. Carson says that winning trophies and getting your name in the paper is “really cool” but that is not the main reason he works so hard at his music. “It’s all about using the talent God gave me to make people smile!” 

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Travis Frye & Blue Mountain

Travis Frye and Blue Mountain is a multi-generational bluegrass band that honors the Appalachian roots of the music while adding a modern twist. With members spanning the foothills and piedmont-triad of North Carolina, the band incorporates spirited fiddle and banjo tunes along with modern selections from country, bluegrass, and gospel traditions. The group’s original songs and their band sound reflect the area’s tradition, but also add their own creative instincts that give them a hard driving traditional sound. Some of the band highlights include performing on PBS’s Song of the Mountains in Marion, VA; Bristol Rhythm and Roots in Bristol, TN; the Blue Ridge Music Center in Galax, VA; Twin Oaks Music Park in Hoboken, GA; and The Denton Farm Park Threshers Reunion in Denton, NC. Travis Frye and Blue Mountain are right at home in the Virginia-Carolina Blue Ridge with their brand of bluegrass music!

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Slate Mountain Ramblers

The Slate Mountain Ramblers is a family old-time band from Mt. Airy, NC. They formerly lived in Ararat, VA, a small community at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. For many years, Richard Bowman, his wife, Barbara, and their daughter Marsha, have spent weekends playing music. Richard plays fiddle, Barbara the bass, and Marsha plays claw-hammer banjo. The band has a winning tradition by winning and placing at fiddler’s conventions they have attended throughout the years. Richard and Marsha have received many individual awards. The Slate Mountain Ramblers play for shows, dances, family and community gatherings, benefits and compete at fiddler’s conventions throughout the year. They have played internationally at the Austrian Alps Performing Arts Festival and in Gainsborough, England for the Friends of American Old Time Music and Dance Festival. They also lead fiddle, banjo, bass and dance workshops.

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Zephyr Lightning Bolts

Founded about 18 years ago, the Zephyr Lightning Bolts have enjoyed performing around northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia. Steve Bowen is the bass player. His wife, Diane plays clawhammer banjo, and their son Jacob Bowen is the fiddler. Chester McMillian is the guitarist. The band has reconfigured over the years with several guitarists, but now has a strong musician in Chester. A somewhat unique feature of the band is that all four musicians contribute to the vocals. Originally, the Bowens lived in the small Surry County community of Zephyr (hence the band's name), but about eight years ago they moved across the Mitchell River into the Wilkes County community of Pleasant Ridge, which is Steve's homeplace.

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CandelFirth is a musical duo that explores traditional Celtic and Native American music through unique rhythms, arrangements and expressions.  The duo is comprised of Susie Firth Candelaria and Randy Candelaria.  Both have joined together to bring their unique approaches and dedication to the music of the British Isles in a blended and dynamic presentation reflecting their appreciation and fondness for the Celtic and Native American traditions along with their own unique compositions and arrangements. When not performing, Susie owns and operates Blue Mountain Herbs and Supplements in Pilot Mountain while Randy serves as Dean of Learning Resources at Forsyth Tech in Winston-Salem.

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