'Mountain Stage with Larry Groce' returns to WVU Sept. 28

West Virginia Public Broadcasting's "Mountain Stage with Larry Groce"makes its long-awaited return to Morgantown on Sunday, Sept. 28. Showtime is 7 p.m. at the West Virginia University Creative Arts Center. Scheduled to appear are the Jerry Douglas Band, Drew Emmitt Band, Jayme Stone and Julie Fowlis.

Internationally recognized as the world's most renowned Dobro player, Jerry Douglas undoubtedly ranks among the top contemporary maestros in American music. Growing up, he absorbed the sights and sounds around him and transmuted them into his own unique art by developing an eclectic style of playing. While bluegrass continues to be his forte, Douglas has seamlessly picked up numerous musical styles throughout the years, ranging from jazz to country to Native American modal melodies.

On Douglas' new record, "Glide, " he explores a wider range of emotion in songs like the New Orleans-style "Sway" and showcases his ever-increasing instrumental mastery. Over the years, he has garnered 12 Grammy awards and has been named Musician of the Year by the Country Music Association three times.

Drew Emmitt is revered as one of the most energetic and innovative mandolin players on the jamband/newgrass scene today. His third solo recording effort, "Long Road, " showcases his superlative storytelling and versatile vocal abilities. The record speaks of his past 25 years on the road, telling stories of what he's seen, who he's met and where he's ended up.

Emmitt brought back old friends to record this album, including Billy Nershi of The String Cheese Incident and Chris Pandolfi of The Infamous Stringdusters. He also employs covers of classic on-the-road songs from the likes of Supertramp, Van Morrison and the Marshall-Tucker Band. Emmitt, the former lead singer for rootsy jamband Leftover Salmon and a true renaissance man on musical instruments, also tours with the Emmitt-Nershi Band.

Banjo-playing composer Jayme Stone draws inspiration for his music in many out-of-the-ordinary places, such as Japanese poetry and Portuguese songwriters. He is drawn to musicians who have the ability to invent their own worlds with their music. His own art speaks for itself, with a hint of African and even Indian influence surfacing in the strokes of his banjo. Stone is always looking for ways to better himself at his craft, as he recently took a trip to Africa to learn more about the country's musical culture.

What he came home with was knowledge of two banjo ancestors never revealed before in the West, aspects of African music that eluded its American counterparts and musical friendships that reach across continents. Stone can also be heard playing with The Jayme Stone Quartet, a band with an uncanny ability of blending numerous genres, from melancholy songs about Ray Charles to medleys of Appalachian fiddle tunes all in the same set.

Julie Fowlis may sing in a language only understood by about 60, 000 people Scottish Gaelic but that doesn't stop her peers from praising her music as "enchanting, fascinating and amazingly rhythmic." Fowlis is the BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year and in 2007 was voted Gaelic Singer of the Year for a second time.

Fowlis is also quite the instrumentalist, playing Highland bagpipes, smallpipes, whistles, oboe and cor anglais and three waltzes on the one-row melodeon. She is currently touring the United States in support of her album "cuildih, " which brings centuries-old songs from the Hebridean Islands to new, modern audiences.

Tickets are on sale now at the Mountainlair box office, the Creative Arts Center box office, online at or through the Ticketmaster phone center at 292-0220. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the show. The Mountainlair box office is open weekdays from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and the CAC box office is open weekdays 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased at the Giant Eagle below Mountaineer Mall.

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