LOGAN, W.Va. – The 14th annual “Aunt Jennie Music Festival” will be held Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13 and 14. The pair of concerts, named in honor of West Virginia folk legend Virginia Myrtle “Aunt Jennie” Wilson, will take place at a new venue this year, the Coalfield Jamboree (Historic Logan Theatre) at 308 Main Street, Logan. The concerts are free and open to the public. A full schedule is listed below.
Along with the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, sponsors of the festival include the Coalfield Jamboree, Logan County Commission, the Coalfield Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Logan Regional Medical Center.
Bill Hairston and Roger Bryant, Wilson’s grandson and Logan native, will serve as the concert’s emcees for the weekend. Bryant, whose musical roots are in the old-time and folk music traditions, also will open for Saturday’s 4-10:30 p.m. concert. Bryant, who has shared the stage with Tom T. Hall, Tammy Wynette, Kathy Mattea and Kris Kristofferson, will be joined on stage with other notable old-time musicians. He achieved national attention in the late 1970s with his song “Stop the Flow of Coal” and has recorded four albums, the most recent of which is “On the Banks of the Old Guyan.” In 2014, he was the recipient of the Division of Culture and History’s Vandalia Award, West Virginia’s highest folklife honor.
Other Saturday performers include The Dick Taylor Band, a bluegrass group from Chapmanville; the Luke Shamblin Band, a bluegrass band from Charleston; Jim and Valerie Gabehart, bluegrass musicians from Hamlin; Sasha Colette Hart and the Magnolias, a singer and songwriter with rock and roll, country and soul roots; the High Ridge Ramblers, a trio who plays early bluegrass and old-time music; and The Street Players, a classic rock band from Logan.
Sunday’s concert, set for 1-7:15 p.m., will feature Glen Simpson, a folk musician from Hardy, Ky.; Cora Hairston, gospel singer from Omar; Elaine Purkey, known for her powerful voice, and “The Friendly Neighbor Show” band from the weekly radio program on WVOW Radio in Logan; Robert Shafer and The Pour House Band, a country band based in the Charleston area; The Samples Brothers, an old-time music and bluegrass band from Duck; The Stewarts, a gospel group from Clear Fork; and Ray Perry, a Logan native, and Friends.
Jennie Wilson was born in 1900 in the Doc Ellis hollow of what is now Chief Logan State Park. She was one of the first women in the region to learn to play the banjo, and her music and storytelling made her internationally known for her preservation of Appalachian culture. She was the Vandalia Award winner in 1982. Wilson died in 1992.
For more information about the festival, contact Bryant at (304) 752-6020.
2018 Aunt Jennie Music Festival Schedule
Saturday Oct. 13, 2018
Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018