West coast meets east coast in this evening of multigenre musical ingenuity
(GALAX, VA) — Front Country is bringing its unique mix of original songwriting, vocal harmonies, and instrumental virtuosity to the Blue Ridge Music Center at 7 p.m., Saturday, August 25. The Martha Bassett Band will open the show with its own mix, from jazz and swing to folk and country numbers. The concert will be held in the outdoor amphitheater at the base of Fisher Peak at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Galax, Virginia.
Hailing from San Francisco, Front Country has forged its own groove that merges the musical past with the future. The band is a menagerie of musicians: Adam Roszkiewicz (mandolin, banjo, and vocals) earned a degree in composition and classical guitar, Jacob Groopman (guitar, rezo guitar, mandolin, and vocals) is trained in rock and world music, Jeremy Darrow (bass) is equally versed in jazz and newgrass, Leif Karlstrom (five string fiddle) seamlessly hops between honky-tonk and electro-pop, and Melody Walker (vocals, guitar, and percussion) writes and sings original songs with grit and soul. The resulting sound lies somewhere between indie folk and Americana, in a nether region the group has come to embrace as its own.
Martha Bassett was raised on the bluegrass and gospel of her native West Virginia. No Depression journal describes her music as intricate and resoundingly captivating. Bassett is blessed with a crystalline tone, a remarkable range, and sultry delivery. Her performances are known for their emotional honesty and visceral impact, making everyone in the room feel she’s singing directly to them. Supported by a band equally comfortable in acoustic and electric settings, she moves effortlessly through sexy torch songs, rip-your-heart-out ballads, and slinky groove tunes. Bassett’s band is rounded out by Sarah Howell (piano, percussion, and vocals), Fiona Burdette (mandolin, cello, and vocals), Alex McKinney (dobro), Russell Kelly (electric guitar), and Pat Lawrence (bass).
Earlier this year, Bassett launched The Martha Bassett Show, which features emerging national artists, local talent, and her band each month at the historic Reeves Theater in Elkin, N.C. Podcasts of the performances are available at www.marthabassettshow.com.
During the concert, The Galax Smokehouse will be on site serving its signature barbecue, down-home sides, drinks, and desserts.
Front Country + The Martha Bassett Band
 7 p.m., Saturday, August 25
 Blue Ridge Music Center, 700 Foothills Road, Galax, Virginia, or Milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Tickets: $15, BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org or (866) 308-2773, ext. 212. Parking is free.
About the Blue Ridge Music Center
The Blue Ridge Music Center, milepost 213 near Galax, Virginia, celebrates the music and musicians of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The site includes an outdoor amphitheater and indoor interpretive center used to highlight an important strand of American musical culture, which still thrives in the region. Midday Mountain Music performances are offered free from noon to 4 p.m. daily. During the summer, its beautiful outdoor amphitheater at the foot of Fisher Peak comes alive through a vibrant and diverse concert series. The Music Center also offers scenic trails for the novice and seasoned hiker, educational programs, and the interactive Roots of American Music Museum. The visitor center and museum are open May through October and admission is free. The site is operated through a partnership between the National Park Service and Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. For more information, visit BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org.