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Living Legends of NC Mountain Music: RALPH LEWIS and PETER GOTT Sun Dec 27th 2015 at 7:30pm

$12 in advance

$15 at the door
(students: $8 at the door)

In today’s hotbed of ever-emerging artists, we often forget to wonder who shaped the sounds that today’s youth takes for granted. Who were the pioneers of the threads that continue to hold our musical culture together?

We pay homage, and rightly, to a few familiar icons that have moved on to the Angel Band: Bill Monroe, Doc Watson, Pete Seeger, Bascom Lunsford. But there are others still in our midst that deserve our ears while they are still here to tell their stories in person. Two such living legends are Ralph Lewis and Peter Gott, both of Madison County extraction, one by birth and blood, the other by over fifty years of sweat and toil.

This special performance will include Ralph's sons, Don and Marty Lewis, Peter's daughter, Susi Gott....and special guests including Fox Watson.

Ralph Lewis was part of a musical family, the seventh son born of another seventh son, and picked up mandolin and guitar at an early age, appearing with his siblings as The Lewis Brothers, and later with The Carolina Pals and The Piney Mountain Boys.

 In the 1970’s he joined Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys and toured Europe, Japan, and the United States, and appeared regularly on the Grand Ole Opry.

 In more recent decades he and his sons Marty & Don have been Asheville mainstays, performing widely as The Sons of Ralph. Adept at both the high lonesome sound of bluegrass and the rhythms of rock and roll, as well as the haunting melodies of country, Ralph’s music sounds as if it were carved out of the mountains themselves.

Peter Gott made Madison County his adopted home in the early 1960’s, when both he and Ralph performed regularly at the Jubilee Theater in Hot Springs, filling the hall each Saturday night, Peter capturing the audience’s heart with his banjo and red suspenders, infectious smile and nimble dancing feet. Peter’s passion for the music of the area led him to seek out the true gems of the back hollers, learning tunes and ballads from Lee, Doug, Cas & Berzilla Wallin, Lloyd & Dillard Chandler, George Landers, Dellie Norton, Byard Ray, and others of their generation.

 In 1963 he introduced John Cohen to these friends and neighbors, and the result was two classic recordings: Love Songs & Ballads of Big Laurel (Folkways), and High Atmosphere (Rounder), which lured the next wave of folk musicians who flocked to Madison County.

Peter and his wife Polly were a stopping point for artists from the north and from the west who wanted to soak up southern culture: The New Lost City Ramblers, Alice Gerrard & Hazel Dickens, Alan Lomax, Mike Seeger, David Holt…In the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, joined by Polly and children Susi & Tim, Peter headed up the Cowbell Holler Stringband and toured the festival circuits before his focus shifted to teaching and building traditional hand-hewn log cabins.