Lonesome River Band set for performance at Agri-Civic Center

ALBEMARLE — The final concert of the Stanly County Concert Association’s 2022-2023 season is arriving soon as the Lonesome River Band is set for a show at the Stanly County Agri-Civic Center on April 16. 

The critically-acclaimed contemporary bluegrass band is scheduled to hit the stage at 3 p.m. 

Anchored by group leader Sammy Shelor — a five-time International Bluegrass Music Association Banjo Player of the Year winner and Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass honoree — the band also features a pair of lead vocalists in Jesse Smathers (guitar) and Adam Miller (mandolin) as well as Mike Hartgrove (fiddle) and Kameron Keller (bass). 

Formed in 1982, the Virginia-based band has recorded over a dozen studio records, including their most recent album, “Heyday,” which was released last summer.  

“Heyday is a representation of the Lonesome River Band in transition from many years with Brandon Rickman and Barry Reed in the band to the introduction of Adam Miller and Kameron Keller as the newest members,” Shelor said in a press release. “After 40 years in the business, LRB is looking forward to many more years on the road bringing new music to our wonderful friends across the country.” 

The Lonesome River Band’s upcoming appearance in Stanly County serves as a precursor to more bluegrass music that’s coming later this month. The annual Big Lick Bluegrass Festival — set for April 20-22 at Big Lick Festival Park in Oakboro (722 S. Oak Ridge Rd.) — is back for its 19th year with a selection of music, camping sites, and food vendors. 

An open mic night will kick off the festivities on April 20 at 6 p.m. while ten artists will play on April 22 between 1 p.m. and 11 p.m. Additionally, a dozen artists will play on April 22 between noon and 11 p.m.  

Drive Time (7 p.m.), Tennessee Bluegrass (8 p.m.), Deeper Shade of Blue (9 p.m.), and Sideline (10 p.m.) will be the second-night headliners; Terry Baucom’s Dukes of Drive (7 p.m.), The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys (8 p.m.), Authentic Unlimited (9 p.m,), and Sideline (10 p.m.) will headline the final night of the festival. 

“We’re really looking forward to making our way to Oakboro for the Big Lick Bluegrass Festival,” Josh Rinkel, guitarist for The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, said in an event statement. “We’ll be there on Saturday with Sideline, Authentic Unlimited, and Terry Baucom’s Dukes of Drive, which should make for an exciting day! There’s no telling what will come of the day when you get all of us together, so you definitely won’t want to miss it.” 

Regular tickets, early bird tickets, and camping information for the event can be found at www.biglickbluegrass.com. Daily ticket prices range from $10 to $40 based on the attendee age and the chosen day. For those wanting to attend the entire festival, three-day tickets are on sale for $85.