Bluegrass with heart: Acoustic band coming to Falany Performing Arts Center on Feb. 24
by From staff reports
January 30, 2013 12:00 AM | 2623 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mountain Heart has performed numerous times at the Grand Ole Opry. The popular aucostic band is coming to the Falany Performing Arts Center in Waleska in February. <br> Special to the Cherokee Tribune
Mountain Heart has performed numerous times at the Grand Ole Opry. The popular aucostic band is coming to the Falany Performing Arts Center in Waleska in February.
Special to the Cherokee Tribune
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Mountain Heart’s name has been synonymous with cutting-edge excellence in acoustic music circles since the group’s creation in 1999.  The band has performed at several venues around the county including the Cherokee Arts Center.
Mountain Heart’s name has been synonymous with cutting-edge excellence in acoustic music circles since the group’s creation in 1999. The band has performed at several venues around the county including the Cherokee Arts Center.
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Cherokee County bluegrass music fans will have a chance to welcome back a popular band to the stage when Mountain Heart performs at the Falany Performing Arts Center at Reinhardt University in Waleska.

The concert is set for Feb. 24 at 3 p.m.

Mountain Heart, a popular acoustic band, is one of the most highly awarded ensembles ever assembled.

Mountain Heart, or members of the band, have either won or been nominated for Grammy’s, American Country Music, and Country Music awards.

The group’s popularity continues to grow as they share their music, which is an acoustic blend between country and bluegrass.

The band’s name has been synonymous with cutting-edge excellence in acoustic music circles since the group’s creation in 1999. The band has performed at several venues around the county, including the Cherokee Arts Center.

Mountain Heart has shared stage time with such greats as Merle Haggard, George Jones, Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss, Lynard Skynard, and John Fogerty.

They have appeared about 125 times on the Grand Ole Opry stage.

Local audiences are particularly familiar with band leader and owner Barry Abernathy, a native of Ellijah.

Winner of 1997’s Banjo Player of the Year award from the Society for the Preservation of Blue Grass Music in America, Abernathy began his musical career performing bluegrass gospel with Silver Creek, but first came to national attention as a member of one of the decade’s hottest bluegrass bands, IIIrd Tyme Out.

From 1994 to 1998, the Georgia-born banjo player/lead vocalist was a featured member of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, recording five albums with the award-winning ensemble before leaving to form Mountain Heart.

Abernathy‘s heartfelt and earthy vocal tones are a perfect complement to singer/songwriter Josh Shilling’s soaring tenor lines.

Shilling boasts an impressive combination of experience and musicianship, belying his youth. Only 29 years old, Shilling’s musical forays have been diverse and considerable, ranging from jazz and funk-tinged ensembles to soul and contemporary country, jam-band and folk projects.

As a teenager, Shilling fielded offers to tour nationally with professional bands, and at 17, he graduated high school one year early to begin his musical pursuits.

He began traveling with The Kings, a successful regional band from Roanoke, Va.

In 2007, Shilling joined Mountain Heart and since that time his robust vocals, evolving signature piano stylings and guitar worked to enhance the group’s rich acoustic sound.

The same year, Shilling wrote or co-wrote all of the four new songs featured on the group’s live album, “The Road that Never Ends,” including project’s title track, which reached the fourth slot on Billboard’s bluegrass chart.

Mountain Heart’s January 2007 appearance on the Grand Ole Opry introduced Shilling to an eagerly receptive crowd. After performing one of his original songs, he earned a standing ovation and encore that evening — a rare distinction for any artist on that stage.

Now based in Nashville, Shilling is a full-time songwriter and spends much of his time working in studios as a session musician/vocalist.

Prices for tickets for the upcoming performance at Falany Performing Arts Center are $35 for adults, seniors 55 and up and students, $30.

Additional service charges may apply.

To purchase tickets for the Feb. 24 concert, or for more information, call the Falany Performing Arts Center box office at (770) 720-9167 or visit www.reinhardt.edu/fpac.
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