Breaking Up Christmas is an old Blue Ridge Mountains tradition where people celebrated the 12 days of Christmas with house parties filled with old-time string band music and Appalachian cheer. January 6 marks the end of those 12 days, and what better way to say goodbye to the festive season and welcome the new year than with a night of energetic and entertaining music live at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum! The show will also be broadcast live on Radio Bristol.
On Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. the museum will host the Breaking Up Christmas Concert featuring The New Smokey Valley Boys, The Cabin Creek Boys, and Mountain Park Old Time Band. The concert program is inspired by the current special exhibit The Luthier’s Craft: Instrument Making Traditions of the Blue Ridge, on display at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum now through March 4, 2018. Several band members are luthiers featured in this exhibit, including Kevin Fore from The New Smokey Valley Boys, Chris Testerman from The Cabin Creek Boys, and Johnny Gentry from the Mountain Park Old Time Band.
The New Smokey Valley Boys have come together to honor one of old-time music’s greatest string bands: Benton Flippen and the Smokey Valley Boys. The original group, based out of Surry County, North Carolina, was led by Flippen and Paul Sutphin from the 1970s until Flippen’s death in 2011. Though various members came and went, the group was known for its hard-driving, square dance style and received numerous awards over the decades. The New Smokey Valley Boys are dedicated to reviving a particular sound that once dominated the old-time scene.
The Cabin Creek Boys play old-time hillbilly music from the mountains of Southwest Virginia and Northwest North Carolina, performing at area fiddlers conventions, festivals, square dances, and other community events. This group of accomplished and skilled musicians entertains audiences with their style of traditional music that includes hoedown instrumentals, bluegrass songs, two-step numbers, and waltzes.
Mountain Park Old Time Band was formed a decade ago by friends who loved getting together to play old-time music. Named Instrumental Group of the Year at the Blue Ridge Uprising in 2013, Mountain Park is known for their dance music whether it be square dance, flat foot, clogging, two step, or waltz. The band has performed at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, the Carter Fold, and the Blue Ridge Music Center, to name a few, and has opened for the likes of Blue Highway, Steep Canyon Rangers, and the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
Tickets for the Breaking Up Christmas Concert are $15 plus Bristol, Virginia admission tax. Tickets may be purchased online at BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org.