Timberline Four Seasons Resort will present a weekend of Rhythm and Blues presented by one of West Virginia’s best known rhythm and blues stylists, Big Rock and The Candy Mountain Boys. The performances are scheduled for March 12 at 7 pm and Saturday March 13 at 4pm and 7pm as part of the Annual Bowling Rhythm and Blues Military Weekend. This is a continuation of Timberline’s themed year round weekend series and is presented in recognition of West Virginia’s role in the evolution of rhythm and blues in this portion of the Allegheny Mountains.
Rhythm and blues is clearly an original American style of music. Blues in America has taken different forms over the past 100 years, including gospel, jazz, rhythm and blues, rock country and bluegrass. Areas of the United States which were notably involved in the early evolution of the rhythm and blues were in the Mississippi Delta, New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville. As part of a sizeable migration of half a million people from those southern areas into Chicago, musicians like bluesman Larry Taylor and others moved the blues to Chicago and subsequently into portions of West Virginia.
From rural Hampshire County in West Virginia, rhythm and blues performers like “Barrelhouse Bonni” McKean learned left handed rhythms in the style of the 1930′s at the August Blues Week in Elkins, West Virginia, from groups like Saffire the Uppity Blues Woman. After absorbing blues on the west side of Chicago, McKean and other musicians returned to West Virginia to perpetuate the West Virginia rhythm and blues tradition.
The well established Big Rock and the Candy Mountain Boys were originally formed by front porch pickers who often gathered at a farm in Wayne County, West Virginia. The group, headed by Dave Lavender, will do renditions containing fusion of jazz, folk and blues as well as old-time tunes such as “Homebrew Rag”. Lavender and his group will also bring back songs from long gone but not forgotten artists such as Nina Simon, Sippie Wallace, Duke Ellington and Irving Berlin.
The Candy Mountain boys are veteran headliners in the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition’s Tree Hugger’s Ball and regulars at such festivals as the Bramwell Oktoberfest and Greensboro Blues Festival in Kentucky.
Timberline’s General Manager, Tom Blanzy, reported that the ski slopes are in excellent condition with an apparent record number of late coming skiers taking advantage of the outstanding conditions.
The resort is planning a full snow sports schedule this month including the famous Snowy luau, March 19-21, and the Locals Cup Race the weekend of the 28th, the rail jam final, March 28th and telemark and women’s workshop. Guest are invited to stay at the new on-site Timberline Resort Hotel and Suites, located adjacent to the site of the performances. Visitors will find this to be an upscale facility with balconies in full view of the 1,000 foot vertical of Herz Mountain on the Eastern Continental divide of the Allegheny Mountains. Large high definition flat screen TV’s and Jacuzzi-style tubs are in spacious rooms all within a short walk from the entertainment and the food and beverage at the ski lodge. For hotel lodging call 1.800.SNOWING or visit Timberlineresort.com. For vacation homes or condominiums rentals call 1-866-438-7259 or visit T4sr.com.