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Style · July 25, 2013

Bluegrass legend to perform Saturday in Warrenton

Bill Emerson, Chris Stifel, Wayne Lanham and Teri Chism.
Video at bottom of story.

The Bluemont Concert Series will present Bill Emerson & Sweet Dixie on Saturday night, July 27, for the fifth of eight summer concerts in Old Town Warrenton.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Beginning in 1957, Mr. Emerson established himself as a banjo virtuoso and music history maker as founding member of the famed bluegrass ensemble, The Country Gentlemen. He became a featured artist with Jimmy Martin during the height of that bluegrass legend's career.

Mr. Emerson introduced the classic “Fox on the Run” to bluegrass. He founded and shaped Country Current, the renowned bluegrass ensemble of the United States Navy Band.

Called “a banjo legend” by The Washington Post, he twice received the “Banjo player of the Year” from the Muleskinner News Bluegrass Magazine. He helped launch the careers of dobro legends Mike Auldridge and Jerry Douglas. Ricky Skaggs credits him as being responsible for his post Ralph Stanley musical career.

The Virginia Folk Music Association Hall of Fame inducted him in 1984, and June 10 was proclaimed “Bill Emerson Day” by the governor.

Sweet Dixie features Wayne Lanham on mandolin, Teri Chism on upright bass, Chris Stifel on guitar and Wally Hughes on fiddle.

Concertgoers bring chairs, blankets and picnics to the lawn of the Warren Green Building at Culpeper and Hotel streets.

Admission is $5 per person, $4 for Bluemont friends and seniors, $2 for children younger than 12. Proceeds support the Bluemont Concert Series Artist-in-Education program in Fauquier schools. No pets, alcohol or smoking are allowed at Bluemont concerts.

Bluemont relies on more than 1,200 volunteers each summer to help organize its 40 concerts in seven communities.

For more information, visit

VIDEO: The band plays “Fox on the Run.”

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