Last updated: April 11. 2014 10:08AM - 1640 Views
By - abulluck@civitasmedia.com

Submitted Photo | Jefferson PostA new album and several live performances highlight Madison Shepherd's spring and summer.
Submitted Photo | Jefferson PostA new album and several live performances highlight Madison Shepherd's spring and summer.
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A 13 year-old banjo player from Laurel Springs is continuing to hone her pickin’ skills in the world of old time and bluegrass music.

Since first being featured in the Jefferson Post in October 2013, Madison Shepherd has been hard at work recording and performing with the “Close Kin” music project.

Shepherd and the other Close Kin musicians will be performing this weekend, April 11 and 12, at the Second Annual Blue Ridge Acoustic Uprising (BRAU), in Wytheville, Va.

The young musicians, all of whom range in age from 11 to 17, will take to the stage at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 11 and 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 12. There will also be a CD release party on Friday.

BRAU features an array of artists who specialize in performing old time, bluegrass and Americana music. Tickets for the festival are still on-sale and can be purchased online at www.acousticuprising.com or by phone at (423) 444-2893.

On March 1, the band performed at The Lincoln Theater in Marion, Va. The performance was recorded for the UNC-TV series “Song of the Mountains.” According to Jennifer Shepherd, Madison’s mother, the recorded performance will likely air in 9-12 months.

In addition to the performances this weekend at the BRAU, the Close Kin band currently has several more dates lined up going forward. They include:

• May 2-3, HoustonFest, Galax, Va.

• July 5, Christmas in July Festival, West Jefferson.

The band’s second album, “Close Kin: Our Roots Run Deep,” was recorded and produced by award-winning singer/songwriter Johnny Williams’ Mountain Roads Recording, in Bristol, Tenn.

Other artists featured on “Close Kin: Our Roots Run Deep” are: Kitty Amaral (old-time fiddle), Jared Boyd (clawhammer banjo, guitar and vocals), David Chrisley (bass), Cathrine Conner (mandolin, guitar and vocals), Levi Funk (old-time fiddle and vocals), Austin Greer (bluegrass banjo), David Greeson (bluegrass fiddle and guitar), Jonah Horton (mandolin and guitar), Lindsey Nale (vocals) and Clay Russell (bluegrass banjo).

Copies of the “Close Kin: Our Roots Run Deep” are available for sale at Scott Harris Guitar Shop and Mountain Aire Seafood and Steaks, in West Jefferson.

Alan Bulluck can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @albulluck.

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