Johnson City Press: Bluegrass rings in the new year at the Carter Family Fold

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Bluegrass rings in the new year at the Carter Family Fold

Contributed • Jan 3, 2019 at 12:08 PM
Who: The McLain Family Band
Where: Carter Family Fold, 3449 AP Carter Highway, Hiltons, VA
When:  Saturday at 7 p.m.
How much:  $10 for adults, $2 for children 6-11, free for 6-under.


One of the Carter Family Fold’s most popular bluegrass groups is coming down from the hills of Kentucky to return for a night of spontaneous, creative fun this weekend for a special anniversary. 

On Saturday, January 5th, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of bluegrass music by a long time popular group at the Fold, the McLain Family Band. This concert continues the celebration of the McLain Family Band’s 50th anniversary year. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $2 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.

Direct from the hills of Kentucky, the McLain Family Band has become known internationally as one of the most spontaneous, creative and spirited groups performing contemporary Appalachian bluegrass music. During the years 1968 – 1990, the group performed in all 50 states and 62 countries during 14 international concert tours, some as musical ambassadors of the U.S. Department of State. The McLain Family Band played at the Grand Ole Opry, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Lincoln Center and the Carter Fold. They were featured at thousands of festivals and concerts and performed as soloists in more than 230 appearances with orchestras.

For eleven years, The McLain Family Band hosted The McLain Family Band Festival which was featured on NPR’s Folk Festival USA and produced by Kentucky Educational TV for national distribution. Other television appearances include NBC’s Today Show, the CBS Morning News, Good Morning America, the Pearl Bailey ETV Special, the BBC, TNN’s Nashville Now and the Johnny Cash Christmas Special.

The McLain Family Band began performing at the Carter Music Center when Janette Carter first began presenting concerts in the old A.P. Carter Grocery in 1974. The family band stopped touring on a full time basis in 1990, but for the past several years they have begun to tour again despite full time teaching jobs at Morehead and Berea Colleges in Kentucky, Bellmont in Nashville, and various other jobs. Thankfully, the band always continued the tradition of performing at the Fold, and we are both blessed and honored that they have. We could not be prouder to present any group than we are the McLains. After 43 years, the McLains truly are family to us, and they have been since our families first met.

For some of the best bluegrass music this side of Heaven – and some of the best dancing - don’t miss the McLain Family Band at the Carter Family Fold. Come on out and join us for one of the most memorable musical evenings you can imagine! It’s an honor and privilege for the Fold to welcome this special band. The McLains are both family to us and some of the greatest performers to ever grace the Fold’s stage. For more information on the group, go to

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