5th annual Classic City American Music Festival featuring Dr. Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, Packway Handle Band & more...
Classic City American Music Festival Hotel Package link
Adam Klein & The Wild Fires
The Honeycutters
BorderHop Trio
BlueBilly Grit (INDOOR STAGE)
String Theory
Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys
High Strung String Band
Packway Handle Band
Jul 4, 2013 at 3:00 PM
Doors open 3:00 PM
Ticket sales ended Jul 5, 2013 1:00 AM. Additional tickets may be available at the box office.
Join us for what is sure to be the best CCAMF yet. For over 6 decades, Dr. Ralph Stanley has become one of the most influential artists of all time..and with The Clinch Mountain Boys, his talents are taken to new extremes. The band that helped start the festival, Packway Handle Band, will also be performing - so expect another heaping helping of the fire-breathing bluegrass/americana that they have built their reputation around!
- All Ages Show -
Ticket Prices
UGA Discount ticket at Door
General Admission
Event Schedule
Classic City American Music Festival Hotel Package link
3:00 PM
Adam Klein & The Wild Fires
4:00 PM
The Honeycutters
4:30 PM
BorderHop Trio
5:30 PM
BlueBilly Grit (INDOOR STAGE)
6:00 PM
String Theory
7:00 PM
Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys
8:00 PM
High Strung String Band
9:30 PM
Packway Handle Band
10:00 PM
Includes a deluxe hotel room at the Foundry Park Inn & Spa along with two tickets to the festival! All for only $119 + tax! Click on the link to make your reservation today. Or call (706) 549.7020 to make your reservation by phone. Additional nights are available at a discount rate if you would like to stay several nights during the 4th of July weekend. more >>>
Athens, Georgia-based singer/songwriter Adam Klein’s journey achieves new heights with his newest release and band debut. The Americana rock album from Adam Klein & The Wild Fires, Sky Blue DeVille, was released in spring 2013 on Klein’s Cowboy Angel Music label. Klein had already released well-received albums featuring assorted all-star line-ups from the talented Athens scene, including Randall Bramblett, John Neff (Drive-By Truckers), David Blackmon, multi-instrumentalist AJ Adams, Lera Lynn, and more – with compliments from The Huffington Post, Paste and many others.

A far cry from his previous release, the acoustic West African ‘Mande’ roots record Dugu Wolo - Klein gathered together friends and musical associates in 2011 to found his first set touring band, The Wild Fires.

The group began recording in April 2012 at Full Moon Studio in Watkinsville, GA, for an intended 7” vinyl release, but the project slowly expanded, first to a six-song 10” and finally into a full length nine-song collection. The songs were certainly there, as Klein found himself with nearly three other albums already written.

Over a matter of months, between playing shows and Klein’s travels to West Africa, the band built the songs of Sky Blue DeVille. Recorded by accomplished engineer Bronson Tew of the Fat Possum label’s Dial Back Sound (Dexateens, Water Liars), the collection steers away from the country and roots-heavy stylings of Klein’s previous releases in favor of a more Americana rock approach centered on Cason and Tew’s thick electric guitars and special guest Randall Bramblett’s dense Wurlitzer, Rhodes, and piano. Legendary Hammond B3 maestro Ike Stubblefield (Marvin Gaye, Al Green, B.B. King) also contributes his grand sound to closing track “Highway of Your Love”, and David Blackmon (The Kenney-Blackmon String Band, Widespread Panic, Jerry Reed) sat in to provide touches of fiddle.

Klein has performed alongside such acts as Josh Ritter, Kevn Kinney, Shawn Mullins, Robert Ellis, Shovels & Rope, Steep Canon Rangers, Jonathan Byrd, and more.

Sky Blue DeVille represents yet another step forward for Klein’s versatile songwriting as he continues to explore and expand upon sounds rooted in his exciting brand of Americana and folk. more >>>
The Honeycutters are, at the heart, the musical collaboration of singer/songwriter Amanda Anne Platt and Lead Guitarist/ Producer Peter James. While their sound has drawn comparisons to such artists as Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris or Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Platt and James produce a refreshingly unique blend of Americana music that is comfortingly familiar while being entirely original. Whether performing as an acoustic duo or a full fledged Honky-Tonk five piece, The Honeycutters leave smiles on the faces of the ears that they catch.

Their most recent release, When Bitter Met Sweet (2012), hit #21 on the Americana Chart, and landed at #94 for the year. It was also one of the top ten best selling albums at Merlefest in 2012. The record came in at #4 in WNCW’s listener voted top 100, and #2 in the regional favorites (right behind The Avett Brothers).

Their first full length studio release Irene (May ’09) was recorded at Asheville’s own Collapseable Studio, and mixed by Grammy Award winning sound engineer David Fergason (Nashville TN) . The album has garnered radio support across the USA as well as overseas, and landed them in Iaan Hughes’ (No Depression Podcast) top twenty of 2009, Fret Knot Radio Hour’s “Nine to Know from ’09?, and as number 32 in WNCW’s listener voted top 100.

Amanda Anne Platt has been hailed as “one of the best songwriters coming out of WNC these days” by WNCW programming director Martin Anderson, and her voice has been described as “perfectly unadorned” and “recklessly beautiful”. Her song, “Little Bird,” won second place in the general category of the Chris Austin Songwriting contest in 2011. Her lyrics are as catchy and heartbreaking as her melodies. Dane Smith of Asheville NC’s Mountain Xpress writes “Her songs make you sad…in a good way!” In both her simple composition and honest delivery it’s easy to hear the influence of country legends such as Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, or Loretta Lynn, and with this Miss Platt credits growing up listening to her Father’s extensive record collection every Saturday morning. Despite her love for classic country, she cites Bruce Springstein and Tom Petty as major influences and her songwriting carries a wit and an edge that plants her firmly in her generation.

Peter James is rapidly becoming one of Western North Carolina’s most sought after guitar players, known for both insightful solos and tasteful accompaniment. Having first held a guitar at age thirteen, he quickly started making up for lost time by delving completely into the instrument. His natural talent and attention to detail made him an asset to The Slant Six Cowboys, a New Hampshire based group founded by James and singer/songwriter Don Witcher out of their long time musical collaboration. In 2004 they released a self-titled album on 95 North records which reached number 14 on the AMA chart. Since moving to Asheville in 2006 James has played right-hand man to several of the region’s top acts, including Taylor Martin and Brian McGee.

Like so many of country music’s great duos, Platt and James have a musical chemistry that can be felt throughout the songs they play, from the sounds of their guitars to their vocal harmonies. Perhaps this is why they are frequently mentioned along with the movement to “Take country music back to it’s roots”. The Honeycutters are just doing what they know how to do: making music that feels as good to hear as it does to play. Their original brand of Americana has proven equally appealing to both the musician and the music lover, the country and the city, and the old and the young.

Tal Taylor on mandolin, Rick Cooper on bass, and Josh Milligan on drums round out Platt’s songs and create a sound that carries just as well across the bar room as the acoustic duo does in a church or a music hall.

Since the release of their first studio album, The Honeycutters have shared the stage with such Americana giants as Guy Clark, Tony Rice, The Seldom Scene, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Donna The Buffalo, Jill Andrews, and The Steep Canyon Rangers. They have been voted Western North Carolina’s favorite local Americana act (2011 Mountain Xpress reader’s poll) and delighted audiences from upstate New York to Seattle, Washington. They are currently planning a fundraiser for the production of their third full length studio album. more >>>
BorderHop Trio | 5:30 PM
It all starts with that High Lonesome sound and then keeps getting higher and lonesom-er till your left asking "What just happened?!" While deeply rooted in the traditions of Bill Monroe, Flat & Scruggs, the Stanley Brothers and Jimmy Martin, the BorderHop Trio is not afraid to push the boundaries of Bluegrass Music and good taste. more >>>
From the side porch of an old gristmill to the main stage of The Telluride Bluegrass Festival, BlueBilly Grit has quickly become a force in Bluegrass and Americana. Their modern style, which blends Bluegrass and Americana music, has a way of appealing to the newer generation of the grassroots movement, and by those that have a love for the more traditional sound. Their unrivaled three part harmony, traditional instrumentation, and the lead vocals of their soulful female singer are what make this magical blend work. In February of 2011, an original song written and recorded about the old gristmill was shipped to 800 radio stations in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. The song was released on a compilation CD along with songs from Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Steve Martin, and The Grascals. BlueBilly Grit also won the 2012 Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition. BlueBilly Grit has done several radio and TV spots this past year, including "Nuts and Bolts of Fishing" which aired on Turner Sports South and the "Moby in the Morning Show," a nationally syndicated radio show based in Atlanta. BlueBilly Grit recently released their second album, “Ready For A Change,” and the group is currently in the studio working on a third album, and a live video performance. Amidst much uncertainty in the musical world of today, BlueBilly Grit seems to be holding their course, and humbly admits that a source greater than themselves appears to be calling the shots. BlueBilly Grit takes pride in the fact that they’re not just another “hot lick, blazing solo” bluegrass band. It’s all about the song with this group, and rightly so because they have something to say! more >>>
String Theory | 7:00 PM
String Theory (Athens, GA) plays old time, bluegrass and Americana
music and is made up of some of Athens finest acoustic musicians. The
music is high energy and refuses to let the audience sit back and
simply listen: they have to move, dance or even just tap their feet.
The lineup includes Tommy Jordan (guitar,, vocals), Dick
Daniels (mandolin, guitar, bass, vocals), Antoon Speters (banjo,
vocals), Susan Staley (guitar, vocals), Dale Wechsler (fiddle) and Ben
Jordan (acoustic and electric bass). Their CD "All Wound Up" is
available from CDBaby, iTunes and more >>>
When legends come to mind there is one star that shines above them all that is none other than the legendary icon Dr. Ralph Stanley.

For over 6 decades he has become one of the most influential artists of all time. Born in 1927 in Big Spraddle VA, Ralph Stanley was the second child of Lucy Jane and Lee Stanley. In 1946 along with his older brother Carter Stanley they formed the legendary Stanley Brothers duo. The Stanley Brothers and the Clinch Mountain Boys became one of the most popular brother acts in Country Music history. The Stanley Brothers traveled together for 20 years recording some of the most mournful mountain songs to date.

The Stanley BrothersTheir catalog of songs include “Angel Band”, "Rank Strangers”, “Little Maggie” and the famed “Man Of Constant Sorrow”. Tragedy struck the Stanley Brothers on December 1st 1966 with the untimely passing of 41 year old Carter Stanley. Ralph was disheartened and discouraged with his brother's death but by faith in God and support of his family, friends and fans Ralph Stanley pressed on.

Some of Country and Bluegrass music’s biggest stars came from Ralph Stanley’s band, including Ricky Skaggs, Larry Sparks and the late Keith Whitley. In 1976 Ralph received a honorary doctorate of music from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN. In 1984 Recipient of the “National Heritage Award” given by President Ronald Reagan. In 1992 Ralph was inducted into the” International Bluegrass Music Hall Of Honor”. In 2000 he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

In 2002 Ralph Stanley received his first ever Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance of the haunting rendition of “Oh Death” that was featured in the movie and soundtrack of “O Brother Where Art Thou”. In 2006 He received the Living Legend award from the Library of Congress and National medal of arts given by President George W. Bush.

Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys are still touring a 100 plus dates per year, and enjoying his time at home with his lovely wife “Jimmi” of nearly 50 years. Dr. Ralph Stanley is not only an American treasure but and international Icon.

More Information About Dr. Ralph Stanley
Born February 25, 1927 in Dickenson County, Virginia; lives in Coeburn, Virginia

Honors and Acknowledgements
2009 - Autobiography Man of Constant Sorrow: The Life and Times of a Music Legend went
on sale October, 2009. Written by Dr. Ralph Stanley with Eddie Dean.
2008 - Chosen by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia as the 2008 Outstanding Virginian in honor of his distinctive contributions, outstanding achievements, inspiring leadership and civic service.
2006 - National Medal of Arts presented by National Endowment for the Arts and President George W. Bush.
2005 - Proclamation from Virginia Governor Mark Warner presented to Dr. Ralph Stanley, a native Virginian, in honor of his life and work as a pioneering traditional country music artist.
2004 - Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Music Center opened in Clintwood, VA
2004 - Designated as Virginian of the Year (2004) by Virginia Press Association
2003 - Lifetime Achievement Award, North American Folk Alliance
2002 - Grammy - 45th Annual GRAMMY Awards: Best Bluegrass Album, Lost In The Lonesome Pines (Jim Lauderdale, Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys)
2002 - IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Assoc.) Recorded Event of the Year – Clinch Mountain Sweethearts
2001 - Grammys (2) - 44th Annual GRAMMY Awards:
Best Male Country Vocal Performance – “Oh Death”
Album of the Year – for his contributions to the album O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Received his first Grammy at age 75; numerous nominations through the years
2001 - CMA Award, Album of the Year – for his contributions to O Brother, Where Art Thou?
2001 - ACM Award, Album of the Year – for his contributions to O Brother, Where Art Thou?
2001 - Ralph J. Gleason Award from the Rex Foundation – “outstanding contributions to culture”
2001 - Multi-Platinum Album – Mercury Records O Brother, Where Art Thou?. He is featured in two performances on the soundtrack album for the Coen Brothers’ film – “Oh, Death” (Stanley’s classic a cappella solo) and “Angel Band” (The Stanley Brothers).
2001 - Ralph Stanley Day in San Francisco – February 6, 2001, declared by Mayor Willie Brown
2001 - IBMA Album of the Year – for his contributions to O Brother, Where Art Thou?
2000 - Library of Congress – “Living Legend” Medal
2000 - Grand Ole Opry Induction – first of the new century
1999 - IBMA Album of the Year – Clinch Mountain Country, Ralph Stanley & Friends
1999 - IBMA Recorded Event of the Year – Clinch Mountain Country, Ralph Stanley &. Friends
1993 - IBMA Recorded Event of the Year – Saturday Night/Sunday Morning
1992 - IBMA Hall of Honor Induction - Stanley Brothers, 1992
1984 - National Endowment for the Arts “National Heritage Fellowship” – presented by President Ronald Reagan
1976 - Honorary Doctorate of Music – Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN
1960 - Billboard Charts Top 20 Single – “How Far to Little Rock” Stanley Brothers

Noteworthy Appearances
~CBS Grammy Awards Show performance
~CBS “Late Night w/David Letterman”
~CBS “The Early Show”
~ABC “Good Morning America”
~NBC “The Tonight Show”
~CMT “The Life and Times of Ralph Stanley”
~Performed at Library of Congress Bicentennial Celebration in April 2000.
~Stanley is the centrally featured artist in D. A. Pennebaker’s Down From The Mountain, (2000) a documentary on the making the O Brother soundtrack--shown in art theaters around the country and available on video.
~The Ralph Stanley Story, a documentary directed by Herb E. Smith for Appalshop Film and Video is available on video (2000).
~“Salute To Ralph Stanley,” a live five-hour music and interview show, was broadcast March 21, 2001, on WSM-AM, the Grand Ole Opry station. Involving Stanley’s musical recollections of the past 55 years, it was designed and hosted by DJ, musician and music scholar Eddie Stubbs. The entire show can be heard at
~Featured in the bluegrass segment of “A Century of Country,” 13-show series aired on CMT.
~Performed for Presidents Carter and Clinton’s Inaugurations (1977 & 1993).
~Performed The Queen Elizabeth Hall in London; two extensive tours of Europe; three tours of Japan and the Far East.
~Numerous appearances at the Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, Ryman Auditorium, Grand Ole Opry, PBS’s “Austin City Limits,” Hollywood Palace, Greek Theatre, Tramps (NY), among many others.

Musical Accomplishments
~ Has performed continually since 1946. The patriarch of traditional and bluegrass music still does over 150 dates a year.
~Has recorded over 170 albums, more than 30 albums in over 30 years with Rebel Records.
~ Has written and recorded many songs that have become bluegrass standards.
~He is one of the last living founders of a distinctly American art form, which blends rural-based lyrics with fluid, jazz-like instrumental improvisations.
~Stanley’s music--particularly his high, mournful vocals--is so raw, powerful and authentic that it has moved and inspired performers from all musical genres. Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Dwight Yoakam, Vince Gill, Jerry Garcia, Hal Ketchum, Patty Loveless, John Anderson credit Stanley as a major inspiration.
~Stanley’s band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, has been the incubator for two generations of country and bluegrass superstars, including Ricky Skaggs and the late Keith Whitley.
~Ralph Stanley continues to live in and draw strength from the country, in his case the remote mountainous region of southwestern Virginia.

What They Are Saying About Ralph Stanley
Vanity Fair
“A bluegrass diety. . . . Stanley has one of the most expressive voices in the history of American song, a craggy tenor equally adept at praising the Lord and expressing heartbreak.”

Garrison Keillor
“Ralph Stanley is like an uncle to us and now that all my uncles are gone, Ralph's singing is even more precious. This album [A Distant Land To Roam] of classic folk songs is one of his best.”

Rolling Stone
“A master performer without an expiration date. . . .”

David Gates, senior editor, Newsweek
“A Distant Land to Roam is indispensable: [Here is] the foremost interpreter of traditional country music singing some of the great canonical songs. . . . [This is] one of his most moving recordings."

Rolling Stone
“The most dangerous seventy-eight-year-old in the biz . . . Ralph Stanley continues to rule American mountain music, playing the bluest grass with the baddest ass.”

NPR’s “Fresh Air”
“. . . easily the most eminent bluegrass singer in the world.”

Los Angeles Times
“. . . a cultural treasure. . . .”

Jon Weisberger, contributing editor, No Depression"
With Distant Land To Roam, Ralph Stanley returns to the Clinch Mountains--his home, and that of the Carter Family--and to the signature sound that has served him so well for almost 60 years. Ralph's stirring, mournful voice is a perfect match for the Carter Family's songs, Mike Seeger's autoharp and James Alan Shelton's "Carter lick" guitar act as wonderful bridges between the past and present, and it is great to hear The Clinch Mountain Boys behind the master once again.

Denver Post
“Then there was Stanley, today’s Elvis of traditional music. With his hands casually clasped at his waist, he filled the theater with his plaintive plea against dying, ‘O Death,’ whose solemn lyrics he magically makes uplifting.”

Chicago Tribune
“The timeless air has always been present in the voice of Ralph Stanley. . . . There was nothing high, lonesome or mournful about his tone. Instead, he embodied the protagonist in an ancient murder ballad. His voice was sharp, scolding, vengeful, and it’s why this music cuts so deep. . . ”

Chicago Sun Times
“. . . Ralph Stanley is undeniably the most important figure in bluegrass music today.”

Philadelphia Inquirer
“And then there was Stanley, who began his set singing ‘O Death’ solo and ended it by leading the entire cast – and the enthralled crowd – in a goosebumps-raising ‘Amazing Grace.’ In a voice raspy but firm, the 74-year old pioneer did nothing fancy with ‘Man of Constant Sorrow’ or the rousing ‘Angel Band.’ He just gave his plainspoken all, moving the air in the room like a man who can’t shake sorrow but still yearns for the light.” more >>>
"High Strung String Band breathes new life into an old tradition. In some ways, the band pays homage to straight-ahead, traditional bluegrass: They flat-pick the guitar, play three-finger-style banjo, and belt out high vocal harmonies. But in other ways, High Strung String Band trades in tradition for surprise. Their bluegrass is part improvisation, part experimentation -- a form that thrives on original songs and unique arrangements. This makes High Strung String Band a reliable, yet unpredictable musical force. They deliver the foot-stomping, high-and-lonesome, storytelling songs you’d expect from a bluegrass band, but with a spirit and style all their own. In 2013, they were voted #1 bluegrass/country band in Athens by Flagpole Magazine!" more >>>
“The Packway Handle Band serves up a dark and passionate folk aesthetic…with a side of blood” [Sarah Hagerman,]. The five members of Packway have wowed audiences for over a decade with near perfect 4-part harmonies and seemingly boundless on-stage synergy. Over the years the band has evolved as a premier gather-around-the-mic act. Their performance is focused around a tight cluster of microphones surrounded by an arsenal of acoustic and electric instruments: banjo, fiddle, mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar, upright and electric bass, and an ever-changing array of percussive accessories, sometimes called “The Rattletrap.” Packway’s sound is steeped in old-fashioned bluegrass, but they hold a niche in the American music realm that’s all their own. Clever songwriting, an eccentric mixture of modern folk music, dark themes, old-time religion, affectionate satire of Bluegrass, and devotion to apocalyptic infotainment leave the listener to decide what exactly a Packway Handle is.

"This is how I like my bluegrass served up – dark and passionate,with a side of blood.", Sarah Hagerman 3/20/10 SxSW review
"One thing is obvious to all: The Packway Handle Band is not your father’s bluegrass band.” – Bluegrass Now Magazine, Dave Higgs

"The Packway Handle Band mixes dark themes and old-time religion with a uniquely modern folk aesthetic that pins down just what American music is all about."– Splice Today, Z.N Lupetin

"Packway Handle's strength is in its cohesiveness. Vocal Harmonies and string syncopations lock together like Legos.…" – Aspen Daily News, Adam Preskill

"If you like Chatham County Line and/or The Avett Brothers, then you should catch this perpetually touring five-piece for a trad-absurdist experience delivered from exceptionally seasoned youths." – Flagpole Magazine, David Eduardo

2002-2008 consecutive Reader's Choice Flagpole Bluegrass
band/Americana band of the year awards
2002 4th place Telluride Folk & Bluegrass Festival band competition- Telluride, CO
2003 3rd place Telluride Folk & Bluegrass Festival band competition- Telluride, CO
2003 Winner Miller Light Battle of the Bands-- Athens, GA
2004 2nd place Telluride Folk & Bluegrass Festival band competition- Telluride, CO
2009 2nd place Rockygrass Bluegrass Festival band competition- Lyons, CO
2009 Winner Podunk Bluegrass Festival band competition- Hartford, CT more >>>