WCU traditional music series to open with concert by Battleaxe Band

Members of the Battleaxe Band are (from left) Nancy Hamilton, Brooke Lauer, Amy Buckingham and Lucy Allen.

Members of the Battleaxe Band are (from left) Nancy Hamilton, Brooke Lauer, Amy Buckingham and Lucy Allen.

The 2016-17 First Thursday Old-Time and Bluegrass Concert and Jam Series at Western Carolina University will get underway Thursday, Nov. 3, with a concert featuring the Battleaxe Band.

The group’s 7 p.m. performance of string band music in the ground-floor auditorium of H.F. Robinson Administration Building will be followed by an 8 p.m. jam session in which local musicians are invited to participate.

Hailing from Upstate South Carolina, members of the Battleaxe Band are Amy Buckingham, fiddle and guitar; Lucy Allen, guitar; Brooke Lauer, banjo and fiddle; and Nancy Hamilton, upright bass. The group specializes in hard-driving old-time dance tunes, original compositions, singer-songwriter numbers from performers such as Gillian Welch and the Wailin’ Jennys and traditional gospel songs.

Sponsored by WCU’s Mountain Heritage Center, the First Thursday concerts and jam sessions will continue through next spring, with programs from 7 to 9 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. The concert scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 1, will feature Don Pedi and Bruce Greene, and performers in early 2017 will include Blue-Eyed Girl and Ol’ Dirty Bathtub.

The events are free and open to the public. Pickers and singers of all ages and experience levels are invited to take part in the jam sessions, which also are open to those who just want to listen.

For more information, call the Mountain Heritage Center at 828-227-7129.