Traditional music series to feature musicians Burkey, Overhultz

The First Thursday Old-Time and Bluegrass Series at Western Carolina University continues Thursday, Dec. 6, with a concert featuring traditional musicians Sarah Elizabeth Burkey and Erich Overhultz.

Sarah Elizabeth Burkey

Their 7 p.m. performance and the open jam session that follows will be held at MadStone Cafe and Catching Light Books, which is located on the ground floor of Noble Hall on the WCU campus.

A veteran performer at Mountain Heritage Day, WCU’s annual fall festival, Burkey “enraptures listeners by sharing personal roots and fresh authenticity,” said Peter Koch, education associate at the university’s Mountain Heritage Center, which sponsors the concert and jam series. “Her musical work places strong emphasis on the cultural heritage of the Appalachians and on rural life in general.”

Burkey has been featured on five solo or collaborative albums and has performed on another 10 albums. She will be accompanied on hammered dulcimer by Erich Overhultz, a long-time member of the south Florida music scene who is featured on the 2011 album “Okeechobee Moon.”

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 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 or visit mhc.wcu.edu.