TCR Guitar Masters featuring Wyatt Rice, Claiborne Woodall, Josh Pickett, and Sammy Shelor


The Lincoln Theatre

117 East Main Street, Marion VA

Central ZONE
Crooked Road Concerts


7:00 PM

“Guitar Masters of The Crooked Road” is by no means an exaggerated title for one of the many concerts to be presented during The Crooked Road’s Mountains of Music Homecoming, June 9-17, 2017. This June 15 concert at the Lincoln Theatre in Marion, Virginia, will feature four true masters of the instrument - Wyatt Rice, Claiborne Woodall, Josh Pickett, and Sammy Shelor. Sammy Shelor, internationally renowned for his virtuosity on the five-string banjo is, unbeknownst to many, also a master on the guitar. This “Guitar Masters” concert will provide a rare opportunity to appreciate Shelor’s artistry on the guitar alongside the astonishing display of skills from Rice, Woodall, and Pickett.

Stuart, Virginia-native Sammy Shelor is one of the most respected banjo players in bluegrass history. A 5-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Banjo Performer of the Year Award, the 2011 Award Winner for the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, and a 2009 inductee into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame, Sammy has fronted the acclaimed Lonesome River Band since 1990, recording more than a dozen albums with that group.

Probably best-known for being a member of an iconic bluegrass family (his brother is bluegrass legend Tony Rice), Wyatt Rice is askilled guitarist, bandleader, and record producer with several acclaimed albums to his credit, including last year’s Something Out of the Blue (made with banjoist Dan Menzone), which has garnered glowing reviews for its stellar cast of guest musicians and its powerful interplay between Rice’s guitar and Menzone’s banjo. A resident of Taylor’s Valley, Virginia, where he operates Rice Recording Studio, Rice has played rhythm and lead acoustic guitar with a Who’s Who of bluegrass musicians, including the Tony Rice Unit, the Ronnie Bowman Committee, Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krauss, and Bela Fleck.

One of the musicians Wyatt Rice has performed with frequently in recent years is Abingdon, Virginia-resident Claiborne Woodall, whose guitar style perfectly complements Rice’s approach to the instrument. Appearing both in a duo with Rice and solo, Woodall has performed throughout Southwest Virginia (such as at Floydfest and the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion) and beyond (including at the Smithsonian Institution and on National Public Radio). Claiborne masterfully uses the full dynamic range of the guitar’s volume, mixing syncopated melody lines and notes that range from a whisper to a shout.

Starting his music career at 11 years old, Josh Pickett is a widely sought-after acoustic guitarist based in Cana, Virginia. He won the International Guitar Championship at MerleFest in 2001 (at 17 he was the youngest ever to hold this title), and he went on to play lead and rhythm guitar for a succession of bands, including Fast Forward, Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike, No Speed Limit, Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time, and the Church Sisters. Pickett operates Creekside Recording and Lesson Studio in Cana and also manages a small business, marketing his own custom-designed guitar pickguards.

At the Lincoln Theatre on June 15, these four guitarists, in addition to performing, will share stories about their techniques and their unique experiences in learning to master this much-beloved musical instrument. This concert also celebrates the release of The Crooked Road’s new CD compilation of current and historic guitarists entitled A Century of Heritage Guitar Music.