By Dulcy B. Hooper | Photo by Alexa Wolff
Buchanan Hall has served as Upperville’s community center since the 1920s when brigadier General James A. Buchanan decided to build the hall for his daughter’s wedding. In the intervening years, it has been the site of many cultural, social and civic events, including performances by iconic musicians ranging from Duke Ellington and Chauncey Brown to Patsy Cline and folk legend Ramblin’ Jack Elliot.
That same stage will now provide the backdrop for the American Roots Revue, a five-part series produced by Amy Potter and her company, From the Earth Creative.
“This has been percolating in my head and heart for many years,” said Potter, who is also known locally for her floral and event design company, Country Way.
“When I walked into Buchanan Hall for the first time in 2008, I thought, ‘This stage needs music on it!’” Potter joined Buchanan Hall’s board shortly thereafter and now remains involved in an advisory capacity.
“With Virginia being a transition state between North and South, Buchanan Hall seemed like the ideal venue to showcase how diverse sounds — hillbilly, music of the mountains, music of the southern plantations, gospel — intersected in America, and how today’s musicians are carrying on that legacy.”
The series of five performances, each expressed by today’s songwriters and musicians performing Appalachian folk and country, blues and gospel, and jazz, will begin April 2 and conclude Sept. 3. The performances will take place as Sunday matinees. “Over the past few years, we’ve really built up the community engagement with Buchanan Hall, and I’m very excited to have American Roots Revue add to that momentum,” said Stormy Stokes, president of Buchanan Hall’s Board of Directors.
“All of the bands are incredible”
The series kickoff will feature a performance by Western Centuries, a country group described on the event description as “solid, heartwarming and heartbreaking songs with the energy of The Band and soul of The Flying Burrito Brothers.”
On June 4, the featured performers will be The Honey Dewdrops, a folk/Americana group influenced by traditional Appalachian music that “blends old styles with new, creating music that is powerful and heartfelt.”
On July 23, Revelator Hill will deliver “hard-edge rock-n-roll blues.”
The last two performances of the series will feature the Mount Pisgah Gospel, a men’s gospel choir from Mount Pisgah Baptist Church in Upperville, performing traditional gospel songs, hymns and spirituals and the Bumper Jacksons performing swing/jazz “bursting at the seams with some of the richest threads of old America.”
“All of the bands are incredible,” said Stokes, “but I’m particularly looking forward to Upperville’s very own Mount Pisgah Gospel Choir’s performance.”
Along with producing American Roots Revue, Potter is a longtime musician who, with her husband, Jamie, performs as The Crooked Angels. The duo will open and be the master of ceremonies for each show of the series.
“As songwriters, my husband and I are deeply inspired by American roots music. You can hear almost all of the genres in our music: blues, jazz, country, gospel and folk.”
The American Roots Revue series is made possible by a “Make It Happen!” grant from the PATH Foundation, a charitable grant-making organization originally known as the Fauquier Health Foundation. PATH stands for “Piedmont Action to Health” and focuses on grants and initiatives benefiting Fauquier, Rappahannock and northern Culpeper counties. The mission of the PATH Foundation is to enhance the health and vitality of the community by enhancing the region “as a place where everyone has the opportunity to have a healthy place to live, work, play and grow.”
In addition to the PATH grant, Slater Run Vineyards, The Upperville Country Store, and The Local Taste sponsor the American Roots Revue.
“On behalf of the sponsors,” said Christopher Patusky, “we are just so happy to support this fun community music event in Upperville. I think it will become an important cultural event that brings
people together.” ML
8549 John S Mosby Hwy. Upperville, VA 20184
For more information, please visit buchananhall.com