Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

July 7, 2013

Bluegrass, old time music fans enjoy Appalachian Highlands Music Association picnic

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — Click here for video.

The bluegrass and old time music flowed through Princeton City Park and friends gathered together Saturday afternoon at the annual picnic of the Appalachian Highlands Music Association. The association holds the annual covered dish picnic as a way of thanking its members and supporters.

For the past 10 or more years, the association has worked to provide a vehicle that nourished the preservation of the music form that is unique to the Appalachian Mountain region. The association also strives to encourage young people to learn the traditional music that has been an important part of regional heritage, and to keep the art form alive for the next generation.

“We would like to get more young people involved,” Richard Hypes, vice president of the association said. “In order to continue these music traditions, we need to get more young people interested. Besides, enjoying this music as a performer or in the audience is better than sitting around all day looking at a computer screen.”

Second Time Around was doing its part to generate that interest with their toe-tapping rendition of “Old Joe Clark,” to kick the music into high gear. “You know, all of these groups that are performing today are playing for free,” Bill Morefield, a member of the AHMA Board of Directors said. “They’re good to come out and perform for this picnic.”

While Bill Morefield was busy listening to music and talking with friends, his wife, Doris Morefield, was busy with a group of volunteers who were helping guests fill their plates with heaping helpings of homemade side dishes, salads, baked beans, and other covered dish delights. “Please try some of this watermelon or one of these desserts,” she said.

“We have about five hours of music today,” Larry Cox, president of the AHMA, said. In addition to Second Time Around, the AHMA members and family were treated to performances by Diggin’ Grass, Jim & Patsy Croy and the Country Pride Band, Leftover 301 and Appalachian Countdown.

“We’ve been holding this picnic for at least 10 years,” Cox said. “This year, we will be holding our annual hog roast on Sept. 14, at the Glen Lyn, Va., Park right across the New River in Giles County. It’s our major fundraiser for the year where we raise funds to support our scholarship program for young musicians.”

Dakota Salmons, 16, and Sabrina Painter, 15, appeared ready, willing and able to pitch in with anything that needed to get done.

“I’ve been around bluegrass and old time music since I was 10 years old,” Salmons said. “I like it. It’s good.”

“I had never really heard bluegrass music before I met Dakota,” Painter said. It’s OK.”

“I’ve always enjoyed coming out to these picnics because he always finds something for me to do,” Salmons said, smiling and pointing in the direction of Richard Hypes. Salmons is Cox’s stepson.

Salmons and Hypes both smiled as they finished their picnic lunches.

— Contact Bill Archer at