50th annual Shindig on the Green comes to a close

September 7, 2016

To commemorate the closing of the 50th season of Shindig on the Green, the Folk Heritage
Committee announces the recipients of two performer awards. 

The Parsec Financial award for the musician who has made the most significant contribution to preserving our Southern Appalachian music will be given to Bryan Sutton. The Skyland Auto Group award for the most traditional dance team will be given to the Cole Mountain Cloggers. 

The awards will be presented at Shindig on the Green Saturday, September 3, 2016. Bryan Sutton will be unable to attend and his mother, Mrs. Carol Sutton, will accept the award in his absence.

Bryan learned traditional mountain music from his grandfather, Grover Sutton, and his father, Jerry Sutton, and the many musicians with whom he interacted at Shindig on the Green from a very early age. He is the recipient of a 2006 Grammy and nine IBMA Guitar Player of the Year awards with 2015 being the most recent. Bryan demonstrates a technically demanding instrumental style and has become for young musicians of today the same kind of model and hero that Tony Rice, Doc Watson and Clarence White were for him. 

During the past 20 years, his path has taken him from buzzed-about young sideman to first-call Nashville session musician to guitarist with Ricky Skaggs, Doc Watson and Hot Rize to a prominent solo recording artist and leader of his own band. He has recorded traditional standards, written many songs reflecting his North Carolina roots and produced several artists. As a leader in online music instruction, he records lessons, critiques student videos and engages individually with students around the world.

The Cole Mountain Cloggers are a youth dance team dedicated to preserving the Appalachian heritage of traditional Smooth Mountain Dance and Southern Appalachian Freestyle Clogging. Based in Mars Hill, NC, they have 22 members ranging in age from 10 to 18 from five western North Carolina counties (Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, Mitchell, and Yancey). 

The Cole Mountain Cloggers are nine-time state champions and have performed throughout the Southeast at many venues such as the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival, Shindig on the Green, Smoky Mountain Folk Festival, Bluff Mountain Festival, Fiddler’s Grove, NC State Fair Folk Festival, NC Mountain State Fair, Disney World, Biltmore Estate, Grove Park Inn, Charlotte Motor Speedway. “Keeping A Mountain Tradition Thriving” is their motto. Two of their members are related to Bascom Lamar Lunsford and they are proud to continue the dance initially performed by Sam Queen and the Soco Gap Dance Team at the 1928 Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. 

These talented young dancers put great energy, enthusiasm and showmanship into their performances and realize the importance of keeping our mountain tradition thriving. 

The awards were named for two longtime corporate sponsors who have generously assisted the Folk Heritage Committee year after year in their mission to produce the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival and Shindig on the Green in an effort to support the preservation and continuation of the traditional music, dance and storytelling heritage of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.