Please join us at 7:30 PM for an hour-long concert, to be followed by refreshments, slow and fast jam sessions, and a song circle. The Charlotte Appalachian Dulcimer Club will also meet after the concert. All Folk Society Gatherings are family-friendly, open to the public, and free. Donations are always appreciated. Ample surface parking is available adjacent to the Great Aunt Stella Center. Additional free parking is available after 7 PM in a nearby parking deck.
The Flowers Family Band hails from Mount Holly, North Carolina. They have has been performing bluegrass and bluegrass gospel music together for more than seven years. Earlier this year, they competed for and won the title of “Best Bluegrass Band” at Fiddler’s Grove.
Thirteen-year old Hannah Flowers has been playing fiddle for eight years, sings lead for the group, and is an excellent harmony vocalist. She took second-place honors in the Junior Bluegrass Fiddle contest at Union Grove this year. Hannah loves reading and playing her fiddle and her career goal is to be a librarian.
Dillon Flowers’ specialty is the mandolin. He is ten years old and has been playing since he was four. He immediately displayed a talent for keeping rhythm and his lead instrumentals are concert highlights. Dillon won the title of 2008 Junior Mandolin Champion at Fiddler’s Grove.
Other band members include Donnie Little, lead and rhythm guitarist; his brother Joel Little, who plays twin fiddles with Hannah; and Phil Bentley, upright bass player. Phil has been performing music for more than 40 years, and is a versatile musician. In addition to the bass, he plays guitar, banjo, and other instruments. Phil also sings harmony with the band.
The Flowers Family Band has opened for many other groups, including Rhonda Vincent and the Rage and Cherryholmes. They have performed at RenoFest and twice at MerleFest. On July 26, 2007, South Carolina ETV featured them on Emmy award-winning Bluegrass Express, which is now available on DVD. In October 2007, they had the opportunity to play with GRAMMY Award-winning Jimmy Ibbotson of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band at The Ride for the Kids 3.
The band has two CDs to their credit: Praying and Coming Home. As well, The Flowers Family Band Live at the Sumter Opera House is available on DVD. To enjoy audio and video clips of The Flowers Family, visit their website at www.flowersfamilybluegrass.com and www.youtube.com/TheBestBand6.
Donnie and Joel Little also perform with their parents as The Little Family. Teachers, both, they are passing on their family’s heritage to younger musicians such as Alana, Hannah, and Dillon Flowers. When Clyde Little and Jane Roseman married, they united the musical traditions of their two families. Jane’s father played organ and French harp (harmonica) and her mother played piano and organ. Jane plays the bass fiddle in The Little Family Band, as well as playing piano. Clyde’s father, Carroll Little, played guitar and old-time fiddle in the Claremont community where they farmed. Clyde’s maternal grandfather, James Abernathy, led a cappella singing in their church. Clyde grew up playing guitar. He recalls that playing music was their main form of entertainment in the days before television. Clyde soon taught a classmate to play guitar and he then took up the mandolin. They formed a duet and performed together for seventeen years. Clyde also played with Lawrence Jones in the Roan Mountain Boys during the 1960s.
Clyde and Jane taught their five children to play music and sing from an early age. Joel began playing a three-quarter-size fiddle at the age of seven. Donnie received his first banjo, hand-made, on his fifth birthday on Christmas Day in 1964. Ned, now living in Missouri, plays dog-house bass and clogs. Anita plays the mandolin and clogs. Sharon sings and clogs.
Joel was honored with the title of “Fiddler of the Festival” at Fiddler’s Grove in 1971. Playing Orange Blossom Special, he brought the crowd to their feet. He plays mandolin and guitar, as well as fiddle, and he sings lead in The Little Family Band. He also plays with the Dewey Murphy Bluegrass Band. Joel has taught fiddle for forty years and his students include Hannah and Dillon Flowers.
Donnie teaches banjo full time. He also plays with the Bluegrass Gospel Tones, the Millsaps Family, and the Sugar Loaf Ramblers.
The Little Family Band played at numerous fiddlers’ conventions in the piedmont and mountains of North Carolina and they took many awards through the years. They also played at the Maggie Valley Amusement Park.
Bluegrass fans and folks who appreciate music passed from generation to generation will appreciate this very special concert. Please join us as we kick off the Folk Society’s 27th Gathering season and launch a new chapter in the history of our organization. For more information, call 704-563-7080.
Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are made possible, in part, through a Cultural Project Grant from the Arts & Science Council and the Grassroots Program of the North Carolina Arts Council.