LEWISBURG, W.Va. (WVDN) – Carnegie Hall’s Smooth Ambler Second Stage Series presents Bare Bones on Friday, June 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the Old Stone Room. Guests are invited to come early for a preshow reception from 6:30-7:15 p.m. The Second Stage Series is sponsored by Smooth Ambler.
The band’s three singers, Rebecca and Bill Kimmons and Dock Cutlip, bring distinctly different musical influences to create their sound.
Rebecca Kimmons has been a student of old-style Appalachian unaccompanied singing since she was a child, listening to her Summers County-born grandmother sing in the manner of the primitive Baptists.
Bill Kimmons grew up singing in choirs and musicals, holding down such roles as Balthazar in “Amahl and the Night Visitors” and Huckleby in “The Fantasticks.” He was introduced to old-time music when he came to West Virginia in 1977.
Dock Cutlip grew up in Pocahontas County, singing with his family and steeped in old-time gospel harmonies. Thanks to curiosity and his mother’s short-wave radio, Cutlip also has a broad range of knowledge and appreciation of American pop music traditions. He is an accomplished guitarist, fingerpicking in open tuning. Cutlip joined Bare Bones as their tenor in September 2021.
Bare Bones, with Rebecca and Bill Kimmons as the core, has been performing in various configurations since 1981. The trio has performed on Mountain Stage, at Tamarack, at Charleston’s FestivALL, at the Vandalia Gathering on the grounds of the State Capitol and has taught harmony singing at Augusta Heritage Workshops’ popular Vocal Week in Elkins. They have produced five albums of music on CD, showcasing the broad range of songs in their repertoire, from the music of Blind Alfred Reed to Ry Cooder to The Golden Gate Jubilee, and on to Smokey Robinson and Natalie Merchant.
“All we need is good harmony potential and a beat, and we’re off on an a cappella adventure,” Rebecca Kimmons says. “We like to think we strip a song down to its soul.”
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