John McCutcheon at Court Square Theater on Saturday, June 18

court square theaterNo one remembers when the neighbors started calling the McCutcheons to complain about the loud singing from young John’s bedroom. It didn’t seem to do much good, though. For, after a shaky, lopsided battle between piano lessons and baseball (he was a mediocre pianist and an all-star catcher), he had “found his voice” thanks to a cheap mail-order guitar and a used book of chords.

From such inauspicious beginnings, John McCutcheon has emerged as one of our most respected and loved folksingers. As an instrumentalist, he is a master of a dozen different traditional instruments, most notably the rare and beautiful hammer dulcimer. His songwriting has been hailed by critics and singers around the globe. His thirty recordings have garnered every imaginable honor including seven Grammy nominations. He has produced over twenty albums of other artists, from traditional fiddlers to contemporary singer-songwriters to educational and documentary works.

Even before graduating summa cum laude from Minnesota’s St. John’s University, this Wisconsin native literally “headed for the hills,” forgoing a college lecture hall for the classroom of the eastern Kentucky coal camps, union halls, country churches, and square dance halls. His apprenticeship to many of the legendary figures of Appalachian music imbedded a love of not only homemade music, but a sense of community and rootedness.

The result is music…whether traditional or from his huge catalog of original songs…with the profound mark of place, family, and strength. It also created a storytelling style that has been compared to Will Rogers and Garrison Keillor.

But it is in live performance that John feels most at home. It is what has brought his music into the lives and homes of one of the broadest audiences any folk musician has ever enjoyed. People of every generation and background seem to feel at home in a concert hall when John McCutcheon takes the stage, with what critics describe as “like a conversation with an illuminating old friend.

John McCutcheon performs at Harrisonburg’s Court Square Theater on Saturday, June 18. Doors open at 7:00pm, concert begins at 7:30pm. Tickets are $20 in advance and $24 at the door. Please visit or call 540.433.9189 for more information and to purchase tickets.

Court Square Theater is located at 41-F Court Square in downtown Harrisonburg, Virginia.

10th anniversary national gathering of Coming to the Table

coming to the tableThere will be a national gathering of the 10th anniversary of Coming to the Table at Eastern Mennonite University on June 9-12.

CTTT provides leadership, resources and a supportive environment for all who wish to acknowledge and heal wounds from racism that is rooted in the United States’ history of slavery.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Gail Christopher, is senior advisor and vice president at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. She leads the foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) enterprise (with which CTTT is a partner) and serves on the president’s cabinet that provides overall direction and leadership for the foundation. Dr. Christopher will be speaking on Thursday, June 9, 7-8 p.m.

On Friday, June 10, 7-9 p.m. in Martin Chapel , Dr. Edda Fields-Black will speak on writing the libretto for “The Requiem for Rice,” a classical music piece written for the repose of the souls of Africans enslaved on rice plantations in the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry and will discuss the need for a “requiem” for enslavement.

Friendly City Co-op to mark five-year anniversary

friendly-city-food-co-opFriendly City Food Co-op is turning five years old. And like any five-year old, they want to have a BIG birthday party – and you’re invited.

The co-op was just an idea back in 2006, when a small group of community members started a conversation about creating a full-scale natural and organic grocery store that would put a premium on using local farmers and producers. After several years of planning, effort and dedicated fundraising, Friendly City Food Co-op opened its doors on June 6th, 2011.

A co-op, or a cooperative, is a business based on community and sustainability. It’s about using profits to make a difference in the community and the world. Co-ops strive to be good stewards of the environment, wasting little food and supporting local farmers and vendors whenever possible.

To celebrate, come out on Saturday June 4 between 11am and 4pm. There will be live music- including duo Bryan Elijah Smith and Jay Austin, kid’s activities by Larkin Arts, food trucks, a bouncy house, prizes, a photo booth, free samples and gift bags for the first 250 people to attend.

The event is free to the public. Visit for information.

By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages

by the side of the roadBuilt in the late 18th century, By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages is one of the top-rated inns in the Historic Shenandoah Valley, and it’s located literally by the side of the road.

Located just minutes from Downtown Harrisonburg, the bed and breakfast and has been meticulously preserved. Guests return time and again to experience the comfort and intimacy of four suites located in the Manor House and five luxurious cottages.

The location is ideal to experience all of the best Harrisonburg restaurants and other fantastic things to do in Harrisonburg and nearby.


Top attractions: By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages

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