ARTS Pick: Willard Gayheart Family Band

Willard Gayheart Family Band celebrates a lifetime achievement at C'ville Coffee on Sunday. Publicity image. Willard Gayheart Family Band celebrates a lifetime achievement at C’ville Coffee on Sunday. Publicity image.

Lifetime record: Born in 1932, Willard Gayheart recalls the early influence of hearing the 1936 recording of Mainer’s Mountaineers’ “Maple on the Hill.” “I listened to that record over and over,” he says. “I just couldn’t get enough of it.” So it may come as a surprise that the accomplished guitarist and songwriter only recently recorded his first solo album, at age 86. It took a nudge from his granddaughter Dori Freeman and her producer Teddy Thompson to issue At Home in the Blue Ridge, a love letter to the mountains and musical family that surround Gayheart in his Galax, Virginia, home. Also a renowned pencil artist, Gayheart will have artwork on display and give a talk before performing with the Willard Gayheart Family Band.

Sunday 12/8. $15-18, 5pm. The Prism Coffeehouse at C’ville Coffee, 1301 Harris St. 978-4335.

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