Friday, May 15, 8 p.m., $65
ONE OF America’s most legendary musicians is making his way down to Springfield.
Stanley’s voice, weathered, raw and entirely compelling in its loneliness, embodies the sound of the mountains. Having learned the clawhammer style of banjo picking from his mother, Stanley’s received a banjo of his very own when he was about 14 or 15. The world hasn’t been the same since. It’s largely thanks to him that bluegrass music is alive and well and continuing to be re-envisioned by up-and-coming artists.
In 1946, Stanley formed the Stanley Brothers and the Clinch Mountain Boys with his brother, Carter; while Carter died of complications of cirrhosis in 1966, Stanley has continued the family legacy, receiving the Living Legend award from the Library of Congress, a National Medal of the Arts from , and a Grammy for his movingly eerie contribution to the excellent O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack, “O Death”).
Many of country music’s greatest icons, including Ricky Skaggs, Larry Sparks and the late Keith Whitley got their start with Stanley. The 88-year-old still tours about 100 dates per year; don’t miss the chance to see a national treasure.