The SHOWCASE 2012 Summer Concert Series opens its 29th season on Thursday, June 14, with an 8 p.m. program by the National Pike Pickers from Wheeling. Their bluegrass music performance wil be held at Community Arts Place on Colorel Drive in Barnesville.
A food stand will be open during the evening. Beginning at 6:45pm there will be a preconcert show by Bethesa area musician, Steve Leavitt, who will present songs of the 70's including new country and oldies. There will also be an exhibit of vintage hats by WJ Grimes, whose mother wore to church in the 50s and 60s. They have been stored in a big "lard" can for thirty years after her mother passed away in 1980.
At age 12 John Angius made fun of bluegrass while learning to play rock music with an electric guitar from Spiegel Catalog. At age 16 he met Bob Turgbanic who was picking a banjo and the Short Crick Flatpickers was formed. The bluegrass group performed for 31 years throughout the U.S., were regulars at the Jamboree in Wheeling and played at Jamboree in the Hills for several years as well as at events in Oglebay Park.
Dave Visnic learned fiddle tunes from old recordings with a violin, donated by a neighbor. In the meantime, he was taking private classical and symphony training for six years. Cousin, Bob Turbanic, invited him to "jam" with the Short Crick bluegrassers and that session lasted for 30 years.
Jeff Strautmann had three years of guitar lessons and at age thirteen started playiing at sock hops and high school dances. A friend introduced him to the upright double bass and the world of bluegraass. This led to joining the Short Crick Flatpickers band for 30 years until they disbanded in 2006.
Mandolin player, Jim Simpson (at age 4 or 5) started singing Ricky Nelson songs to school kids at his local soda shop for free ice cream floats. Before returning to Wheeling, he lived in Philadelphia for 27 years where he served as band leader, session player, and judge for old time bluegrass festivals.
The SHOWCASE 2012 Summer Series is presented in cooperation with the performers, area merchants and services and civic groups. In case of rain, outdoor events are moved indoors to the Grange Hall on Shamrock Drive. Those coming to the musical programs should bring their own lawn chairs. Donations are appreciated to help defray costs.