The 10th annual Aunt Jennie Music Festival is Labor Day Weekend at Chief Logan State Park. Logan native Roger Bryant, grandson of West Virginia folk legend “Aunt Jennie” Wilson, will serve as emcee this year for the August 30 and August 31 event. Bryant, who has shared the stage with Tom T. Hall, Tammy Wynette, Kathy Mattea and Kris Kristofferson, opens for Saturday’s 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. concert and performs again on Sunday. Bryant was the recipient of the Division of Culture and History’s Vandalia Award, West Virginia’s highest folklife honor.
Jennie Wilson was born in 1900 in the Doc Ellis hollow of what is now Chief Logan State Park. She was one of the first women in the region to learn to play the banjo, and her music and storytelling made her internationally known for her preservation of Appalachian culture. Wilson died in 1992.
Other Saturday performers include “The Earl of Elkview” George Daugherty, a trial lawyer who has traveled the world singing and talking about West Virginia; Elaine Purkey, known for her powerful voice, mountain singing and “The Friendly Neighbor Show” band from the weekly radio program on WVOW radio in Logan; The Barefoot Hillbilly Music Revue from Huntington with the Allegheny Ramblers from Glenville, a string band with traditional folk and bluegrass roots; The Dick Taylor Band, a bluegrass group from Chapmanville; Sasha Colette and The Magnolias, a Huntington group with rock and roll, country and soul roots; and the Coal Fired Band, a group based in Logan that plays rock, southern rock and country music from the 1960s through the 1990s.
Sunday’s concert is set for 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Performances scheduled include Bryant; Glen Simpson, a folk musician from Hardy, Ky.; Cora and Fred Hairston, gospel singers from Omar; Robert Shafer and The Pour House Band, a country band based in the Charleston area; The Samples Brothers, an old-time music and bluegrass band from Duck; The Full Moon Boys, a traditional bluegrass band with members from Cabell, Kanawha and Roane counties; and the Stewarts, a gospel group from Clear Fork. The two-day event is held at Pickin’ in the Park near the campground.
Visitors also are welcome to tour the Museum in the Park from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday. Current exhibits include We Are Marshall; Railroads and Coal Mining in Southern West Virginia; DeHue: A Special Place; Ron Moxley Collection; Buffalo Creek: Communities Grieve; Early Farming in West Virginia; Blenko: West Virginia’s Gift to the World; Vandalia Award Winners; and the General Store. Also on display are quilts, textiles, looms, spinning wheels and a Conestoga wagon made in the 1880s in Berkeley County. Museum in the Park hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The museum is operated by the WV Division of Culture and History.
For overnight lodging information, call Chief Logan Lodge at 304-855-6100 or visit online at www.chiefloganlodge.com
. For more information about the festival, contact Debby Durham at the Museum in the Park, 304-792-7229.