Bare Bones Comes To The Opera House In February

Marlinton, WV – You wouldn’t call a capella group Bare Bones an overnight sensation. Like many musical groups, their sound has been honed and developed over many years, as singer Becky Kimmons explains.

“Bill and I have been singing together for a long time” says Kimmons. “I met Bill basically back in 1979 and in the mid 80’s we began to sing. First we had a capella quartet and [then] we lost a singer, we kept losing a 4th singer. First we called ourselves the Soup Kitchen Gospel Quartet, because most of the songs we were doing were old time gospel; and when we kept losing that fourth person, we decided to call ourselves the Missing Persons Soup Kitchen Gospel Quartet. So that’s what many people knew us as for a long, long time.”

They’re now called Bare Bones, a trio comprised of Bill and Becky Kimmons and Mark Davis, another Charleston, WV artist who’s also played with the VooDoo Katz and Comparsa. Kimmons says prior to Davis joining the group, they performed with a well known Pocahontas County musician.

“We sang for a while with the fabulous Doc Cutlip from Pocahontas County” she says. “Doc sat in with us for about a year and a half, and he was a wonderful singer; the people in Pocahontas County I know recognize Doc’s name and know that he’s a wonderful guitarist and a wonderful singer. But he’s also a family man and a church going man, and he wanted to be home with his family on the weekends, and of course, we’re out there singing as often as we can on the weekends.”

Kimmons says Davis is a welcome addition to the group, bringing not only strong vocal talent, but also a percussion background that gives him a strong sense of rythym. She also appreciates his musical range which can at times reach up into the falsetto. But why the name change?

“Bill and I were just talking one night about music, and about the bare bones, I said you know that three note chord is the bare bones of music; I said wow, that would be a good name” says Kimmons. “And we kicked it around for a long time because a lot of people knew us as Soup Kitchen and we thought man, you know that’s hard to give up. But Bare Bones is such a perfect name for what we do.”

And what they do, they do well, with music ranging from gospel to Appalachian ballads to Motown hits. Kimmons says the amount of time needed to put a song together varies depending on the song. Some take a little longer to mature than others.

“Sometimes we’ll try a song and it just sounds so terrible in the first part of the process that we’ll just put it away” she says. “It’s surprising to all of us that when we come back to it several months later it actually has gelled. There’s one thing for sure – you can’t halfbake an a capella song. We’ll work at least a month on a new song, and sometimes it’ll be two months in the a capella oven before we feel like we really got it.”

You can enjoy the fruits of their labors on Saturday, February 5th at 7:30pm at the Pocahontas Opera House in Marlinton. Bare Bones kicks off the second half of the 2010-2011 performance series at the Opera House. Tickets are $7.00 at the door. For more information, call 304-799-6645 or visit

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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