Gayheart & Freeman Perform Saturday April 10 in Monterey

As part of the Second Saturday at Seven concert series, the Highland County Arts Council is presenting Gayheart & Freeman Saturday night.  The duo is from southwest Virginia, near Galax.  Willard Gayheart is the lead singer and guitarist.

Here’s Scott Freeman.  He sings and plays mandolin, fiddle and guitar.

“We play music that reflects the region we’re from,” says Freeman.  “Willard writes a lot of the songs that we perform.  Just about, you know, the different things, with him growing up in eastern Kentucky and also I grew up in a small town in North Carolina, Mt. Airy, North Carolina and we experienced a lot of the same things growing up here in the mountains.  He grew up in the Cumberland Mountains and I grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  We do a little bit of everything.  I guess our background is probably bluegrass, but Willard has a wonderful memory of songs from the 20’s on up to the present day and songs that I’ve never heard anybody else play.  Just what we like to play and we do this on a regular basis at the Blue Ridge Music Center on the parkway in the summer and we’ve done that for about thirteen years now, I guess.  We just play what we like.”

Music clip “Robin D”

“I teach mandolin, guitar, bass and fiddle every day, that’s what I do,” says Freeman. “The kids are the ones that are going to carry it to the next generation, this next generation coming up.  And so I have a lot of kids.  We have programs in the schools here called JAM, Junior Appalachian Musicians, where it’s all taken care of by donations, and not grants, but mainly donations and it’s just a wonderful program.  Hopefully we’ll bring some of Willard’s artwork.  He’s a pencil artist and his depictions are of Appalachian life and people.  We get to share that with them too, because that’s another facet of his life that’s really neat.  We’re just looking forward to meeting new people and playing new places.”

Gayheart and Freeman perform Saturday, April 10, at 7pm at The Highland Center in Monterey.   Cost is $10.  Audience size is limited to eighty seats.    Visit the Highland County Arts Council’s Facebook page or website,, for information and tickets.  The performance will also be streamed live on the Arts Council’s Facebook page.

The Highland County Arts Council is a supporter of Allegheny Mountain Radio.

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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