Wayne Erbsen nurtures WWC bluegrass talent

With Wayne Erbsen in center, the Warren Wilson College bluegrass band dips deeply into the wellspring of classic bluegrass material by Bill Monroe, The Stanley Brothers and Jimmy Martin.

Wayne Erbsen has been encouraging people to learn music for decades. The Asheville resident is the author of numerous lighthearted "For the Complete Ignoramus" instrumental instruction books and has conducted many workshops and group lessons to set people on the path of making music for themselves.

For more than 30 years, he’s also been a professor of Appalachian music at Warren Wilson College, where he mentors young musicians in the school’s bluegrass band. Many fine players have rotated through the ensemble over the years, but Erbsen asserts that the current crop has coalesced into one of the tightest bluegrass bands he’s ever worked with.

The Warren Wilson College Bluegrass Band will perform at White Horse Black Mountain on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. The band is Mason Via on guitar, Sam Atwood on bass, Brady Lux on fiddle, Kyle Gnadingeron banjo and Anne Ramey Schwab on vocals. Erbsen contributes on mandolin and fiddle.

Every member of the band is also a strong singer, so the harmonies of the WWC Bluegrass Band are on par with the instrumental work. Although the musicians are in their early 20s, much of their music draws from the heart of classic bluegrass artists like Bill Monroe, The Stanley Brothers, Jimmy Martin and Reno and Smiley, as well as more contemporary artists such as Alison Krauss, Laurie Lewis and Blue Highway.

Tickets are $10 advance and $12 door.