- "Turkey in the Straw"
- "Sweet Georgia Brown"
- "Mansion Over the Hilltop"
- "Escape From Taiwan"
Mandolin player Johnny Staats and guitarist Robert Shafer are both award-winning pickers on their respective instruments, with a knack for reinventing old favorites and crafting an impressive collection of original bluegrass songs.
Robert Shafer and Johnny Staats.
Robert Shafer and Johnny Staats. Brian Blauser
For their second performance on Mountain Stage, they fire out of the gates with a blazing instrumental take on the traditional tune "Turkey in the Straw." Up next is "Sweet Georgia Brown," a crowd favorite written in 1925 by Ben Bernie, Kenneth Casey and West Virginia native Maceo Pinkard, who was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame in 2008. Staats and Shafer close the set with "Mansion Over the Hilltop," from their most recent double-disc set of gospel songs (Homecoming Favorites), as well as "Escape from Taiwan."
Julie Adams and the Mountain Stage band are joined by John Kessler on bass. Once a member of the Mountain Stage band himself, Kessler is now a host at KPLU in Seattle; his radio show, All Blues, was nominated for a Blues Foundation award.
This feature originally ran Apr. 10, 2009.