(7/23) JP Harris & Chance McCoy

Old-time music takes the spotlight at the West Kortright Centre on Sunday, July 23th at 7pm, with a performance by two accomplished musicians: JP Harris & Chance McCoy. Otherwise on the road with separate bands—The Tough Choices and Old Crow Medicine Show—Harris & McCoy will perform as their duo side project while they’re in the Northeast to play the Newport Folk Festival later this month.

Tickets are $17 ($20 day of); $14 Member ($17); $11 Under 19.
Advance tickets available online or by calling (607) 278-5454. The ticket booth opens at 6PM; doors open at 6:30.
This is an indoor concert; however, concertgoers are encouraged to bring their own picnic dinner to enjoy in our bucolic valley before the show.

The pair met years ago at a fiddlers’ convention in the mountains of West Virginia and continued to meet at random over the years, drinking corn liquor and losing themselves in the old 19th-century fiddle-and-banjo tunes they both love. In time, JP formed his notorious honky-tonk country band, JP Harris and The Tough Choices, and Chance went on to join the superstar band Old Crow Medicine Show. When their careers landed them both in Nashville, they finally found time to create an outlet for the old-time music that had initially brought them together. Delving into a centuries-old repertoire– as well as bringing new songs to the tradition– JP Harris & Chance McCoy’s creative take on old-time American music reveals a window into life in Appalachia past and present. The duo self-released an album earlier this year—Two Bad Hombres, recorded at The Bear’s Den in Nashville—and recently returned from a European tour.

After more than six generations in Alabama, JP’s family left to seek work, first in California and then Nevada. JP left home on foot at the age of 14, traveling via thumb and freight train, and lived most of the next four years from a backpack, tarp, and bedroll. Landing in the Northeast, he worked as a farm laborer, equipment operator, lumberjack, luthier, and carpenter. In 2011, in an old Cajun cook shack in southern Louisiana, he and a few pals pounded out an album in three days. He then moved to Nashville, where he released his all-original debut I’ll Keep Calling on Cow Island Music. Without the aid of publicists or a label’s support, it won Best Country Album of 2012 from the Nashville Scene, the same honor at the Independent Music Awards, a cameo on NPR’s “American Routes,” and as JP says “a whole mess of other stuff in the papers and on the internet.” After the release of Home Is Where The Hurt Is (Cow Island Music, 2014), Rolling Stone named JP Harris and The Tough Choices one of Fall 2014’s “Country Tours Not To Miss” as well as one of “21 Must-See Country Acts at SXSW 2015.”

Indie folk musician Chance McCoy is a well-known name in insider old-time circles. He grew up in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, steeped in the sounds of traditional Appalachian string band and southern music, with which he reconnected after playing in garage and punk bands in the region. Chance played with the band Old Sledge before joining Old Crow Medicine Show just prior to its Carry Me Back promotional tour in 2012. (The band has been inducted as members of the Grand Ole Opry and won Grammy Awards in 2013 and 2014; their 2013 classic single, “Wagon Wheel,” sold over 1,000,000 copies.) In addition to being a former champion fiddle and banjo player, Chance also has a provocative yet sincere vocal style. His vivid and exhilarating performances are typified by their raw honesty and emotional impact.