Huge turnout for Alan Perdue benefit concert

Alan Perdue and Junior Sisk at Alan’s benefit concert – photo by Sandy Hatley

They came, they ate, they picked, they listened, they gave. Saturday night, over 1,000 people packed into Uwharrie Ridge School in Trinity, NC, to support Alan Perdue, a former professional bluegrass musician from central NC, who is critically ill. The mandolinist has cirhossis of the liver, no insurance, and is hoping to receive a liver transplant. Approximately, $32,000 was raised during the event.

The night’s festivities began with a spaghetti supper in the school’s cafeteria where volunteers dished out 992 plates of food.

One server stated, “The last two men in line got a plate of salad and dessert because we had run of spaghetti.”

At 6:00 p.m., the entertainment cranked up in the gymnasium. On a donated stage with a donated sound system, bands from throughout NC and adjoining states played their hearts out for their friend and bluegrass brother, Perdue, who sat front and center in a recliner provided by his mom.

Grass Strings, Deeper Shade of Blue, and Flint Hill kicked off the evening’s entertainment portion of the fund raiser. Musicians, from both near and far, came to support the ailing mandolinist.

“We are all family,” emcee Big T Lassister stated.

Midway through the program an auction was held. Notable items included a Martin guitar donated by Ron’s Pickin’ Parlor, a poster signed by the late Earl Scruggs donated by Milton Harkey, and a tortoise shell pick donated by Vivian Pennington Hopkins.

After an hour of bidding, the music resumed with the Hatley Family, followed by a powerhouse ensemble that consisted of Gena Britt on banjo, Greg Luck on guitar, Courtney Luck on fiddle, Johnathan Dillon on mandolin, and Zak McLamb on bass.

The stellar line-up continued with Barry Abernathy and Appalachian Road Show. Following their set, Steve Gulley stepped on stage and a reunion of the old Mountain Heart took place. Perdue was a founding member of the band in 1998.

Abernathy and Gulley along with Mountain Heart’s original fiddler, Jim VanCleve, performed tunes recorded on their first project with Perdue. Junior Sisk, another musician whom Perdue had also previously toured, joined in. The musical portion concluded with a grand finale which featured a stage full of pickers performing Will the Circle Be Unbroken.

Referring to his former bandmate, Abernathy shared, “I sure do love that boy (Perdue).”

Perdue was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support.

Janice Perdue, Alan’s mother and coordinator of the event, expressed her gratitude, “God is amazing. Looking forward to what God has planned for tomorrow!”

For anyone desiring to make a donation to his medical fund, send to Alan’s mom:

Janice Perdue
4935 Gardengate Road
Asheboro, NC 27205

All funds received will go towards the costs of his medical treatment, transportation, and living expenses during this time.

Share this:

About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.