Seneca Rocks or Johnson Mountain Boys?

Bluegrass fans, hold on to your seats – if you can get one – the Johnson Mountain Boys are back! (Almost, anyway.) Dudley Connell, David McLaughlin, Tom Adams, and Marshall Wilborn recently announced they will be performing a house concert at the Fuller House Inn in Winchester, Virginia on April 19th under the name of Seneca Rocks.

Characterized by their driving traditional sound, the Johnson Mountain Boys took the world by storm when they formed in the Washington, DC area in the late 1970s. While a few other members came and went, the magic combination of Dudley’s strong rhythm, David’s Monroe-based mandolin, Tom’s driving banjo, and Marshall’s incredible downbeat, along with Eddie Stubbs’s unique fiddle style blended to create a sound that was simply put, stronger than new rope. Their vocal arrangements of songs like I’ve Found a Hiding Place, and lightning-fast versions of numbers like Long Journey Home, and the Orange Blossom Special left fans on the edge of their seats. 

Since their disbanding in the mid-nineties, many fans have been asking for reunion shows. Although this lineup hasn’t performed together in over 20 years, several members have played music together in various configurations and bands. This time, the only difference from the classic lineup will be the substitution of Sally Love Connell on fiddle in place of Eddie Stubbs. While die-hard Johnson Mountain Boy fans are sure to miss Stubbs’s drawn-out refrain on Black Eyed Susie and classic-country tinged fiddle on numbers like Waltz Across Texas, it’s sure to be a great show. 

If you’ve been longing to see the Johnson Mountain Boys or have never seen them, this might be one of your last chances, so don’t miss out. Seneca Rocks is sure to be a great band. According to David, there are very few seats left for the event! To secure tickets, please call 304-703-9822.

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About the Author

John Curtis Goad

John Goad is a graduate of the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program, with a Masters degree in both History and Appalachian Studies from ETSU.