Big Fat Gap closes out the first month of Pickin’ in the Plaza, taking the stage at 8:30 p.m. The Lang Sisters and fiddle player Matt Hooper will perform a set at 6:45 p.m., and Eric Scholz will start the music at 5:45 p.m.
With their tight vocal harmonies and expert musicianship, Miles Andrews (lead vocals, bass), Jon Hill (mandolin, vocals), Chris Roszell (banjo), and Jamie Griggs (guitar) put on a show you don’t want to miss! Their debut album, Shackled & Chained, was produced by Andrew Marlin of Mandolin Orange. A long time anchor of the Chapel Hill music scene, Big Fat Gap has been fortunate to have many distinguished and talented musicians in its ranks, including Andy Thorn of Leftover Salmon, Ryan Cavanaugh formerly of Bill Evans Soulgrass, Bobby Britt of Town Mountain, and Jon Stickley of the Jon Stickley Trio, to name a few. Their name derives from one of the few remaining stands of old growth virgin forest in western North Carolina, located in the Joyce Kilmer-Slick Rock Wilderness in Graham County near the Tennessee border.
The Lang Sisters, Chloe and Jessica, started playing guitar in 2011 and were mentored by talented adults in various bluegrass jams in the Piedmont of North Carolina. They have also participated in PineCone’s Bluegrass Music Camps for Youth and the PineCone Youth Council. They joined the Chatham County Junior Appalachian Musicians (ChamJAM), (affiliated with the Regional JAM program) in 2012 and remain actively involved with the program, performing extensively at festivals, fiddlers’ conventions, weddings, nursing homes, arts programs, civic and corporate functions, fundraisers and Christian outreach events. Additionally, The Lang Sisters have performed at multiple stages at IBMA’s PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass since 2013.
Joining The Lang Sisters on fiddle for this concert is Matt Hooper, who taught beginner and intermediate fiddle during PineCone’s Bluegrass Camps for Youth earlier this month. Hooper performed as a classical violinist during his youth, but once he expanded his interest into the wide world of fiddling, it opened many more opportunities for him. He spent years refining his style with Kickin Grass and later hit the road with Don Rigsby and the Midnight Call, while still willingly contributing his talents to other groups as needed. When not performing, his focus is fiddle and mandolin instruction and expanding his knowledge of home studio recording.
Raleigh folk musician Eric Scholz kicks off the night. As Pickin’ in the Plaza’s musician-in-residence this year, he’ll be the first performer at each Pickin’ event. Scholz wanted to be a rock star. After hearing an English singer-songwriter by the name of Nick Drake, music meant something more to him entirely. He cites Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, John Prine, and Bob Dylan as other musicians who have influenced his music.