Bluegrass aficionado Junior Sisk is headed back to Salem’s annual Pickin’ In The Park concert this summer. This marks the third straight year that Sisk and his group of talented players and singers have filled the night air at the Longwood Park Amphitheater with their tight harmonies.
This year’s free show takes place on Saturday, Aug. 19, and it will also feature local favorites Wound Tight and New Standard. The event has significantly grown each of the past two years thanks to Sisk’s presence and performances. He and his bandmates played to huge crowds in both 2021 and 2022.
In 2021, Sisk’s dad was in attendance and both of Sisk’s parents have had strong influences on his musical career and are big reasons why he has stayed so true to traditional bluegrass. Sticking to his genre’s roots and never getting above his raisin’ paid off big time back in January of 2022. Sisk’s “Load The Wagon” album earned Album of the Year honors and his “Just Load The Wagon” single was named Song of the Year from the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America. The album spent six months at the top of the bluegrass charts.
Now, the Ferrum resident and his bandmates have a new album out on Mountain Fever Records entitled “Lost and Alone.” The nine song album features “Up There On a Hillside,” “The Lonely Side of Goodbye” and the Louvin Brothers classic “Take My Ring From Your Finger.”
Sisk’s band features an array of musicians including Heather Berry-Mabe, who grew up near Staunton and Waynesboro in the Sherando area. She is joined by her banjo playing husband Tony Mabe, upright bass performer Curt Love and mandolin picker Jonathan Dillon.
In 2013 and 2017, Sisk was named the IBMA’s Male Vocalist of the Year, and he has been honored numerous times by the IBMA for producing the song of the year and an album of the year.
Pickin’ In The Park attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or a blanket and enjoy the complimentary concerts. Food trucks from Bootleg BBQ, Dale’s Diner, The Tailgate, Wicked Lemon and Sweet Surrender Ice Cream will be onsite selling a variety of concessions.
Patrons are permitted to bring in outside food, but no alcohol is allowed to enter the premises from the outside. Children’s games will set-up for that age group, but please remember that pets are not allowed at this event.
The annual event is presented by the Salem Parks and Recreation Department and sponsored by Pepsi and Skyline National Bank.
-The Salem Times-Register