Barns Debut with Blues Bash

The Barns of Rose Hill is very excited to announce its first concert in the Barns, 95 Chalmers Court, Berryville, Virginia! The First Barns Blues Bash featuring The Millwood Blues Week All Stars: Danny Knicely, Scott Ainslie, Ralph Gordon, Danny Gotham, and Rob Soper will be held Friday July 15 at 7:00 pm in the Great Hall. Admission is $20. This is the 14th year that Chip Schutte has hosted the Blues Week in Millwood. The instructors and students come from all over the country, as far away as California and Iowa. The concert will be an eclectic mix of Blues, Jazz, and Bluegrass. Seating is limited and reservations are encouraged by calling The Barns of Rose Hill at  540-955-2004.

Danny Knicely is a multi-talented musician, music producer and film maker from Virginia. He is constantly active performing and recording his own music and working with other musicians. He also teaches, presents concerts, produces CDs and, recently, produced the film “The Mountain Music Project: A Musical Odyssey from Appalachia to Himalaya.”

Danny Knicely comes from a musical family in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia that has been steeped in a mountain music tradition for generations. He has used his roots in old-time and bluegrass to explore many musical styles from Irish, Jazz and Latin, to the various types of music he encountered while performing and studying music in India, Nepal, Tibet, and China.

As a multi-instrumentalist, Danny has won many awards for his mandolin, guitar, and fiddle expertise, including first place in the mandolin contest at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Danny has years of experience as a professional musician performing in many bands of varying musical styles and has recorded and toured nationally and internationally with many groups including the award winning Magraw Gap, Furnace Mountain, Corn Tornado, Purgatory Mountain, and a multi-cultural dance troupe called Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble.


From community concert series and local schools to the Kennedy Center and the renowned Empire Music Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland; Scott Ainslie plays and speaks of the music he loves with passion and authority. He is also a respected instructor at music programs across the country and maintains an active schedule teaching guitar out of his home in Brattleboro, Vermont.  Combining over thirty years of scholarship and forty playing guitar, Ainslie presents a beguiling mix of the African and American roots of the Blues, in story and song. With four CDs  a teaching DVD  on the guitar techniques of Delta Blues legend Robert Johnson, and a book  on Johnson’s music “Robert Johnson/At The Crossroads” (Hal Leonard, 1992) to his credit, as a performer and a teacher, Ainslie continues to present programs that are vital and entertaining.

Ainslie’s new CD, Thunder’s Mouth, is an original and moving extension of his work with African and African-American music. It is a powerful body of work that brings together diverse songs and influences from traditional acoustic blues and African-American songs, Ainslie’s original songs, and African solo guitarists blending it into a harmonious whole.


Ralph Gordon is a uniquely versatile musician, bringing more than 35 years of musical experience to the bass and cello. He is equally at home in folk, old time, swing, jazz, blues, bluegrass, klezmer, chamber group settings and all styles of music for dancers.

Ralph, classically trained, studied music at West Virginia University and the Manhattan School of Music. He left Manhattan to perform with the New Jersey Symphony, then toured with Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. He eventually returned to West Virginia where he joined the ground breaking folk ensemble, Trapezoid. Nine years and four recordings later he left the group in 1986 to become a free lance musician. Since then he has performed with many individuals and groups in a multitude of musical styles and settings He is a sought after freelance artist and session musician in the Washington/Baltimore metropolitan area. Ralph can be heard on more than 100 recordings and contributed to arranging and producing on many of these. He teaches bass and performance classes at summer camps across the country.


Danny Gotham’s story: “Stringed instruments had me hooked from a very early age. My first memory of  anything to do with the guitar was when I saw my brothers’ cigar-box banjos that they made for their Boy Scout merit badges. I remember being fascinated with the rubber band strings. Teaching guitar became my main income; it’s practical and a wonderful way to make a living. It also allows me the freedom to perform the kind of music I like when and where I choose to.”

Danny  has had a successful career playing and teaching guitar.   He has performed with various Bluegrass, Folk, Jazz, Blues, as well as Rock groups in the past.   In 1980 he won second place in the renowned National Guitar Championship in Winfield, Kansas.   Currently, Danny resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where he earned a Master’s Degree from UNC. His latest musical ventures involve a “new-age” acoustic quintet called String Fellows and the jazz-rock band Cool-Shooz.  Recently, Dan has had the opportunity to tour the country and beyond with Peter Ostroushko, renowned instrumentalist and composer.   Peter’s primary instruments are the violin and mandolin.   Peter has worked with many contemporary artists including: Bob Dylan, Robin & Linda Williams, Norman Blake, Chet Akins, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, John Hartford, and many more!   Dan is in good company!


Ralph Soper is a Jazz Guitarist from San Francisco, California and has been an instructor at Blues Week for several years.