Bristol Rhythm and Roots Concert Series begins third season at UVa-Wise

The Bristol Rhythm and Roots Concert Series at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise returns for a third season with a concert featuring Ian Gilliam & The Fire Kings at the C. Bascom Slemp Student Center on Saturday, Feb. 6.

A Wise County native, Ian Gilliam has been scorching the Charlottesville music scene for nearly 20 years. A blues guitar prodigy, Gilliam began performing during his teens and has shared the stage with notables such as Pinetop Perkins, James Cotton, Jimmy Thackery, Koko Taylor and Bill Kirchen.

Gilliam is joined in The Fire Kings by longtime playing partners Charlie Bell on bass and drummer Conrad Drennon. The group’s blend of blues, rockabilly and surf rock is a Charlottesville musical institution.

The Bristol Rhythm and Roots Concert Series at UVa-Wise continues in March and April. The Whiskey Bent Valley Boys will bring its up-tempo, old-time Appalachian music to the Slemp Center on March 20. The Black Lillies, with special guest Pete Kartsounes, will perform by the lake on April 17. The three bands will also perform at the annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion festival in downtown Bristol, set for Sept. 17-19.

UVa-Wise, Pro Art, Richard D. Kennedy, Esq., Larry D. Sturgill/CPA, Culby Supply and T&E Lawn Care sponsor the concert series at UVa-Wise.

The Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is funded in part by grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.

All shows in the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Concert Series at UVa-Wise begin at 8 p.m. and are free to the public. Students receive cultural credit for attending the concert series.

For more information, contact the UVa-Wise Office of Student Activities at 276-376-4514 or visit