'Music is in our bones'

August 03, 2006|by JULIE E. GREENE

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Tommy Stevens likes holding the fiddle, but his father John "J.W." Stevens says the 9-year-old isn't playing yet - "he's wishing."

Tommy is the youngest member of the family's music group, which started as a gospel ministry and has expanded into bluegrass music, John Stevens says.

The Stevens Family will perform three 45-minute sets from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday in Berkeley Springs High School auditorium as part of the Morgan County Fair.

Six of the Stevens' 10 living children are in the music group.

Dad sings and plays the five-string banjo and mom Nancy sings. Laura, 32, sings and plays upright bass; Becky Stevens-Evartt, 29, sings; Luke, 24, plays flat top guitar and sings; Ben, 22, sings and plays mandolin; Samuel, 15, plays fiddle; and Tommy sings.


None of them have had formal music lessons. Instead, "someone would show you a chord, and you would go from there," Stevens says.

The Stevens' music has led them to create five CDs, and this year is the third time they've been invited to sing in Nashville. They will perform at the Texas Troubadour Theatre in November.

"Music is in our bones," John Stevens says.

"Music says things that can speak to people's hearts, that words can never reach," he says.

If you go ...

WHAT: Morgan County Fair

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, (fireworks around 9 p.m.) and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6

WHERE: Berkeley Springs High School, 149 Concord Ave., Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

COST: Free

MORE: On Friday, Aug. 4, the fair is holding some events at Paw Paw School, 36 Pirate Circle, Paw Paw, W.Va. The Charity Playboys (classic '50s and '60s) perform at 4:30 p.m. Frankfort (W.Va.) Middle School's steel drum band, Teal Steel, performs at 6 and 7 p.m. Attractions Saturday and Sunday in Berkeley Springs include antique tractor parade, battle of the bands, Civil War encampment, kids pedal pull, miniature ponies for petting, truck and tractor show, Wonderment Puppets, Moon Bounce and contests. For more information, call the West Virginia University Morgan County Extension Office at 304-258-8400.

Entertainment highlights

Saturday, Aug. 5

· 9 p.m. - Fireworks at Widmyer School. Rain date is Sunday, Aug. 6.

Sunday, Aug. 6

· 1 p.m. - Sanders Sisters in Berkeley Springs High School auditorium.

· 2 to 5 p.m. - The Stevens Family in the auditorium

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