Arts & Culture

'Appalachia in the Bluegrass' Closes Season With First Appearances From Paw Paw Pickers, Relic

Listen to the Paw Paw Pickers perform the "Workin' Man Blues."

Watch Relic perform "Ramblin' Fever" above. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 9, 2017) For the final two concerts of the “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” series, University of Kentucky John Jacob Niles Center for American Music will welcome to campus the Paw Paw Pickers and Relic for the first time. The Lexington-based old-time music band the Paw Paw Pickers are up first on Friday, Nov. 10. The following week, the Louisville-based bluegrass band Relic will play on Nov. 17. Both free public concerts will begin at noon, at the Niles Gallery located in the Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center.

Musical Journey to the Pawpaw Patch

The Paw Paw Pickers have been a fixture on the Lexington old-time music scene since around 2012, frequently performing at Windy Corner restaurant in Lexington and Wallace Station in Midway, Kentucky, as well as various private functions, including the recent Appalachian Food Summit at Holly Hill Inn in Midway. Band members include Bruce Lewis, on guitar and vocals; David Wagoner, on fiddle and banjo; Terri Powell, on acoustic bass and vocals; and Noah Adler, on mandolin and vocals.

Bluegrass Band Not the Relic It Might Seem

Relic is a bluegrass band with a sound often summed up by the title track of their debut album “Livin’ in the Past.” Louisville bears a rich history of bringing the bluegrass genre right up to the cutting edge. With their songwriting and multi-genre fusion, Relic is part of a revival of this platform, blending rich vocal harmonies with colorful instrumentation. 

The core of the group Relic includes twin brothers, Aaron Bibelhauser, on banjo, and Adam Bibelhauser, on bass, joined by guitarist Chuck Sharp, mandolinist Dave Howard and Tavis Conley on drums. Relic’s original material and interpretations of Flatt and Scruggs, the Osborne Brothers and the Dillards, may sit right alongside adaptations of Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Elton John or the Beatles. The Relic sound is equally progressive as it is rooted in tradition. Since 2009, Relic has played a weekly gig on Wednesday evenings at Louisville’s Barret Bar.

The “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series celebrates the old-time roots of American folk music by highlighting a diverse range of traditional musical expression. The concert series will showcase 12 different artists, duos and groups from southern Appalachia ranging from hometown heroes to those who have earned international acclaim.

The John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, host of the concert series, is a collaborative research and performance center maintained by the UK College of Fine ArtsUK School of Music and UK Libraries.

For more information on the “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series or the concerts featuring the Paw Paw Pickers or Relic, contact Revell Carr, director of the Niles Center, by email to, or visit the center’s website at

photo of Paw Paw Pickers
photo of Relic

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