Remembering Past Mountain Stage Guests We Lost in 2019

Dec 20, 2019

We're reflecting on past Mountain Stage appearances from some of the gifted musicians who we lost in 2019.

We marked the passing of several influential musicians and some home-grown treasures in 2019, and hope you can enjoy the memories shared here.

George Daugherty, a.k.a The Earl of Elkview
Credit Mountain Stage Archive

George Daugherty- The Earl of Elkview
A beloved performer in West Virginia, Daugherty was The Earl of Elkview and served as guest host in the early period of Mountain Stage. He would play the musical saw and added humorous flavor with his witty, comedic skits and songs. Daugherty was an ambassador for West Virginia and beloved by so many, throughout our state and beyond.

Read the Charleston Gazette-Mail’s remembrance of Daugherty here.

Kofi Burbridge, left, along with Derek Trucks and Mike Mattison of The Derek Trucks Band, February 2009.
Credit Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

Kofi Burbridge visited Mountain Stage three times as a member of the Derek Trucks Band, most recently in February of 2009. You can revisit that set via NPR Music below.

Yonrico Scott, February 2009.
Credit Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

Kofi Burbridge on keyboards, Yonrico Scott on drums, February 2009.
Credit Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

Yonrico Scott (Drummer, Derek Trucks Band- 2009; Royal Southern Brotherhood- 2016) Another past member of the DTB, Yonrico Scott also appeared along with Trucks and company during his long tenure with that band. Scott’s most recent performance on Mountain Stage was alongside Cyril Neville and the Royal Southern Brotherhood in 2016. You can revisit that show in our archives.

Kofi and Yonrico both got in on this set from Scrapomatic, recorded the same night in 2009.

Leon Redbone on Mountain Stage, 2007.
Credit Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

The captivatingly mysterious tunesmith Leon Redbone made six appearances on Mountain Stage between 1990 and 2007. His mystique was matched by his expert song choice and comedic timing. Check out his 2007 appearance via NPR Music.

Credit Mountain Stage Archive

Dr. John-  The night tripper made three appearances on Mountain Stage dating back to 1989. We just revisited his set as part of our “Class of ‘89” Special, in which you can hear his legendary performance, accompanied by members of the Mountain Stage Band. Their version of “Such A Night” was also included in the “Best of Mountain Stage” CD series which you can hear on Spotify. You can hear his entire 1989 set in this post on, which we updated with a quote from our host, Larry Groce.

Jeff Austin photographed in 2015 on Mountain Stage.
Credit Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

Jeff Austin- In June we joined many music lovers and music makers in mourning the loss of journeyman mandolinist and songwriter Jeff Austin. He was on Mountain Stage in 2006 alongside Yonder Mountain String Band, a group he helped co-found. In 2015 he brought the Jeff Austin Band to the show for the first time, which you can revisit via NPR Music.

Russell Smith on Mountain Stage, 1992.
Credit Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

A highly admired songwriter and guitarist, Russell Smith appeared on Mountain Stage four times in three configurations. Twice with the Amazing Rhythm Aces (1996 & 1999), once as a solo performer (1992) and once with the legendary Run C&W (1993). After Smith’s passing, our host Larry Groce compiled this set of highlights from his various appearances, remarking “If all he had written was "Third Rate Romance," he would be in my personal Hall of Fame, but he did so much more.”

Art Neville (The Neville Brothers, 10/11/1994)- Art Neville, of quintessential New Orleans group The Neville Brothers,  appeared with that band on Mountain Stage in October of 1994. Their performance of “Ayiti” was included in the compilation Louisiana Live on Mountain Stage. Click to listen on Spotify.


Neal Casal soloing on the finale song, March 2017.
Credit Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

Neal Casal - Revered guitarist, producer and songwriter Neal Casal appeared on Mountain Stage as a member of Ryan Adams’ Cardinals in 2007, and he joined us in March, 2017 as part of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood. His tone and fretwork were one of the most distinguishable characteristics of that set, which you can revisit below via NPR Music. 

Old time musician Mark Payne, 2003.
Credit Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

Mark Payne  -A stalwart member of the old-time music community in West Virginia and beyond, Mark Payne appeared on Mountain Stage as part of the popular string band Gandydancer in 2001 and again in 2003. In addition to countless concerts, festival appearances and recordings, the band also appeared at the Library of Congress in 2007, which you can watch here.

Kelley Looney photographed on Mountain Stage in 2017.
Credit Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

Kelley Looney was a loyal member of Steve Earle’s band since the mid-1990s, and appeared several times alongside Steve on Mountain Stage. His last visit was just earlier this year in June, before his untimely passing later that Summer. Revisit Steve Earle & The Dukes set of songs from Guy via NPR Music below.