Rise and Shine Band consists of musicians in Alleghany County who were playing at Ernest Joines‘ Alleghany Jubilee in Sparta. “We started as a jam at the Jubilee,” says Charlie. Today, the group continues to play for the Tuesday night dances at the Alleghany Jubilee, and they also play for one Saturday night dance a month. Rise and Shine plays a mixture of bluegrass, old country songs, square dance fiddle tunes, and some bluegrass gospel.
Members of the group include Ernest Joines, Charlie Edwards, and Gary Jones. Ernest Joines was born in Alleghany County where he has lived nearly all of his life. His grandfather played the banjo, and Ernest remembers hearing a lot of music in church when he was young. When he was about nine years old, he started playing a banjo that his father bought for him. Ernest performed in a live broadcast on a radio station in Galax around 1947-48 with Del Reeves, Fred Roupe, and Dean Mains. He also played for square dances and box suppers. He played with musicians around the region such as Larry Richardson’s Blue Ridge Boys, with Uncle Joe Johnson from Galax, and with Benton Flippen and the Smokey Valley Boys from Mount Airy.
Charlie Edwards grew up in Maryland, but his family was from Alleghany County, and they made frequent trips to the area. During these trips, Charlie would often get together with local musicians to play music. When he retired, he moved to Alleghany County and devoted more time to playing music with the friends he had made over the years. Charlie plays with a few different groups in the area.
Gary Jones grew up on a dairy farm in Sparta where music was part of family life. Gary’s grandmother played fiddle and organ, and he had uncles and cousins who were also musicians. His father played guitar and had a bluegrass and country band. Gary himself has been playing guitar since he was fifteen years old. His father taught him his first chords and helped him get started. Gary plays lead guitar with Rise and Shine Band.
Rise and Shine Band plays every Tuesday night at the Alleghany Jubilee in Sparta. They also play there one Saturday night a month. The group has small configurations, which typically include Charlie, Gary, and other musicians, who are available to travel outside of their regular Alleghany Jubilee performances.