Photos courtesy of Jacob Bowen
Types of Artistry
Sparta, NC (Alleghany County)
Nave Blevins was born in the Cranberry Creek/Laurel Springs area of Alleghany County, where he was surrounded by music growing up. Both his mother and father played music, and uncles on both sides of his family played as well. "My Uncle Donald showed me the first chord on the guitar," Blevins remembers.
Blevins started playing guitar at age twelve, but it was not until he sixteen years old that he really got interested. His cousin Odell showed him a lot on the guitar, and he would go out to hear local musicians such as Doc Watson, Howard Joines, Ernest Joines, Cleo Reeves, Junior Maxwell, and Richard Joines. "That helped me more than anything," says Blevins.
As Blevins got older, his musical tastes broadened, and he experimented with rock-and-roll. "I got a little older and got my first rock band, but I always had bluegrass and traditional music in me," Blevins says. After a while, he turned back towards his acoustic roots.
In 1975, Blevins started a band with Johnny Shepherd, Jerry Mortz, Gilbert Suits, and Greg Blevins called the Briar Hopper Band. The group played together for several years. Around 1994, Blevins started the Cranberry Creek band with Richard Joines. "We write a lot of our own music," says Blevins.
Cranberry Creek has performed at a variety of events and venues around the region including barbeques, weddings, and churches. The group plays on the Hometown Opry radio program out of Wilkesboro two times a year, and they have played at the Silver Dollar Music venue.
Nave Blevins enjoys songwriting, and he cites Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash as two of his favorites. His bluegrass influences include the Osborne Brothers and Mac Wiseman. But Blevins is also a big fan of the comedy routines associated with bluegrass and early country music. Some of his favorite comedians include Mike Snyder, Ronnie Stoneman, Roy Stevens, Grandpa Jones, and Minnie Pearl. "They had some wonderful comedians back then," he says. Blevins includes comedy in his performances, which he calls "a family-oriented show."
Blevins has recorded two CDs, which include several of his original songs.
Nave Blevins and Cranberry Creek are available for performances.