Around the Island

Shelter Island: Almost heaven

COURTESY PHOTO | The band Della Mae brings its charms and soaring bluegrass sounds to Shelter Island next month.

For at least one night next month, Shelter Island will sound more like West Virginia than the Northeast when a benefit concert will be rocking to the sweet and soaring tunes of Appalachia.

Local East End band DuneGrass  — which features Reporter columnist Tom Hashagen on mandolin — and Boston Based-Della Mae will be bringing their foot-stomping reels and heart-wrenching ballads to the Shelter Island School January 19.

The concert is the kickoff of Sylvester Manor Educational Farm’s 2013 arts programing.

Della Mae has just returned from an “American Music Abroad” tour of Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. The tour, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs was put together to expose countries where people have few opportunities to meet American performers and experience their music first-hand.

Della Mae’s lineup, though young in years, has rubbed shoulders and shared bandstands and recording studios with the greats of bluegrass and country music, including Willie Nelson, Del McCoury, Leon Russell and Laurie Lewis.

Co-sponsoring the concert is the Town of Shelter Island Recreation Department, which has donated the school auditorium as venue for the event.

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