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Terry Vuncannon will come back home for a concert of his music with people he has worked with over the years.

Vuncannon music reunion to benefit Love Like Laura Foundation

ASHEBORO — Terry Vuncannon is coming back to his roots and plans a reunion with musicians who have worked with him during his 50-year career.


And it’s all for a good cause — the Love Like Laura Foundation.


The event is called “One Night Only: The Music of Terry Vuncannon.” It will be held at the Sunset Theatre beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13. 


The group will be playing the music of Vuncannon from the past decade or so.


With him on stage will be a core band of Doug Davis, vocals and guitar; Ron Hutchins, piano; Steven Worley, drums; Brad Cardille, bass; and singers, Laurie Alley, Kate Evens, Elle McKenzie and Ramu, a Jamaican. 


Extra guests will include Cliff Miller, Ricky Cox, Steve Cain, John Phillips and Don Allred.


“The goal is to get people involved with my musical life together,” Vuncannon said in an interview. “Everybody in the show has worked with me at one time or another. A big part of the story is those guys are getting together after many years.”


The idea was the brainchild of Hutchins, Vuncannon’s publisher.


“He said he had a dream that we were playing a show for charity,” Vuncannon said. “He said, ‘It would be your music and we would have so much fun. We need to do this.’”


The concert would also raise awareness of the Love Like Laura Foundation. 


Vuncannon had been involved in a similar fund-raiser for the foundation in 2022, a songwriters showcase.


“We had a huge time,” he said. “We thought about doing another, this time a night of my singles over the past decade.”


The Asheboro native’s first band was called Badge, made up of Asheboro High School students from 1973-75.


After graduation, Vuncannon worked for a time at the Old Liberty Music Hall in Randleman before joining up with a combo called Willie Boy that toured the East Coast, including the Magic Attic in the old Myrtle Beach Pavilion.


Over the years, Vuncannon has performed with a number of bands, such as Jezebel, Late Show, Grooveline, Lawyers Guns and Money, and Whiskey Foxtrot.


In recent years, Vuncannon has turned to recording his own music and has received acclaim for songs such as “Hook, Line, and Sinker,” “Make Up Another Lie,” “Juke Joint,” “Carolina Blue” and “I’m Walkin’.”


Asked to categorize his sound, Vuncannon said, “I call my music swamp roots lap steel.”


The lap steel, which he called “the first steel guitar,” sits in his lap while he plays the strings with a metal bar.


“I fell in love with the lap steel in the ’70s,” Vuncannon said. “I saw Jackson Browne live and David Lindley played lap steel. I thought it was the most beautiful sound in the world.”


Vuncannon bought his own lap steel around 2000 and was “dabbling pretty heavy by 2004.”


While still a guitarist, he began playing the lap steel more as time went on, from 10 percent to 25 percent to 50 percent during a show. Then fate happened.


“About 10 years ago, I was in an auto accident,” Vuncannon said. “I was in a lot of back pain,” especially standing on stage with a guitar. “I found that sitting with the lap steel was better. I decided to play lap steel solely.”


Vuncannon loves the instrument so much that he now produces them under the name V-MUSE Lap Steels. “It’s a unique instrument and I’m crazy about it,” he said.


Reynolds Lisk then joined the interview to talk about the Love Like Laura Foundation. It’s named for his and his wife Mary’s daughter, Laura, who died in a car crash in 2016, not long after she graduated from UNC Charlotte.


“The foundation started with Chris Griffin and Brian Marley within two weeks of the accident,” Lisk said. “They gave seed money to start it, significant sums. The foundation helps people and animals in Randolph County.


“It’s been an inspiration for us,” he said of himself and Mary. “Laura will be helping others long after we’re gone.”


Vuncannon said that he was “won over when he told me they had helped female graduates of Asheboro High School.” 


The Laura Lisk Scholarship is separate from the foundation, Lisk said. “She just loved people. She had a big heart for marginalized people and loved the underdog. It keeps us going. It keeps her alive for us.”


Vuncannon, who has been a lifelong friend of Reynolds Lisk, said, “It makes me happy to use my music for Reynolds and Mary. He’s been off stage all my music life. It almost feels like we’re brothers.”


There’s one more reason for Vuncannon to relish coming back to the Sunset Theatre.


“I’m coming home next door to the Little Castle, where I worked for three years in high school,” he said. “Who’d have thought we’d be doing this for Laura’s foundation to help people here?”