bryan elijah smith and the wild hearts at the gateway
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Bryan Elijah Smith and The Wild Hearts at The Gateway

Taking the audience by storm at the Gateway Opening Gala, Bryan Elijah Smith and the Wild Hearts brought the audience to its feet for an encore.  The demand to bring them back for an evening of their own prompted the Gateway to engage them for a performance on Saturday, October 15 at 8 p.m.

Leading the band is Bryan Elijah Smith who was raised in the small town of Dayton, Virginia.  After a stint in New York City, he returned to the Valley.  In 2009, Smith won 1st place at the Shenandoah Valley Acoustic Roots Songwriting Festival and Songwriting Contest in Luray, VA and released his debut album entitled “Forever on my Mind”.  While performing as a soloist in Virginia, North Carolina, New York and Florida, Bryan also continuing writing and producing his own and others releases.

Jay Austin and Jeff Miller reconnected to Smith and formed The Wild Hearts.  Austin started playing violin 12 years ago after watching a VHS tape his parents had made of Peter Ostroushko performing on Prairie Home Companion in 1986. After 8 years of playing mostly classical music (including two years playing with The Danville Symphony Orchestra), he went back to his roots in folk, bluegrass and old time fiddle playing, while playing classical guitar and mandolin and performing with several bands. His energy on stage wowed the Gala audience.  Jeff Miller is a classically trained pianist, singer-songwriter, guitarist as well as a VCU graduate with a major in Psychology and minor in music   He picked up the banjo in December 2009 and has not been able to set it down since. His skills on the stringed instrument are a perfect match with Austin’s fiddle playing.

Tickets for Bryan Elijah Smith and the Wild Hearts can be purchased online at www.waynesborgateway.com or at the door.  Admission for the 8 p.m. performance is $12.

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