Spruce Pine Bluegrass Festival Featured Performers
Balsam Range —
Winner of the 2011 IBMA Song of the Year Award for "Trains I Missed" and performer of the #1 Bluegrass hit "Last Train to Kitty Hawk." Based in Haywood County, North Carolina, Balsam Range consists of five men native to this region “where the Smokies meet the Blue Ridge.” Bluegrass says a lot of what this band is about, but equally important are the aspects of Gospel and Country Music. All the fellows in the band grew up in the rich musical heritage of the Appalachian South, surrounded by culture and heritage steeped in traditions of The Grand Ole Opry…as well as the important influences of the Scotch-Irish settlers of the Southern Mountains, English ballads, Western songs…and tunes written by the band members themselves. For more information about Balsam Range visit the band's Facebook Page
or web page
. Saturday, July 20, 8 - 10 pm.
Darin and Brooke Aldridge "The Sweethearts of Bluegrass Music" It is unusual for a band - especially a country/bluegrass/acoustic/gospel band - to appeal to fans of every generation, but that is exactly what has happened with Darin and Brooke Aldridge. Grandma and Grandpa love the old standards done to perfection. Mom and Dad snuggle up a little closer when the “Sweethearts” do one of their country love song duets (and mean every word that they sing). Even the youngsters find tunes in a Darin and Brooke Aldridge show that start their toes tapping and hands clapping. Brooke and Darin met singing in church and grew up with a love for family, church and music. These values provide the power and emotion for their music and the road map for their lives as husband and wife. Every performance is entertaining and family friendly. Tom T. and Dixie Hall hailed Darin and Brooke as the new “Sweethearts of Bluegrass” but the band is more correctly described as Acousticana. Fans across the country have discovered the “new but still traditional” music Darin perfected as a member of the Acoustic Syndicate and the legendary Country Gentlemen. So Much In Between, was released August 16, 2011 on the Mountain Home label and reached the #2 spot on the weekly bluegrass charts within six weeks. The project was inspired and produced by country music greats Jerry Salley and Tom T. Hall (who also sing on some of the song tracks). That is the same team that produced Darin and Brooke's hugely successful self-titled album in 2010. That album was either #1 or in the top 5 on most charts and a song from the album was still #2 on the bluegrass chart a year later.They were the most played bluegrass artists on Sirius/XM radio summer of 2011 and again in February 2012. For the second year in a row they were the opening act for the Bluegrass Music Awards show in Nashville. Darin and Brooke and their band have recently taped shows for three cable TV networks, appeared on “Song of the Mountains” for PBS, and on a live, worldwide webcast of an all-star “Music City Roots” performance from Nashville. They are currently completing a music-video of their Americana hit song “Wildfire”, and a DVD featuring the group’s most requested songs. Widely known for his civic activities, Darin was recognized as 2010 “Citizen of the Year” by his hometown of Cherryville, NC and Brooke teaches elementary school children when the band is not touring. For additional information about Darin and Brooke Aldridge visit t
heir web page
or find them on Facebook
.Friday, July 19, 8 - 10 pm
New Roots - New Roots is a local bluegrass group with members, Josh Cooke, Blake Vance, Tyler Biddix, and Miriam Biddix, who all hail from Mitchell and Avery counties. They began performing bluegrass gospel together in 2011 and have gained a loyal group of fans in various churches in the area. They are expanding their repertoire to include more secular bluegrass and are in the process of cutting their first album. For more information about New Roots visit their website and their Facebook page.
Saturday, July 20, 12 - 1:30 pm
The BarnBurner Cloggers are an exibition clogging team from three counties led by Anna Trivett. Cloggers hail from Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey counties. They practice once a week in Mitchell county. The team has members that range in age from Elementary School to Adult with skill levels from beginners to advanded cloggers. There are even sisters that clog, and also a mother and daughters. The BarnBurners are high energy crowd pleasers that obviously enjoy every minute of their dancing. According to Anna, "We just clog for fun"!
Friday, July 19, 5:30 - 6 pm and 7:30 - 8 pm.
Cole Mountain Cloggers
The Mars Hill
-based Cole Mountain Cloggers are a team of sixteen cloggers between the ages of five and fifteen, from Madison, Buncombe, Henderson, and Avery Counties. Led by Jeff Atkins, an alumnus of the Bailey Mountain Cloggers of Mars Hill College, many of the Cole Mountain Cloggers have deep roots in this region's traditional culture. Three current members, for example, are kin to Bascom Lamar Lunsford
At the 2007 North Carolina Mountain State Fair
, the team won first place in the Traditional Freestyle Clogging division. A few weeks later they traveled to the State Folk Festival at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh, where they were first-place winners in Traditional Clogging in their age division. Several of the dancers received individual awards in their age divisions as well. As a team, the Cole Mountain Cloggers received the special Smokehouse Appalachian Freestyle Team Award, given yearly to "the dance team of four or more couples whose performance, their selection, and execution of dance figures best exemplifies the Southern Appalachian freestyle clogging routine."
"We were proud to represent Western Carolina," Atkins has said, "and the dance that originated at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival by Sam Queen
and the Soco Gap Dancers." Saturday, 5:30 - 6 pm and 7:30 - 8 pm
The members of the "Tru Blu" Bluegrass Band are very talented musicians. Band leader, Bernie Burleson, plays a mean bass and is known as the MC for the group but occasionally he is known to lay the bass down & hit the dance floor! The only female in the group, Debbie Young, sings lead and tenor and plays rhythm guitar, some mandolin, and has been known to pull out her harmonica. Debbie is also a songwriter and several of her songs have been released on CDs when the band was formerly known as, "The Hit or Miss" Band. Debbie is from Crossnore, N.C. Allen English plays the banjo, mandolin, guitar, piano, and is an awesome singer himself - not to mention the fact that sometimes, he can be quite the comedian! He lives in Hickory, N.C. Between their variety of styles of music and their colorful character, people everywhere, old and young alike, love to hear them and they keep coming back for more! They are all fine, down-to-earth, fun, Christian, family-oriented people who love life and love more than anything to please the crowd! Visit their website
for more information.Friday, July 20, 6 - 7:30 pm
Unspoken Tradition -
Unspoken Tradition was founded in 2008 through a meeting of members at Jack's bomb shelter in Cherryville, NC. They play a blend of progressive and traditional bluegrass music. The band is working on a new CD at Coyote Ridge Studios that includes their new line-up. The members are: Audie McGinnis (guitar/vocals), Lee Shuford (dobro/vocals), Matt Warren (bass/vocals), Zane McGinnis (banjo), Tim Gardner (fiddle), and Ty Gilpin (manolin/vocals). They have released one studio album, and have one live CD. See more on their Facebook page
.Saturday, July 21, 2 - 3:30 pm.
High Country Boomers - A local duo who call themselves The Boomers
because they enjoy playing and singing songs that stand the test of time from the 60's through today. Farrell Sheppard, Guitar and vocals and Kathy Burton, Dobro and vocals. More information to follow. See their website. Saturday, July 20, 10 - 11:30am
The Mountaineer Cloggers
- a championship group founded and operated by Jeff Atkins and Kristie Autry. They placed first in the Raleigh State Fair competition in 2011 and third in 2012. Saturday, July 20, 11:30 -12 pm and 1:30 - 2 pm
The Bluegrass Mix band plays traditional bluegrass and country. They also write a lot of original songs. They claim to be just a bunch of country folks who love to have a good time pickin' and singing. They hail from all over western North Carolina. The Bluegrass Mix band has been together for about 9 years. Members are: Coy Robinson on the banjo and vocals . His wife Brenda Robinson on the bass Arthur Allen on the guitar and vocals. Bryon Dockery on mandolin and vocals, and Aaron Lanning on fiddle and vocals. Find more information at their website
. Saturday, July 20, 6 - 7:30 pm
Typical Mountain Boys
- A local group led by Keith Cole. More information to follow. Hear them here
.Saturday, July 20, 4 - 5:30 pm
Common Ground- More information to follow.Friday, July 19, 4 - 5:30 pm