Mountain Home Music and the Ashe County Arts Council Present an All-Star Night of Bluegrass at the Ashe Civic Center on June 11
Darren Nicholson is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is also a Grammy nominee, the recipient of several International Bluegrass Music Association awards and a founding member of Balsam Range – alongside banjoist Marc Pruett. Pruett is a Grammy Award winner and received an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Western Carolina University in 2010 in recognition of his many accomplishments as a professional musician.
Audie Blaylock is an American singer, guitarist, mandolinist and composer in the bluegrass tradition. His music was featured as the theme song for the Travel Channel series Golden secondary roads, and he is also a Grammy-nominated and multiple IBMA award winner. In addition to touring internationally as a bassist with the band of Blaylock, Audie Blaylock and Redline, Reed Jones is an accomplished photographer, music curator, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter and songwriter.
So what happens when you put all four together? Audience members will have a rare chance to hear this top ensemble in West Jefferson as they perform at the Ashe Civic Center on Saturday, June 11.
“Audie, Reed and Marc play a very rare kind of bluegrass that I like to call ‘next level’ or ‘otherworldly,'” Nicholson enthuses. “When it comes to this kind of tradition and vibrancy, there are no words to describe the excitement and intensity these shows will bring!”
A one-off show at the Meadowlark Smoky Mountain Heritage Center in Maggie Valley brought these four musicians together in 2021. “It was the first time we had played together in a long time,” says Blaylock. “It was so good to play with these great musicians and singers. Marc Pruett has always been one of my favorite banjo players!
These four artists knew they wanted to continue performing together when their touring schedules permitted. Earlier in 2022, billed simply as “An Evening of Bluegrass,” Blaylock reunited with Pruett, Jones and Nicholson for three shows in western North Carolina earlier this year.
“It’s exciting for us to be able to play a few shows and just have fun,” Blaylock says. “That’s what it’s all about for us. We hope everyone will come out and have fun with us!
Nicholson agrees: “Playing with these musicians pushes me to a different level. It’s nerve-wracking and exciting, and so much fun! Buckle up for a bluegrass evening of adult strength and hard riding.
Tickets for the June 11 show at Ashe Civic Center are on sale now and can be purchased here.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Darren Nicholson is a bluegrass and Americana musician based in Haywood County in the western mountains of North Carolina. Grammy-nominated and the recipient of multiple International Bluegrass Music Association awards, Darren has appeared countless times at the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, CMT, GAC and many other famous venues and networks. Currently, he records and tours as a full-time founding member of Balsam Range, with all kinds of collaborative endeavors every year. Darren is also recognized as a solo artist, session musician and songwriter. His last album, man on a mission, released last fall.
Audie Blaylock is an American singer, guitarist, mandolinist and composer in the bluegrass tradition. Audie and his band, Blaylock and Redline, received awards for Instrumental Group of the Year and Artist of the Year from IBMA. He was nominated for Guitarist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. Blaylock has had numerous No. 1 singles on the charts, and his music has been featured as the theme song for the Travel Channel series. Backroads Gold. He was even nominated for a Grammy.
Banjoist Marc Pruett is a founding member of Balsam Range, the critically acclaimed western North Carolina band that has been nominated for Song of the Year, Album of the Year and Artist emerging at IBMA. Pruett made his first recording at the Bill Monroe Festival in Bean Blossom, Indiana. Between then and now Pruett has played with a number of bands including Balsam Range, the Southern Lawmen, The Whites, Rock Springs Reunion, mountain clogging bands and more. In 2010, he received an Honorary Doctor of Arts from Western Carolina University in recognition of his many accomplishments as a professional musician and in recognition of his support and love of traditional Southern Appalachian culture.
Reed Jones is a bit of a renaissance man in today’s bluegrass world. In addition to touring internationally as a bassist with Grammy-nominated bandleader Audie Blaylock and his band Redline, Jones is a photographer, music curator, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and writer and author. – accomplished composer. In addition to his association with Blaylock, Jones played guitar with Billie Renee & Cumberland Gap, with whom he won the 2006 SPBGMA International Championship, and worked with other bluegrass bands including Unlimited Tradition and Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers.
About the presenters:
Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate various styles of Appalachian performing arts including music, song, storytelling, and dance. Mountain Home Music strives to educate and build community through the arts, providing accessible cross-generational experiences. To learn more about Mountain Home Music and for our full list of 2022 concert offerings, visit https://mountainhomemusic.com/
Ashe County Arts Council’s mission is to enrich the cultural life of the region.
For tickets, call in to this Allstar Bluegrass Party, call 336-846-2787 or visit