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Alison Brown is acclaimed as one of today's finest progressive banjo players, but you rarely find her in a conventional bluegrass setting. Instead, she's known for leading an ensemble that successfully marries a broad array of roots-influenced music: folk, jazz, Celtic and Latin. The 2015 IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award and 2001 Grammy award-winning musician, composer, producer, and entrepreneur is a Harvard-educated MBA. She and her husband, Garry West, are co-founders of Compass Records, for 20 years one of the most respected bluegrass, folk, Celtic and Americana labels.
Front Porch Stage from 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Bobby Hicks, Mark Kuykendal and Asheville Bluegrass
Veteran fiddler Bobby Hicks is well known for his work with Bill Monroe and Ricky Skaggs, among others. With Skaggs' Kentucky Thunder, Hicks was a ten-time Grammy award winner. Guitarist Mark Kuykendal has had an accomplished career with Monroe's Bluegrass Boys and more. Together, the two are reclaiming their spot among the best in bluegrass while moving forward in new circles. Asheville Bluegrass includes Nick Chandler on mandolin, Nick Dauphinais on bass and Seth Rhinehart on banjo.
Front Porch Stage from 2:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Tim White & Troublesome Hollow
Everyone’s favorite bluegrass buddy, Tim White, is returning to the CBC Bluegrass Festival for his fourth year in a row. The talented host of the PBS syndicated television show Song of the Mountains will perform with brothers Donny and Garry Ollis. They have released an exceptional CD, Old School. Tim is also known for his syndicated radio program, The Tim White Bluegrass Show, on which he aired a documentary he produced on Carolina Bible Camp. Tim White and Troublesome Hollow will tickle your ears and funny bones!
Front Porch Stage from 12 noon – 12:45 p.m.
Fireside Collective, the winner of the 2016 MerleFest Band Competition and 2017 nominee for the IBMA Momentum Award (Best Band category), is quickly gaining a reputation as a must-see progressive acoustic ensemble. Formed in 2014, this group of folk music enthusiasts blend elements of traditional bluegrass and American roots music with modern acoustic arrangements. Their energetic show transitions smoothly between danceable bluegrass numbers and passionate folk ballads – with a surprise Paul Simon number thrown in for good measure! With Jesse Iaquinto on mandolin, Tommy Maher on dobro, Joe Cicero on acoustic guitar, Carson White on upright bass and Alex Genova on the five-string, Fireside Collective brings a truly delightful exploration of roots music to CBC!
Front Porch Stage from 4:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Snyder Family Band
From Lexington, NC, the Snyder Family Band performs a unique style of music infused with a wide range of styles and genres. Samantha, who began classical violin lessons at the age of three, is an award-winning fiddler as well as a top-notch singer and songwriter. Zeb, a skilled multi-instrumentalist and highly devoted musician, began his musical career with classical guitar training at age seven. Supporting these gifted musicians, their dad, Bud, holds down a rock solid upright bass rhythm. Owen, the youngest Snyder, makes an occasional visit to the spotlight to wear out a tune on the banjo, a part of the show that is not to be missed.
Front Porch Stage from 3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Based out of Wilkesboro, NC, the Trailblazers have taken a step back to the roots of bluegrass, Americana, folk, and jazz music. The band has a solid foundation in the basis of the music they love, but they're constantly looking for new trails to blaze in progressive acoustic music. The Trailblazers won the prestigious MerleFest band competition in 2017. The Trailblazers are: Daniel Thrailkill on guitar and vocals; Jonah Horton on mandolin; Alex Edwards on banjo; Will Thrailkill on bass, and frequent guest Ivy Phillips on fiddle.
Front Porch Stage from 11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Dwight “Sawman” Hawkins is a Raleigh-based musician specializing in pre-war stringband music. He is also very knowledgeable about hillbilly, hokum, and jug music. The founding member of the popular Asheville band Blind Boy Chocolate and the Milk Sheiks, Hawkins left Raleigh at an early age for the life of “a hobo.” He jumped on his first freight train at 18 and quickly became an expert, figuring out which direction each train traveled and how to get from one city to the next without spending any money. Since then, he has been around the country eight times. It was riding trains that inspired him to leave punk rock behind to embrace the early 20th-century blues he loves today. Today he works in construction (not only using a saw, but playing it, as well) and he plays the music he loves as often as possible. “I used to be the road,” he said recently, “but now I'm the lighthouse.”
Front Porch Stage from 1:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m