Jack Hatfield, one of the bluegrass pickers in east Tennessee who was burned out during the recent wildfires in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, has organized a benefit show for this Friday night, December 23. The Fire On The Mountain Bluegrass Jam will be held at the Ramada Inn Convention Center on the main drag in Pigeon Forge with a number of prominent regional artists performing on stage.
All proceeds from the show will be donated to the Sevier County Community Fund, which is helping people facing the many problems associated with the fast-moving fires that came across the mountains at the end of November. This includes local residents who lost their homes, vehicles, jobs, and in some cases, family members during the period of several days when unusually high winds whipped the brush fires into a deadly menace.
Scheduled to appear on Friday starting at 6:30 p.m. are The Darryl Webb Band, Misty River, True Blue, Outta the Blue, Smoky Mountain Sunshine, The Night Travelers, Tim & Jodi Harbin, Butch Robins, Jackie & Cyndi Miller, Steve Gulley, Phil Leadbetter, Jerry Butler, Matt Leadbetter, Roscoe Morgan, Rick Campbell, and Keith Yoder with more to possibly be added before the 23rd. Masters of Ceremonies for the evening will be Freddy Smith from WDVX in Knoxville, and Alan Williams from WVLT TV.
Jack says that unlike many multi-artist concerts, the bigger names on the bill are likely to perform first as they need to head out of town for other shows this weekend. Be sure to get there early to see your favorites.
In lieu of tickets, donations of $25 or more to the Community Fund are requested. These can be made in advance online, bringing your receipt to the show as a ticket, or at the door. Even if you can’t make the concert, donations will be gratefully accepted.
This is a fully homegrown benefit, featuring local entertainers trying to help their neighbors and friends. The Ramada Inn is offering the space at a substantial discount to the organizers, and have set special rates for people who would like to attend and stay over until Saturday. To make reservations at this reduced price, contact them by phone (865-453-1823). You can make the trip to Pigeon Forge, pick up any last minute gifts you might need, and see a stompin’ good bluegrass show while you’re in town.
Hatfield, whose home and business were burned to the ground in the fire, wanted to offer the local bluegrass scene an opportunity to get together and celebrate each other, and decided to throw this Christmas party and benefit show. A separate fundraising effort is ongoing to assist Hatfield in his rebuilding efforts.
Hats off to Jack for thinking of others at a time when everything he owned is gone. Bluegrass folks are the best!