Williamson Branch at the 2018 Bluegrass Christmas in the Smokies – photo © Bill Warren
Thursday at Bluegrass Christmas in the Smokies was kicked off by Jay Armsworthy and Eastern Tradition, from Maryland. They gave an appreciative audience a full measure of traditional bluegrass music. Williamson Branch followed. We have watched this family band with three cute little girls mature into an entertaining band. The singing and musicianship is among the best. Caroline is nine and has a grown-up voice. Put Williamson Branch on your “must see” list. You will be given “Sassy, Classy, Bluegrassy”!
Then it was time for the rock solid mountain sounds of Ralph Stanley II & the Clinch Mountain Boys. Ralph honors his father’s legacy, along with giving his fans his own music. Host band, Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road, carried on the traditions that they have set. Tommy Long is back from his battle with throat cancer, and is strong as ever. The band did a tribute to the Armed Services, along with their current number 1 song, True Grass Again.
Doyle Lawson brought the new edition of Quicksilver to the show, the second show for the new members. Doyle is legendary in his ability to choose band members to maintain the “Quicksilver sound,” and he has done it again. Jerry Cole and Jake Vanover are excellent additions to the band.
Friday and Saturday will be full days with fifteen bands taking the stage over the two days. Friday and Saturday stage shows begin at 11:00 a.m.