2023 Station Inn Homeless Benefit

This report is a contribution from bluegrass singer and songwriter Dawn Kenney. She also shared a number of photos from the show.

Some of the best in bluegrass could be found Wednesday night at The Station Inn for the 20th Annual Bluegrass Benefit Concert for Nashille’s homeless. 

The evening was kicked off by Echo Valley, making their Station Inn debut. The siblings have clearly been doing some woodshedding, evidenced by their tight harmonies and clean picking. They delighted the audience with a triple fiddle break. 

Those fortunate to be in attendance were treated to a memorable performance by spouses Sierra Hull and Justin Moses who traded licks on guitars and mandos. For this listener, the highlight of the evening was their Christmas medley on twin fiddles that left me wishing they would cut an acoustic holiday album. I’d be first in line to buy that record. 

Sister Sadie took to the stage with Dani Flowers and Gena Britt holding down lead vocal duties as lead singer. Jaelee Roberts missed the show due to the loss of her grandfather earlier in the week. The sisters and mister (Tristan Scroggins on mando) wrapped up their set with the Gena Britt instrumental barn burner, Raleigh Ride, leaving no doubt as to why Gena has been nominated as the IBMA Banjo Player Of The Year award four times. 

Missy Raines & Allegheny previewed songs from their upcoming release, Highlander. Based on the caliber of the arrangements, stellar picking and songwriting, this promises to be a killer record. I first heard them perform the Nathan Bell original, Blackbird, Monday night at the IBMA benefit and liked it, but on a second listen Wednesday night it was even better. 

We were treated to a sneak peek at a new dynamic duo featuring Billy Blue recording artists John Meador and Kristy Cox. Both successful artists in their own right, the good friends have been spending time writing songs. Could there be a recording and more performances in the works? I am adding the request to my Letter to Santa and I’m keeping my fingers crossed. 

Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike wrapped up the evening with a set that featured legendary Bluegrass Hall Of Fame bass player Tom Gray’s final performance with the band. Tom will continue to perform and record but is stepping back from an active tour schedule after 10 years with the band.

Speaking on stage about Tom’s departure, Valerie said, “I’ve been crying for two months.” Tom says he has two recording sessions on the books and will be joining his friends Eddie & Martha Adcock at some festivals next year. We wish him well with all that lies ahead. 

The hardest working pickers of the night award goes to Ellie Hakanson, Tristin Scroggins, and Deanie Richardson, who jumped in for multiple musical mash-ups on stage. 

The show was emceed by Bluegrass Today contributor and Billy Blue staff songwriter David Morris. 

The Room In The Inn provides programs and support services to those who call the streets of Nashville home. The benefit was hosted for 18 years by artists Eddie & Martha Adcock, and even though this year they couldn’t attend due to health concerns, Station Inn manager Josh Ulbrich was happy to resume the tradition.

The torch has been passed to Valerie, who shared that, “Bluegrass is a community, and one thing we all have in common is we want to do something to make positive changes and to do something for the community.”

If you missed the show, you can still donate online.