Country Current at the US Navy Band Christmas concert

Every year in Washington, DC, the US Navy Band hosts a big holiday concert featuring dozens of different performers from throughout the entire Navy music program. Just about every type of music you can imagine is included, all performed at the high level of professionalism that has always characterized the military’s approach to the arts.

Country Current, the Navy’s only bluegrass band, was asked to perform this year, and turned in a strong three-song set that highlights the talent and versatility of the group, all dressed up in their tuxedo formal uniforms. 2023 is the 50 year anniversary for this outfit, formed in 1973 when Bill Emerson of Country Gentlemen fame joined the Navy to start the band.

First off, guitarist Caleb Cox, formerly with Nothin’ Fancy, sings Christmas Cookies, a country swing number George Strait recorded in 1999; then Sally Zeising, newest member of the group, daughter of Rhonda Vincent, and former member of The Rage, delivers a spot on version of Ralph Stanley’s I’m Going Home It’s Christmas Time; followed by a rockin’ take on Chuck Berry’s Run Run Rudolph.

In addition to Sally and Caleb, Country Current is Haley Stiltner on banjo, Patrick McAvinue on fiddle, Joe Friedman on guitar, and though barely seen in the video, Danny Stewart on bass. Tina Catalanotto joins them for their final song on drums.

Have a look and listen.

The full concert is also worthy of your attention with a great variety of Christmas music, plus brief interviews with Navy personnel, many of them away from home on Christmas. It runs very nearly two hours in length, and can be viewed on YouTube.

Well done all!

You can check out all the Christmas bluegrass we have covered at Bluegrass Today by following this link.

Share this:

About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.