Bluegrass Christmas in the Smokies 2019 kicked off with an energetic show packed full of well known tunes and comedic breaks from the beloved Daughters of Bluegrass. Three of the “Daughters” founding members, Lorraine Jordan, Frances Mooney and Mindy Rakestraw, were joined onstage by Amanda Cook, Carolyne VanLierop Boone, and Aynsley Porchak. They entertained the crowd drawing laughter, claps, hoots and hollers the whole time. Before exiting the stage, the only non-member onstage, fiddle player, Aynsley Porchak, was honored as a new inductee. Two additional members were also called to the stage to receive the honor, songwriter Paula Breedlove and bluegrass publicist and booking agent, Melanie Wilson. All three were quite shocked and humbled by their recognition.
Tim White and Troublesome Hollow immediately followed with their always enjoyable show. Attendees at Christmas in the Smokies always look forward to Tim’s show, and the crowd showed their appreciation for his talents and humor once again.
This year, Lorraine Jordan added Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time to her lineup. Something she’s been wanting to do for the last 5 years, she says. She was front and center for the entire set, and he did not disappoint. The original, heartfelt music and the delivery from the Mighty Cord and his incredible band was outstanding, and had festival goers on their feet more than once, shouting their approval and asking for more.
Local favorite and frequent Christmas in the Smokies band, Jimbo Whaley and Greenbrier closed out the evening. The band put on their enjoyable, solid performance with a charismatic Jimbo at the helm.
An optional late night country music show was offered by Brad Hudson for the night owls, looking to color outside the bluegrass lines a bit.
Thursday, day 2, brings full sets of music starting at 4:00 p.m. from the Amanda Cook Band, Remington Ryde, Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys, Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road and one of the Pigeon Forge Annual Festival highlights, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.