Friday at Christmas in the Smokies combined young bluegrass musicians and a legend in the music. The day opened with Salt and Light, the Moore Family Band. The siblings range from twenty one years of age down to eleven. They provide a high energy, sit-you-up-in-your-seat brand of both traditional and Gospel music.
It is always a privilege to see and hear the great Paul Williams, and his wife joined him for a song in the evening show. Paul doesn’t travel a lot, but has become a fixture at this festival that is close to his home.
Deeper Shade of Blue from North Carolina is a top notch traditional and Gospel bluegrass band. Father and son Jimmy and Jason Fraley make a really good duo. The Lonesome River Band is always a favorite anywhere they appear. They proved it again with some of the best and most timeless bluegrass music.
Host Lorraine Jordan brought Carolina Road to the stage for the band’s final appearance of the weekend. They were festive in green! They always provide a show that draws the audience into the band’s circle. Goldwing Express closed out the evening with their blend of traditional music along with a big dose of “Pop’s” humor. Lorraine announced that the festival is approaching its donation goal to the Dollywood Foundation. The total will be announced Saturday night.
Saturday has instrument workshops in the morning followed by an excellent band line up. The bands include Mark Templeton and Pocket Change, The Bluegrass Mountaineers, The Garrett Newton Band, Balsam Range, Goldwing Express, Jimbo Whaley and Greenbrier, and the Malpass Brothers. Items from the silent auction will close throughout the day.
Plans are already in process for next year’s Christmas in the Smokies.