Pickin’ At The Paramount

Back in January of 2000, The Paramount Theater in Bristol, TN was the site of a very special concert celebrating the release of Knee Deep In Bluegrass – The AcuTab Sessions. That CD had brought together 21 highly celebrated bluegrass artists and was eventually awarded the Instrumental Album Of The Year award from the IBMA for 2001. The concert brought these same pickers and singers together for a live show, and the Paramount was so pleased with the event that they held it again the next two years as well.

The idea of a bluegrass all-star show proved so popular in Bristol that plans have been made to bring it back. The show has been renamed, Pickin’ at the Paramount and the debut performance will be January 15, 2006. Two shows will be held, at 3:00 and 7:30 p.m., with tickets going on sale on December 05, 2005.

The format is one where well-known musicians are grouped together in different bands and settings than the ones in which you may be used to seeing them. The pickers will change from one tune to the next, and the performances tend to be very spontaneous and even unpredictable. This year’s performers come such well known acts as Blue Highway, Mountain Heart, Del McCoury Band, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, The Grascals, 3 Fox Drive, Wildfire, BlueRidge, Lonesome Standard Time, and The Lynn Morris Band.

Individual artists include 2005 IBMA award winners Phil Leadbetter, Adam Steffey, Mike Bub and Jim Mills, as well as Ronnie Bowman, Jason Carter, Larry Cordle, Terry Eldridge, Kim Fox, Steve Gulley, Rob Ickes, Tim Laughlin, Rob McCoury, Alecia Nugent, Don Rigsby, Junior Sisk, David Talbot, Darrell Webb, Marshall Wilborn and the legendary Bobby Hicks. The music coordinator for this event is Tim Stafford. In all, over twenty musicians will participate.

The Paramount Center is located on historic State Street in downtown Bristol, the street that forms the state line between Virginia and Tennessee. One side of the street is Bristol, VA and the other is Bristol, TN. The theater was first built in 1931 and, like many grand downtown theaters, suffered from neglect and fell into disrepair until it was restored and reopened in 1991. The interior of the theater is spectacular, and the sound and sight lines are first rate.

More details and ticket information can be found on the Paramount Center web site.

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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.