Paul Williams and Lorraine Jordan at the 2017 Bluegrass Christmas In The Smokies – photo © Bill Warren
Saturday was B to CC day – bluegrass to classic country – at Bluegrass Christmas in the Smokies.
The day started out with Cuttin’ Grass from North Carolina. They bring traditional bluegrass to every show. Frances Mooney and Fontanna Sunset followed. Frances is one of the original “Daughters of Bluegrass,” so her show brings some of that along with the great lead singing of Ricky Rakestraw.
Williamson Branch is one of the most entertaining family bands on the circuit. The three girls – introduced as “19, 15, and SURPRISE!!!!” – put high energy and good musicianship on display. Put this band on your “must see” list. Larry Efaw and the Bluegrass Mountaineers give a crowd a full measure of the high-lonesome Ralph Stanley style sound. The Mountaineers have performed at every one of the 21 or 22 years of Christmas in the Smokies.
The legendary Paul Williams puts heart and soul into bluegrass Gospel music. Paul’s wife of 55 years joined him on stage to sing. Lorraine Jordan joined him as welland told the audience that Paul will be a part of this show as long as he wants to be. During their set, Lorraine passed out Christmas gifts to her band. I think Ben Greene really liked his.
Two of the 50-50 winners also joined Lorraine and Tommy Long on stage. They donated their winnings to the Tommy Long fund. Lorraine then presented a check to Tommy that represented money raised during the festival for the fund. Lorraine’s volunteers then joined Tommy, Lorraine, and the crowd for a great picture.
Local talent, Jimbo Whaley and Greenbrier, was up next. Jimbo has been a part of the Knoxville bluegrass scene for many years going back to the early days of Pine Mountain Railroad.
The rest of the evening was the “CC” portion of the show. Country legend, Eddy Raven, joined Carolina Road and the “All Grassed Up” band for a performance of Eddy’s great hits and tunes from the All Grassed Up project. Lorraine presented the band with “All Grassed Up” hats from their Grand Ol’ Opry performance. The Malpass Brothers closed out the 2017 edition of the show with some of the finest classic country music available to live audiences. Tunes from Johnny Cash to Ernest Tubb and a lot of stops in between. I ended my weekend with a picture of Lorraine and Eddy.
See you next year at Bluegrass Christmas in the Smokies 2018 held December 5th thru the 8th.