As a member of IIIrd Tyme Out, Steve Dilling is accustomed to having the month of December free each year. The band has long blocked the last month of the year off their tour schedule, both to allow for time with their families around the holidays, and to get rested and re-energized before starting up again in the new year.
A few years ago, Steve came up with the idea to put a group together with members of other groups, to perform shows during December. The idea has since grown into a mini-tour, with this year’s edition featuring Clay Jones from Mountain Heart on guitar, John Wade from The James King Band on bass, Ron Stewart from JD Crowe & The New South on fiddle, Darrell Webb from Wildfire on mandolin, and Dilling on banjo.
Steve says that the holiday tour grew from a single show, with interest in the band expanding as the word goes out.
“The idea of this band is something that I started a few years ago. Back then, it was just for one night on a local basis here around the Raleigh area. In 2005, I had the idea of seeing if I could take this on the road, and quickly booked a few gigs. After the success of last years shows, I thought that I would try it again. Now I am actually getting promoters wanting us to do a few festivals. I don’t know if that will happen, because we are all so busy with our individual bands… but it is kind of nice to be in demand.
I hope to record this band at some point, because I feel strong about the music that we are playing, and it would be nice to have something to sell on the road when we do play. Most of the guys have individual solo recordings, so we have worked up some material form each of those, we also do a few Christmas songs, as well as some standards, but most of all, we have a great time. It is a time to enjoy playing, and get out of the normal band routine situation. I hope that everyone will come out and see the band.”
They will do four shows over the next week or so in Galax VA, Grayson KY, Bradshaw WV and Frederick MD. You can find details on these shows on Steve’s web site.