Thursday at Bluegrass Christmas in the Smokies ’21

Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road at the 2021 Bluegrass Christmas in the Smokies – photo © Bill Warren

Thursday at Bluegrass Christmas in the Smokies kicked off to a full house. Needless to say, The Lady of Tradition was pleased.

Festival favorites, Williamson Branch, opened the evening with a Christmas show, which ran the gamut from a heart tugging Christmas recitation from Kevin, to favorite Christmas carols, to a medley of children’s Christmas songs, to a rousing ending on the audience floor. This is a must see band.

Dean Osborne brought his band in from Kentucky. Dean is strongly rooted in the traditions of his cousins, The Osborne Brothers. Dean promotes the Osborne Brothers Festival in Hyden, Kentucky. He is also the director of the Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music.

Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road hit the stage in Christmas red. All members of the band work hard helping as part of the festival volunteer crew. They then put on a top shelf musical performance.

The legendary Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers followed. Larry helped out on very short notice when Doyle Lawson had to cancel. Larry put on a show that included many of his audience favorite songs. He also included music from his latest Gospel project, Ministry in Song. Sparks is nearing 60 years as a professional musician.

Larry Efaw and the Bluegrass Mountaineers closed out the evening. The band was established in 1962 by Larry’s father, Ed ‘Beanpole’ Efaw. Alex Leach helped out for the performance. Larry has surrounded himself with excellent young musicians – his banjo player, Curtis Coleman is 15. They provide high energy while doing the hard driving old time traditional music.

Friday and Saturday promise some of the very best in bluegrass music.

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