Timmy Jones leaving Carolina Blue – UPDATED

Look for big changes in North Carolina’s Brevard-based, Carolina Blue later this year. Mandolinist and lead vocalist, Timmy Jones, has chosen to step away from the band to pursue other interests. 

CB fiddler extraordinaire, Aynsley Porchak, stressed, “He will certainly be missed, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

“After 24 years, it certainly won’t be the same not being on the stage with Tim, and I will miss him terribly, but I want to wish him the very best as well,” stated Jones’ longtime friend and Carolina Blue’s guitarist/vocalist, Bobby Powell.

Powell and Jones were founding members of the western North Carolina group in 2007. Known for their hard-driving, fast paced music, Carolina Blue’s traditional style follows in the footsteps of bluegrass music’s founding father, Bill Monroe.

In 2011, Carolina Blue won Renofest’s South Carolina State Bluegrass Championship. They also received their first Vocal Group of The Year nomination during the 2018 SPBGMA Awards Show. The band has made television appearances on PBS’s Song of the Mountains and RFD-TV’s The Bluegrass Trail, and are a favorite at bluegrass festivals across the country. Carolina Blue records for Billy Blue Records. Other band members include: James McDowell on banjo and vocals, and Reese Combs on upright bass and vocals.

 Porchak, recipient of the 2018 International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum Instrumentalist Award, expressed. “Timmy has been an integral part of Carolina Blue for many years, and it certainly will not be the same without him. However, we’re moving forward with rebuilding the band, while staying true to our roots and reflecting our values of producing traditional yet original bluegrass music. I personally am very excited about the future of this band, and we all can’t wait to see you all again down the road!”

“As a result, we are taking some time to restructure Carolina Blue and will begin touring again after Labor Day 2021. In the meantime, we are working on exciting new material and will bring you a really good show when we resume in September!” concluded Porchak.

UPDATE 7:00 p.m. – It seems that this story isn’t as simple as it was presented to us. Shortly after it was posted, Timmy Jones shared the following on his Facebook page.

“I’M NOT LEAVING CAROLINA BLUE. After unfortunate disagreement and irreconcilable differences between myself and co founder, Bobby Powell, I desired our partnership to be dissolved and for Carolina Blue to be retired and remembered for the great band we were, and for us to move forward with our own band or endeavor. My wish was for everyone to succeed going forward in their own capacities. Simply saying, Carolina Blue IS Bobby Powell and Timmy Jones. Out of respect for Bobby, I can’t imagine trying to take what we’ve both worked so hard for, forward without him. I simply wouldn’t do it. We are trying to get it all sorted out. I will remain co-owner in the band and will still be very involved in all band affairs. I appreciate all the kindness and friends who have reached out to me. We have more than a few legalities to get figured out and we will keep everyone updated! These things are tricky, and there is no need to be anything but transparent. It is what it is. I’m heartbroken that it has come to this.”

The band apparently wants to continue on without Timmy, but with his objections, it may unfortunately end up with the lawyers. More as we learn it.

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About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.