SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. – The iconic and profoundly influential Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, often cited as a catalyst for an entire movement in country, rock and American roots music, will headline Sevierville’s 15th Annual Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass festival.
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will take the stage at Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass 8 p.m. Saturday, May 18.
The band has toured non-stop for 53 years and racked up multi-platinum and gold records, strings of top 10 hits such as “Fishin’ in the Dark” and “Mr. Bojangles” and multiple GRAMMY, IBMA, and CMA awards. The band is perhaps best known for their groundbreaking “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” album. Released in 1972, the three-LP set featured collaborations with bluegrass and country music legends including Roy Acuff, “Mother” Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Merle Travis, Jimmy Martin, and many others. The album bridged cultural gaps by introducing a whole new generation to earlier styles of music.
The Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass festival runs 5-10 p.m. May 17 and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. May 18. The festival features a full lineup of bluegrass entertainment on the main stage.
Friday’s musical entertainment begins 5 p.m. with a live performance from Priscilla & Little RicKee featuring special guest and multi-award-winning songwriter Louisa Branscomb. Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier take the stage at 6 p.m. followed by 11-time IBMA fiddle player of the year Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper at 7 p.m.
Two-time IBMA Entertainer of the Year Balsam Range headlines Friday evening’s performances at 8 p.m. Since forming in 2007, Balsam Range has garnered 13 IBMA awards, released eight critically-acclaimed albums, and headlined major festivals coast-to-coast. Their current album, Aeonic, is available now.
Saturday’s main stage line up starts with five-time IBMA female vocalist of the year Dale Ann Bradley takes the stage for the first of two sets at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Love Canon performs their acoustic take on electronic-tinged pop hits of the ‘80s and ‘90s live at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Phil Leadbetter and the All-Stars of Bluegrass are on stage at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band then closes out the festival.
In addition to great music, Sevierville’s Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass festival also features 40 of the nation’s top barbecue cook teams, artists and crafters, kids’ games, a vocal competition honoring the songwriting of Dolly Parton, a late-night Bluegrass Jam, and a People’s Choice BBQ Tasting event.
Admission to Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass and the concerts are free thanks to sponsors, including the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce which encourages visitors to stay in Sevierville while visiting Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass.
For more information, call 888-889-7415 or visit www.BloominBBQ.com.
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