The Fourth Annual Coot Williams Road Bluegrass Festival will take place Friday and Saturday, Sept. 9 - 10 outside Cherryville, NC. Promoted by John and Linda Hunsacker on a delightful bowl-shaped family facility, the Coot Williams Road festival functions as the major fund raiser for their outreach effort to encourage and develop acoustic bluegrass music in the surrounding counties through their 501 (c)(3) not-profit organization The Catawba Valley Music Revival. The lineup, featuring national and local bluegrass bands, is structured to offer top notch entertainment while introducing attendees to emerging local bands and well-known national groups.
Darin & Brooke Aldridge
Friday's headliner band will be 2011 IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year nominees Darin & Brooke Aldridge. Darin, who grew up in Cherryville, has long been known for his work with Charlie Waller & The Country Gentlemen, The Circuit Riders, and other bands. Together with his wife Brooke and a very accomplished band, they have risen to national prominence in two short years. With a third CD just released to wide acclaim, this band combines bluegrass, country, and gospel music into a delightful show that entertains and uplifts.
Rachel Renee Johson
Darin, Rachel, & Brooke
Tickets: Tickets to The Coot Williams Bluegrass Festival are available by mail from Catawba Valley Music Revival, Inc., PO Box 1404, Newton, NC 28658. They cost $20/day or $35 for the two days in advance or $25.00 per day at the gate. For further information, call (704) 447-5090. Tickets are also available through several local outlets. You can find them on the flier, which is available here.
Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa
Wayne Taylor, formerly of the U.S. Navy Bluegrass Band Country Current, has been touring with his own band since his retirement three years ago. Wayne not only has one of the finest voices in bluegrass music, he's a excellent song writer, too. With mando wizard Emory Lester in very strong support, Mark Delaney on banjo, and Kene Hyatt on bass, the band is tuneful and lively. If you haven't heard them before, they're enough reason alone to attend on Saturday.
Sweet Potato Pie
We first heard Sweet Potato Pie at a small festival in eastern North Carolina when they were a new, and largely untested girl band. The picture above, taken during their after hours showcase at IBMA last year suggests how far they've come. This is a bluegrass band worthy of attention as they continue to grow and develop. I'm looking forward to seeing to full sets of their current work.
One of the projects of the Catawba Valley Music Revival is to provide support and instruction for children wishing to learn to play bluegrass music. This summer they held the first bluegrass day camps, which I'm told, was quite successful. Your support of the Coot Williams Bluegrass Festival helps support the camps and other efforts to encourage young people to play acoustic instruments. You can get more information about the goals and program of the Catawba Valley Music Revival by reading the material here.
Kevin Richardson & Cuttin' Edge
Kevin Richardson is well known as one of the hot young flat-pickers in bluegrass. His regular gig is as guitarist and singer with Larry Stephenson's very fine national band, which has just signed a recording contract with Compass Records. Cuttin' Edge won last year's battle of the bands the week before Coot Williams and performs again this year. The band is strong; worth listening to. By the way, Kevin is also married to Crystal Richardson, banjo player for Sweet Potato Pie.
The Cockman Family
The Cookman Family, a gospel band from North Carolina, were an official showcase band at the IBMA World of Bluegrass last year. That's pretty high cotton.
John Cockman, Sr.
The Harris Brothers
This duo sings and plays a full range of music from country to reggae to bluegrass to funk and everything in between. Their exciting stylings of musicians like Django Reinhardt are without peer. Don't let the fact there's only two of them surprise or confuse you. These two guys are worth hearing and always enjoyable.
Also appearing will be Carolina Foxfire, an outgrowth of the Catawba Valley program as well as the Catawba Valley Youth Band. The Coot Williams Road Bluegrass Festival is a small, informal event that seeks to entertain and provide an enjoyable couple of days. The vendors, both food and craft, have much to offer with special kudos going to Harold Bess's home made ice-cream and the varied and tasty offerings at the food tent, brought to you at reasonable prices by local church and civic organizations. This is an unpretentious festival you'll enjoy with musicians you can treasure.
How To Get To Coot Williams Road
Promoters John and Linda Hunsacker