About Midtown Bluegrass Series | feat. The Lil Smokies
The 2018 #MidtownBluegrassSeries kicks off with the power-house bluegrass band The Lil Smokies (4:30-6 p.m.) and North Carolina’s own Big Fat Gap (3-4 p.m.)! Before the music gets started on stage, youth musicians ages 18 and under are invited to jam together beginning at 2 p.m.
2:00 – 3:00pm | Youth Jam
3:00 – 4:00pm | Big Fat Gap
4:30 – 6:00pm | The Lil Smokies
The Lil Smokies perform a unique blend of excellent songwriting, bluegrass roots and the sheer raw energy of a rock band. They weave seamlessly through genres, leaving behind melodies you’ll be singing to yourself for days. When people see The Lil Smokies setting up their acoustic instruments, they’re often unprepared for the electric energy they generate. The band captures that same dynamic presence on their new album, Changing Shades, delivering their exceptional songwriting and bluegrass roots with the punch of a rock band. They cut Changing Shades in a lighthearted, week-long session at SnowGhost Music in Whitefish, Montana with engineer Brett Allen (The Avett Brothers, Kris Kristofferson, Béla Fleck) and co-producer Rob Gordon (Elephant Revival). The first incarnation of The Lil Smokies got together in Missoula, Montana, during the winter of 2009. Through the years, the band transformed and settled into the current lineup – Scott Parker on bass; Jake Simpson on fiddle; Matt Rieger on guitar; Matt Cornette on banjo; and Andy Dunnigan on dobro. Dunnigan is also the lead songwriter and vocalist for the band. The band won the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass Band competition and took home the 2016 IBMA Momentum Band of the Year award. They’re also festival favorites, wowing fans from coast to coast at the High Sierra, FreshGrass, Telluride Bluegrass, Grey Fox, Del Fest, Floyd Fest, and String Summit festivals, to name a few.
Big Fat Gap is a back porch bluegrass band that has no plans to take Nashville by storm. Some of them even have day jobs. They just like to pick, they like each other, and it shows in their performances, which are known to be excellent for those who enjoy sweet three-part harmonies, smoking solos, and captivating stage dynamics. They got their name from one of the few remaining stands of old growth virgin forest in western North Carolina, located in the Big Fat Gap in Graham County near the Tennessee border. Their debut album, Shackled and Chained, was produced by their frequent collaborator Andrew Marlin of Mandolin Orange. The core band members are: Miles Andrews on lead vocals and bass, Jeff Stickley on guitar, and Chris Roszell on banjo; and you never know who might join them on stage as special guests!
Before the music starts on stage, musicians ages 18 and under who play guitar, fiddle, mandolin, bass, or banjo are invited to participate in a facilited jam to kick off the afternoon. Local musicians Lynda Wittig Dawson & Jamie Dawson will be on hand to share some tips and tricks and answer questions about bluegrass jamming.
MoonRunners Food Truck, Dusty Donuts and Sunset Slush of Raleigh will be on-site on Sunday. And we will have a full bar available for purchase (21+ with I.D.) featuring Larceny Bourbon. We hope to see you out there!
In Partnership with PineCone – Piedmont Council of Traditional Music
Presented by PNC