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June 30, 2022

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Award-Winning Bluegrass Band to Perform in Franklin

Award-winning super pickers Appalachian Road Show are set to bring their riveting performance to the famed Franklin Theatre Sunday, July 25th at 6 pm in historic downtown Franklin, Tennessee.

Appalachian Road Show is a visionary acoustic ensemble, comprised of GRAMMY and IBMA award winners and nominees, bringing new-generation interpretations of traditional Americana, bluegrass, and folk songs, as well as offering innovative original music, all presented with a common thread tied directly to the heart of the Appalachian regions of the United States.

GRAMMY-nominated banjoist Barry Abernathy joins forces with GRAMMY-winning fiddler Jim VanCleve, fresh off of his recent stint touring with multi-platinum country artist Josh Turner, as well as esteemed vocalist and mandolinist Darrell Webb, who has recorded and toured with Dolly Parton and Rhonda Vincent, among many others. The group also includes bassist Todd Phillips, an acknowledged legend in bluegrass music circles, with two GRAMMY wins and four GRAMMY nominations under his belt, along with 23-year-old “old soul” guitarist Zeb Snyder, whose fierce and versatile playing recalls Doc Watson and Norman Blake as readily as it does Duane Allman and Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Following on the heels of their successful debut, the group released their sophomore effort, Tribulation in Spring of 2020, just as COVID-19 pandemic was taking hold of the world. Despite not being able to tour, the project was an instant hit and garnered lofty praise.  Tribulation landed two more multi-week number one songs on Bluegrass Today, Bluegrass Gospel, and Bluegrass Unlimited’s airplay charts, and garnered the band a nomination for Album of the Year, Instrumental Recording of the Year (Appalachian Road Show), as well as New Artist of the Year at IBMA.

Appalachian Road Show invites us to come and sit a spell on its porch as the band shares its dynamic musicianship through songs and stories emanating from the mountains and hollers of North Carolina and Virginia to the coal mines of West Virginia and Kentucky. The band delivers powerful performances that range from the gospel-esque “I Am Just a Pilgrim” and “Little Black Train,” to the reeling, kick-up-your-heels “Dance, Dance, Dance,” to the ballads of love and loss “Anna Lee.”

Abernathy, VanCleve, and Webb know it well as they were each born and raised in Appalachia.

VanCleve, a North Carolinian by way of Florida, was gifted his first fiddle when he was six. His grandfather, a preacher, played acoustic music, as did his aunt, uncle, and father. By the age of twelve, VanCleve and his father were traveling all over the mountains of North Carolina and Southwestern Virginia, attending dozens of fiddle contests, bluegrass festivals, and old-time music festivals.

Webb grew up in the coal-mining country of West Virginia where he mastered old-time and bluegrass music through the influence of his father, a coal miner and bluegrass musician who passed away from the dreaded black lung – a highly emotional topic which Appalachian Road Show tackles in its musical performances.

With a full schedule of tour dates lined up and new music already in the works, Appalachian Road Show has big plans for the future. Abernathy, VanCleve, and Webb intend for Appalachian Road Show to become much more than just a concert, but to eventually grow into a full-on production and immersive experience, offering interpretations of culturally appropriate tunes, telling the stories behind the songs, offering visuals that support the emotional content of the songs, as well as offering new original songs which are born out of the emotion and spirit of traditional Appalachian music.

For tickets to The Franklin Theatre performance Sunday, July 25th at 6 pm, visit franklintheatre.com or call 615-538-2076.

About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing and Entertainment Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 3-year-old Ezra.