2014 Sounds Like Home: A Night of Music From the Cumberlands
Friday, September 26, 2014
Gate opens at 5:00 p.m. Music starts at 6:00 p.m.
Cove Lake State Park, 1 mile off I-75 Exit 134 in Caryville, Tennessee
Stay tuned for 2014 performance details.
2013 performance featured Dale Anne Bradley and Steve Gulley with the Pinnacle Mountain Boys and the Cumberland River Band.
Dale Ann Bradley and Steve Gulley
Dale Ann Bradley and Steve Gulley are two names that have been synonymous with each other for some time now. As well as achieving major success with their separate musical entities, they have performed on shows, recorded projects and long stints on Kentucky's nationally acclaimed Renfro Valley Barn Dance. These artists also preformed on the Sunday Morning Gathering for many years. They are now collaborating in duet style as well as with a highly acclaimed touring band. There is a rich musical, cultural and spiritual connection between these artists that is unmistakable in their performance.
Five time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year, Dale Ann Bradley and has been hailed by Alison Krauss and Ricky Skaggs as one of the greatest vocalists in country and bluegrass music. A former Coon Creek Girl and mainstay at Kentucky's Renfro Valley Barn Dance, Bradley commands a list of awards as long as Highway 40, yet a few minutes with her tells you she is something even more than extraordinarily gifted – she's extraordinarily human. A Primitive Baptist preacher's daughter out of the hills of Kentucky where no musical instruments were allowed, Bradley grew up in a self-described "backwoods holler" down a rural road where electricity and running water weren't available until she was in high school – something she has more in common with the first generation of bluegrass than her contemporaries in today's scene. Bradley's mountain soprano has been called "shimmering" (The Washington Post), "angelic" (Billboard), and "exceptional" (Bluegrass Unlimited). An acclaimed musician now living just over the mountain in Kentucky, Bradley fills every stage and studio with humor, grace, and integrity.
Guitarist and vocalist Steve Gulley had already won esteem for his lofty tenor voice and emotional delivery as an entertainer at Kentucky's historic Renfro Valley before he joined Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, bringing him before a wider but no less appreciative audience. Steve was also a founding member of the bluegrass group Mountain Heart where he recorded five highly acclaimed CDs as the lead singer for that band. He has been tapped as a harmony and featured singer on projects like the widely-praised Keith Whitley album, "Sad Songs and Waltzes," and many others including projects by Ronnie Bowman, Dan Tyminski, Tim Stafford, David Parmley, Dale Ann Bradley, Jeff Parker and Grasstowne's own Phil Leadbetter just to name a few. He has also earned multiple Male Vocalist of the Year nominations from the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America. In 2006, he joined longtime friends Alan Bibey and Phil Leadbetter to form the powerhouse bluegrass group Grasstowne. Most recently, Steve came full circle and joined Renfro Valley collaborator Dale Ann Bradley in her touring band, as co-founders of the Cumberland River Academy, and as co-producers of the Cumberland Mountain Music Show in Pineville, KY.
The Pinnacle Mountain Boys
Though the original Pinnacle Mountain Boys disbanded thirty-five years ago, the band’s great vocals, strong songwriting, and instrumental prowess built a reputation that never faded in East Tennessee. Individual band members’ talents have been appreciated regionally and nationally for over fifty years, and the band is remembered as one of the finest bluegrass ensembles connected to East Tennessee. Starting with Buster Turner’s collaborations with young Frank Wakefield in the 1950s, through the bristling banjo work of Loren Rogers in the early 1960s, the PMBs super group of mid-1960s, the superlative vocal duet of Don Gulley and Turner, and the instrumental skill of Charlie Collins on fiddle, Larry McNeely on banjo, and Allen Collins on bass– these musicians still claim the attention of aficionados of traditional bluegrass, newgrass, hillbilly bop, bluegrass gospel, and bluegrass-country crossover. After the dissolution of the original group in the late 1960s, former members of the group went on to influence the founding of other legendary groups, including the Pinnacle Boys, the Knoxville Bluegrass Band, and the Pick ‘n’ Grin Bluegrass Band. The impact of the Pinnacle Mountain Boys continues to ripple through the regional bluegrass scene. Since 2008, members of the legendary group have reunited each year at Cove Lake State Park to celebrate a rich legacy of bluegrass music in the Cumberland Mountain region.
The smooth perfection of Don Gulley’s vocals gave the Pinnacle Mountain Boys a crossover repertoire and appeal to country music fans. Gulley met and joined the original Pinnacle Mountain Boys in the late 1950s at a Tazwell radio broadcast called the Tobacco Hour. Don became a DJ and program director when WNTT opened in 1960, a position he managed for 34 years. Don and son, Steve, began performing on the historic Renfro Valley shows in the early 1980s, and, in 1989, he became a regular member of the cast. Don currently performs four weekly shows at Renfro Valley, including their live Sunday morning show, one of the most long-lived radio program in America. Last year Renfro Valley released a CD featuring Don’s music, and he has several earlier recording projects, from 45s to CDs, including another recent release Pam Perry (of Wild Rose) and Steve Gulley. Don’s son, Steve, is well known to bluegrass fans as a superb vocalist with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver and the award-winning groups, Mountain Heart and Grasstowne.
In the late 1950s Allen Collins found Buster Turner, Don Gully and Loren Rogers in need of a bass player at a WNOX radio broadcast. He joined the group that night, and continued until the band finally dissolved in the early 1970s. Collins, raised in Blaine, was already performing with some of Knoxville’s best musicians, including fiddler Jerry Moore who later performed with the Pinnacle Mountain Boys. In the late 1970s, Alan became a charter member of the Knoxville Grass, which also became a musical institution in the region. For the past twenty years Alan has performed with Jean Horner’s Fiddle Shop Band at festivals and performances throughout the region. His most enduring musical connection has been with his own family band -- The Collins Boys -- formed in the late 1970s, staffed with his three talented sons, and still picking.
Nephew of the late Buster Turner--founding member of the Pinnacle Mountain Boys--Bryan Turner joins the group on mandolin and tenor vocals, continuing his family's rich musical legacy. Turner brings years of bluegrass experience, after stints with Cumberland Gap Connection, and now as a bass player for Cody Shuler and Pine Mountain Railroad and the Dale Ann Bradley band. Turner is also co-owner and operator, along with Steve Gulley, of The Curve Studio, a professional recording facility in Cumberland Gap, TN.
Veteran banjo player Bill Rasnick is a steady and strong musician, with decades of performing experience in top regional bluegrass bands. Bill grew up in Bristol, Tennessee listening to the WCYB Farm and Fun Time radio program and hearing his Grandfather R. J. Horton play the fiddle. He is a longtime member of fiddle legend Mack Snodderly's Painless Band, and has played with the Early Morning Stringdusters and the Bluegrass Scholars. Bill's is a familiar face at area festivals, especially the Museum of Appalachia's annual Fall Homecoming. In recent years he has reunited with Pinnacle Mountain Boys, the influential group he first joined in the late 1960s. Bill is a consummate ensemble musician, and strives to tastefully complement the band sound.
Fiddling great Byron Doss will also join the Pinnacle Mountain Boys in a rare concert appearance. Widely regarded as one of the best--if not the best--bluegrass fiddlers in East Tennessee, Doss has played with numerous bands and on many recordings since his start in the 1970s. Doss was a frequent collaborator with the nationally-known Pinnacle Boys, a group whose origins were in the original Pinnacle Mountain Boys.
Cumberland River Band
Cumberland River is a bluegrass band based in Harlan Kentucky featuring Steve’s son Brad Gulley on bass, guitar, lead & harmony vocals. Cumberland River’s music was used in the first season of the FX show Justified. The band’s latest CD, The Life We Live, was released in 2011, and they anticipate releasing a new record this fall.