Nestled among the subranges of the Appalachian Mountains is a majestic scene, a timeless biosphere brushed with soft pastels of light and peaceful sound. Influenced by these mountain vistas come the incredible music of the Uncle Dave Macon Days, 2019 Heritage Award Winner, Balsam Range. This prestigious Heritage Award has been given to past recipients like Rhonda Vincent, Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White, and last year’s recipient, Lily Isaac. The award honors talent who have given their career to the preservation of traditional styles. These seasoned musicians throughout many decades have been dedicated to those musical ideals contributing in innovative ways.
Balsam Range is; Buddy Melton (fiddle, lead and tenor vocals), Darren Nicholson (mandolin, octave mandolin, lead vocals, baritone and low tenor vocals), Dr. Marc Pruett (banjo), Tim Surrett (bass, dobro, baritone and lead vocals), and Caleb Smith (guitar, lead & baritone vocals). The five original members are all acoustic musicians and singers from western North Carolina. They thoughtfully and respectfully adopted the name of a majestic range of mountains that surround part of their home county of Haywood, NC where the Great Smoky Mountains meet the Blue Ridge, the Great Balsam Range.
The 2018 International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, Balsam Range, has become one of the genre’s most award-winning acts. Since forming in 2007, the group has garnered 13 IBMA awards on the heels of 8 critically acclaimed albums. Balsam Range has left audiences spellbound while headlining major festivals from coast-to-coast, selling out venues across the nation and in multiple appearances at the Grand Ole Opry. The band collaborated with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble to record 2 albums, the second of which, Mountain Overture, debuted on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart at #5 and the Classical Crossover Chart at #6. Their previous outing, Mountain Voodoo, debuted at #4 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums Chart and remained on that chart for 45 weeks. Three singles from that album reached #1 on the Bluegrass Today Chart, including “Blue Collar Dreams,” which spent three consecutive months at the top. The band most recently claimed the #1 radio chart spot with their single “The Girl Who Invented The Wheel.” In addition to winning the IBMA Entertainer of the Year award, Balsam Range vocalist Buddy Melton won IBMA’s Male Vocalist of the Year and bass player Tim Surrett won IBMA’s Bass Player of the Year in 2018.
See them live on stage with their latest project, Mountain Overture with the Tennessee Philharmonic Orchestra, July 13th, Saturday evening, at 8:15 in Cannonsburgh Village at Uncle Dave Macon Days.
On Friday, July 12th, Uncle Dave Macon Days-A Roots Rendezvous officially begins and continues through Saturday evening, July 13th with the best in Americana and Roots music. Uncle Dave Macon Days is a music festival which honors traditional American “roots” music and the career of the first superstar of the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Famer, and Grammy Nominee, Uncle Dave Macon. The celebration takes place in Cannonsburgh, a genuine early 20th Century village. Cannonsburgh Village is located at 312 South Front Street in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Murfreesboro is 30 minutes southeast of Nashville on Interstate 24. The village is home to more than 20 restored log structures. During the two-day festival, Uncle Dave Macon Days features arts and crafts, living history demonstrations along with mouth-watering concessions in a family-friendly environment.