The Kickin Grass Band

The Kickin Grass Band

The Kickin Grass Band were the 2012 Winners of the Carolina Music Award for Best Bluegrass/Americana! This young and inspired ensemble rides on the edge of tradition, creating a sound equally vintage and progressive. They hold a traditional 5-piece bluegrass lineup yet draw on a muse stirred as much by Bill Monroe as by neo-traditional American folk, newgrass, southern rock or alt-country, a deep and wide river of inspiration made evident and come to life in the band’s stellar original tunes and distinctive sound. The lineup: Jamie Dawson (mandolin), Hank Smith (banjo), Patrick Walsh (bass), Pattie Hopkins (fiddle), and songwriter Lynda Dawson (guitar, lead vocals)—a musician whom Nashville Public Radio’s Bluegrass Breakdown host Dave Higgs praises as, “a truly gifted songwriter.” Distinctive lead and harmony vocals from the quintet’s females are complimented by Walsh’s powerful tenor and Jamie Dawson’s retro-tinted baritone, while the instrumental arrangements spotlight individual virtuosity, most notably Smith’s banjo and Hopkins’ fiddle playing. Their latest album, Walk With Me, has been described by the Raleigh News and Observer as attesting to the band’s, “Maturity as songwriters, instrumentalists and storytellers…it is intimate, inspiring and grand.”

For fans of Old Crow Medicine Show, The Steeldrivers, and J.D. Crowe and the New South.

"The Swift Creek band is one of the latest to sprout from the Triangle’s fertile musical soil. The band’s debut CD, “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner,” is an appealing blend of progressive bluegrass and folk songs. Recorded at Chapel Hill’s Rubber Room studio, the album features original material (including the tasty culinary title track) and rarely performed covers from the Steeldrivers, the Decemberists and others."
- The best country picks, Jan. 25
- Published: January 24, 2013
- By Jack Bernhardt — Correspondent for News & Observer

Kevin Brown Guitar, vocals, banjo. Kevin formed the Blue Moon Band in the late 1970's at UNC - Chapel Hill, along with Mack Bailey (current member of the Limeliters) and Jim DeWan (Chicago-based Irish musician). He has continued playing and singing through the years with various groups. Kevin is a songwriter whose works have been recorded by Glenn Yarbrough, The Limeliters, The Hard Travelers, Mack Bailey, Seamus Kennedy, Dick Foley & Terry Lauber (The Brothers Four) and Carl Allen.

Dennis Hoyle Bass. From his early years of practicing scales on the ivories, to honking the biggest horn in the high school marching band (that would be a tuba), to singing in the church choir, music has always been important to Dennis. After playing guitar in small groups and jams for over 20 years, he went back to his favorite low end sound and plays both electric and double bass. Most recently, he played for two years with a local band, doing numerous gigs around the Triangle and beyond. He is influenced by all kinds of music including folk, rock, blues, funk and jazz. His bass heroes include Paul McCartney, Jaco Pastorius and James “The Hook” Jamerson.

Ann Searcy Vocals, percussion, band manager. Ann grew up in Smithfield, NC and has been singing since childhood in bands, church choirs and community choruses. She was instrumental in starting Swift Creek after a successful two-year stint with a local acoustic group. Some of her vocal favorites are Emmylou Harris, Allison Krauss, Gillian Welch and Bonnie Raitt. Singing harmony is Ann’s “thing,” and she listens to the Eagles, CCR, the Beatles and plenty of bluegrass for pointers.

Casey Elder Mandolin, dobro, vocals. Casey grew up in Forest, Va., playing both saxophone and electric bass in high school bands, and listening to a lot of Doc Watson and Muddy Waters. Bluegrass guitar was his next musical accomplishment, when attending Virginia Tech; followed by learning mandolin while living in Colorado in 2002. His favorites on mandolin are David Grisman, Chris Thile and Jesse McReynolds. After moving back east, he played with various honky-tonk, bluegrass and old time bands around Blacksburg, Va. and learned yet another instrument, the dobro.

$8 online / $10 at the door

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