We are honored and honestly a bit star struck to have Balsam Range headlining the Papertown Bluegrass Jamboree on Sunday. The band has brought national acclaim to Western North Carolina and their artistry has certainly put Canton back on the map. If Canton was only known for its paper mill yesterday, it will no doubt be known for Balsam Range tomorrow. For this we are grateful. Every successful small town knows how to promote and nurture their assets so it was imperative that we found a way to bring Balsam Range to Canton for Labor Day and they we’re good enough to arrange their busy tour schedule to make it happen. I’ve never met such a humble and friendly group of fellas. Another common denominator of successful small towns is an ability to tell their story in a way that transforms and inspires. Through their memorizing harmonies and rich ballads, Balsam Range plays this crucial role for our community. The band has served as such selfless ambassadors for Canton and Haywood County we hope to find more ways to show our appreciation beyond giving them headline honors this week.
Now, about the band--Balsam Range is a group of five outstanding acoustic musicians and singers from North Carolina. For their band name, 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 Smokies meet the Blue Ridge, the Balsam Range. Adding to an already impressive list of awards and honors, the band received numerous top honors in the 2014 IBMA Awards, including Entertainer of the Year. Balsam Range was also honored at Vocal Group of the Year. Buddy Melton was named Male Vocalist of the Year, and Tim Surrett received a Mentor Award. The band’s fifth album, Five, made its Billboard Chart debut at #4 and remained on the Billboard chart for an impressive 6 weeks. Additionally, Balsam Range consistently tops radio airplay lists with its history of top singles.
Balsam Range is comprised of five gifted friends who all hail from Western North Carolina. Tim Surrett delivers entertaining MC work as well as seasoned lead and harmony singing. Tim plays bass and he will occasionally share his talents on the resonator guitar. He charms with spontaneity, wit and professionalism. A stellar fiddler, Buddy Melton is also one of the most gifted tenor voices in Bluegrass and Americana today. His range and tone give Balsam Range its identifying sound. With his envied guitar style, Caleb Smith has been called “one of the top young guns of guitar.” He sings with both power and control, delivering a high energy song or a tender ballad with equal vocal skill. Darren Nicholson is a gifted mandolin player and harmony singer with tremendous enthusiasm for American heritage music. That twinkle in Darren’s eye says it all. He is usually up to something! Grammy Award winner, Marc Pruett brings more than 40 years of entertainment experience to the group. He brilliantly complements the ensemble with the intuitive, traditional three finger style that has made him one music’s most admired banjo players.
Elements of jazz, country, gospel, swing and old-time music are all infused into the fresh sound of this unique Southern band. It’s five distinct personalities creating one remarkable musical experience. It’s the award-winning Balsam Range.
Balsam Range headlines the Papertown Bluegrass Jamboree on 9/6 @ 8:30pm @ Sorrells Street Park. Watch Balsam Range perform here.