Grammy award winner to cap off ‘Music in the Park’ with local performer Saturday

Published 8:41 am Saturday, June 11, 2016

Contributed Photo Carter native Daniel Grindstaff, right, worked with Marty Raybon from 2006 to 2012 performing various concerts across the country.

Contributed Photo
Carter native Daniel Grindstaff, right, worked with Marty Raybon from 2006 to 2012 performing various concerts across the country.

Citizens can expect the Covered Bridge Park to be “Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart” Saturday night.

Grammy award winning artist Marty Raybon of Shenandoah is no stranger to topping the Billboard Charts. Along with 1994 Grammy award-winning single, attendees of the Covered Bridge Celebration can expect an exciting send off for the 50th anniversary of the event. Raybon, along with his bandmates, are scheduled to take the stage at 8 p.m. for their set. Following the performance, fireworks will signify the conclusion of the event.

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“I am looking forward to bringing our part of the entertainment to the down Elizabethton Covered Bridge Festival,” Raybon said. “Joining me for the show will be Elizabethton native and former band member Daniel Grindstaff. For me and my brother, Tim, it will be like a homecoming to have Daniel on board for the concert.”

Grindstaff is a Farm Bureau Insurance Agent and is sponsoring the last day of ‘Music in the Park’. Born and raised in Elizabethton, Grindstaff began his professional musical career at 18 years old by performing with bluegrass legends Jim and Jesse McReynolds at the Grand Ole Opry before linking up with Marty from 2006-2012.

“I was actually working with the Osborne Brothers, who people might know from their song “Rocky Top” at the Grand Ole Opry,” Grindstaff said Thursday. “They’re actually who Marty modeled his style around. I met with Marty one night at the Opry. A couple of months after that I went out and worked with him right around six years.”

Grindstaff is no slouch when it comes to playing tunes, according to Sonny Osborne.

“He did not come by banjo playing easily,” Sonny said. “He has made himself into a fine player. He has all the basic licks plus some originality, and he learns very quickly. When combined, these ingredients will create a style … one which you, the listener and player will recognize as soon as he begins playing.”

The pairing was a match made in music-playing heaven with Daniel taking part in Raybon’s studio recordings and various concerts across the country.

“You’re on the road 200 to 250 days out of the year,” Grindstaff said. “You’re together during birthdays and holidays … Marty, his brother and I really developed a family-like atmosphere being around each other. Our friendship has stayed well intact since I left in 2012.”

And with the pedigree of a multi-Grammy, CMA, ACM and IBMA performer, Grindstaff said that Marty and Shenandoah had enough on their plate leading into Saturday.

“Marty has been slammed with CMA MusicFest,” Daniel said. “He’s down in Nashville on main stage tonight and Friday. Once he finishes up Friday night, he’ll be making his way here. Then once he finishes up Saturday night, he’ll have to be back in Nashville by 8 a.m. Sunday.”

Even with the busy schedule, Marty wouldn’t have it any other way, Grindstaff said.

“He’s looking forward to it,” he added. “He always enjoys these kinds of settings and enjoys to meet with fans.”

The allure of the 50th anniversary allowed the perfect storm for the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce and Farm Bureau to work together.

“Tonya Stevens and few board members approached me about who we could bring in to stay within the budget,” Grindstaff said. “It was exciting for me, not a lot of people know about my music background and this will be my first time playing at the Celebration. It just works for everyone. Farm Bureau really loves to get the community involved and checking the event calendar, we have people coming in from Knoxville, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky for the show and the fireworks after.”

Grindstaff added he expected between 2,000 to 4,000 attendees to take part in Saturday’s concert.

Raybon and the five piece band are slated to be at Covered Bridge Park at 6:30 p.m. with a meet-and-greet and photo opportunities available for the public.

“We’re going to have a mix of everything Saturday night,” Grindstaff said. “It’ll be a performance that everyone can enjoy.”

‘Music in the Park’ gets underway at 1:45 p.m. with the Trailblazer Cloggers, East Tennessee Ballet and Watts Dance Studio taking the stage. Music begins at 5 p.m. with the Bullseye Band. Jessica Nixon will open for Raybon and perform from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.