Grammy Award winner to headline Covered Bridge Festival

Published 8:55 pm Friday, April 21, 2017

Following up on last year’s success, the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce is once again bringing a Grammy Award winning musician to the stage for the Covered Bridge Festival.

On Friday, Chamber officials announced the lineup of musical entertainment for this year’s event, which includes accomplished country musician Suzy Bogguss performing on the last night of the festival.

Among her many musical accolades, Bogguss captured a Grammy in 2005 for Best Traditional Folk Album. She has also garnered awards from the Academy of Country Music, the Country Music Association, Country Music Television, and gave a command performance at the White House to former President Bill Clinton and his family.

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“We’re very pleased with what we’re going to have this year,” Chamber Director Tonya Stevens. “We know it’s something that everybody is going to love.”

“We’re very excited about the quality of music that we’re able to bring in,” Stevens added. “It’s just great to know that we can bring that to our community.”

On Thursday, the first night of the festival, Carson Peters & Iron Mountain will headline the evening’s performance.

“We know that he’s a favorite of a lot of our folks here and has played our festival a few times. He enjoys it, and we enjoy having him.”

At only 12 years old, Peters is already a seasoned performer, having played numerous venues with his band throughout the region, on the famed stage of the Grand Old Opry, and on national televisions programs.

Friday night, Blue Highway will be the featured performer for the evening.

Overall, Blue Highway has captured 26 awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association, along with multiple Grammy award and nominations, a Dove Award, and many other accolades.

“They are really one of the most awarded bluegrass bands that are on the circuit right now,” said Daniel Grindstaff, a local musician who spent years working in Nashville and now helps the Chamber coordinate entertainment for the festival.

In addition to the headlining acts each night, area bands will also take the stage to perform earlier in the evening.

“Some of the area bands we’re having have been local to the area for a long time, they just haven’t worked the Covered Bridge before,” said Grindstaff.

Mountain Rose, hailing from Roan Mountain, will take the stage on Friday before Blue Highway.

“A great band. They have played here for years, and years, and years,” Grindstaff said.

Local favorites The Bullseye Band will serve as the opening act for Bogguss on Saturday night.

At this time, details have not been finalized for Thursday evening’s opening entertainment, according to Stevens and Grindstaff. That information will be released later once all details are confirmed.

“It’s like a new era for the Covered Bridge Festival,” Grindstaff said. “When we brought Marty (Raybon) on last year that kind of set a new level for the entertainment.”

“Each night, every group that is closing out has been on national stages,” he added.

This year’s Covered Bridge Festival will take place  June 8-10 with music performances each night from 6-8 p.m.

The festival and musical performances are free for anyone to attend thanks to the generosity of supporters from within the community.

“That’s the great thing about this,” Stevens said. “The sponsors from the community make this event free and the music free.”

“If we didn’t have our community partners, our businesses pulling together, we certainly could not make this happen,” she added.

For more information on the Covered Bridge Festival, contact the Chamber of Commerce at (423) 547-3850.