Wild Blue Yonder brings Celtic roots to Appalachian music

Published 12:38 pm Tuesday, November 29, 2022

“Roots music” rises to a new level on Friday as the lively Appalachian Celtic band Wild Blue Yonder performs at the Bonnie Kate Theater.
The performance begins at 7 p.m.
Wild Blue Yonder performs the music of Appalachia and the British Isles with spirit and fire. Fiddle, whistles, bagpipe, mandolin, bodhran, banjo, bouzouki and Celtic drums blend to serve up a high-energy helping of Celtic tunes, as the group celebrates the rich Scots-Irish musical tradition of East Tennessee. Wild Blue Yonder’s Appalachian influence appeals to anyone who enjoys acoustic/roots music, and the six-piece ensemble also shares a bit of Scottish language and lore in their shows and dress in Celtic attire.
The band was formed in the year 2000 when musicians/songwriters Melissa Wade and Philip Coward joined forces to share their love of acoustic tunes. Adding fiddler Cindy Wallace to their ranks in 2003, the group flourished in East Tennessee and Western North Carolina, releasing three CDs that showcased a variety of bluegrass, Gospel, Americana and original songs.
Wade, Wallace and Coward each come from families who played and sang songs passed down from their Scots-Irish ancestors. With fellow band members Karen and Michael Leffel and Barry Johnson, from East Tennessee and Kentucky, Wild Blue Yonder holds a deep respect for the traditions of Appalachia. That respect and a love of history inspire the group to share the music that traveled from Celtic regions afar to the Smoky Mountains.

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