NATION and Blackwell Bluegrass Band, which features Dolly Parton’s band leader, is heading to Sixmilebridge next week to headline a fundraising concert for the local school development fund.
The event takes place in the Mill Bar, this one-off concert will feature the band, which previously played in the village as the Curtis Blackwell Bluegrass Band. The group, from Georgia in the United States, will offer classic, hard-driving bluegrass.
Nation and Blackwell is made up of Curtis Blackwell, Chuck Nation, Gary ‘Biscuit’ Davis and Susan Nation on bass and vocals.
Curtis is a member of the Atlanta Country and Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and is a former member of the legendary Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys, replacing Peter Rowan.
During his 40-year career, he has performed on the Grand Ole Opry and travelled extensively throughout the eastern US, performing at many of the historic bluegrass festivals during the 1960s and 1970s. In June 2010, he was honoured by the International Bluegrass Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky as one of the official Legends of Bluegrass.
Meanwhile, Chuck plays fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo and bass. He has won numerous awards and contests throughout the US with all instruments, including the Louisiana State Fiddle Championship and the 2012 Georgia State Mandolin Championship. He has worked on TV and radio, as a studio musician, travelled extensively with various professional groups.
Gary is a multiple winner of the US National Bluegrass Banjo Championship. He became Dolly Parton’s bandleader in 2002 and co-producer of her bluegrass album, Halos and Horns, and has toured nationally and internationally with Dolly. He currently heads up the band at Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Susan grew up in a musical family, learning to sing and play the acoustic upright bass by playing music with her dad and brother, Denny Blount, who played banjo with the legendary Jim and Jesse McReynolds. Later, when she met and married Chuck, they performed together throughout the world.