Kenny & Amanda Smith

  • Dates: September 29, 2018
  • Venue: Plaza Stage
  • Location: Downtown Raleigh
  • Address: 400 Fayetteville St, Raleigh, NC 27601
  • Times: 5:00 PM to 5:45 PM
  • Admission: Free

About

Winners of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s prestigious Emerging Artist of the Year award in 2003, the Kenny and Amanda Smith Band combines gutsy, heartfelt vocals, brilliant instrumental talents and a powerful, contemporary sense of song choice and arrangement into one of the most compelling new sounds in bluegrass today. A creation of the intensely personal musical and romantic connection between Kenny and Amanda, the band shares an all-too-rare sense of intimacy and cohesion where each musician feels an almost telepathic connection. Musicians call it being in the groove, where the group collectively accents each beat in precisely the same way. With Kenny leading the way on guitar, this band never has trouble finding the groove. Originally from Nine Mile, Indiana, Kenny is widely considered one of the most important and influential flatpicking-style guitarists of his generation. A two-time IBMA Guitar Player of the Year award winner, his professional credits include six years with the popular Lonesome River Band and an exceptional solo CD, Studebaker, released on Sugar Hill Records. Kenny is in great demand at guitar workshops and master classes, teaching at the renowned Roanoke Bluegrass Weekend series and at guitar workshops at major events such as IBMA. He has a two-DVD instruction set available on AcuTab Publications. Born in the small town of Davisville, West Virginia, Amanda grew up singing in church choirs and participating in talent contests at local fairs. She started playing guitar in high school to accompany herself, and soon discovered bluegrass music through female artists such as Rhonda Vincent and Alison Krauss. Amanda met Kenny at a Lonesome River Band concert, and the couple began dating and playing music together almost immediately. Their shared Christian faith, love for bluegrass, and desire to perform together led them to record a debut CD, Slowly But Surely, in 2001. Recruiting several of their favorite players for the session, the album surged up the bluegrass charts on the strength of their hit song “Amy Brown.” Winning IBMA’s Emerging Artist Award came as an unexpected thrill for the band. Since then, Kenny has released another instrumental guitar project (Return, Gat3, 2011), and the band has released five more albums, including an all-gospel project (Tell Someone, Rebel Records, 2007), which resulted in GRAMMY, GMA Dove Award, and International Bluegrass Music Association award nominations. Also, the song “Shoutin’ Time” was nominated for Song of the Year at the Singing News Awards. In 2012 Kenny & Amanda released Catch Me If I Try, which climbed up the charts to #1. The album also earned Amanda a nomination in IBMA's Female Vocalist of the Year category in 2013.