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The Bluegrass Experience's 50th Anniversary featuring Tommy Edwards, Snuffy Smith, and Fiddlin' Al McCanless


Tommy Edwards is an icon of bluegrass music in North Carolina, though he would never say so himself. This year marks a special milestone for Tommy and his longtime band, The Bluegrass Experience - it is their 50th anniversary year. Edwards formed The Bluegrass Experience in 1971 with Tom & Jerry Beane and friends Snuffy Smith (upright bass), Charles Lee Conard, and “Fiddlin’ Al” McCanless. The band joined fellow Chapel Hill musicians like Mike Cross and the Red Clay Ramblers to carve their own place in the local traditional music scene as accomplished players and singers, anchored by Edwards’ original songs. For all the attention Edwards gets as a distinctive instrumentalist, he feels that he is at his best as a songwriter. “I love the creative part and I love to tell a story,” he says. He finds that inspiration can arrive in a matter of moments or take years to hone, and that songwriting allows him to tap into a more cerebral process that can be very rewarding. “It differs from being an instrumentalist in that one has to find the words that tell the story and put them together in a cohesive (and often rhyming) manner in order to tell that story, to get a certain point across or to weave a particular spell.”

PineCone is honored to present this 50th anniversary celebration of this beloved Piedmont band. We look forward to celebrating this special night with you!