Balsam Range heats up winter

Concert series kicks off Dec. 1 with Shawn Camp
By Mary Ann Enloe | Nov 19, 2012
Photo by: Courtesy photo Tickets are on sale now to Balsam Range's third annual Winter Concert Series, starting Dec. 1 with Shawn Camp. The series continues through April.

CANTON — Haywood County’s internationally known bluegrass-and-more band Balsam Range”is excited about their third annual Winter Concert Series starting Saturday, Dec. 1, at Canton’s historic Colonial Theatre.

“We’re thrilled to bring these super-talented performers and songwriters to Canton,” said BR founder Marc Pruett. “Folks may not have heard their names on FM radio, but they’ve heard their songs. These people are the real deal.”

Pruett’s talking about Shawn Camp, John Driskell Hopkins, Missy Raines, Jim Hurst and the trio of Larry Cordle, Carl Jackson and Jerry Salley. Camp kicks the series off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.

A prolific recording artist in his own right, Camp penned the George Strait number-one hit “River of Love” and performed it with Strait on the 2008 CMA awards show.

Darren Nicholson of BR and his own Darren Nicholson Band said this about Camp: “Shawn Camp is one of the biggest talents in the world of country and bluegrass music. We’d need three pages to list all his hits we’ve heard on the radio, and no one does those hits better than him. We’re so lucky a guy like this is coming to our part of North Carolina. He’s a musician and entertainer like no other and he’s coming with Nashville’s A-team band.”

Camp will bring with him Mike Bub, Larry Atamanuik and Jimmy Stewart. Hopkins of the Zac Brown Band plays Canton’s Colonial with BR on Jan. 5. The multi-Grammy winner and platinum-selling artist recently released a collaborative CD with Balsam Range. February brings Raines and The New Hip. The seven-time IBMA bass player of the year does it all — country, soul, jazz and newgrass fusion. She also gives bass lessons online.

The superlative trio of Cordle, Jackson and Salley are no strangers to BR’s Winter Concert Series, and will return March 2. The internationally renowned performers and songwriters played to a sold-out room the last time they appeared in Canton with Balsam Range. The series winds up April 6 with Hurst, IBMA guitar player of the year. Balsam Range performs at all the concerts.

“Balsam Range is humbled by the support we’ve experienced for the Winter Concert Series,” said Pruett.   “We’ll keep doing them as long as it’s productive and folks want us to.”

The comfortable 300-seat venue, originally Canton’s movie theater, was twice restored to its original elegance--once before the 2004 floods and again after the waters receded.

Tickets for the Balsam Range Winter Concert Series are $15 each and can be purchased on Visa/Mastercard by phone: 235-2760, or at the box office. Tickets may also be purchased at Smoky Mountain Roasters in Hazelwood. Season tickets are also available.