Bluegrass Night at the Tunnel – Lonesome River Band, NewTown


Natural Tunnel State Park

1420 Natural Tunnel Pkwy, Duffield VA

Crooked Road Concerts


7:00 PM

Event Extras: Enjoy some of the region’s best craft beers and wines while you listen to two powerhouse bluegrass bands. Food City will also be on hand with their famous “Q” pit smoker putting out some of Southwest Virginia’s tastiest BBQ. This is an outdoor venue with some permanent benches for seating, but you may want to bring a lawn chair just in case.

The Lonesome River Band was formed in 1982 by Southwest Virginia musician Tim Austin, and this progressive bluegrass group’s multiple line-ups have featured a number of leading bluegrass musicians, from Adam Steffey, Dan Tyminski, Ronnie Bowman, Kenny Smith, and Don Rigsby, to Sammy Shelor. The latter musician—the only one of the above still with the group today—is one of the most respected banjo players in bluegrass history. A native of Stuart, Virginia, he is a 5-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Banjo Performer of the Year Award, and the 2011 Award Winner for the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. The band’s current line-up includes singer, guitarist, and songwriter Brandon Rickman, Jesse Smathers, who contributes lead and harmony vocals and plays mandolin; fiddler Mike Hartgrove; and bassist and vocalist Barry Reed.

NewTown is a Lexington, Kentucky-based bluegrass group fronted by fiddler/vocalist Kati Penn Williams and by banjo-player/vocalist Jr. Williams. Kati and Jr., now a married couple, began performing together in 2009 while in an earlier band, NewFound Road. NewTown developed its smooth and distinctive sound after acquiring three talented support musicians, Travis Anderson (bass, backup vocalist), Mitchell Cannon (mandolin), and Hayes Griffin (guitar). The band fuses several musical influences, including traditional bluegrass, mainstream country, gospel, and jazz. Opening at festivals for several major bluegrass acts and giving two showcase performances at the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass conference, NewTown has released three albums, most recently the Top 10 Bluegrass Album from 2016, Harlan Road.