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Arts & Entertainment One of South’s top bluegrass bands plays in Sylva Aug. 5

Balsam Range, one of the most sought-after bluegrass bands in the Southeast, will play Sylva’s Concerts on the Creek series on Friday, Aug. 5.

Members of the popular fivepiece band hail from Haywood and Jackson counties. Since forming in 2007, Balsam Range has produced three critically-acclaimed CDs and was nominated for emerging artist of the year by the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2010.

The band takes the stage at the Bridge Park pavilion in downtown Sylva from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. for the free concert.

Balsam Range’s sound is influenced by the traditions of the Appalachian Mountains. Their hard-driving bluegrass music includes vestiges of other genres, including: Americana, roots, blues, jazz and gospel.

Tim Surrett provides lead vocals, as well as acoustic bass and resonator guitar. Two-time Grammy winner Marc Pruett handles banjo, while Buddy Melton plays fiddle and acoustic bass, and contributes on vocals.

Caleb Smith is the band’s guitarist extraordinaire, and Darren Nicholson is considered one of the top mandolin players around.

The band will play a set list that is heavy on originals, sampling from its trio of CDs: “Marching Home” (2007), “Last Train to Kitty Hawk” (2009) and the latest release, “Trains I Missed,” which debuted last fall and reached the top of the bluegrass charts on Sirius/XM Radio.

Concerts on the Creek are co-produced by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Jackson Country Travel & Tourism, Downtown Sylva Association, Jackson County Parks & Recreation, and the Town of Sylva.

For info about the concerts, call (800)962-1911, or visit

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