Darren Nicholson Band

We review their show at Isis Music Hall

Darren Nicholson Band – Photo: LTTL

Darren Nicholson Band

Live At Isis Music Hall

Asheville North Carolina 17 September 2019

GrassRoots Music Tour

Images: Jim Jacob

Words: Rob Dickens

Isis Music Hall – Photo: LTTL

Based in the west of North Carolina, Darren Nicholson is mostly known as a member of the award-winning Balsam Range where he handles a variety of roles – mandolin, octave mandolin, lead vocals, baritone and low tenor vocals.

Since forming in 2007, Balsam Range has garnered 13 IBMA awards on the heels of eight successful albums, headlining major festivals from coast-to-coast, selling out venues across the nation, as well as multiple appearances at the Grand Ole Opry.

Tonight Nicholson is fronting his own well-established band, as he does regularly, at one of Asheville’s best known music venues – Isis Music Hall. This outfit has been together for over twelve years, enjoying playing in their own region.

Set in the heart of West Asheville, the Isis Theatre was built in 1937 as a single screen movie house, screening its last film in 1957. A family revamped the theatre to the food and entertainment venue it is now, housing around 450 people.

Darren Nicholson – Photo: LTTL

Nicholson is a Grammy nominee and a recipient of five IBMA Awards himself. The IBMA recognition includes Entertainer of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year. He has toured with Merle Haggard and Zac Brown, and has his own mandolin model. He has performed or recorded with Vince Gill, George Jones, Earl Scruggs, Marty Stuart, Bobby Osborne, Sam Bush, Charlie Daniels, Tom T. Hall, Bryan Sutton and Jerry Douglas

The band tonight comprised Nicholson, Kevin Sluder (bass), Richard Foulk (percussion), Bennett Sullivan (banjo) and Griff Martin (guitar and mandolin).

We heard some instrumentals from their next project – “Roanoke” and “Kansas City Kitty” and a couple of songs they plan to record “Hundred Dollars” and “Your Love Makes Me High”. Also, they gave us strong versions of “Sittin’ On Top Of The World”, “Rocky Top”, “Sugar Foot Rag” plus Bill Monroe’s “I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky”.

Excellent musicians, performing in their ‘home’ space, funny banter, high entertainment value and the sound was perfect.




We review their show at Isis Music Hall

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Author: Rob Dickens

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