PineCone Celebrates its 25th Anniversary with Winter Music Festival | Mar 21

Claire Lynch Band PineCone Winter Music Fesitval
Claire Lynch

PineCone has confirmed that The Claire Lynch Band will open the Bluegrass Music Festival coming up on Sunday, March 21. With a new guitar player joining their ranks and her latest album earning more acclaim for the two-time Grammy nominated group, these artists were a natural fit for PineCone’s rescheduled Festival.

January’s winter storm threw quite the curve ball at the PineCone Winter Music Festival in January. While more than 700 people came out for the Saturday night event with Bearfoot, Tony Rice Unit, Tift Merritt and Kris Kristofferson, many others who had looked forward to participating in the event were unable to do so. PineCone was able to reschedule Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Dale Ann Bradley, and Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper (they were not able to reschedule Danny Paisley & the Southern Grass) – the new date for these performers is Sunday, March 21.

People who had tickets already for Jan. 31 were able to keep those tickets, which are still valid for the new date. Tickets are still available for this new date and can be ordered by calling PineCone’s box office at 919-664-8302. PineCone’s box office charges a flat $5 per order fee – no per-ticket fee!

  • 2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. The Claire Lynch Band
  • 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
  • 4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. Dale Ann Bradley
  • 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder

This part of the festival was specifically planned in honor of the bluegrass music fans who helped PineCone in the early days, as well as fans of PineCone’s weekly 3-hour radio show on 94.7FM WQDR, The PineCone Bluegrass Show-which has been on the air for 21 years and still airs every week.

Larry Nixon, the show’s co-host, will emcee the day’s performances, and Nixon, Blevins and Gage will perform in the lobby area before the 2 p.m. showtime.

“All of the artists appearing as part of the festival have a history with and are friends of PineCone,” says William Lewis, PineCone’s Executive Director.  “As you’ll witness from the performances, traditional roots music is a lively, dynamic, organic force that is as varied and nuanced as the individuals and communities from which it originates.

“Traditional roots musicians are deeply committed to building meaningful relationships with their audiences, and vice versa,” Lewis continues.  “PineCone has worked diligently with numerous community partners over the past 25 years to bring audiences and artists together.  We believe that public performances are significant sites where social issues, political ideas, and cultural values are expressed, mediated, and challenged.  These public exchanges are an important reason traditional music remains as relevant to society today as it has been to societies in previous centuries.”

Jim Vestal of Songcatcher Music Company will host the Pickin’ Parlor near the lobby. Visitors will have the opportunity to try out some of his instruments and buy them on-site. Songcatcher Music has donated a beautiful Eastman Dreadknaught guitar that PineCone will raffle off. Raffle tickets are only $10 each, and all proceeds from the raffle benefit PineCone. Tickets will be on sale through the August 1 drawing date.

At this event, there will also be a 16-page commemorative program narrating PineCone’s history, including stories and pictures from past events and series, historical artist photos, and more.

Finally, thanks to the Festival sponsors: Boom! Magazine; Café Carolina; Grassroots; Irregardless Café; Jimmy Johns; McCullers & Whitaker; Whole Foods; 103.1 WLHC-FM, as well as PineCone’s funders: the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, the North Carolina State Arts Council (with funds from the Department of Cultural Resources) and the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County.

About the Performers

The Claire Lynch Band

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Many thanks to The Claire Lynch Band for filling in as the new fourth act on this lineup! Guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Matt Wingate recently joined the band, following stints with The Greencards and The Lovell Sisters. Wingate won Merlefest’s Doc Watson Guitar Championship in 1997 at the age of 15 whlie performing with his family’s band. He later honed his bluegrass chops performing across the U.S. and in Europe as Valerie Smith’s lead guitar player. His latest endeavor pairs him with musicians whose accolades include International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Female Vocalist of the Year and two Grammy nominations for Best Bluegrass Album (Claire) and two IBMA Bass Player of the Year awards (Mark Schatz). And Toronto native Jason Thomas brings monster chops on fiddle and mandolin, supported by remarkable musical versatility and imagination that have made him instantly at home in one of the greatest bluegrass bands currently on the scene.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The afternoon rolls on with
Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper. Cleveland is a seven-time winner of the IBMA’s Fiddle Player of the Year award, winning his most recent honor at the 2009 IBMA Awards. Other honors he and his band received at the 2009 IBMA program were: Instrumental Group of the Year and Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year (“Jerusalem Ridge,” from Rounder Records – Cleveland also has a producer credit for this song from the album Leavin’ Town). In addition, Flamekeeper members Jesse Brock and Marshall Winborn each took home their first individual IBMA honors for Mandolin Player of the Year and Bass Player of the Year, respectively. This band performs music reminiscent of the first-generation stars of bluegrass.

Dale Ann Bradley, three-time winner of IBMA’s Vocalist of the Year Award, infuses traditional bluegrass music with contemporary flare. Known for her distinctive, gentle vocal phrasing, with a voice that has been referred to as "shimmering," Bradley fills the stage with humor, grace, and integrity. She has been hailed by Alison Krauss and Ricky Skaggs as one of the greatest vocalists in country and bluegrass music. PineCone Triangle Arts and Entertainment

4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Dale Ann Bradley, three-time winner of IBMA’s Vocalist of the Year Award, infuses traditional bluegrass music with contemporary flare. Known for her distinctive, gentle vocal phrasing, with a voice that has been referred to as “shimmering,” Bradley fills the stage with humor, grace, and integrity. She has been hailed by Alison Krauss and Ricky Skaggs as one of the greatest vocalists in country and bluegrass music.

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The festival concludes with a performance by a long-time friend of PineCone and audience favorite Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder. Ricky Skaggs is a 13-time Grammy Award winner whose name has become synonymous with both bluegrass and country music. With nearly 40 years in the music-making business, his songs transcend time and transport his audiences through the best of what bluegrass has to offer.

The Winter Music Festival is part of PineCone’s Down Home Concert Series, which brings national touring musicians to Raleigh. “PineCone is proud to be the Progress Energy Center’s only resident company dedicated exclusively to presenting traditional roots music programming,” Lewis says. “We enjoy the state-of-the-art facilities the Center has to offer our patrons and our artists.”

With a mission to preserve, present and promote traditional music, PineCone is a non-profit organization that presents more than 100 music events each year, including concerts, participatory music sessions, a weekly radio show on 94.7 WQDR, and more. Most of their programs are free and open to the public. In November, PineCone released its first anthology CD collection, which will be available for purchase at the Festival. Titled Going Down to Raleigh: Stringband Music in the North Carolina Piedmont 1976-1998, the collection features 48 tracks of field recordings that highlight the distinctive music traditions of the Piedmont region, including fiddlers, banjo players and other instrumentalists and singers who learned their music from family and friends. The anthology includes full liner notes and documentary photos of the musicians.

The Wailin’ Jennys (Fletcher Theater, April 15, 8 p.m.); and Phil Wiggins & Corey Harris (Fletcher Theater, May 14, 8 p.m.).

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling PineCone’s box office at 919-664-8302 or online at For more information and complete details about PineCone’s upcoming concerts, visit

LOCATION: Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts, Raleigh (
DATES/TIMES: Sunday, March 21, 2010, 2 p.m. (rescheduled from Jan. 31)
TICKETS: PineCone’s Box Office 919-664-8302; TicketMaster 919-834-4000,; and Progress Energy Center Box Office 919-831-6060 (information only)
PRICE: $40-$50 PineCone members, $45-$55 general public
EVENT SPONSOR: PineCone – the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, Inc.

By Triangle A&E

Bob has over thirty years experience as Creative Director at notable advertising and marketing agencies in Manhattan and Raleigh. Bob's creative has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, Packaging Design Council, Magazine Design, NY Art Directors Club. In addition, Bob has been published in Graphic Design USA, American Design, and the Creativity Annual. In 2008, Bob was honored to Judge the International Association of Visual Artists "Davey Awards" for interactive and web design. Bob's passion for the arts has led him to utilize his talent and experience in support of the arts here in the Triangle by creating Triangle Arts and Entertainment.