published Friday, May 4th, 2012

Boxcar Pinion Bluegrass Festival returns to Raccoon Mountain this weekend


What: Boxcar Pinion Memorial Bluegrass Festival.

When: Noon-10 p.m. today noon-11 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Raccoon Mountain Campground, north 1.3 miles on Highway 41 off I-24 West Exit 174.

Admission: $25 today, $30 Saturday.

Phone: 706-820-2228.


To residents of Clayton, Ga., in 1970, playing on the Grand Ole Opry was practically the equivalent of earning a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

At age 6, Josh Crowe could almost feel the reflected glory as he and his brother, Wayne, watched their father's bluegrass group perform on the iconic Nashville stage.

"That made my dad a pretty big star back in the day," Crowe said. "Our household in the music business seemed bigger than others in the region.

As soon as the Crowe brothers could hold a guitar and follow a chord progression, they started backing up their father. Once they graduated from high school, they met Raymond Fairchild, a champion banjo player from Maggie Valley, N.C.

In 1975, Wayne and Josh began touring with Fairchild. It was with him that they made their own Grand Ole Opry debut in 1978. They were frequent performers there until forming their own band in the '90s.

Even though the Nashville institution's star had faded somewhat from their father's day, their Opry debut was still a career milestone, Josh said.

"No matter how you step out there and play music, you feel like you've made it," he said. "It still gives you that feeling."

Saturday, the Crowe Brothers will make two appearances as headliners at the annual Boxcar Pinion Memorial Bluegrass Festival.

Despite taking separate paths in the mid-'90s, the brothers reunited in 2008 to re-form their group, whose hard-line, traditional bluegrass sound and vocal harmonies call to mind past fraternal duos such as the Osbornes and the Louvins.

Despite their prolonged absence from the stage, Josh said he and his brother refound their popularity almost immediately. Their second studio album, "Bridging the Gap," has been well received since its debut late last year. The album opener, "He Could Pick the Hound," has been on Bluegrass Today's weekly airplay charts for months, and the album has been featured prominently on Sirius XM's Bluegrass Junction.

While it may never reach the heights of celebrity-making influence as the Grand Ole Opry, Josh said that, to today's recording artists, satellite radio and the Internet have become the new game-changers.

"It's put our music out to a larger audience than radio ever has," he said. "In today's world, Sirius is doing for our music business like no other radio has ever done."



Noon. Barefoot Nellie

1 p.m. Timbre Fox

2 p.m. The Bluegrass Brothers

3 p.m. Don Rigsby & Midnight Call

4 p.m. Bobby Osborne & Rocky Top X-press

5 p.m. Barbwire

6 p.m. The Lone Mountand

7 p.m. The Bluegrass Brothers

8 p.m. Don Rigsby & Midnight Call

9 p.m. Bobby Osborne & Rocky Top X-press


Noon. Folk School of Chattanooga Student Showcase

1 p.m. Bent Creek

2 p.m. The Crowe Brothers

3 p.m. David Parmley & Continental Divide

4 p.m. Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out

5 p.m. The Dismembered Tennesseans

6 p.m. The Lone Mountain Band

7 p.m. Bent Creek

8 p.m. The Crowe Brothers

9 p.m. David Parmley & Continental Divide

10 p.m. Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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