Raleigh, North Carolina: Five prominent business people have forged an alliance to co-promote several bluegrass festivals in the Southeastern United States. Cory Hemilright, Lorraine Jordan, John Locust, Don Mitchell and Tim White recently formed the group and will serve as the officers of the organization. Bluegrass Circle Promotions will manage several events including Bluegrass Christmas In the Smokies, Shiners in the Smokies Festival, The Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival, Bluegrass in Cherokee and the newly created, Song of the Mountains Bluegrass Festival.
"I'm excited to be part of the first Song of the Mountains Bluegrass Festival as Master of Ceremonies," said Tim White. "It will bring together some old friends and fan favorites from the show and is sure to be a good time. Go to the website at www.sotmfest.com for more details on how to be part of this wonderful, musical fundraiser."
Presented by Bluegrass Circle Promotions, Inc., the first annual Song of the Mountains Bluegrass Festival will be held May 1 - 3, 2014 at the Norris Creek Outdoor Entertainment Complex in Louisburg, NC. The family-friendly event will be hosted by "Song of the Mountains" television host and VW Boys front-man, Tim White, and include performances by some of the best in bluegrass, including Lonesome River Band, The Grascals , VW Boys, Corey Hensley & Friends, Jim & Valerie Gabehart, Dale Ann Bradley, Steve Gulley and Phil Leadbetter, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers, Danny Paisley & Southern Grass, Marty & Tim Raybon All-Star Show, Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Wildfire, The Crowe Brothers, Gentlemen of Bluegrass, Al Batten & the Bluegrass Reunion, The Gravy Boys, The Roys, Bass Mountain Boys, and Sister Sadie. A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit the Song of the Mountains television program that is aired on PBS nationally.
"Each of us brings very unique strengths to the group," said Lorraine Jordan. "When we starting talking about collaborating, we realized that given the geography of our individual events in North Carolina and Tennessee and our interest in supporting Song of the Mountains made this a natural partnership and we are all very excited to be part of it."
- Cory Hemilright, Hemilright Entertainment, Inc.
- Cory Hemilright is from the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he has created a name for himself by utilizing his skills building and presenting high quality festivals and events. In 2011, inspired by his grandfather, he decided to bring bluegrass to the North Carolina coast by developing the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival, which thanks to support from his family and closest friends became a great success. He has since become involved in other events and projects like Bluegrass Circle, a website dedicated to listing and advertising bluegrass festivals, and he is excited to expand the venture into Bluegrass Circle Promotions to incorporate a broader host of festivals. His past experience includes working at Andersen Law Firm as a traveling paralegal, in corrections for the state of North Carolina and as a clerk for Dare County.
- John Locust, Host, Promoter and Musician
- John grew up on a cattle farm in Cherokee, NC and his love of bluegrass and gospel music was heavily influenced by his granny, Esther WalkingStick. He began playing various musical instruments, including the piano, at age five. By sixteen, John started traveling and performing at prestigious venues, which included TV and radio appearances. A firm commitment to his faith in God and a keen mind for business allowed John to start several successful businesses in his native, Cherokee, NC, including Locust Farms Greenhouse and Nursery, Locust Limousine Service, John Locust, LLC Promotions, Happy Holiday Campground and more. Along with his wife, Cindy, he is active in his community, church and with his fellow bluegrass musicians and fans. He is a co-founder of Bluegrass Circle Promotions and works on several prominent festivals in the southeastern United States.
- Lorraine Jordan, Jordan Enterprises
- While the name Lorraine Jordan is synonymous with Carolina Road, the national touring bluegrass band, Lorraine is also well known for her role as owner and CEO of Jordan Enterprises Inc. Jordan Enterprises has four diverse companies under its umbrella; including Jordan Driving School (23 years); Jordan Entertainment (21years); the Jordan Agency (11 years); and Lorraine's Coffee House (1 year). In addition to Jordan Enterprises, she owns and manages commercial real estate across North Carolina. Lorraine is a successful business woman, musician, and band leader. Lorraine and her band, Carolina Road have had two number one songs on the national bluegrass charts, one in 2011 and the other in 2013. As an active member of the International Bluegrass Music Association, she is the 2006 and 2009 recipient of two IBMA awards as part of the Daughters of Bluegrass of which she is a co-founder. Lorraine is a co-promoter for two major festivals: Bluegrass in Cherokee and Bluegrass Christmas in the Smokies. Most recently, she co-founded Bluegrass Circle Promotions, which will host several festivals around the southeastern United States. Additionally, Lorraine has served as state president for two terms for the North Carolina Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association. Lorraine has been honored twice with keys to the towns of Garner, NC and Vanceboro, NC. An avid pet lover and family woman, her dog JD Crowe, along with her fellow musicians and family are always close by supporting her many endeavors. She holds a BS degree from East Carolina University (which she completed in three years) and has been awarded "teacher of the year" honors in her previous career as an educator. Lorraine Jordan resides in Garner, NC, minutes away from Raleigh, the capital of her native North Carolina.
- Don Mitchell, Norris Creek Outdoor Entertainment Complex
- Don Mitchell being a lifelong resident of Bunn, North Carolina currently serves as a town commissioner. He also serves on several advisory boards in Franklin, Nash and Wake County as well as the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Don began his career at Square D Company, but after 11 years of service his entrepreneurial spirit led him to form K.A.M. Tool and Die. K.A.M. Tool and Die quickly became known as a world class tooling supplier and has experienced 20 years of success. This has opened the door of opportunity for Don to satisfy his deep passion for music as well as his concern for the economic development of rural Franklin County by allowing him to acquire the Norris Creek Outdoor Entertainment Complex. Norris Creek proudly hosts many local shows as well as national acts.
- Tim White, Radio/Television Personality and Musician
- Tim is the Executive Coordinator of Song of the Mountains, a nationally syndicated public television show featuring bluegrass, old time, and Americana music. The show is broadcast on over 190 PBS outlets across America with a potential reach of over 100 million people per year. Tim is also a well-known musician, member of the group the VW Boys, recording artist, radio air personality, concert event promoter and music preservationist. A native of Roanoke, Virginia and a current resident of Blountville, Tennessee, he produces and hosts "The Tim White Bluegrass Show" which airs across America on many radio stations and can be heard on the internet. Tim is also the co-founder of the Appalachian Cultural Music Association (ACMA) a non-profit organization promoting the music and lifestyle of the southern Appalachian region. The ACMA operates the Mountain Music Museum and the Pickin' Porch stage at the Bristol Mall in Bristol, Virginia which showcases the music and performers of Appalachia and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The website for Bluegrass Circle Promotions is www.bluegrasscirclepromotions.com and is currently under construction and the group can be found on Facebook.