State of North Carolina to Honor the Achievements of Balsam Range

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Balsam Range band photo: Tim Surrett (bass), Marc Pruett (banjo), Caleb Smith (guitar), Buddy Melton (fiddle, lead vocals), Darren Nicholson (mandolin, vocals)Multi-award-winning acoustic band Balsam Range, one of the bands on the lineup for this year's Wide Open Bluegrass Main Stage on Friday, Oct. 2, will receive official praise from both the House and Senate of the State of North Carolina on Wednesday, June 10, 2015.

Balsam Range is the current International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Entertainer of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year Winner. The band is signed to NC record label, Mountain Home Music Company, an imprint of the Crossroads Label Group.

The public is invited to share in the festivities as these five N.C. artists are collectively celebrated with a Representative Statement and a Senatorial Statement honoring Balsam Range’s significant accomplishments, awards, and its contribution to the musical legacy and lore of the region, sponsored by Senator Jim Davis and Representative Joe Sam Queen.

The band's 2010 release, Trains I missed, brought in a #1 hit and Bluegrass Song of the Year award for its title track. Papertown (2012) built on that momentum with five consecutive months as the #1 album on bluegrass radio, and it earned the band the 2013 IBMA Album of the Year award.

A reception and live performance will begin at noon on Wednesday, June 10, with all state legislators and staff, the media, and the public invited to attend at the Legislative Building, 16 W. Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601. The band is expected to meet privately with Gov. Pat McCrory and Lt. Governor Dan Forest in Senate Chambers prior to the official reading of the Statements on the Senate and House floors. The Senate is scheduled to convene at approximately 2 p.m., when there will be the official reading of the Senatorial Statement on the Senate Floor, followed by the official reading of the Representative Statement on the House Floor. A public gallery is available for both readings, and the media is welcome.

Five gifted artists comprise the band. Fiddler and singer Buddy Melton is the reigning IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year, and singer/bass player Tim Surrett was honored at the annual IBMA Awards with the Mentor Award for his work and dedication to young artists. Grammy award winner Marc Pruett provides precision on banjo. Singer and guitarist, as well as skilled luthier, Caleb Smith delivers jazz-infused guitar, and Darren Nicholson provides vocals and mandolin mastery. All five band members reside in Western North Carolina’s Haywood County.

Balsam Range creatively blends bluegrass, folk, gospel and jazz into a new American acoustic music experience. Founded in 2007, Balsam Range has made a significant mark in bluegrass and acoustic music, representing well the musical traditions and the lore of the Western North Carolina region. Top-charting songs have included “Papertown” which honors the city of Canton, and “Last Train to Kitty Hawk,” a nod to NC’s heritage of flight.

Buddy Melton (along with collaborators Milan Miller and Mark Winchester) has been honored previously with a “Paul Green Multimedia Award” from the North Carolina Society of Historians for the album of original music Songs from Haywood County.

Learn more about Balsam Range