Bryan Sutton, David Holt and T. Michael Coleman celebrate N.C. music heritage music at Tryon Fine Arts Center

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, May 6, 2014


N.C. Grammy Winning musicians (Left to Right) Bryan Sutton, David Holt, and T. Michael Coleman will bring the traditional sound of N.C. music to Tryon Fine Arts Center on Friday, May 9 at 8 p.m. Pacolet Milliken is the sponsor of this program. Tickets are available online at or by calling 828-859-8322.

Sutton Holt, & Coleman, the combination of Grammy winners David Holt, Bryan Sutton and T. Michael Coleman, performs 8:00 PM Friday, May 9 at Tryon Fine Arts Center. The trio is a natural evolution of their common bond, legendary guitarist Doc Watson. “We all come from the same musical cloth,” said NC Native Bryan Sutton. “The musical scene in Western North Carolina is so rich. That is the spirit of Sutton, Holt and Coleman, how we are influenced by both Doc and the music here.”

We bend the tradition, but we don’t break it,” said Holt. “We are not copying; we’re using Doc as a guidepost. T. Michael and I know so much of his music. All three of us have won a Grammy with Doc, but not together.”

Four-time Grammy Award winner David Holt accompanied Watson on tour for the last 14 years of his life. In 2002 their Legacy CD won a Grammy for Best Folk Recording. Holt has spent the last 35 years collecting and performing traditional music from southern mountaineers including Roy Acuff and 122-year-old Susie Brunson. Last year, Holt took home the first Heritage Hero Laurel Award at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. Holt, a four-time Grammy winner, TV host, and longtime musical partner with Watson, was honored as a culture ambassador promoting Western North Carolina’s homegrown folk music. Holt plays 10 acoustic instruments and has released numerous award winning recordings of traditional mountain music and southern folktales.

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Bryan Sutton has been called the finest acoustic guitarist in America. He is six-time winner of the IBMA Guitarist of the Year Award and in 2007 won a Grammy award with Doc Watson for Best Country Instrumental Performance for their duet recording. Born in Asheville, he grew up in a musical family and was immersed in the rich heritage of western North Carolina music. Sutton entered the bluegrass world in 1995 as a member of Ricky Skaggs› Kentucky Thunder band, playing on two Grammy award winning records. After his tenure with Skaggs, Sutton went on to build a career as a top studio guitarist in Nashville. His playing can be heard alongside such names as Keith Urban, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, and Harry Connick Jr. Always striving to keep his bluegrass roots strong, Sutton has also released four solo projects and has toured around the world with artists like Bela Fleck and Chris Thile, and as a member of the legendary bluegrass band Hot Rize. Sutton now balances a busy schedule of recording, touring, and teaching online as part of the Artist Works group.

Bassist T. Michael Coleman played with Doc and Merle Watson for 17 years as well as with the Seldom Scene and Chesapeake. He toured with Watson and Holt during the last three years of Watson’s life. In his spare time, Coleman is an award-winning videographer and film maker. “Doc had the ability to make old songs sound new and exciting,” he says. “We plan to use what we’ve learned from Doc to do the same thing with modern audiences.”

“We’ll play everything from Doc’s songs to mountain music, Richard Thompson, my original music or music from other singer songwriters,” said Holt, creator of Sutton, Holt and Coleman.

Tryon Fine Arts Center (TFAC) is a nonprofit organization that operates and programs a gallery for visual arts, a 300 seat performance venue, and a 150 seat amphitheater. It has been a center for participation in the visual and performing arts for over 45 years attracting a diverse range of audiences. The Main Stage season is sponsored by Millard & Company and this event is sponsored by Pacolet Milliken. Tickets for Sutton, Holt, & Coleman are available online at or by calling the Tryon Fine Arts Center Box office at 828-859-8322.

– submitted by Marianne Carruth