Darren Nicholson Band to perform at TFAC

Published 8:30 am Thursday, May 11, 2023

Tryon Fine Arts Center welcomes bluegrass performers as part of its Amphitheater Series


TRYON–A Grammy nominee and 13-time International Bluegrass Association award winner is bringing his band to perform in Tryon for the first time. The Darren Nicholson Band will play Thursday, May 18, at the Tryon Fine Arts Center as part of its Amphitheater Series. 

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“When I was 18 months old, I would sit on stage with my family band with a plastic guitar,” says band leader Darren Nicholson, who plays several stringed instruments and is lead singer and songwriter. “As long as I can remember I’ve had some kind of instrument in my hand and been on stage. Everybody in my family played music in western North Carolina.”

Nicholson says he started making money from his music as a child singing for tips. He later had a summer job playing for tourists with his father at the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad in Bryson City, N.C. Nicholson landed his first professional gig in 2004 at the Grand Old Opry in Nashville with country singer/songwriter Alecia Nugent. The two spent three years touring the country and the world. His current band, which includes Richard Foulk on percussion and Kevin Sluder on upright bass and vocals, has been together for nearly 17 years. 

“We have a strong bluegrass flavor, but it also sounds like old-time music and it also sounds like country music,” says Nicholson. “We consider ourselves troubadours and ambassadors for old-time mountain music and entertainment. We just want to keep that alive.”

At the TFAC concert, the band will be joined by world-renowned fiddle player Lyndsay Pruett. The concert begins at 6:30 p.m. with food by Mountain View BBQ & Deli along with beer, wine and other beverages for purchase. The concert series is sponsored by Plume Family Foundation, Kirby Endowment at Polk County Community Foundation and WTZQ, and the event is sponsored by WNCW.