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Award Winning Bluegrass Music Bands! 

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Grounded in the corners of North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, Appalachian Smoke is a new bluegrass band made up of five local songwriters, vocalists and instrumentalists who love the music. Quick instrumentation meets solid harmonies in this mash up of innovation and tradition. Their debut CD, “Colder Side of Love” is 12 tracks of their best picking and singing! Rounding out the talented group are BJ Taylor – Songwriter/Vocals/ Mandolin; Jamie Mason – Vocals/Guitar/Banjo; Kenneth Rymer – Vocal, Dobro ; Mikel Laws – Vocals/Banjo/Guitar and Tim Williams – vocals/Upright Bass.

With over 80 national awards and nominations, Tim Graves and The Farm Hands keep an extensive tour schedule across the U.S. Tim Graves, nephew of Uncle Josh Graves,  plays his signature 'Tim Graves model' Beard resophonic guitar! The Tellico Plains native, Tim, has held the distinction of being the reigning Dobro Player of the Year in bluegrass music, 16 times! in 2020 he was awarded Master Gold Dobro Player of the year. Tim is the first person to ever receive this award from SPBGMA.

Don Wayne Reno , son of the legendary banjo player Don Reno, extensive career includes working with his father and his brothers. An acclaimed banjo player , Don Wayne is now the banjo man for Tim  Graves and The Farm Hands! Jimmy Haynes plays guitar for the group as well as singing parts and doing some songwriting for the group. A performer since his early teens, Jimmy has appeared on many recordings during his career. Bass player and lead singer, Terry Elredge is one of the best bass players/guitar players and singer in the business today! His career took off while playing bass for the Legendary Osborne Brothers for 12 years and later Larry Cordel & Lonesome Standard Time, plus lead singer and guitar player for the Grascals.

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This trio of talented brothers and nephews of Uncle Josh Graves, look forward to playing in their hometown at the base of the mountains where they romped as boys! Grammy nominated, award winning songwriter and Nashville recording artist, Tedd Graves will play lead guitar. Grammy award winner Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame inductee, Tim Graves will be on the dobro. He credits Uncle Josh, with giving him his first dobro and teaching him to play the instrument! You’ll also find Tim playing dobro for Tim Graves and The Farm Hands at The Cherohala Skyway Festival. In 2020, Tim was awarded Master Gold dobro Player of the year from SPBGMA. Although his career has not been in music, Mike plays a top-notch bass. 

Bringing a lot of music in different spectrums, Tim Decker has been a well-known banjo player for over 30 years!  Combining their many talents alongside of Tim Decker are dobro player, Jimmie Rosenbaum from Maryville, TN, mandolin player , Lynn West  from Tellico Plains, TN, bass Player Tim Leo from Kingston, TN, and guitar player John Orr from Alcoa, TN!

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The Josh Graves Memorial Dobro Pick-Off Competition rewards the best dobroist in the region with cash! 

The JAM Kids will showcase their talents  developed while in JAM by playing fiddle, banjo, mandolin and guitar in Appalachian style!  

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Area and well-known clogger, Deb McCarter,  will lead members from the crowd in this old-style form of Appalachian dance! 

Our local Mountain Music String Band will serenade the early crowd before the stage music begins! 

Honoring Josh Graves 
at the Cherohala Skyway Festival! 

Why do we honor Josh Graves at the Josh Graves Music Tribute at the Cherohala Skyway Festival ? 
Highlighting our mountain heritage of bluegrass and mountain music has been a big draw at the Cherohala Skyway Festival since the first festival in  2016.  The Charles Hall Museum’s Cherohala Skyway Committee welcomes Tim Graves and the Farm Hands and the Graves Brothers (Tim, Tedd & MIke) back to the Cherohala Skyway Festival!  Tim is a celebrated dobroist who weaves in stories about his uncle and credits Uncle Josh for  giving him his first dobro and teaching him to play the instrument! In 2020, Tim was awarded Master Gold dobro Player of the year from SPBGMA.  A day filled with excellent bluegrass music also includes recording bluegrass bands, Tim Decker and the Tennessee River and Appalachian Smoke! Both bands are full of talented bluegrass musicians including some of the best dobro players! 

In the spirit of honoring Uncle Josh and his contributions to bluegrass music, Monroe County Tourism  has sponsored  “The Josh Graves Memorial Dobro Pick-Off Competition”  since 2019! The brainchild of our Monroe County archivist, Jo Stakely, this pick-off promotes the best dobro players in the region and rewards them with cash prizes! There is no entry fee and a limit of 10 players. Call Tim Graves  at 615-319-0242 to register.

Burkett Howard Graves was born in Tellico Plains on September 27, 1927. With a music career spanning over 50 years, he popularized  a new instrument to the world of bluegrass, the  resonator guitar (dobro), after joining Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys in 1955. Uncle Josh (his stage name) adapted Earl Scruggs’ unique three-finger banjo style to the resonator guitar (Dobro), a new technique to the world of dobroist. This gave Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys, one of the most famous bands in the history of bluegrass music, their distinctive sound. 

Josh inspired hundreds of musicians to become dobroists and encouraged them to develop their own music. Josh was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Fame in 1997. His style to inspire rising musicians to play and perfect the resonator guitar (dobro) continues! 

In 2019, the Cherohala Skyway Visitor's Center, next door to the Hall Museum, became a stop along the Tennessee Music Pathways in honor of Tellico Plains being the hometown of Uncle Josh. There is a special display that honors Josh that includes a video of Josh playing the dobro! 
To learn more about the enormous contributions Josh Graves made to blue grass music visit the display on Josh and Tim Graves at the Hall Museum that includes an original Josh Graves dobro that is on loan from the Harold and Peggy Randolph family!  We look forward to the Randolph family joining us at the festival! 

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