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Bluegrass Album Band to Appear for First Time in 23 Years at Bluegrass First Class

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Bluegrass Album BandOn February 15-17, 2013 in the Grand Ballroom at the Crowne Plaza Resort, 1 Resort Dr., Asheville, NC, Milton Harkey will present the 18th annual Bluegrass First Class bluegrass music festival. The Sunday Morning Gospel Show is free and open to all attendees. On Saturday, February 16, 2013 Harkey will present a special reunion of one of the greatest bands in the history of bluegrass music: The Bluegrass Album Band. Tickets go on sale Monday October 15th at 10:00 AM.

In a close, intimate setting, this 3-day event will feature such nationally known bluegrass performers as The Bluegrass Album Band, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, The Grascals, The James King Band, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Boxcars, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, and Will Clark & 10 Feet Deep. On Saturday you'll want to be sure not miss the local comedian Dillon! Sunday Morning will feature a free "Gospel Show" beginning at 9AM in the sunken lobby.

The Bluegrass Album Band Will Make Its First Appearance In 23 Years!

The Bluegrass Album Band was organized in 1980 by Tony Rice, with the idea of gathering some of the top artists of the day to record an album of authentic bluegrass. In addition to guitar virtuoso Rice, the original band consisted of banjo master J.D. Crowe (2003 IBMA Hall of Fame inductee), mandolinist and tenor vocalist extraordinaire Doyle Lawson (2012 IBMA Hall of Fame inductee), legendary fiddler Bobby Hicks, and bass wizard Todd Phillips The resulting album was so well received that the group decided to make another, and then another. An eleven-day tour with shows in ten different states was organized by promoter Milton Harkey in 1983. The Bluegrass Album Band went on to make a total of six highly acclaimed, best selling albums. They performed on the very first IBMA Awards Show in 1990, and were named Instrumental Group of the Year.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of The Bluegrass Album Band’s historic 1983 tour. Their appearance at Bluegrass First Class will be the first time all five original members have taken the stage together since 1990. They will be joined for this performance by three-time IBMA Guitarist of the Year Josh Williams, on lead vocals. For those who missed their ’83 tour, this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see one of the greatest bands ever assembled – a bluegrass “Dream Team.” Rice, Crowe, Lawson, Hicks, and Phillips individually have amazed and inspired multiple generations of young musicians with their groundbreaking work in various top-flight bands. With The Bluegrass Album Band, they recreate the magic, power, and excitement of the classic bluegrass sounds that first inspired them to play. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Other performing artists at this year’s event include: Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Boxcars, The Grascals, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, The James King Band, and many more!

Many of the area’s finest musicians from the hot local bluegrass scene, along with new, up and coming bands, will be on hand for an unparalleled weekend of superb music performances. In addition to the Grand Ballroom stage shows, many artists will entertain audiences in the cozy sunken lounge, providing fans with an opportunity to listen to the music of these musicians in a close, intimate setting.

Up close and personal you’ll be with your friends - right in the middle of the stars with all conveniences nearby. The entire hotel will be dedicated to bluegrass for the weekend. All rooms will be occupied by bluegrass fans; and all of the facility’s meeting rooms will be set aside for picking and jamming. There is a “quiet” block consisting of a few sleeping rooms set aside for those who wish to relax in a no-jamming zone.

Saturday: Wayne Erbsen presents lessons for beginners and intermediate 10AM – 4PM Guitar, Mandolin, & Fiddle.

For Hotel Reservations at the Crowne Plaza Resort call the hotel directly at 800-733-3211. To order tickets, you may order directly from the website or contact Milton Harkey (828-275-8650). As a reminder, all hotel reservations are two nights minimum stay (Friday and Saturday) and a minimum of two 2-Day tickets per room. All tickets must be purchased prior to check in (even if you have advance reservations). If you have Crowne Plaza reservations you will be guaranteed the availability to purchase a minimum of two (2) and a maximum of four (4) tickets per room reserved. The Crowne Plaza will make every effort to accommodate specific room requests and will make every effort to provide you with early check in upon arrival. REMEMBER: Hotel rooms at the Crowne Plaza Resort will go quickly, so be sure to make your reservations now! Those purchasing tickets or wanting additional information contact Milton Harkey at (828) 275-8650). Overflow Hotels are available. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. All daily and 2- Day tickets are a “VIP ALL Access Pass” and allows entry to both the afternoon and evening performances.

VIP ALL ACCESS ticket prices: $45/person/Fri.- $54/ person/Sat. and $99 for Two Days are available in advance and at the door (based on availability). Crowne Plaza hotel room rates are the same price as last year and includes up to four people in one room for the same price.

Last year’s event was a sell out, so it’s important to make your reservations for Bluegrass First Class as early as possible. To assure rooms and tickets, please order early.

2-Day Tickets and Reserved Seating go on sale October 15th at 10:00 AM and are sold on a first come first served basis online or by phone.
Daily tickets, if available, will go on sale January 8, 2013 at 10:00AM You may order tickets online from our secure website For weekend/daily tickets by phone and info contact Milton Harkey 828-275-8650. For hotel reservations contact Crowne Plaza Resort directly 800-733-3211 or

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