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PineCone and Wake Forest Present Carolina Lightning as Part of Wake Forest Unplugged

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PineconeThree of North Carolina's finest traditional performers have combined their considerable talents to create Carolina Lightning. Alice Zincone, Rick Lafleur and Tommy Edwards have performed together frequently for several years under several names, including Tommy Edwards and Friends as well as Carolina Lightning. With the July release of Tommy Edwards' North Carolina: History, Mystery, Lore and More, they settled on the name Carolina Ligthning to emphasize their strong connection to North Carolina and the state's rich heritage of traditional string music. Their Wake Forest performance on Oct. 9 is part of the Town's "Wake Forest Unplugged...Get Connected," which offers community members a rare opportunity to "disconnect" from cell phones, PDAs, and computers, and "re-connect" with their community, friends, and family. Sponsored by the Wake Forest Recreation Advisory Board, "Unplugged" is a full weekend undertaking, beginning on Friday, Oct. 7, at 5 p.m. and culminating with this concert. All of the weekend's events, including the concert, are free and open to the public.

Carolina Lightning performs a vast repertoire of traditional bluegrass tunes and original songs from all three of its members as well as several country, folk and rock songs that have been re-imagined as bluegrass numbers. With a trio of vocalists, Carolina Lightning serves up a variety of vocal combinations; and the amount of music and energy they can create with just three acoustic instruments borders on the amazing.

Zincone grew up in a musical family in Greenville, NC and possesses one of the most unique female voices in bluegrass music. She sings with power and sensitivity and makes no apologies for not sounding like any other female singer in the genre. Her expressive solos are matched only by her spot-on harmony vocals, and her strong bass playing is the foundation of Carolina Lightning's sound. Zincone has contributed to all five of Tommy Edwards' solo projects and is prominently featured on Russell Johnson's latest album, Anytime, Anyplace, But Only You, which recently debuted on the Bluegrass Music Profiles charts at #2.

She and Lafleur recorded the critically acclaimed Moma's Voice, which included their composition "Last of You," which was chosen by eight-time International Bluegrass Music Association female vocalist of the year Rhonda Vincent to be the lead-off song for her Grammy nominated recording Destination Life. Vincent's interpretation of "Last of You" not only made the Bluegrass Unlimited charts, but also was singled out by the music reviewer for Oprah Winfrey's O magazine.

Canadian born Lafleur is likely one of the fastest banjo players in all of bluegrass and undoubtedly one of the best. Currently the banjoist with the chart-topping Grass Cats, he has worked with Kenny and Amanda Smith Band as well as several regional groups. While favoring the hard-driving three-finger banjo style originated by Earl Scruggs, he also provides extremely tasteful accompaniment for the group's vocals, and his baritone singing rounds out the Lightning's trio.

Carolina LightningEdwards has been performing professionally for nearly 50 years, and he is admired by critics and fans alike for his guitar playing skills. He is also an accomplished songwriter whose works have been recorded by artists as varied as Molasses Creek, The Shady Grove Band, The Brothers in Bluegrass and The Bluegrass Experience, a band he has played with for more than 40 years. His most recent recording, North Carolina: History, Mystery, Lore and More, will be featured in Our State Magazine's 2011 Holiday Gift Catalogue and has been well received by both critics (one writer termed it "irresistible") and traditional music fans. He may be best known for the moving holiday number "The Christmas Letter," found on Rebel Records' Christmas in the Mountains, which features Zinceon on the harmony vocals. The humorous "My Tears Spoiled my Aim", co-written with author John Shelton Reed, was included in the inaugural music issue of the journal Southern Cultures along with songs from B.B. King and The Red Clay Ramblers, and it was also chosen for inclusion in WUNC radio's Back Porch Music 30th Anniversary album. "Holy Smoke" his celebration of North Carolina's "holy grub," pork barbecue, was featured in the frontispiece of John and Dale Reed's recent book Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue. In addition to the five solo and four band projects he has recorded, Edwards has also appeared on recordings by popular troubadour Mike Cross as well as The Shady Grove Band. Raleigh News & Observer music critic Jack Bernhardt put it concisely when he referred to Edwards as "Mr. Bluegrass" in a recent review.

Don't miss your chance to catch this powerhouse trio in the unique setting of Wake Forest's beautiful E Carroll Joyner Park! Learn more about this and other PineCone concerts at www.pinecone.org; learn more about Wake Forest Unplugged... at www.wakeforestnc.gov/unplugged.aspx.

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