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Memphis in May by Sugarlands Distilling to Feature Bluegrass and More

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Béla Fleck and Abigail WashburnGatlinburg, TN -- Sugarlands Distilling Company, crafters of award winning Smoky Mountain moonshine, has partnered with the Memphis in May International Festival in 2015 to be the exclusive moonshine for the festival. For the second year in a row, Sugarlands Distilling Company will be offering signature Sugarlands Shine cocktails during Memphis in May events. The Beale Street Music Festival features all styles of music including bluegrass, Americana, roots, jazz, folk and more.

The Memphis in May International Festival is a month long celebration in Memphis, Tenn. celebrating music, food, drinks and more. Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Lenny Kravitz, Ed Sheeran, John Fogerty, and The Avett Brothers will headline this year’s Beale Street Music Festival May 1-3. Other notable artists include Band of Horses, Wilco, and The Pixies.

May 14-16 will feature the World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest. Every year, hundreds of teams compete for over $111,000 in prizes and supreme bragging rights. Sugarlands Distilling Company’s signature moonshine cocktails will be offered as a refreshing companion to the award winning food.

The festivities will conclude May 23 with the 2015 AutoZone Sunset Symphony. The Sunset Symphony will end its 39-year run with a Grand Finale Celebration that includes a performance by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, several special guests, and an expanded fireworks event.

Sugarlands Distilling Company will be giving away ticket packages to the Beale Street Music Festival, the World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest, and the AutoZone Sunset Symphony on their Facebook page in the weeks leading up to the festival.

Sugarlands Distilling Company proudly supports music, drinks, and culture at their distillery in Gatlinburg, Tenn., where guests can taste Sugarlands Shine, listen to some of the nations’ best Americana and bluegrass music on The Back Porch, and plan excursions into the Smoky Mountains.

With her earthy sophistication of a postmodern, old-time singer-songwriter, and his virtuosic, jazz-to-classical ingenuity fused with bluegrass roots the music of Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn is a one-of-a-kind pairing, with one-of-a-kind possibilities. Fleck and Washburn have collaborated in the past, most notably in their Sparrow Quartet, with Casey Driessen and Ben Sollee. Until last fall, though, any performances they gave as a two-piece were decidedly informal: a pickin’ party here, a benefit show at Washburn’s grandmother’s Unitarian church there. It was inevitable and eagerly anticipated by fans of tradition-tweaking acoustic fare that these partners in music and life (who married in 2009) would eventually do a full-fledged project together.

Now that Fleck, a fifteen-time Grammy® winner, has devoted time away from his standard-setting ensemble Béla Fleck and the Flecktones to a staggeringly broad array of musical experiments, from writing a concerto for the Nashville Symphony to exploring the banjo’s African roots to playing in jazz duos with Chick Corea, while Washburn has drawn critical acclaim for her solo albums, done fascinating work in folk musical diplomacy in China, presented an original theatrical production, contributed to singular side groups Uncle Earl and The Wu-Force and become quite a live draw in her own right, the two of them decided they were ready to craft their debut album as a duo, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn.

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