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Surefire Bluegrass Band a Sure Hit at Carter Fold Saturday

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Surefire Bluegrass BandHiltons, VA -- Officially formed around 10 years ago when friends Tom Isaacs, Robby Norris, and John Bryan decided to turn their collective passion for bluegrass music into a band, Surefire represents some of the best bluegrass the North Carolina High Country has to offer. The band quickly went on to win several local and regional competitions and awards. Over the next few years, the group performed regionally and made a couple of recordings. They continue to perform as a group and individually. Saturday, May 28th, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by the Surefire Bluegrass Band.

Tom Isaacs grew up learning music from his grandmother and other family members. He started playing the violin in school, but found he preferred to play by ear – finding melodies of the mountain music he knew. Soon, he learned to play banjo and guitar, taking his practicing and playing more seriously. Isaacs began playing with various groups, eventually leading to gigs with Ralph Stanley II and with Ralph Stanley on fiddle. He also performed through the years with a local friend, Kody Norris, and as the banjo player for Larry Efaw and Lonesome Will Mullins.

Robby Norris has been performing around the High Country since he was a young boy. Norris started on mandolin and was a featured player in the long-standing local bluegrass gospel band Southern Accent for several years. At a young age, he became fixated on bluegrass music, and he soon learned to play all of the instruments in the band, making solo recordings performing all of the instruments and parts. While Norris plays all of the string instruments, his focus is on the mandolin and fiddle – the instruments he plays with Surefire.

John Bryan now performs with the Grammy Award winning bluegrass band The Grascals. John grew up in a musical family and began singing and playing music as a boy in church. He began playing banjo around age l0, and a few years later met Isaacs.

With Surefire, John honed his strong tenor and lead vocals. Though Bryans’s touring schedule only allows him to perform occasionally with Surefire, Isaacs and Norris have kept the band active in the High Country. Other friends on the local bluegrass scene – banjo player Tim Norris and bass player J.M. Trivette have become staples of the group Surefire.

For more info on Surefire, go to You can also check them out on You Tube. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.

For traditional bluegrass at its’ finest, don’t miss Surefire at the Carter Family Fold! Surefire delivers a performance that would indicate they are a band with many more years of experience than they have. Their professionalism, stage presence, and sheer talent will amaze you. Tom, Robby, and the group have played with many other groups at the Fold – Larry Efaw, Lonesome Will Mullins, Travers Chandler – just to name a few. They have a bright future in bluegrass music, and we’re proud to welcome this group back to the Fold.

Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. For further information on the center, go to Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at

Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo. To speak to a volunteer Fold staff member, call 276-594-0676. If we don’t answer immediately, we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

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