With their roots submerged in the thick buttery mud of traditional bluegrass, The Lil’ Smokies have sonically blossomed into a leading player in the progressive acoustic sphere, creating a new and wholly unique, melody driven sound of their own. The sextet, from Missoula, MT, has been hard at work, writing, touring and playing to an ever-growing fan base for the past 6 years. The fruits of their labor recently culminating with their win this year at the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass festival band competition. In October 2014, they were nominated by the Internal Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) for Momentum Band of the Year and in 2013 they won The North West String Summit Band Competition. With a unique blend of traditional bluegrass, newgrass, innumerable unique originals, sheer raw energy, and exquisite musicianship, The Lil’ Smokies weave seamlessly through genres, leaving behind melodies you’ll be singing to yourself for days and a jaw you’ll have to pick up off the floor.
The Lil’ Smokies have no problem captivating large audiences. Sharing the stage with heavyweights like Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Keller Williams, Greensky Bluegrass, The Emmit-Nershi Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Travellin’ McCourys, Sam Bush Band, Fruition, Infamous Stringdusters, Bradford Lee Folk and The Bluegrass Playboys, and dozens of others. The Smokies have played the Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival (2011), the Bozeman Bluegrass Fest (2011), Sandpoint Summer Fest (2013), Wintergrass (2014), River City Roots Festival (2011, 2013, 2014), Northwest Folklife Festival (2014), the Northwest String Summit’s Further Stage and Main Stage (2013, 2014). This six-piece bluegrass ensemble features, Pete Barrett (guitar), Andy Dunnigan (dobro), Scott Parker (upright bass), Matt Cornette (banjo), Cameron Wilson (mandolin), and Jesse Brown (Fiddle).