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Dare to Be Different brings bluegrass to Bell Buckle

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's a flat-pick lovin', fiddle-fiendin', boot-stomper's dream come true -- seven bluegrass bands interrupting what would be a sleepy Sunday in Bell Buckle for a day-long showcase.

It's the sixth annual Dare to Be Different bluegrass benefit, and you can thank celebrated picker and singer Valerie Smith for hosting the Sunday, Sept. 23 jamboree.

For the past several years, Smith has lined up artists from varied bluegrass styles and disciplines to take the stage at the Bell Buckle Banquet Hall. Admission to the show, which runs from noon to 9 p.m., is $10, with all proceeds going to the International Bluegrass Music Museum.

The day of the show comes on the eve of the International Bluegrass Music Association's week-long conference in Nashville, meaning that some serious, out-of-town players will be on hand to entertain. This year's lineup includes bands from both near and far away, showing that bluegrass is indeed an international passion.

The Rigney Family Band, Cane Ridge, Sweet Fancy Moses and Valerie Smith will represent middle Tennessee. Dennis Cash's roots are in North Carolina. Johnny and Jeanette Williams are Virginia natives. And lastly, Covered Grass hails from Germany.

"This concert provides several acts that are new and old," Smith said. "There's something for everyone."

Smith -- a former educator herself -- has utilized help from the International Bluegrass Music Museum to perform her style of roots music in schools across the south. Each year she looks forward to bringing some of the best performers out there to Bell Buckle in hopes of entertaining fans and returning the favor to the museum.

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