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Wednesday, 08 August 2012 00:00

We salute you, Balsam Range

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The Haywood County Board of Commissioners declared Aug. 10 as the official “Balsam Range Day” to celebrate the upcoming release of the bluegrass band’s newest record as well as its contributions to the county.

“Congratulations. Very well deserved,” County Commissioner Chairman Mark Swanger said after passing the formal Balsam Range Day resolution at a county meeting Monday.

Balsam Range is a popular bluegrass band based in Haywood County. The five-person group is comprised of Tim Surrett on the upright bass, Buddy Melton on violin, Darren Nicholson on mandolins, Marc Pruett on banjo and Caleb Smith on guitar.

It has long been known for its musical excellence and its shows regularly sell out locally, but the band has recently garnered international recognition after winning the 2011 International Bluegrass Music Association’s Song of the Year for “Trains I Missed.” Balsam Range will debut its new album “Papertown,” a tribute to the longstanding mill town of Canton, at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 10 at Canton’s Colonial Theatre.

Following the unanimous approval of the Haywood County commissioners’ resolution, the bluegrass band received a standing ovation from the dozen people in attendance at the Aug. 6 meeting.

“We are proud in some small way to represent Haywood County,” Surrett said.

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