Sounds on Steele 2016 has come and gone. Stay tuned for announcements about the 2017 event

For one day, Sanford, North Carolina will become the center of the music universe.   On Saturday, Sep 10, 2016, from noon to 9:30pm, a downtown stage will play host to ten bands at Sounds on Steele.  Headlining will be award-winning bluegrass stars, Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, who have been entertaining crowds across the country for years. Leading up to that is a star-studded lineup featuring traditional bands from all over.

Guests are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on and watch the shows.  Vendors will line Carthage Streets, highlighted by craft beer tents featuring the Bombshell Beer Company and Camelback Brewing Company.  There will be plenty to eat and drink with local restaurants right around the corner. Gates open at 11:30am and the bands will play until around 9pm. Adult tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 at the gate. Kids (12 & Under) are $5 at the gate (if they're young enough to ride in a stroller, they get in free). To purchase tickets, call the Temple Theatre Box Office at (919) 774-4155 or click here to order online.

Sounds on Steele is brought to you by The Sanford Herald and Life 103.1.

For updates about the show, follow the event at

Click on the bands below for more info...

Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road

Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road at Sounds on Steele 2016

Pinecastle recording artists Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road have a distinct sound and charismatic stage show, which sets them apart from many traditional bluegrass bands. Affectionately known as the “Lady of Tradition” in bluegrass, Lorraine has fronted Carolina Road for over 15 years. The band’s distinct sound and old time flair can be attributed to the bluegrass­rich area of North Carolina from which they hail and borrow their name. As the founding member and band leader for Carolina Road, Lorraine Jordan’s showmanship and chemistry with the audience makes the group one of the most popular bands among bluegrass fans today. The band has a large following and a fan club of 600 active members. They have partnered with Southern Travel of Raleigh, NC, and already have a tour bus of fans headed to 6 of their show dates this year. Hard work has paid off for this dynamic bluegrass band, earning them over 100 performances each year throughout North America at more than 60 major festivals. Carolina Road plays worldwide and headlines a National Bluegrass festival, Christmas in the Smokies. They have hosted the Canadian Bluegrass Awards, toured Europe, and played 15 bluegrass cruises. Carolina Road’s performance is a traditional sound with a fresh approach, which includes invigorating instrumentals, smooth blending vocals, and all the energy that you can stand! Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road are just coming off of having two national #1 bluegrass hits with “A Light in the Window Again” and “That’s Kentucky”, which was “Song of the Year – 2015 SPBGMA.” Their newest release, Country Grass, has a stellar line­up. This project was recorded at Skaggs’ Place Studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee and Eastwood Studio in Cana, Virginia. The project includes 11 country and bluegrass legends: Lee Greenwood, John Conlee, Jim Ed Brown, The Kentucky Headhunters, T.G. Sheppard, Lynn Anderson, Eddy Raven, Crystal Gayle, Marty Raybon, Jesse Keith Whitley, and Ronnie Reno. Lorraine Jordan has won two IBMA Recorded Events of the Year Awards, 2009 and 2011. She just won SPBGMA’s 2015 Traditional Female Vocalist of the Year and is a finalist for the 2015 Carolina Music Awards in the Bluegrass Americana category. Carolina Road has some of the top musicians in the industry including Ben Greene (banjo), Josh Goforth (fiddle), Jason Moore (bass), and Brad Hudson (dobro). Ben Greene is SPBGMA’s 2015 Banjo Player of the Year and has two banjo cd projects receiving national radio airplay. Josh Goforth, multi­instrumentalist, was a 2009 finalist for a Grammy Award for a project he produced and recorded on, titled “Cuttin Loose.” Tommy Long, who sings lead vocals on both of Carolina Road’s # 1 hits, has a great cross­over voice for the Country Grass sound . Jason Moore plays an upright bass with the drive and timing that brings their hard­driving music together. Brad Hudson on dobro has a great lead voice for any type of music, and like Josh, is a multi­instrumentalist. With this combination of musicians, the energy and charisma, Carolina Road is one of the most sought out bands today.

Carolyn Martin

Carolyn Martin at Sounds on Steele 2016

Singer Carolyn Martin has been described as “… a winning throwback to the days where emotion was measured and artful rather than loud and histrionic.” From European concert halls to intimate venues at home in Nashville, fans have come to know Carolyn as a vocalist with a unique sense of musical style, a charismatic stage presence and a voice that exudes passion and experience – the soulful elegance that is the very essence of music.

Carolyn is a Texas born, Nashville based swing singer and member of the Texas Western Swing Hall Of Fame. She was inducted into the Northwest Western Swing Music Society’s Hall of Fame in 2014 and will join the Western Swing Society of the Southwest’s Hall of Fame in 2015. In 2014, the Cowtown Society of Western Music named Carolyn a “Hero of Western Swing”, and Carolyn was the recipient of the Academy of Western Artists’ Will Rogers award as the Western Swing Female Vocalist of the Year in 2008, 2010, and 2014.

Unspoken Tradition

Unspoken Tradition at Sounds on Steele 2016

Unspoken traditions are those things we hold dear to our hearts that are so sacred that they don’t even need explaining. In fact, in most cases they can’t be explained, only felt. The memory of carving your first turkey with the family watching, and the guidance of your father. The feeling of taking your boots off at the end of a long day. The pre-show ritual of a drink with fans and loved ones. Gathering for soup-nights with extended family. Weddings. Baptisms. Funerals. Trekking into the mountains of NC to find that fresh cut Christmas tree with the woman you love. The beer enjoyed after emerging victorious from a day’s hard work in the yard. All of these are things we feel so deeply that they largely remain acted out, but seldom spoken.

There are a lot of unspoken traditions that are a part of heritage music. We make sure that our music honors its creators. We make sure it grows within tradition by adding our original approach. We make sure it maintains its role as something for everyday people who, although they may come from different backgrounds, are united through the love of great music! We are 5 working class guys from North Carolina. Great music is our passion and Bluegrass is our love. The band started in Cherryville North Carolina, the hometown of its three founding members Lee Shuford and Audie and Zane McGinnis. The three came together at historic picking sessions at the home of Jack Bingham. Soon they were doing what many new groups do, playing locally and building a fan following. In 2014 the current lineup was fully formed with the additions of Ty Gilpin on mandolin and vocals, and Tim Gardner on fiddle and vocals. With a repertoire of new, original bluegrass music, traditional bluegrass numbers and creative covers, we open our band to an even wider audience and bring a passionate energy to the stage. Our 2013 release, Simple Little Town, with its live feel and mostly original songs also showcases the band’s ability to keep one foot in the past and one pointed towards the future. The album offers something for everyone with hardcore Grass numbers, a rock ‘n roll cover, and original songs. We have a motto…. “We play Working Class Bluegrass”. The philosophy here is that Bluegrass is for the people and by the people. It’s participatory music and community music. It’s real music that anyone can relate to with its themes of life, love, work, family and American culture.

The Garrett Newton Band

Garrett Newton at Sounds on Steele 2016

Garrett Newton is an exceptional banjo player. Not only can he play banjo, he can talk banjo with the best. He is presently touring with Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road in their “Country Grass” tour featuring his banjo playing. Garrett fronts his own band, the Garrett Newton Band. He has played on stage with national artists such as Marty Raybon, Kenny Ingram, Ben Greene, Steve Dilling, and James King.

He is endorsed by Yates and Mitch banjo and plays the Earl Scruggs style. He has his own banjo project entitled “Garrett Kicks Grass” which includes several bluegrass standard instrumentals, and original song written by Garrett. This project is on Pinecastle Records.

Garrett just returned from the Joey Canyon Show in Denver Colorado where he played banjo with the house band. Look for him and his band on tour.

Although Garrett started bluegrass at a young age, his ability of playing will let you think he is much older. He can talk about the history of bluegrass in detail with anyone. Just ask Del McCoury or Ricky Scaggs about conversation they have held back stage with Garrett Newton. They will tell you he is a young kid with the bluegrass mind of an older man.

Kudzu Ramblers

Kudzu Ramblers at Sounds on Steele 2016

In 2001, Jan Johansson, a well-known and respected bluegrass musician and teacher, began to put together student bands. The Kudzu Ramblers was one of those bands and is still going strong, despite the occasional change in membership. The latest addition is Chuck Johnson, who hails from the “The Original Nashville”, in Nash County, North Carolina. Don’t let his quiet demeanor fool you. When not taking a swim in the New River with his iPhone, Chuck shows off his chops on the bass and is a promising guitarist.

Kudzu Ramblers been privileged to play with Dr. Johansson as well as a host of other fine musicians, most of whom have asked that they protect their identity. Seriously, Kudzu guests and members emeritus include: Michael Booze (banjo extraordinaire from “The Paris of the Piedmont”), Amber and Anthony Campbell, Matt Foster, Tom Langdon, Margaret Martin, Greg Penny and Tom Williams. They feel fortunate that so many musicians and vocalists are willing to share their talent. The Kudzus would be remiss to not mention the influence and direction of Julie Elkins, who has coaxed harmonies from various members throughout the years.

Ash Breeze

Ash Breeze at Sounds on Steele 2016

Ash Breeze is an up and coming band from Fayetteville, North Carolina. In 2013, they performed on PBS's nationally syndicated Song of the Mountains at the Historic Lincoln Theatre in Marion VA, Bluegrass and Barbeque at Silver Dollar City in Branson MO, Dollywood in Pigeon Forge TN, South Carolina, Houstonfest in Galax VA, and Bluegrass Festivals in Vermont, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island Canada, as well as other great venues. In 2014 they performed in Branson and Dollywood again and were also selected as one of 10 Youth Showcase bands out of 49 applicants Internationally at the International Bluegrass Music Association Convention in Raleigh, NC. In 2015 IBMA selected them as a Showcase Band to perform all week as part of Bluegrass Ramble at the Convention in September.

Their music has been influenced by many things; classical training at younger ages, the move into bluegrass, and influences from folk, blues, Americana, etc. Their Faith is also important to them and an influence on who they are and their music.

Their first single release, Without Love, from their debut album was selected as a top five finalist in 2014 in The Great American Songwriting Contest (Christian/Gospel Category), and was one of only 3 finalist in the Gospel category of The Christ Austin Song Contest at Merlefest in 2014 (out of over 600 entries).

Tommy Edwards & The Bluegrass Experience

Tommy Edwards & The Bluegrass Experience at Sounds on Steele 2015

The host of Life 103.1's "Bluegrass Saturday Night" is Tommy Edwards, lead singer and guitarist for The Bluegrass Experience, one of the Southeast's most respected traditional music groups. The program features both classic and contemporary bluegrass recordings as well as interviews with people associated with the music and a calendar of traditional music events in the Heart of Carolina. Having performed professionally for over 35 years, Edwards brings a wealth of knowledge about his favorite music to the program. He was twice named World Champion Bluegrass Guitarist and has recorded or performed live with an array of bluegrass greats, including Jimmy Martin, Bobby Hicks, Peter Rowan, Jimmy Mills, Dan Crary, Jack Lawrence, and Mike Cross. He has recorded four albums with The Bluegrass Experience and has three solo discs with a new one scheduled for release in the spring of this year (2009). In addition to his musical activities, Edwards served the Randolph and Chatham County Schools for 30 years as a middle grades teacher, coach, and administrator. He and his wife Cindy are respected collectors of and authorities on the traditional pottery of central North Carolina. They operated an antiques business in Pittsboro for over 25 years. He served as a trustee of Central Carolina Community College for 12 years and has been a member and officer of several area non-profits, including ChathamArts, Chatham Trades, the Chatham Historical Association, and a regional dispute settlement organization. Edwards knows "whereof he speaks" when it comes to bluegrass – and listeners throughout the region tune in every week to hear the music and the stories from the latest and the best in North Carolina bluegrass.

Faith Bardill & The Back Row Saints

Faith Bardill & The Back Row Saints at Sounds on Steele 2015

Faith Bardill is a two-time Carolina Music Awards nominee from Sanford, North Carolina. The Back Rows Saints are Keith Davis, Mike Woodell, Dennis Hunt, and Kevin Griffin. They play country, classic country, classic rock, and beach music. In 2014, they won the Fall Dogwood Festival Battle of the Bands, and opened for national recording artist Craig Campbell & Mo Pitney at the 2015 Dogwood Festival.

Three Jack Jenny

Three Jack Jenny at Sounds on Steele 2015

Three Jack Jenny hail from Cary, North Carolina. Featuring Karen Smedley on mandolin, Jeff Smedley on guitar, Doug Pratt on dobro, and Tony Matthews on vocals, they showcase a special blend of country and bluegrass.

Gary Mitchell: Music with a Message

Gary Mitchell at Sounds on Steele 2016

A graduate of UNC Chapel Hill with a background in drums, percussion, piano, guitar and voice, Gary is a seasoned professional, having played and recorded with numerous artists, including drummer Matt McCaughan of Bon Iver, Avett Brothers cellist Joe Kwon, Dale Baker from Sixpence None the Richer, and jazz legend Howard Levy of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.