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Tennessee Skyline brings bygone era to Broad

staff report • Aug 12, 2011 at 4:14 AM

For the members of Tennessee Skyline, traditional music is a way of life. It says so right on the band’s business card. Despite a wide range in ages and experiences throughout their individual careers, the band’s members are clearly on the same page when it comes to music. The band’s own songs have the flavor and taste of material from a bygone era — a sound they’ll bring to the streets of downtown Kingsport next week. Tennessee Skyline will perform at Bluegrass on Broad at 7 p.m., Aug. 19. The free performances are held at the corner of Broad and Market streets. The band boasts some familiar faces from the local music scene, including veteran musicians G.C. Matlock and Audie Ratliff. Matlock, often described as a man of few words, is known throughout the region for his rhythm and lead guitar playing. A top-notch picker, he has played with Hard Times, Leisure Tyme and the ETSU Bluegrass Band. Church Hill’s Ratliff brings tasteful notes and arrangements on the mandolin to the forefront, and is well recognized as both a player and instrument builder. His mandolins have been played by the likes of James Alan Shelton (with Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys), Tammy Rogers and Adam Steffey. He has performed with Tim Stafford, Adam Steffey, Barry Bales and his father, Tom Ratliff, in the Boys in the Band, and also played with Matlock in Leisure Tyme. Kingsport’s Kayley Thomas, the band’s bassist, may just be 17 years old, but she’s been playing bluegrass since she was 7. A big inspiration to the younger generation and the “young at heart,” she has become a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. She plays bass, guitar (lead & rhythm), fiddle and banjo, and also sings lead and tenor. Jeff Osbourne is also a relatively new addition to Tennessee Skyline. He plays rhythm guitar and sings tenor, baritone and lead. Newcomer Nate Aquino rounds out the lineup on banjo. Admission to Friday’s show is free. Concert goers are encouraged to bring a lawn chair, but are asked to leave the coolers and pets at home.Courtesy of Tennessee Skyline

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