Kingsport Times-News: Blue Highway to play MECC Foundation's “Diamonds and Denim”

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Blue Highway to play MECC Foundation's “Diamonds and Denim”

Contributed • Aug 16, 2018 at 4:30 PM

The Mountain Empire Community College Foundation will present "Diamonds and Denim," an evening of elegance and entertainment, featuring the music of Grammy-nominated artists, Blue Highway, on Saturday, Aug. 25, at Crooked River Farms in Hiltons, Virginia.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Scott County Endowed Scholarship Fund, supporting Scott County students who wish to further their education and skill level at Mountain Empire Community College. MECC served more than 615 Scott County students in 2017-18 and awarded more than $502,000 in scholarships to Scott County residents. Continued financial support is needed to assist students with tuition, books and attendance costs.

The reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. and includes heavy hors d'oeuvres, refreshments, wine and beer, a silent auction, concert entertainment and guest photography. Guests are encouraged to wear their diamonds and denim for this relaxed, semi-formal evening event. The concert will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets for the event are $65 or $125 per couple and may be purchased online at or at Farm Bureau Insurance, located at 1378 W. Jackson Street, in Gate City.

Blue Highway has earned 27 collective IBMA Awards, 6 SPBGMA Awards, one Dove Award, and three Grammy nominations as a band, plus two Grammy Awards among its current members. Blue Highway's No. 1 album, "Original Traditional," was nominated for a 2017 Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album. The band was voted the Favorite Bluegrass Artist of All Time by the readers of Bluegrass Today in April 2016. The newest album, "Original Traditional," was released in September 2016 and has topped multiple National Charts at No. 1.

Current members of Blue Highway include: Tim Stafford, Wayne Taylor, Shawn Lane, Jason Burleson, and newest member Justin Moses. The band has a tremendous following in the Tri-Cities, in large part due to the many ties its members and the band as a whole share with the area. Tim Stafford hails from Kingsport. Vocalist and bass player Wayne Taylor is a Southwest Virginia native. Their first show as Blue Highway was in Kingsport on Dec. 31, 1994. And the list goes on.

Crooked River Farm is a 200-acre estate along the Holston River close to Seven Shoals in Hiltons, Virginia. The enchanted estate includes rolling hay fields, over a mile of river frontage, oak forests and open glades. The view is spectacular down an open valley with Clinch Mountain on one side, rocky cliffs along the river on the other side and beautiful meadows and hay fields between. A restored 1823 timber frame lodge towers above the valley below. The heart of Crooked River is the circa-1823 Ohio Grist Mill that serves as the concert venue, featuring 12-by-12 oak beams and majestic lighting. For more information about the event or sponsorship opportunities, call the MECC Foundation Office at (276) 523-7466 or visit

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