NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CRAIG HAVIGHURST) -- The culture and people of East Tennessee are never far from our minds at Music City Roots and WMOT /Roots Radio, because the region is such a hotbed of traditional American music. That ground produced legends, of course, including Dolly Parton and Chet Atkins. But we know it as the home and/or origin of artists moving us today: Blue Highway, Bill & The Bells, Ed Snodderly and Trey Hensley to name a few. So the devastation of the Gatlinburg fires left scars on us too. And it was bad, folks. Thousands of structures, most of them homes, burned to the ground and downtown was severely impacted, as you can see from this chilling interactive map.
This week we were invited in to an effort to help. So on Saturday, Dec. 17, MCR will join Ole Smoky Moonshine, Yee Haw Brewing Company and the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau to produce and present “Mountain Tough.” The day-long, outdoor mini-festival will raise money for the Gatlinburg community. The event itself is FREE, but donations are encouraged through a variety of online and in-person platforms. 100% of the funds will go to the Sevier County Community Fund, an affiliate of the East Tennessee Foundation established specifically for this cause.
Artists confirmed for Mountain Tough include the Zac Brown Band, Jim Lauderdale, Sam Bush, Derek St. Holmes, Jason D. Williams, Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, Randy Kohrs, Sarah Potenza, Moe Pitney and Chelle Rose - with many more announcements expected in the coming days.
The outdoor show at 705 Parkway in Gatlinburg will be broadcast live on WMOT/Roots Radio as well as a network of statewide and regional radio stations. Music City Roots will webcast the event live worldwide as well.
“Our home town has experienced immeasurable pain and suffering over the last week,” said Joseph A. Baker, founder of Ole Smoky Moonshine. “We're working hard to open up the city, get people back to work and start making memories again for the millions of families that love to visit Gatlinburg.”
We hope to see you there or supporting us in the Livestream chat room during the show.