Cover: $20.00/$18.00 members
For half a century, Tony and Gary Williamson have delighted audiences all over the world with their love of music, deep connection to their roots and a wonderful knowledge of music traditions. They grew up in a family of farmers, woodworkers and musicians that go back nine generations in Piedmont North Carolina. As teenagers, they were named “World Champions” at Union Grove, North Carolina in 1969. On stage and/or in the studio, they have worked alongside Doc Watson, Ralph Stanley, Bobby Hicks, Alison Krauss, Tony Rice, Vassar Clements and many others. The International Bluegrass Music Association recognized them with “Recorded Event of the Year” in 1994, and more recently, their lifetime achievement awards have included Gary’s “Order of the Longleaf Pine (2010)” and Tony’s “North Carolina Heritage Award in 2018”.
Their duets feature smooth, lilting vocal harmonies with sparkling mandolin and guitar accompaniment. David Ryoko of the Chicago Tribune summed it up back in 2001: “The Williamson Brothers dazzle without ever lapsing into flashiness.”
“There’s been no higher pleasure for us or our audience than hearing The Williamson Brothers Band perform. We knew that Tony is a mandolin magician, but we weren’t prepared for the wondrous singing; we’ve heard no finer voice than Gary Williamson, and the brother harmonies are astonishingly beautiful. They evoke the deep historical roots of the finest traditional music, a time before internet, before TV, before radio and even before recorded music. The happy songs are often tinged with sadness, but the sad songs are always suffused with hope. Music like this is one of the joys in this imperfect world, and Tony and Gary and their All-Star band deliver the joy.” — Jim Roberts and Deborah Jakubs, Learned Place Concerts, Durham, NC