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.” Similarly, Jim Roberts of Learned Place Concerts wrote: “the brother harmonies are astonishingly beautiful. Music like this is one of the joys in this imperfect world, and Tony and Gary … deliver the joy.”