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  • Merlefest
  • Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival
  • Cherokee Bluegrass Festival
  • Doyle Lawson Bluegrass Festival
  • Grass Valley CA Bluegrass Festival
  • Carter Family Fold, Hiltons, VA
  • Rhythm & Roots, Bristol, TN/VA
  • Song of the Mountains PBS TV Series
  • Bristol Country Music Mural
  • Down Home, Johnson City, TN 
  • Music On the Square, Jonesborough, TN 
  • Elizabethton, TN Covered Bridge Festival
  • Capitol Theatre, Greeneville, TN
  • Fletcher, NC Feed & Seed
  • South Carolina State Bluegrass Festival
  • Horse Pens AL Bluegrass Festival
  • Lamar County MS Bluegrass Festival
  • Christmas in July , Wilkesboro, NC
  • Old Rock School, Valdese, NC
  • SPBGMA, Nashville, TN
  • IBMA Showcase, Nashville, TN 
  • Tours in Ireland, England & Scotland

Describing the sweet sounds of Appalachian Trail's unique vocal harmonies and rousing instrumentals is easy: smooth, polished, and professional. Listening to those sweet sounds is easier still.  ~ R L Rouse

Man, would I like to see this group play in person! Words don’t do this CD justice. You have to hear it. From melody to musicianship, this group has got it all in place. The harmony capabilities are impeccable. The musical talent is just as strong. They also display their song writing abilities.   ~ Jason Hooker

While we know that the Appalachian Trail generally runs in a north/south direction, I expect that this CD will bring the band many invitations to perform in the direction of all points on the compass as they continue to build a legion of fans.  ~ Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now


4/3/18 Merlefest Announces Chris Austin Songwriting Contest Finalists  

Excerpt from Bluegrass Today, April 3, 2018 By John Lawless
The finalists for the 2018 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest have been announced this morning. Sponsored and run by MerleFest, this competition has become the crown jewel for aspiring writers, both for the generous cash prizes awarded to the winners, and for the opportunity to perform your song before the huge audience that MerleFest affords. Plus, the exposure received has led to many a song finding its way onto a recording from artists in our genre after the contest.

Three finalists are chosen in each of four categories, with entries limited to writers for whom 50% of the annual income does not come from from songwriting or publishing royalties. This does not include income from musical performance, so the event finds a mix of entrants, amateur, professional, and semi-professional as well.

And the 2018 finalists are…


Frank D. Ray (Hillsboro, Missouri) – False Hearted Love
James Woolsey (Petersburg, Indiana) – Lights of Home
Vickie Austin (Fall Branch, Tennessee) – Can’t Hold On To Much


Andy Owens (Boone, North Carolina) – The Truth of Love
Beth Lee (Black Mountain, North Carolina) – Sacred Song
Bob Hight (Greensboro, North Carolina) – Heaven Will Be Mine


Amanda Fields, Tom Buller (Nashville, Tennessee) – Whiskey Ain’t Got Nothing on You
Cliff Westfall (Highland Park, New Jersey) – More and More
Marie Bradshaw (Centerville, Utah), Daniel Young, Kiki Jane Sieger (North Salt Lake, Utah) – These Walls (May Never Come Down)


Bryan Smith (Dayton, Virginia) – Nothing Left
Zander Melidis (Clawson, Michigan) – Born Again
Cliff Ritchey (Markleville, Indiana) – Honey Baby

All of the finalists will perform their song before a panel of judges during the festival on Friday, April 27. This year’s judges include Rodney Crowell, Andrew Marlin (of Mandolin Orange), and Johnny Williams.

First prize winners in each category will receive a $600 cash award, two boxes of D’Addario strings, and a chance to perform on stage on Saturday afternoon. Everyone gets a prize, with second place earning $300 and one box of strings, and third $100 and a box of strings.

Congratulations and best of luck to all the 2018 finalists!


2/12/18 - Press Release Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Inc. Saturday, February 17th, 2018, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of traditional bluegrass music by Appalachian Trail. Adult admission to the concert is $10, $2 for children 6 to 11, and under age 6 free. Appalachian Trail is a union of seasoned and innovative singers, songwriters, and musicians from Northeast Tennessee. The band has been invited to play at festivals across the U.S., riverboat weddings in Nashville, and regularly at the Carter Family Fold. Appalachian Trail has played corporate parties, and the band has played the Song of the Mountains public television series three times. The group’s music is diversified; they chose innovative and original material to record. Ireland, Scotland, England, Russia, Sweden, Canada, Holland, and Switzerland are some of the countries that have hosted the talents of the individuals in this band, as well as coast-to-coast here at home. Taking their name from the famous Appalachian hiking Trail, the group was formed in 1984. Although the group’s members have changed through the years, the band is still burning new trails in the bluegrass arena over 30 years later. This band helped cultivate the careers of the likes of Adam Steffey, John Bowman, Becky Buller, and countless others. Currently based out of northeast Tennessee, the band performs as regularly as possible given that they have full time jobs in other professions. Band members Tommy and Vickie Austin and Ashley Davis recently joined Kristi Stanley’s band Running Blind. Kristi is the wife of Ralph II, son of the late Dr. Ralph Stanley, and they are the proud parents of Taylor and Ralph Stanley III. Members of Appalachian Trail are: Vickie Austin – vocals and bass; Tommy Austin – vocals and mandolin; Allen Hughes – vocals and guitar; Glen Rose – banjo; and Ashley Davis – vocals and fiddle. If you like traditional bluegrass music, don’t miss Appalachian Trail at the Carter Family Fold! For additional information on the group, check out their web site – Vickie has been playing on the Carter Fold stage since she was a little girl, and Appalachian Trail has performed many times over the years. The Fold is always proud to welcome them back. Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Inc., is a nonprofit, rural arts organization that was established in 1979 to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. Saturday concerts have been held since 1974. The center is family-friendly, and an alcohol and drug free facility. For more information, go to Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia Tourism Corporation. To access recorded information on the upcoming Saturday show at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo. To speak to a volunteer Fold staff member, call 276-594-0676. If we don’t answer you right away, we’ll get back to you in 24 hours.

1/30/2018 - The Carter Family Fold Presents Appalachian Trail Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 7:30 PM EST. Family friendly atmosphere. Dancing encouraged!  Tickets Available at the Door: Adults $10, Kids 6-11 $2, Under 6yrs free. Doors open at 6:00pm. Carter Family Fold, 3449 A P Carter Highway, Hiltons, VA. Online:  Get in Touch: 423-276-9309

Songwriting Credits


 Tommy Austin:

  • "Charlie Lawson’s Still", co-written with Becky Buller, recorded by The Mark Newton Band

  • "You Love Me Today", as recorded by Josh Williams

  • "Pocket Knives and Fiddle Tunes" as recorded by the Daughters of Bluegrass

  • "A Christmas Tear"- finalist in the Chris Austin Songwriting Competition at Merlefest

  • "The Master’s Plan"

  • "Blue’s My Favorite Color"

  • "Misery in Missouri"

  • "Katrina"

  • "Rain"

  • "Pale Rider"


Vickie Austin:

  • "Country Road"

  • "Runnin’ Blind"

  • "Can't Hold On to Much"

  • "Angels Watching Me"

  • "Abraham"



  • Corporate Functions

  • Concerts 

  • Theaters

  • Weddings/Receptions

  • Private Parties

  • Festivals

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