If Russell Moore and his bluegrass band IIIrd Tyme Out should do a CD in honor of the group’s 20th anniversary, they should call it Fourth Tyme Out.
That’s because IIIrd Tyme Out is the fourth group that Moore has played with since his teenage years growing up in Texas.
“In my mind, I don’t count the first group, Bluegrass Ramblers, because we just played weekends in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas and the guys had other jobs,” Moore said from his home in Cumming, Ga.
Moore was 15 when he joined the Bluegrass Ramblers and played upright bass for the group. That led to his forming his own full-time group Southern Connection and moving to Asheville, N.C.
He joined Doyle Lawson’s great Quicksilver bluegrass band in 1985 and played with Quicksilver for six years including on seven of the band’s albums.
Finally, in his third time with a professional band, Moore co-founded IIIrd Tyme Out around May 1991.
“I guess like most things we had a lot of exposure behind us and felt like we had strength in numbers,” Moore said. “Three of us (Moore, Ray Deaton and Mike Hargrove) left Doyle’s band at the same time to be at the helm and guide our own ship for awhile.”
Moore will bring his fabulous musicians – multiple winners of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Group of the Year award – back to the Imperial Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18.
Tickets are ground floor, $24; first balcony, $19; upper balcony, $13. Call (706) 722-8341 or order online at imperialtheatre.com.
Besides Moore on guitar, IIIrd Tyme Out consists of Steve Dilling on banjo; Wayne Benson, mandolin; Justen Haynes, fiddle; and Edgar Loudermilk, upright bass.
Opening for IIIrd Tyme Out will be special guest group Nu-Blu of Siler City, N.C., which earlier this month kicked off a series of in-store performances at Walmart locations.
The quartet (Daniel and Carolyn Routh, Levi Austin and Austin Koerner) have their first music video out based on their song Other Woman’s Blues off their CD The Blu-DISC.
IIIrd Tyme Out just released its new CD, Prime Tyme, on Rural Rhythm Records on Oct. 25 with a release party in Jonesborough, Tenn.
Almost all of the 14 songs on the CD are originals except for the classic Sugarfoot Rag made famous by guitarist Hank Garland and the instrumental Carroll County Blues popularized by fiddler Chubby Wise.
Moore’s musical path steered toward bluegrass music when not many major bluegrass acts or shows came to where he grew up near Pasadena, Texas, home of the famous Gilley’s honky tonk made famous in the 1980 movie Urban Cowboy.
“The first star I saw in concert probably was at the Houston livestock show and rodeo,” he said. “I remember seeing Reba McEntire there before she got out of the rodeo circuit, and we used to go to the New Year’s Eve bash Willie Nelson held in downtown Houston every year.”
Moore’s parents and relatives loved bluegrass music and started going to The Blue Barn near Cleveland, Texas, where the Bluegrass Ramblers performed the first Saturday of every month. That led Moore to start playing with the band.
He finds it amazing that IIIrd Tyme Out continues to be popular after 20 years. He has won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Male Vocalist of the Year award several times.
“Isn’t that something?” he said. “Twenty years. That sounds funny when I hear it because so many bands don’t last that long.
“We’ve been fortunate to have a great fan base, and we’ve had our share of awards, rewards and accolades,” he added. “I’m glad they’re still putting our name in the hat with nominations after 20 years. There were a few years we started to fly under the radar, but now it seems like most everybody’s paying attention to us.”
DOYLE LAWSON IN NEWBERRY: Bluegrass star Doyle Lawson will bring his Quicksilver band back to the Newberry, S.C., Opera House at 8 p.m. Dec. 1. Tickets are $35. Call (803) 276-6264 or buy online at newberryoperahouse.com.
GLENN KEARNEY IN STATESBORO: Country music singer Glenn Kearney and his band will perform at noon, Saturday, Nov. 19, for the Epilepsy Walk for Awareness fundraiser at the pavilion in Mill Creek Regional Park, 1388 Georgia Highway 24 East at the U.S. 301 bypass, in Statesboro, Ga. He has a new single, Broken Heart. Among other performers will be Frayed Knot at 11 a.m., Lance Stinson at 1 p.m. and D. Curry Smooth at 2 p.m.