BMI Private Party by Invitation Only @ Balsam Mountain Inn
May 25 @ 12:00 am
Songwriters in the Round: The Aaron Burdett Duo @ Balsam Mountain Inn
Jun 16 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

The Aaron Burdett Duo will be performing. Tickets are $20+tax and fees. Tickets must be purchased prior to the event and presented on arrival at the grand dinning room. If you have trouble purchasing tickets, please email

The restaurant will be having a special fixed menu on this night for $32+tax and gratuity per person. There will be a selection of soup or salad, 2 choices of entree, and 2 choices of dessert. Dinner will include coffee, tea, or iced tea. Vegetarian and gluten-free options will be available.


Aaron Burdett Bio

 Creating music isn’t a means to an end, it is an end with a meaning for Aaron Burdett. Writing and creating songs is rooted somewhere deep in his psyche; it’s something that can’t be denied and must be shared. His lyrics are soul-touching, intelligent, witty, and poetic all at once, while his music style is a seamless blend of Americana, country, blues, bluegrass, and folk-rock that cohesively creates a story.

 Aaron is listed as one of the top 10 most important musicians of western North Carolina by WNC Magazine, alongside such greats as Doc Watson, Steep Canyon Rangers, and The Avett Brothers. He has also receivedcritical acclaim as a songwriter, winning Our StateMagazine’s Carolina Songs competition in 2012 with “Going Home to Carolina.” Aaron’s song “Magpie” won third place bluegrass song in the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest in 2013. Over the years Aaron has been a finalist in numerous other songwriting competitions, including The Mountain Stage Songwriting Contest, The NC Songwriter’s Cooperative Songwriting Contest, and the Hank Williams Songwriting Contest.

 Aaron’s writing is as prolific and genuine as the man. He grew up the oldest of three boys in the fairly isolated small town in Saluda, NC, where the Blue Ridge meets the Smoky Mountains. When Aaron was about 10 years old he was introduced to the music of Cat Stevens, the first of many musical influences that include the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Doc Watson, Tony Rice, Norman Blake, and David Grier.

 During his teen years, Aaron found his tenor voice in a choral setting and, performed in musical theater. In 1992 he went to the prestigious Governor’s School of North Carolina for choral music. In his 20s, he played extensively in Boone, NC and owned a music store that sold instruments and offered lessons.

 No stranger to hard work, Aaron’s sense of adventure took him across the country working on various types of farms and ranches. While many mainstream country singers pay lip-service to the blue-collar working world, Aaron’s songs come from his life experiences.

 After seeing a lot of his friends and musical colleagues struggle to be full-time musicians, sometimes at the cost of their marriages and family lives, Aaron moved back to his hometown and decided to go another route. He started a construction business, built a home for himself and his wife, and started a family, all while continuing to write songs and playing music, recording an album every year or two. In2013, Aaron decided to pursue music full time, so fast forward to 2017, and his distinctive clear voice has carried his dream into a successful career. Aaron’s songs effortlessly transition from solo performance to full band, with equal emotional impact on audiences.

Aaron has 7 albums, Refuge (2017 on Organic Records), Tinderbox (2015 on Organic records), Fruits of My Labor (2014 on Organic Records), Breathing Underwater (2012), Stand Up Eight (2010), Resolve (2008) , and The Weight of Words (2005).

James Bernabe

James Bernabe is a mandolin player from Winston-Salem that has performed regularly with groups such as Blue Dogs and The Deluge.  James also builds and sells mandolins under the name “Bernabe Mandolins”.

Songwriters in the Round: Dark Waters @ Balsam Mountain Inn
Jun 28 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Dark Waters will be performing. Tickets are $20+tax and fees. Tickets must be purchased prior to the event and presented on arrival at the grand dinning room. If you have trouble purchasing tickets, please email

Dinner menu will be available closer to date of event.


The Dark Waters Project was founded in 2010 and is led by duo Cherish and Adam Hamby. Based out of Nashville, Tennessee. They were both Independent artists long before they met in 2006, both recording and releasing music to radio. Adam had a song titled, “Mercedes,” reach Christian radio with his band The Fifth Seal in 2004. Cherish had a number of her songs reach terrestrial radio in 2002 from her self-titled album “Cherish,” that she recorded with Mark Miller and Allen Reynolds at Jack’s Tracks / Allentown Recording Studio in Nashville. Cherish and Adam released their 1st collaborative 6 song EP in November of 2014 titled, “The Rains.” It ended up in the hands of countless people all over the globe. They are currently set to release their 2nd full length album titled, “The Darkgrass Sessions” in early 2018. It was produced by Lee Groitzsch and recorded at Skaggs Family Records.

They like to describe their music as Darkgrass. With an original mix of Alternative Rock, Folk and Bluegrass their set is filled with flawless, stirring harmonies, heavily influenced by Classic Folk and Americana groups like Crosby, Stills and Nash, Fleetwood Mac and Modern Folk and Alt Country groups like The Civil Wars and Lady Antebellum. Their music has been described as a, “Good sadness” and “An alt-rock band driven by an array of bluegrass instruments.”

The Dark Waters Project has toured all over the Central and Eastern US and Canada, and sold out shows, performing for captivated audiences from the Gulf Coast, to beyond the Great Lakes. When you see the Dark Waters Project perform, you will hear ballads that “slow-boil” to a soul-stirring, thunderous crescendo; haunting lyrics, bringing up the darkness of loves past, and up-beat, rhythmic bluegrass melodies that will make you want to go out and buy a Mandolin of your own.

Songwriters in the Round: Becky Hobbs, Benita Hill, & Dave Gibson @ Balsam Mountain Inn
Aug 11 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Becky Hobbs, Benita Hill, & Dave Gibson will be performing. Tickets are $20+tax and fees. Tickets must be purchased prior to the event and presented on arrival at the grand dinning room. If you have trouble purchasing tickets, please email

The restaurant will be having a special fixed menu on this night for $32+tax and gratuity per person. There will be a selection of soup or salad, 2 choices of entree, and 2 choices of dessert. Dinner will include coffee, tea, or iced tea. Vegetarian and gluten-free options will be available.


Benita Hill

Singer/songwriter Benita Hill has had her songs recorded in nearly all genres of music-country,rock, pop, jazz, gospel,Broadway and musical theater. As a recording artist, she has released seven CDs of her original music to outstanding critical reviews. She has toured as a background singer with the Allman Brothers, J.J.Cale, Conway Twitty and many others. Hers is the voice of “Santa Baby” for the international Jaguar Automobiles television commercial. Her songs have been recorded by Isaac Hayes, Crystal Gayle, Kirk Whalum and Garth Brooks,including the two number one hits “It’s Your Song” and “Two Pina Coladas”; and a song she co-wrote with Garth titled “Weekend” which appears on his 2016 platinum selling album “Gunslinger” as well as his multi-platinum selling boxed set “The Ultimate Collection”.

Benita’s self-produced documentary, “The Healing Power Of A Song” has been broadcast on public television and on the Blue Highways cable television network. Her recent work includes co-writing six songs for the international movie musical “Cooking For Two” which premiered in Hong Kong and has been touring the international film festival circuit ; her newest album of original, modern torch songs called NOIR establishes her range as a modern and timeless songwriter and artist of depth, humor and insight.

Benita is passionate about yoga and healthy eating. As a certified yoga instructor, she has taught a popular class at the YMCA; and her recipes were included in Trisha Yearwood’s New York Times number-one best selling cookbook, Trisha’s Table. She also enjoys meeting aspiring songwriters through her work as a mentor at the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

Becky Hobbs

Becky Hobbs started writing songs when she was nine years old in Bartlesville, OK.  At age fifteen, she formed what has now been documented as the first all-female rock band in the state of Oklahoma, “Four Faces of Eve.” Her song, “Angels Among Us,” recorded by Alabama, Demi Lovato, Scotty McCreery, and more, has been used to benefit charities throughout the world, namely  St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Other songs of hers have been recorded by Conway Twitty, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Glen Campbell, Emmylou Harris, John Anderson, Helen Reddy, Shirley Bassey, Wanda Jackson, Janie Fricke, Moe Bandy, Joe Stampley, Ken Mellons, Lacy J. Dalton, the Cherokee National Youth Choir and more.  Past awards include Cashbox magazine’s Female Country Artist of the Year and the U.K.’s “Country Music Round-Up” magazine’s Most Promising International Act.  Her song “You Are”, recorded by Glen Campbell and Emmylou Harris, was nominated for a Grammy in “Best Country Duet” category 1988.

As a recording artist, she has had over 20 chart singles/albums, including “Jones on the Jukebox,” “Honky Tonk Saturday Night,” “Are There Any More Like You (Where You Came From),” and Billboard Top Ten duet with Moe Bandy, “Let’s Get Over Them Together.”

Becky is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, and the composer and co-playwright of the musical “Nanyehi-The Story of Nancy Ward,” based on the life of her fifth-great grandmother, a Cherokee war woman-turned peacemaker in the 1700’s.  It has had nine productions in four states.  She has performed her song “Tsa La Gi-We Are Many” at both of Chief Bill John Baker’s Inauguration Ceremonies, as well as the past seven State of the Nation addresses.

Known for her high energy shows, the “Beckaroo” has performed in over 40 countries.  She lives in Nashville, TN with her husband, guitarist/producer Duane Sciacqua.  Becky was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2015 and awarded Cherokee National Statesman award in 2017.


Born in El Dorado, Arkansas and raised in Odessa, Texas, Gibson grew up in an era of great music and in particular loved singer/songwriters such as Buddy Holly, Elvis, Roy Orbison, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Marty Robbins, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Smokey Robinson, Bob Seger, Chris Kristofferson and the Beatles just to name a few. All of them became his heroes and influenced his singing and writing style. By 1982 after cutting his teeth in the honky tonks, folk and blues bars of Chicago the restless, singer/songwriter was bent on making it. He patched up a rusted out Ford van and headed to Nashville armed with raw talent, determination and an infectious personality. A keening baritone with a wry sense of humor, Gibson was always drawn to the story-telling part of country music combining that with a rock beat. He loved to deliver a surprise last line with his signature guffaw. It wasn’t long before the office doors of Music Row opened and Gibson found himself in front of an array of power brokers, including producers Tony Brown, Norro Wilson, Oak Ridge Boys, and eventually, Doug Johnson.

 He landed a publishing deal with The Oak Ridge Boy’s company, Silverline Music, and began co-writing with a who’s who of hit makers. The industry soon began to take notice of this fledgling writer and he started having hits with Steve Wariner, Joe Diffie, Confederate Railroad, Tanya Tucker, Alabama, Pam Tillis, and Montgomery Gentry. He earned six number ones, and Alabama’s “Juke Box in My Mind” stayed at number one for an impressive four weeks. The longest of their career

 Despite his success and attention as a writer, Gibson’s first dream was always to be a performer. That dream was finally realized when he teamed up with rocker Blue Miller, famed guitar player for the Bob Seger band, in 1990. The duo formed the Gibson-Miller Band. They quickly racked up sell out dates, received critical raves, and scored multiple top ten hits as well as a coveted Academy of Country Music Award for New Vocal Group or Duo in 1993. The band toured together for four years, pushing the envelope with their rockin’ country cutting-edge shows. They even landed a song in the feature film, “The Cowboy Way” starring Keifer Sutherland and Woody Harrelson, with their re-make of the hit “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”. When the band broke up, Gibson began focusing again on his writing and developing new talent.

 Gibson has been producing, writing and performing ever since and has just signed a new recording contract with Right Recordings, the largest independent record company in the UK. His debut album “Good and Getting’ Better” has just been released across the pond, on the strength of his song, no pun intended, “The Frog Song” that reached 4 weeks at number 1 on the hot disc chart. He just concluded a three-week tour in the UK last September that ended up at the Schupfart festival with his new band in Switzerland. Dave continues to write every day…Dave says the music business Is a roller coaster ride and he ought to know, his talent has taken him to the top many times and is headed there again. He is also working on a new project that Gibson says his most rewarding, SAVEANOTHERPATRIOT.COM, is a company he recently founded with a business partner, songwriter friend Carl Conge, who is incidentally a retired capt with 40 years of service in the United States Army. Out of the power of a song, by the same name, the idea was born. Gibson is currently in the studio working on an album of tribute songs along with many legendary stars of Country music with the primary idea of bringing awareness to the huge problem of PTSD and other challenges which cause so many to take their own lives, 22 every day to be exact, every 65 minutes.


Songwriters in the Round: Angela Easterling, Fayssoux Starling McLean, Brandon Turner @ Balsam Mountain Inn
Aug 25 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Angela Easterling, Fayssoux Starling McLean, Brandon Turner will be performing. Tickets are $20+tax and fees. Tickets must be purchased prior to the event and presented on arrival at the grand dinning room. If you have trouble purchasing tickets, please email

The restaurant will be having a special fixed menu on this night for $32+tax and gratuity per person. There will be a selection of soup or salad, 2 choices of entree, and 2 choices of dessert. Dinner will include coffee, tea, or iced tea. Vegetarian and gluten-free options will be available.


 Fayssoux Starling McLean

Fayssoux thinks she sings songs, but she sings invitations. Invitations to a kind and lovely south that I’ve not found when her voice is out of earshot. Invitations to transformational emotions, to empathy and caring, to good humor and helpfulness. Invitations to feel something, to hear stories and smile together. Invitations to graceEmmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Linda Ronstadt, Tom T. Hall and many others have accepted her invitations. Harris, who calls Fayssoux’s “one of my favorite voices,” featured Fayssoux on classic albums including Pieces of the Sky, Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town and Blue Kentucky Girl.That’s Fayssoux, duetting with Harris on 1978’s “Green Rolling Hills” and harmonizing on 2005’s Grammy-winning “The Connection.” Crowell adores her, and likens her voice to “charm, elegance, whippoorwills and Magnolia dewdrops.” Ronstadt writes glowingly about Fayssoux in her Simple Dreams memoir. Hall contributed vocals to Fayssoux’s version of his and wife Dixie Hall’s “I Made a Friend of a Flower Today,” which originally appeared on the Grammy-nominated Red Beet Records album, I Love: Tom T. Hall’s Songs of Fox Hollow.

Angela Easterling

Angela Easterling lives with her partner and their two young sons on the South Carolina farm that has been in her family since 1791. She is a three-time Kerrville New Folk Finalist, a Telluride Troubadour Finalist and a two-time Wildflower Performing Songwriter Finalist. The Boston Herald named her song “The Picture”  “Best Political Country Song” in their Year’s best music. Her most recent release, 2015’s “Common Law Wife”, went all the way to number 1 on the Roots Music Report Americana Country Airplay Chart, and remained in the top 5 on that chart for nearly 2 months, closing the year out as #12 on the top 100 albums, and earning much praise in the press.  Roger McGuinn, of the Byrds, called her “a bright shining star on the horizon!” and went on to say, “Her CD brought me back to the time the Byrds recorded “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” – tradition meets youthful exuberance.”

Brandon Turner

A native of the tiny mill hill town of Pacolet, SC, Brandon Turner is an accomplished and versatile young guitarist, having played both live and in studio with, among others, Ricky Skaggs, Emmylou Harris, Sierra Hull, Will Kimbrough and more. Peter Cooper, music writer for the Nashville Tennessean said, “Brandon Turner plays guitar with ease, tone and invention, whether trading bluegrass licks with Ricky Skaggs, dueling on searing electric guitar with Will Kimbrough or creating plaintive acoustic parts for songs featuring Emmylou Harris, Fayssoux McLean or Angela Easterling. Hailing from a region that has given us country-jazz master Hank Garland, blues great Pink Anderson and country-rock kingpin Toy Caldwell, Turner synthesizes his native influences into something unique, fresh and pleasing.