The community is invited to partake, enjoy and clap along with an evening of bluegrass music with hometown musician Cory Walker as well as several other award-winning Nashville bluegrass musicians. This annual event has been taking place at New Hope United Methodist Church in Brandon since 2013 and has become a staple in the community where Cory grew up with his other two musical brothers.
The Walker brothers, Cory, Jarrod and Tyler, grew up in Hillsborough County and have been playing music together for as long as they can remember. Cory and Jarrod are professional musicians in Nashville. Tyler, while not pursuing music professionally, is a talented guitar player who often joins his brothers in playing shows.
According to David Walker, the father of the talented musicians, this concert at New Hope is a crowd pleaser that draws nearly 500 people each year. “We started our bluegrass series of annual shows 10 years ago,” said Walker. “I love hearing my sons play music and I love the outreach and the joy that people get and seeing a very quality bluegrass show in our community.”
Cory is a multi-instrumentalist whose primary focus is the five-string banjo. One of his awards includes the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum Instrumentalists of the Year. He has played with big name artists, such as Ricky Skaggs, Sierra Hull, The SteelDrivers, Tim O’Brien, Mountain Heart and Joe Diffie. He currently has several working engagements with the Dillards (the Darling Family from The Andy Griffith Show), the David Grier Band and the East Nash Grass, which is a group of young super pickers in Nashville.
Due to the boys’ positions in the music community in Nashville, they’ve become friends to a lot of people who are well known in the bluegrass industry. In fact, Jarrod’s band has been very busy for the past three years, which prevents him from playing this year’s show. Jarrod plays with the Billy Strings Band, which is the biggest-selling bluegrass/jamgrass act in the country and recently won a GRAMMY.
Joining Cory at the bluegrass concert at New Hope Church will be Richard Bennett and Shawn Lane. Bennett is most well known as the lead guitarist, lead singer, songwriter and emcee for J. D. Crowe and the New South for which he was nominated for two GRAMMYs. Lane was the mandolinist, singer, songwriter and fiddle player for the legendary group Blue Highway. Lane has three GRAMMY nominations and 22 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards. Joining them on bass will be a longtime friend of the Walker brothers, Michael Godwin from Pinellas county.
The show will take place on Sunday, January 9 at 6 p.m. at New Hope United Methodist Church, located at 121 N. Knights Ave. in Brandon. Donations are accepted at the door. For more information on additional Florida shows, including a performance being held at the Krazy Kup coffee shop in Plant city on Thursday, January 6 at 6:30 p.m., email firstname.lastname@example.org.