The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

August 1, 2013

SteelDrivers tapped to headline annual Fiddlers Convention


For The News Courier

— Gary Nichols and the SteelDrivers will be the featured headliners at this year’s Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention.

Nichols, a Muscle Shoals native, signed a contract with Mercury Records as a solo artist in 2003 and a songwriting deal with Fame Music. Since the release of band’s self-titled debut in 2008 and follow-up “Reckless” in 2010, The SteelDrivers have been nominated for three Grammys, four IBMA awards and the Americana Music Association’s New Artist of the Year.

The group was also presented the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Emerging Artist of the Year Award in 2009. That same year, the band spent a week in Georgia as part of the cast in the movie “Get Low.” The movie, which starred Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek and Bill Murray, featured a soundtrack that included four tunes by The SteelDrivers.

In 2011, Adele began performing the group’s song, “If It Hadn’t Been For Love,” in her live performances. The group has also performed on radio and television shows, including The Grand Ole Opry, NPR’s Mountain Stage and “The Late Show with Conan O’Brien.”

The SteelDrivers will perform at 5 p.m. on Oct. 5 on stage in front of Founders Hall on the campus of Athens State University.

Performing at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4 will be musical comedian Mike Snider. A native of Gleason, Tenn., Snider came to prominence in the 1980s through appearances on TNN’s “Nashville Now” and a seven-year stint on “Hee Haw.” In addition to his television work, Mike and his band performed for seven years at Nashville’s Opryland USA.

The annual Fiddler’s Convention historically attracts more than 15,000 people for the two-day event. More than 200 musicians are expected to participate. Approximately 150 booths featuring old-fashioned arts and crafts are also part of the convention.

In May, the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention was named one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events for the third time. The event also received the recognition in 2003 and 2007.

Tickets are $8 for Friday, $10 for Saturday and $15 for both days. Children ages 12 and under are free with a parent.

For more information, visit www.athens.edu/fiddlers.