Nashville based, Williamson Branch, is a high energy, high steppin’ show that features a fine-tuned variety of bluegrass, gospel and country music, accentuated by world class Appalachian clog dancing. As Pinecastle recording artists, this family fills every performance with memorable moments of love and laughter. In recent years audiences from Canada to the Cayman Islands, Maine to the Mexican border have thrilled to the soaring vocal harmonies and sparkling personalities of Williamson Branch!
"This high energy stage show features the magic of pitch perfect, organic family harmony!" The Southern Illinoisan
Welcome to Williamson Branch! Our place is home to sweet mountain harmonies, great songs & traditional, family values.
Kevin Williamson - Guitar
Debbie Williamson - Mandolin
Melody Williamson - Fiddle
Kadence Williamson - Bass
Caroline Williamson - Fiddle
Family harmonies. Sparkling personalities. Original songs. Mostly bluegrass, sometimes country, often times gospel, always fresh & exciting!
Kevin Williamson recently nominated for Bluegrass Entertainer of the Year, has been playing music professionally for 35+ years. He has worked with the bluegrass bands, Glenn Duncan & Phoenix, Dave Evans & River Bend, The Country Gentlemen, and Farm Hands Quartet. Kevin was also a founding member of Redwing and Shadow Ridge. He provides Williamson Branch with driving rhythm guitar, Bluegrass Award winning & Grammy-nominated songwriting expertise, and lonesome lead & harmony vocals. Kevin says one of his most memorable musical experiences was playing guitar and singing with The Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe in the early 90's, in a small club near Nashville. "Monroe did a guest spot most Wednesdays. As young, long-haired picker, I sang with him there many times. But, one night, as I finished a song he grinned at me and said, 'You sing purty good there, boy.' to which I replied, 'Thank you Mr. Monroe.' He then said, 'you might have to come play the guitar with me.' I smiled and said, I might just cut my hair and come do that.' He grinned again and said, 'I'll cut it for ya!' The crowed then roared with delight."
Debbie Williamson has been performing for almost 20 years. Also a founding member of the band, Shadow Ridge, Debbie brings sweet lead & harmony vocals to Williamson Branch, along with her solid mandolin rhythm. The Baltimore Sun described her voice as, "cool and sweet as a mountain stream", and they were right. Debbie was also born to play the role of momma,and she does it well, shepherding her children at home and on the road. She fervently believes that 99% of the problems within the human condition can be cured by water - either sitting beside it or drinking it. The other 1%, according to Debbie, are easily dealt with by drinking Gatorade. Momma knows.
Melody Williamson is a fiddle & singing phenomenon at 18 years-old. She (as with the other Williamson girls) has been performing on stage since she was two. Her original song, There's No Country Here, has over half a million views on several internet sites and climbed to #15 on the independent country radio charts. Melody is now an alum of the International Bluegrass Music Associations, Kids on Bluegrass and she's also listed in the honorary group, Tomorrow's Bluegrass Stars. Her voice has a beautiful quality that is a rare gift in one so young. Melody has won many awards for both her fiddling and her dancing. She was also voted by the other members of Williamson Branch as, Most Likely to Sleep Through a Hurricane.
Kadence Williamson at 15, sings the harmonies that are too high for anyone else in Williamson Branch. She is also a marvelous bass player. Her ukelele bass, or Ubass, is the ideal size for her. With her bass, she provides the perfect punch for the group she's a champion clog dancer, Kadence is one of about twenty youth from across the nation to be featured in the International Bluegrass Music Association's, Kids on Bluegrass showcase and she is also a member of the honorary group Tomorrow's Bluegrass Stars. Kadence' primary gift is her ability to meet people one on one. Often at her concerts, you can find Kadence minding the merchandise table, using that gift. When she grows up, Kadence would like to work with animals. For now, she just collects cats - at one time she had 10.
Caroline Williamson is 8. She can already play the fiddle, clog-dance and she has been singing harmony since she was 3. Lately Caroline has been winning audiences with her sassy version of Loretta Lynn's, You Ain't Woman Enough. Also a member of Tomorrow's Bluegrass Stars, Caroline has been playing Ukulele lately for Williamson Branch. Additionally, she plans to learn to play mandolin and guitar but her official job description with the band is, show stealer!
"What a wonderful family full of talent and energy! If you are looking for bluegrass or bluegrass gospel, look no more, Williamson Branch is your answer." Slate Mountain Presbyterian, VA
"Williamson Branch blew the crowd away! This talented family never stops entertaining!" Sterling Bluegrass Jamboree, OH
"One of the most wonderful family bands I've ever witnessed. Not only can they sing and play but their showmanship was nothing short of PROFESSIONAL! Don't miss Williamson Branch." Kenny Curry, OH
"Wow! Can't say enough good things about Williamson Branch! A must for any festival" River Valley Ontario Bluegrass Festival
"This high energy stage show features the magic of pitch perfect, organic family harmony!" The Southern Illinoisan
"Impressive harmony delivered with equally impressive humility." Falmouth Baptist, KY
"Williamson Branch was AMAZING this morning!!! So inspiring seeing this family using their musical gifts all for God's glory!!!" Anchor of Life, IL
"Your girls had my crowd on their feet!!" Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival, Maine
"Drove 150 miles to see this concert. YOUR performance by itself made it worthwhile." Jim F.
"These girls are AWESOME!!" Mike Wolfe of History Channel's American Pickers
"What a precious, talented family! The harmonies, musicianship and stage presence are top notch!" Kimberly East
Williams, East Public Relations
"The highlight was the Williamson Branch concert, the church was packed!" Fairdale. PA UMC
"You have a new fan here. I love your song and I'm proud of you!" Leona Williams Legendary Country Artist
"The kids loved it and so did all the staff! We had a blast!!" Wakelon Elementary, NC
"Yours was the most genuine performance we've ever had. We look forward to working with you in the future" Richland UMC, GA
"I was expecting a little girl's voice, but when Melody started singing, I thought I was hearing a young Alison Krauss or Rhonda Vincent." Jeanie C. Riley country music star
"Amazing talent from the entire family, but the youngest, Caroline, truly captured out hearts!" Loriann in PA
"I've heard nothing but GREAT things about you and the service. When can you come back?" Good Hope Baptist, NC
Williamson Branch to Pinecastle Records
Shortly before the IBMA convened their World of Bluegrass last week, Kevin and Debbie Williamson signed their family band, Williamson Branch, with Pinecastle Records in North Carolina.
The group consists of Kevin on guitar and Debbie on mandolin, with their three daughters Melody (18) on fiddle, Kadence (15) on bass, and Caroline (8) on vocals. All five Williamsons sing and together produce some very powerful harmony on both Gospel and secular material.
Long time bluegrass fans will recognize Kevin from his time with multiple bluegrass groups, most recently The Farm Hands. He had also worked with Dave Evans, Glen Duncan, and The Country Gentlemen. He and Debbie were founding members of Shadown Ridge, and all the girls have been singing on stage since they were old enough to talk.
Williamson Branch has a pair of self-produced projects to their credit, and are excited to get started soon on a new album at Pinecastle’s Bonfire Studio.
Kevin related how he got his start on the label, and how happy he is to bring the whole family on board for a 2018 release.
“We are very excited to partner with Pinecastle Recording Company. In the early ’90s my dad Jerry and I had the group Redwing. We were the first band to record for Pinecastle. When the time came for my solo project, Pinecastle worked hard to make Salt River Canyon their first song on the Bluegrass Unlimited Airplay chart. My wife Debbie and I also charted songs for Pinecastle with our group Shadow Ridge. Through the years Pinecastle has felt like family, and now we’re proud to continue that tradition with Williamson Branch.”
WILLIAMSON BRANCH New Album -
Kevin Williamson has been in the bluegrass music business for over three decades, playing with groups such as the Farm Hands Quartet, Glen Duncan and Phoenix, Dave Evans, the Country Gentlemen, and Bill Monroe. Now, from his homebase in Nashville, Williamson tours the country with his family band Williamson Branch. Along with Kevin on guitar and lead vocals, the group features his wife Debbie Williamson on lead vocals and mandolin, along with daughters Melody on lead vocals and fiddle, Kadence on bass and vocals, and Caroline on vocals.
You never know what you’re getting with a family band. Either it is cuteness and corn pone or a family that takes the music seriously and truly brings something to the table. Thankfully, Williamson Branch represents the latter. The first cut on Branchin’ Out is proof of that, with daughter Melody not only writing the song “Someday,” but also showing that her lead vocal and fiddling abilities are impressive. Kevin steps up with a good bluegrass song that harkens back to the genre’s roots with “The Miner’s Song,” backed up by newly-crowned IBMA Award winner Becky Buller on clawhammer banjo and Craig Fletcher on mandolin. Other highlights include “New River Train” with Barry Crabtree on banjo, and “I Was Raised In A Railroad Town” with Jeff Easter on harmonica.
Like many family albums with younger members, this is a bit uneven at times, but overall this is good bluegrass with solid musicianship. For me, the main theme of this project is that Melody has a big future in this business. With her songwriting, fiddling, and lead singing abilities already at a high level, she is one to watch as she grows older. DH
One of the fun parts of writing for Bluegrass Today is watching young artists mature, as individuals and musicians, and watching some family bands graduate from the cute stage to genuine top-tier acts.
I’ve watched it happen with The Bankesters, Flatt Lonesome and Gold Heart. And I’m guessing before long, it will happen to Williamson Brach. In fact, there’s evidence in the band’s newest CD, Branchin' Out, that it’s already happening.
Williamson Branch is made up of accomplished picker and songwriter Kevin Williamson on guitar, wife Debbie on mandolin, and daughters Melody (fiddle), Kadence (bass) and Caroline (fiddle). All of them share lead singing chores on the 12-song project.
Instrumentally, with help from Barry Crabtree on banjo and Craig Fletcher on mandolin, the CD is tight and sound. Melody, now old enough to qualify for a driver’s license, is coming into her own as a fiddler, has good command as a singer and is building her chops as a songwriter. Someday, her angst-infused song about a love she hasn’t met yet, kicks off the project.
But Kadence, over time, may become the instrumental star of the bunch (though Caroline is too young to offer any hints about how she may develop musically). Kadence plays a U-Bass – the size of a ukulele with the punch and growl of a standard-size bass – with authority and rock-solid timing. Seriously, her performance here sent me to dust off my U-bass to see if it will help my aging hands recover from repetitive strain injuries that make the upright bass too painful to play for any length of time. There aren’t many bluegrassers playing a uke bass, but after hearing what Kadence does here, don’t be surprised if others head in that direction. (I happen to think a U-Bass, dialed in and played through an Acoustic Image or other good quality bass amplifier, sounds better than most electric upright basses used by many players on flying gigs.)
The vocals are solid, too, especially when Kevin sings the lead on The Miner’s Song and I Was Born in a Railroad Town, when Debbie steps out front on Love Among the Dandelion, and when Melody sings the plaintive Coal in My Stocking. All four of those songs, by the way, are Kevin Williamson originals.
Coal in My Stocking is my favorite on the record, largely because Melody delivers a quite believable plea to the guy from the North Pole: “Dear Santa, give me coal in my stocking this time, and please let my daddy dig it out of the mine. He’s laid off this Christmas, and my mama’s been cryin, so dear Santa, give me coal in my stocking this time.”
Love Among the Dandelion reminds me of the Carter Family. It also makes me wish that Debbie Williamson was featured as the vocalist on more cuts here. She has one of those polished voices that I could listen to all day long, something that would easier to accomplish if I didn’t have to keep hitting repeat on this one song!
A couple of the other songs, frankly, are a little too precious for me, but I can see how they might come across as entertaining when performed live. This is especially true of Grandma’s Featherbed, sung by Caroline, the youngest of the performing Williamsons, and on the Loretta Lynn scorcher, You Ain’t Woman Enough. It’s jarring to hear this live version sung by one young lady in her teens and another in middle single digits, even though the audience response makes it clear that what they’re seeing on the stage is clearly a spoof.
But, overall, Branchin’ Out is a solid performance, with some outstanding moments, from a band that’s only going to get better as the girls grow into their artistic selves.
Williamson Branch: "You Ain't Woman Enough To Take my man"
Williamson Branch: "You Ain't Woman Enough To Take My Man" on The World-Famous "Viva! NashVegas® Radio Show" LIVE @ Kimbro's Café in the Antique District of Beautiful DownTown Franklin, Tennessee!!! *The World-Famous "Viva! NashVegas® Radio Show" CELEBRATED its FOURTH ANNIVERSARY in May 2016!!!
Williamson Branch: "Someday"
Williamson Branch: "Someday" on The World-Famous "Viva! NashVegas® Radio Show" LIVE @ Kimbro's Café in the Antique District of Beautiful DownTown Franklin, Tennessee!!! [April 23, 2016]
WILLIAMSON BRANCH - Bluegrass in FULL SPEED!
Williamson Branch won the hearts of "everyone" in the beautiful Livingston Performing Arts Center at the Roosevelt State Park Music Festival in Morton, Mississippi!!!!
Williamson Branch: "Here Or There Or In the Air"
Williamson Branch: "Here Or There Or In the Air" on The World-Famous "Viva! NashVegas® Radio Show" LIVE @ Kimbro's Café in the Antique District of Beautiful DownTown Franklin, Tennessee!!!
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