BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. – Heavy rains didn’t stop the Blairsville faithful from attending the final concert in the 2019 Concert Series at the Historic Union County Courthouse.

A full house of attendees greeted the Skillet Lickers on Friday night for the band’s annual pilgrimage to Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, a trip taken in 22 consecutive Octobers, dating back to 1998. Scroll for photos of the night’s action.

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. – In this small, picturesque North Georgia town nestled in the heart of Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Friday nights are a sacred tradition for hundreds throughout the summer and early fall.

On the square, inside the historic Union County Courthouse, the former chambers turn into a mountain music venue, featuring some of the region’s best Bluegrass, Folk, and Old Time artists and bands from May through October. It’s a tradition that has stood for decades – and a tradition that has always concluded each year with a Skillet Licker performance on the last Friday in October.

“The band looked a lot different then, but I can vividly remember playing the Courthouse in the 1990’s with Art [Rosenbaum], Doug [Landress], Joe [Miller], and Russ [Tanner],” recalls Phil Tanner, guitarist and grandson of Skillet Lickers founder Gid Tanner, who also performed in the historic venue more than 75 years ago.

The Courthouse is always filled to capacity for the series finale with the Skillet Lickers each year. In fact, some fans arrive as early as three hours or more before show time to ensure they receive a prime seat in the courthouse. Employees with the Union County Historical Society, who occupy the courthouse, are known to close doors to the courthouse as early as 30-45 minutes prior to showtime due to maximum capacity, forcing some fans to listen from the downstairs lobby.

Joel Aderhold, banjo player for the group, says the passion the Blairsville crowd brings each year is not lost on the band. “The audience is always very enthusiastic and being at arms length away helps the band feel their energy.”

Aderhold also says the history of the building means a lot to the Skillet Lickers, “knowing that many of the first generation country music groups such as The Monroe Brothers, The Blue Sky Boys, and the [original] Skillet Lickers played there, adds an additional measure of enjoyment to playing there.”

“It’s certainly a highlight of the year for us… we could have a date on the calendar to play in front of thousands, but we always look forward to Blairsville,” says Russ Tanner, band leader and fourth-generation Skillet Licker. “It really is our favorite night of the year, next to Christmas Eve. The people are so hosptiable, so much fun to play for, and they’re not going to want to miss out on this year’s show. We may just have a surprise that everyone will want to see and hear.”

The Skillet Lickers, now in their 94th year, will perform at the historic Union County Courthouse, located at 1 Town Square, Blairsville, GA on Friday, October 25, 2019, beginning at 7 p.m. Admission is free, however, fans are encouraged to arrive early to ensure seating.

ATLANTA – The Skillet Lickers, in conjunction with Save 152 Nassau and DSW Whiskey Exchange, have announced details for an Atlanta watch party of Ken Burns’s new PBS docuseries, ‘Country Music’. The documentary will highlight Country music’s rich history from its inception to the 1990’s and running every Sunday night throughout the fall.

The first episode will run on Sunday, September 15th at 8 p.m. In anticipation of the nationwide series premiere, Save 152 Nassau, an Atlanta-based organization devoted to saving Country music’s – and the South’s – first recording studio from demolition, has organized a watch party at DSW Whiskey Exchange near Atlanta’s West End neighborhood.

The Skillet Lickers are slated to perform at 6 p.m. in ASW’s Tasting Room with the documentary showing beginning at 8 p.m. in the Barrel Room. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to Atlanta Music Project – a nearby non-profit that provides free music education to underserved youth. 

“We’re excited to be a part of this event,” says Russ Tanner of the Skillet Lickers. “First of all, we’re all excited about seeing this new series, but it’s pretty cool to be able to perform ahead of it in the city where Country music truly began – and the Skillet Lickers began – all while supporting Save 152 Nassau, who are working to save the building home to the first Country music recording of all time. It’s pretty cool to have all of this come together for one great event.”

DSW Whiskey Distillery is located at 1000 White Street, Atlanta, GA 30310. The event is open to the public and family-friendly.

DACULA, Ga. – On Friday, the Skillet Lickers announced their first three stops on their 2019 Fall Tour. Traditionally, the fall is the busiest season of the year for the band, performing at festivals and venues across North Georgia and beyond.

The first three confirmed cities on the tour include Athens, Blairsville, and the band’s hometown of Dacula. Check them out below:

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5Elisha Winn Fair (Dacula)

The Skillet Lickers have been performing at the Elisha Winn Fair, at the site of the historic Elisha Winn House, for decades. The festival features historic building tours dating back to the days of Gwinnett County’s founding, along with arts and crafts vendors, demonstrations, delicious food, and of course, great live music. There is a nominal fee for festival admission and music is free! Show time TBA.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12North Georgia Folk Festival (Athens)

For the first time in four years, the Skillet Lickers are heading back to the North Georgia Folk Festival in one of Georgia’s most eccentric musical cities! Located at Sandy Creek Park and featuring a star studded lineup of local and national folk artists, this event is a can’t miss. Show time TBA.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25 (7p) – Historic Blairsville Courthouse

A fan favorite and one of ours, too. Since the days of Gid Tanner, the Skillet Lickers have rarely missed a show on the last Friday night of October in Blairsville. It’s a free night of great entertainment and the house is always packed! Get there early for good seats in this historic venue in the heart of beautiful downtown Blairsville!

WINDER, Ga. – The Skillet Lickers and First Baptist Church Winder are excited to partner for a barbecue and concert on Sunday, June 9, to benefit the church’s Zambia mission team.

The event is open to the public. Barbecue plates, provided by Winder FBC’s Men’s Ministry, will be available beginning at 5 p.m. Barbecue tickets are $5 and can be purchased on site. A love offering will also be collected for the mission team.

The Skillet Lickers will perform beginning at 6 p.m. The show will feature an abbreviated history of the band’s influence in the development of Country music, as well as classic Skillet Licker favorites.

This show marks the Skillet Lickers’ first public stop in Barrow County since the band performed at the Colleen O. Williams Theater in March 2018.

Additional information on this event can be found at www.fbcwinder.com/events. First Baptist Church is located at 625 Jefferson Hwy., Winder, GA 30680.

ABOUT THE SKILLET LICKERS

The Skillet Lickers’ name is synonymous with string band music in Georgia. This band from Dacula is familiar to Georgia historians and folk music fans across the world. Their recordings have sold millions and their style remains influential to the development of the country, folk, and bluegrass music. Today’s band is carrying on a tradition of string band music going back four generations and nearly a century. The Skillet Lickers are proud members of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame.

SAN ANTONIO, Tx. – It’s been 85 years since Gid Tanner and his 17 year old son Gordon Tanner, along with the rest of the newly reassembled Skillet Lickers, made the roughly 1,000-mile drive from Atlanta, Georgia to the Gunter Hotel in downtown San Antonio, Texas. The group, which had disbanded in 1931, but reformed three years later for one final session with RCA, recorded what was undoubtedly their most successful album of all. The session, which featured the ‘Down Yonder’ and ‘Back Up and Push’ album sold millions in the middle of the Great Depression and set a new standard for American Country music.

A new chapter in the story was written on Wednesday afternoon as Russ Tanner, fiddle and bow in hand, walked into the historic Gunter Hotel (now operated by Sheraton) on E. Houston Street.

Russ became the first Skillet Licker to perform in the historic building since Gid and Gordon nearly a century ago.

Watch the video below:

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The Skillet Lickers and Bear on the Square event organizers announced the band’s return to the legendary North Georgia folk festival on Sunday, April 28, marking the band’s first performance at the event – and first visit to Dahlonega – in four years.

“Bear on the Square is the premier folk festival in North Georgia and has been for years,” says Russ Tanner of the Skillet Lickers. “It’s an honor to once again be included in the very talented lineup of some of the region’s greatest talent.”

While it’s been a few years since the Skillet Lickers last took part in the event, the band has a long history performing at Bear on the Square. This year, the band is slated to perform on the main stage on Sunday, April 28, the second day of the two-day festival, from 3:45-5:00 p.m., the final performance of the weekend.

Phil and Russ Tanner will also be leading a workshop on old-time fiddling prior to the band’s performance at 1 p.m. Anyone with an interest in fiddling is encouraged to attend this free workshop. There will be personal instruction and a live jam session.

Other bands performing at Bear on the Square in 2019 include the Georgia Crackers, Ugly Cousin, Jeff Mosier, Crooked Mile, Underhill Rose, among many others.

A full list of Bear on the Square performers can be found here.

The Skillet Lickers have announced the addition of “The Frying Pan”, a brand new online store featuring official Skillet Licker apparel — including t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, aprons, hats, and much more! The new store promises many new and improved designs in a variety of different, quality products.

“Many Skillet Licker fans have inquired about merchandise recently. While we typically order one to two products in mass quantities for certain shows, we’ve never had a platform with such a huge array of items and designs available at once,” says Josh Tanner, manager of the Skillet Lickers. “With ‘The Frying Pan’ and our partnership with Spreadshirt, fans will be able to purchase their favorite designs in their specific size, style, and color at a very affordable price and have it in their hands within days.”

Tanner also says to expect designs to be added frequently. In celebration of the online store’s opening, fans can take 15% off their entire purchase through Sunday, December 30, 2018, using the promo code available on the store’s home page.

To visit ‘The Frying Pan’, click here or visit the store link above.

CANTON, Ga.– Country music’s longest running band, the Skillet Lickers, in conjunction with the Canton Theatre, have announced the band’s return to beautiful Canton, Georgia for their latest production, ‘Glory, Glory’ at the historic Canton Theatre for three fun-filled shows on Friday, November 16that 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, November 17that 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The historic group, founded in 1926 and spanning four generations, will tell the story of Georgia’s rich musical heritage by performing Skillet Licker favorites and classics from Georgia music greats such as Ray Charles, Jerry Reed, the Allman Brothers, Bill Anderson, Chet Atkins, and more.

“Being a band that originated in Georgia and one that continues over 90 years later in the same area, we’ve seen a lot of great artists across all musical genres that were born and raised right here in Georgia,” said Russ Tanner, leader of the modern day Skillet Lickers. “For this production, we not only want to tell our story, but give the audience a glimpse into Georgia’s rich musical tradition while putting our own Skillet Licker spin on it.”

From a banjo and mandolin to electric guitar and drums to even a saxophone, this show is expected to be one of the Skillet Lickers’ most diverse in terms musical selection and is sure to have something for everyone to enjoy.

Tickets for the show are just $15 and are on sale now at the Canton Theatre or by calling 770-704-0755. The Canton Theatre is located at 171 E. Main Street, Canton, GA. For additional information on the Skillet Lickers, visit www.skilletlickers.org.

In what’s turning into an annual tradition, the Skillet Lickers are gearing up for another exciting run at the Cumming Playhouse as they star in the hit inspirational comedy, ‘Smoke on the Mountain’ from September 6-30.

The show runs every Thursday-Sunday with shows at 8pm (Thurs.-Sat.) and 3pm (Sun.). Tickets for the show are available for $27.50 – $30 at PlayhouseCumming.com.

Featuring lovable characters, hilarious comedy, inspiration, and of course, great music, Smoke on the Mountain tells the story of the first ever Saturday night singin’ at a 1930’s Southern Baptist church in Mount Pleasant, NC, with a pastor attempting to bring the church into the “modern times”. The church ladies and deacon have their reservations about the band and their stringed instruments, which they fear is the work of the devil.

This will be the fourth ‘Smoke’ production the Skillet Lickers have been involved in, performing in ‘Smoke on the Mountain’ in 2015 and 2016, and also in the sequel, ‘Sanders Family Christmas’, in 2017.