Lorraine Jordan is bringing a new style of music to the Garner Performing Arts Center.
Her original name for the blend of traditional bluegrass and classic county “Bluegrass Country,” but the term just didn’t stroke her mandolin. But then she hit on “Country Grass” and fiddles sang and the banjos strummed.
So it is “Country Grass” that the famed Garner resident will bring to the GPAC. Jordan and her band Carolina Road will be joined by country music star Eddy Raven as part of an international tour. They are traveling the country as well as heading to Canada and Ireland.
“I had never really thought of this type of music,” said Jordan, the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America Traditional Female Vocalist in 2015.
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“But when we started doing a little, a very little, classic country in our bluegrass shows the people loved it. We’d do ‘Salty Do’” or ‘Rocky Top’ and they’d be yelling for more. Folks would come up to me and ask why we didn’t do more of those songs.”
Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road already was one of the top traditional bluegrass groups in the country so she wasn’t looking for new adventure, but she listened carefully when fans talked.
“What they told me was that many of them are country music fans, but they believed country music has left them,” Jordan said. “A lot of what passes for country music today used to be called pop music. Nothing against that, but it isn’t classic country.”
She was kicking around the idea of what to do when she hit on contacting some of the top country recording artists and asking them to do a CD with her and Carolina Road. The country artists would sing the lead vocals and Jordan and the band would jump right in.
Soon, her cell phone was filled with the telephone numbers of some of the top classic country singers. Raven, John Anderson, Crystal Gayle, Lee Greenwood, Lynn Anderson, and T.G. Sheppard are among the artists on the CD, which is called “Country Grass.”
The CD didn’t do all that well in its first release, but Jordan plans to add more songs and re-release now that more people know about country grass.
She got the idea of teaming with Raven on tour and gave him call.
“I didn’t know he was such a talker,” Jordan said. “But he was all for it.”
Raven told her that he had started in cajun, switched to rock, changed to blues, added country and figured it would be good to end up in bluegrass.
The Garner concert, like the others on the tour, opens with Jordan and Carolina Road singing classic country like “Seminole Wind” and “Digging Up Bones” from the 1970s and ‘80s. Raven comes out and goes into songs like a couple of his No. 1 songs, “I’ve Got Mexico” and “Thank God For Kids.” The latter was recorded by the Oak Ridge Boys.
Raven is known as a songwriter and has written for Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Tonya Tucker, Kenny Chesney and many more. Raven has 30 ASCAP song-writing award, eight No. 1 songs, and 14 top 10 songs.
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What: Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road join country music star Eddy Raven in concert
When: Saturday, Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Garner Performing Arts Center, 742 W. Garner Road, Garner
Tickets: $20 in advance and $23 at the door. VIP passes $50. GarnerPerformingArtsCenter.com or 919-661-4602