Carolina Crossing to open for Oak Ridge Boys

By Sherrie Norris (

Article Published: Sep. 27, 2012 | Modified: Oct. 5, 2012
Carolina Crossing to open for Oak Ridge Boys

Carolina Crossing is quickly making inroads in the High Country. Band members include Blake Vance, Corey Pittman, Gary Trivette, Curtis Main and Tyler Thompson.

Photo submitted

A dream for many new bluegrass bands would be to release its first recording just days before opening for one of the industry’s top groups.

For Carolina Crossing, it’s reality.

“This is a great time for us,” said Gary Trivette, spokesman for the local band chosen to open for The Oak Ridge Boys during a performance at the Holmes Center in Boone on Thursday, Oct. 4.

Describing Carolina Crossing as “a straight-forward, no apologies bluegrass and gospel group that represents the goodness of traditional mountain music,” Trivette said the upcoming opportunity is a career highlight for the band members.

“To be chosen to do this, at the same time our first recording debuts, is more than we could hope for,” Trivette said. “We aren’t expecting to be in Nashville tomorrow, but we consider this a great open door for our music to be heard by a large, diverse audience.”

Committed to keeping bluegrass music alive — with a good selection of standards and original material — the band has quickly become a crowd favorite at venues across the region, including festivals, churches, private parties and fundraisers.

Karen James, who chose Carolina Crossing for the upcoming concert, couldn’t agree more.

“I wanted the opening act to provide an opportunity for a local band to show their stuff,” James said. “It was important that the chosen group play the same type of music as The Oak Ridge Boys — country, bluegrass and gospel. There are many wonderful musicians in the High Country, but, to me, Carolina Crossing seemed like the best fit for The Oak Ridge Boys.”

Carolina Crossing includes Trivette, a native and lifelong resident of Watauga County and founding member of Southern Accent, who plays the bass and sings lead and tenor.

Curtis Main, also from Watauga County and earlier affiliated with Familiar Ground, plays the banjo and sings lead and baritone.

Blake Vance, mandolin player, is a former member of Southern Accent. He and Corey Pittman, who sings, plays lead guitar and fiddle, both hail from Avery County. Pittman has been a member of several bands, including The Isaacs.

Tyler Thompson, Watauga County native currently residing in Mountain City, Tenn., plays lead and rhythm guitar and sings. He too, has played with several bands.

Carolina Crossing began to take shape in late 2010, Trivette said, following conversations between himself, Main and Vance.

“Curtis and I have been longtime friends,” Trivette said, “and played briefly together, while in high school, in a band called Deep Water.”

After “losing touch” for several years,” the duo began attending church together and reconnecting, musically. “Circumstances and time drew us closer, ” Trivette said.

Soon, he, Main and Vance were strumming the chords in unison.

“Corey soon joined us,” Trivette said, “and we practiced through the winter.”

Thompson eventually rounded out the group, and Carolina Crossing was born.

Building a fan base was no challenge for the group, as each musician had a following of his own.
Requests began to pour in from various venues across the High Country and beyond.

Moving forward, they began working on a CD.

The finished product, simply titled, “Carolina Crossing,” was released on Sept. 17.

The project, showcasing the group’s harmonious vocals, blended with their masterful instrumentals and seven original of the CD’s 13 cuts, can only equal success.

“I never tried to write any songs until this,” Trivette said. “Curtis and I both basically just sat down and started writing from personal experiences, which came pretty natural to us.”

“Don’t Cry, Don’t Weep” – the only “true gospel song on the CD,” Trivette said, is a memorial tribute to Main’s son.

Other cuts, including “Daddy Would Sing” and “When I Go Back,” are reflections of Trivette’s childhood and musical heritage.

It’s evident, fans agree, that the group’s debut project is food for the soul — and will only whet their appetite for more.

“It is our goal to put music out there that people with a wide range of interests will enjoy,” Trivette said.

“Carolina Crossing,” the CD, was recorded and engineered by Tim Norris at his Castleford Studio near Boone. “We have so many people, including our wives and other supporters, to thank for helping to make this all possible,” Trivette said.

The CD will be available at the upcoming concert, at Appalachian Music Shop in Boone and online at for $15.

Tickets to The Oak Ridge Boys’ Oct. 4 show, featuring Carolina Crossing, start at $25 and are available at or by calling the box office at (828) 262-6603.

For more information on Carolina Crossing, visit

Additional Images

Carolina Crossing is quickly making inroads in the High Country. Band members include Blake Vance, Corey Pittman, Gary Trivette, Curtis Main and Tyler Thompson.
Photo submitted

Gary Trivette
Photo by Frank Ruggiero

Curtis Main
Photo by Frank Ruggiero

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