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The Guitar Man Cometh

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Article Published: Mar. 13, 2013 | Modified: Mar. 17, 2013
The Guitar Man Cometh

Guitarist Cecil Palmer will perform March 16 at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center, as part of the Traditional Musicians Showcase.
Photo courtesy of David Cortner

Cecil Palmer is a true guitar man.

Just ask Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute.

CCC&TI’s J.E. Broyhill Civic Center will host the 15th annual Traditional Musicians Showcase, with the theme, “Cecil Palmer: A True Guitar Man.”

The showcase takes place Saturday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m.

Palmer is a Caldwell County guitarist – fluent in country, jazz, pop and rockabilly – whose professional career has spanned more than 50 years.

Palmer will be joined on stage by family members and a few of the many musicians he has influenced over the years.

Strictly Clean and Decent band members Patrick Crouch, Ron Shuffler and Kay Crouch, who said they have enjoyed and learned from Palmer’s playing for many years, will host the evening.

Popular High Country performers The Harris Brothers, comprised of Palmer’s nephews, Ryan and Reggie Harris, will appear at the showcase.

The Nautical Wheelers, consisting of Palmer’s son, Chet Palmer, great-nephew Ricky Cannon and bassist Steve Pritchard, will be guests on the show and will perform with Palmer.

Palmer’s son, Brent Palmer, will be featured, along with the elder Palmer’s granddaughters, Shelby and Lauren Moore.

Wes McCall, who was a well-known drummer and vocalist in Palmer’s Quest band, will be featured.
Gloria Coffey, who is known for her work with Gloria Coffey and the Old Hat Band, will be on the program. She has collaborated with Palmer on musical projects since she was 9 years old.

David Edmisten will perform on a tribute to Palmer. Edmisten has spent the last six years as a professional musician touring the United States and beyond, and he cites Palmer as one of his main guitar influences.

Jaret Carter will be featured throughout the evening, as he has in many recent showcases. Carter cites Palmer’s musical phrasing and melodic approach to the guitar as major influences in his own playing.

Derrell Johnson, who has been involved behind the scenes in every Caldwell Traditional Musicians Showcase as recording engineer, electronic technician and artistic consultant, will perform on stage this time with Palmer.

Finally, Palmer will be joined by Carolina Ray Whisnant. The two began playing live music together in the 1950s.

The Traditional Musicians Showcase is supported by Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, Caldwell County television, Foothills Radio Group and the Caldwell Arts Council.

The show is set for Saturday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. For more information, or for tickets, call the Civic Center box office at (828) 726-2242, or visit

The J.E. Broyhill Civic Center is located at 1913 Hickory Blvd. Southeast in Lenoir.

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