Saturday, April 21, 2018
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20180111 Williamson Branch VerticalIt just takes a few seconds listening Kevin Williamson’s voicemail on his phone for callers and you already develop a photo in your head of what a Williamson Branch show is like – entertaining.

The five-member bluegrass, gospel, country music and Appalachian clog dancing family has returned to the Rio Grande Valley for its third full season and, if you miss them, it’s surely not because their performances are rare. It’s just the opposite, for the remainder of their time here – until Feb. 1 - the popular Williamson Branch has been booked for 16 performances scheduled in 21 days.

“It’s like a whirlwind when we come to the Valley and we enjoy it so much,” Kevin said as he was leaving a 2 p.m. performance in Mission and looking for a place to eat before another show at 7 p.m., also in Mission.

“When we started the family band we felt like this would be a great fit for us.”

Kevin was recently nominated for Bluegrass Entertainer of the Year and has been playing music professionally for more than 35 years. He provides the group with rhythm guitar, songwriting and lonesome lead and harmony vocals.

While Kevin has a ton of experience and amazing stories to tell, one has stood with him for more than 20 years. He was playing guitar and singing with the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe in the early 90s at a small club near Nashville. Monroe did a guest spot on most Wednesdays. Kevin was a long-haired picker and had sung with Monroe on several occasions.

“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.’” Kevin said. “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 crowd then roared with delight.”

Kevin is surrounded by his family on stage. Debbie, his wife also sings lead and harmony while playing the mandolin. Melody is their 18-year-old daughter who has been performing on stage and is a phenom on the fiddle and sings as well. Kadence, the 15-year-old middle daughter sings harmonies too high for the rest of the family members. She plays the bass, the ukulele bass and is a champion clog dancer. Caroline is just 8 but already plays the fiddle, clog dances and has been singing harmony since she was 3. She’s also been winning over audiences with her sassy version of Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough.”

“Even before we started the family band we would hear about Texas from different people when we played in another band in Indiana and Illinois,” Kevin said. “They would ask if we played in Texas and we were like ‘Texas is a big state.’ We started looking into it and was excited about the whole RV culture here. This has been great.”

2018 Williamson Branch RGV Schedule

Jan. 12, 7 p.m., Mission West RV Resort
Jan. 13, 7 p.m., Lemon Tree Estates, Mission
Jan. 14, 7 p.m., Paradise South RV Park, Mercedes
Jan. 15, 7 p.m., Casa del Valle, Alamo
Jan. 16, 7 p.m., Trail’s End RV Resort, Weslaco
Jan. 17, 7 p.m., Road Runner Park, Alamo
Jan. 20, 2 p.m., Magnolia Village, Donna
Jan. 20, 7 p.m., Orange Grove RV Park, Edinburg
Jan. 21, 2 p.m., Victoria Palms RV Resort, Donna
Jan. 21, 7 p.m., Trophy Gardens RV Resort, Alamo
Jan. 23, 7 p.m., Tip O’ Texas, Pharr
Jan. 24, 7 p.m., Pine 2 Palm Park, Weslaco
Jan. 25, 10 a.m., Faith, Family, Freedom, Winter Ranch RV Park, Alamo
Jan. 25. 3 p.m. Faith, Family, Freedom, Winter Ranch RV Park, Alamo
Jan. 27, 7 p.m., Bentsen Grove RV Resort, Palm View
Jan. 28, 2 p.m., Kenwood RV Park, La Feria
Jan. 28, 7 p.m., Big Valley RV, Donna
Jan. 31, 7p.m., Country Side RV Park, Donna
Feb. 1, 7 p.m., Canyon Lake RV, Mission

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