As a lifelong resident of Buncombe County, Bill Byerly has been the guitarist and vocalist with Whitewater Bluegrass Company for over 40 years. “I learned to play and sing bluegrass music from some of the best in this area as well as the best around the country. Locally, I was influenced by Ralph Lewis, Tom McKinney, Marc Pruett, John Davis, Arlene Kesterson, Arvil and Gordon Freeman, Mike Hunter, and Steve Sutton, just to mention a few. Jimmy Martin, Flatt and Scruggs, the Stanley Brothers, Reno and Smiley, Ricky Skaggs, and Bill Monroe were also major influences. I began learning bluegrass as a teenager, and am still learning.”
Formed in 1982, Whitewater Bluegrass Company has evolved into a favorite and one of the most active bands in the region. “Our goal is to go out every night, put on the best show possible, and be fun and entertaining. We also get audiences involved with square dancing, jokes, and storytelling. It is important to us to preserve our heritage with music, song, and dance.” Whitewater has served for many years as the Saturday-night house band for the long-running Smoky Mountain Folk Festival and currently is the host band for North Carolina’s international folk festival, Folkmoot.
They have won numerous awards and played at just about every major venue in Western North Carolina.
Bill Byerly is available to perform with Whitewater Bluegrass Company for concerts, festivals, dances, and special events and promotions. Byerly is available for workshops, demonstrations, and school programs as well.