Skip to content

Appalachian Smoke

Grounded in the corners of North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, Appalachian Smoke is a contemporary bluegrass band made up of five local songwriters. Quick instrumentation and intricate harmonies meet original material in this mash up of innovation and tradition.

Inspired by a number of supergroups, The Boxcars, Mountain Heart, and Alison Krauss & Union Station continue to influence the band’s arrangements, dynamics, and harmonies. The group’s dynamic relationship hails from a beautiful combination of a mandolin lyricist, Kenneth Rymer, and his 30 years of legendary experience, Mikel Laws’ Scruggs-like picking, and the muddy vibrations of the bass.

Appalachian Smoke’s debut album, Colder Side of Love, was independently released in early 2022 and immediately received international airplay. Bluegrass Today’s review of the project applauded, “If the group sticks to this formula, we will be hearing about Appalachian Smoke for a long time to come.” The first track, “Carolina Calling Me,” has been on the Cashbox Top 100 Bluegrass Songs chart since the fall of 2022, peaking at #2 in December.

Whether you are drawn to clever lyrics, nimble instrument leads, full harmonies, unpredictable arrangements, or an authentic delivery, you can find it all in an evening with Appalachian Smoke.


B.J. Taylor
B.J. Taylor is a songwriter and mandolin player from the Nantahala community of western North Carolina. He started playing the mandolin at age 12, influenced by Bill Monroe.

Jamie Mason
Jamie is known for his harmony, guitar, occasional banjo, and lead vocals in the band. He is originally from Culberson, North Carolina, and has been playing for thirty years.

Kenneth Rymer
Known for his lonesome slides and high tenor, Kenneth finds his inspiration from Doyle Lawson’s work. Hey plays many instruments, but does vocals and dobro for Appalachian Smoke.

Mikel Laws
Mikel is known for his hard driving banjo playing, personable songwriting, and harmonic vocals. His style ranges from Earl Scruggs to Ron Block. He grew up in Bryson City, North Carolina, and started playing the banjo when he was sixteen. His great uncle Teddy Greene was one of his biggest influences.

Tim Williams
Tim began singing harmony at the age of ten. He now plays bass for Appalachian Smoke, with subtle features weaved within the lyrics. He is most influenced by Jason Moore, Tim Surrett, and Barry Bales.

Appalachian Smoke News