Troy Boone, left, a Unicoi County High School graduate, will perform in Erwin again next month when his band Sideline takes to the UCHS auditorium stage. The concert is planned for Feb. 9. (Contributed photo)

By Richard Rourk

Unicoi County’s own Troy Boone will return home with the acclaimed bluegrass band “Sideline” on Saturday, Feb. 9, for a concert beginning at 6 p.m. in the Unicoi County High School auditorium.

Sideline is made up of Boone on mandolin, Steve Dilling on banjo, Jason Moore on upright bass, Skip Cherryholmes on guitar, Bailey Coe on guitar and Daniel Gleeson on fiddle.

Sideline is currently on tour, but Boone took time to speak with The Erwin Record about the homecoming show. Boone and company just stepped foot back on dry land, as their tour had taken them on a cruise.

“It was a blast, and really pretty,” Boone said. “We were able to enjoy the trip with family.”

Boone also explained what the homecoming meant to him.

“I grew up in Erwin, and every time I have a memory of playing music, it was in Erwin,” Boone told The Erwin Record.

The excitement of playing in front of his family and friends is evident in Boone.

“Anytime I get to come back to Erwin and play, it’s an absolute blast,” Boone said.

Sideline is currently touring more extensively than they have in the past.

“We have a west coast trip, a run in Canada, and we are actually going to Ireland this year,” Boone said. “I’m excited about that.”

Besides touring, the band is performing new music and working the new songs into their current set.

“We hit the studio this coming week,” Boone said. “We are working on a new record with new songs.”

Boone, who has been playing guitar since he was 7, didn’t pick up a mandolin until he was 17.

“I found my big brother Doug Boone’s mandolin and borrowed it and I got the bluegrass bug,” Boone said.

Opening up for Sideline on Feb. 9 will be the Unicoi County High School Blue Devil Bluegrass Boys and the UCHS Blue Belles. Tickets are available at the UCHS main office and are $15 dollars for adults and $5 dollars for children 5 and under.

“I hope people come out,” Boone said. “We will play something they will enjoy. … I appreciate all of the support I have received from Unicoi County, and God bless everybody.”