BiG WiDE GRiN Will Leave you Smiling Sept. 30

The duo BiG WiDE GRiN has brought smiles to the faces of audiences from sea to sea, which is appropriate considering the band’s bi-coastal orientation, California and Virginia to be precise.

Elaine Dempsey and Karl Werne are constantly on the move between the right and left coasts and points between, bringing their rich, soulful blend to festivals and concert stages. On Saturday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m it’s Black Mountain’s turn to share the joy as the pair perform at the White Horse.

Elaine Dempsey’s life story is one of the waterways. Born on the Mississippi, educated on the Appomattox, she’s spent most of her life either on the Chesapeake or San Francisco Bays. In the Bay Area she dedicated herself to sharpening her songwriting craft, drawing on her background in folk, rock, gospel and blues to forge a vocal and acoustic guitar style all her own. Her original songs have earned international airplay and multiple awards.

Karl Werne has been entertaining crowds in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia since the age of sixteen, where his fluid guitar work and smooth vocals made him a local favorite. Highlights of his career include a stretch as the opening act for Bruce Hornsby’s “The Way it Is“ tour and many recoding still receiving airplay. When not on the road with BWG he can be heard playing with saxophonist Eddie Williams and electric guitarist Curtis Eley.

Elaine cites modern bluesman Keb’ Mo’ as a major influence, and the admiration is mutual. “BiG WiDE GRiN”, says Keb’ Mo’, has “good singing, great songs, and is the hardest working band in folk music”. In concert, Elaine and Karl show exactly how the band earned its name.

The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 advance/$15 door.

Advance tickets available online at

About Shelby Harrell
Shelby Harrell is the editor of the Biltmore Beacon, editor of The Guide arts and entertainment publication and is a staff writer for Mountaineer Publishing. Originally from Asheville, she has worked in journalism for seven years and currently lives in Clyde, NC.