Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road have been one of the most successful American bluegrass acts of recent years–their Bill Monroe’s Ol’ Mandolin has been on Bluegrass Unlimited‘s charts for nine weeks, several at #1.
From Garner, where she also operates Lorraine’s Coffee House, Jordan started out as a bassist in regional country rock and classic rock bands, until she heard the Seldom Scene. “I just became a big-time follower of their shows,” she told Bill Conger for Bluegrass Unlimited. “I’d go to Washington, DC, and their reunions to see all their shows. It made me want to play the mandolin.”
She’s also an ECU graduate.
Ramona Church asked her to join Carolina Road as it was getting started, in 2001, and within a couple of years, after Church had departed the band, Jordan was its lead singer. They’ve since had several bluegrass hits, including last year’s “Why Can’t Blue Grass (Just Be True Grass Again?)”
Though we’ve never hosted Carolina Road, we got Lorraine to town for the Garrett Newton Band’s first performance here in 2020. She and her husband were guests for the evening but she still entertained us with a couple of songs and signed a copy of the BU with her on the cover.
Conger, Bill. “Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road: Paved for Success.” Bluegrass Unlimited. Feb. 2015: 22-26. Buy it.