|Meet The Band
| Dwayne "Doc" Durham is our "Mr. Entertainment". As the band leader and founder of Appalachian Fire he
has been the catalyst for our success. Doc spent his early day dabbling in all kinds of music, but his heart never
left bluegrass. From the time he met and got on stage with Bill Monroe he was bitten by the bug. Over the years
Doc's "day jobs" have included being a paramedic, teacher, certified athletic trainer, minister and entrepreneur.
Now he finds himself busier than ever serving as the athletic trainer for East Henderson High School and supply
pastoring for local Presbyterian churches. He is also co-owner of Hendersonville Sports Medicine, an outpatient
PT clinic. In the midst of all this, he still finds time to write original songs for the band. Doc is married to Shea
who shares their love of animals working with North State Animal Clinic. Doc's instrument of choice is a Brazilian
Rosewood Dreadnought Guitar made by Caleb Smith
|Cliff Searcy is our "Jack of all trades". Anywhere there is a need, he'll try to fill in and meet it. He handles
multiple instruments and vocals as well as managing social media sites. Cliff fell in love with the bluegrass
gospel sound from the camp meeting style music he heard in church as a kid. During his college days he had a
bluegrass band, but soon put it on the back burner. He spent over 25 years with his wife Lisa raising two
children Meredith and Jared and pursuing a career in teaching and coaching. Having left the football field in
2007, he had time to perform and write some of the original tunes the band sings. Cliff plays a Weber Bitterroot
Mandolin and A Wechter Scheerhorn Resonator Guitar.
|Our bass player, Jim Fox, is a native of Western Pennsylvania and a retired national park ranger. Since 1990,
Jim has been playing old-time and Celtic music on hammered dulcimer with "The Windjammer Trio" and "Sunny
Side Up." Jim has played bass with the Asheville-based bluegrass band "Bobby and Blue Ridge Tradition." Jim
and his partner, Gail Ashburn, play and sing in a variety of musical styles in the Asheville area. Jim plays an
antique German Bass.
|Tim "Pappy" Francis is no stranger to bluegrass music. He grew up in Smyrna, TN, just outside of Nashville.
There was always a great love of music around his house. Eventually they formed the Francis Family Band,
and Tim began playing the banjo at the age of 14. The family played church functions, family get-togethers and
local festivals. They still get together and play as often as possible. Tim has always loved bluegrass and gospel
and was inspired by such banjo players as John McKuen, Tony Trishka, and Bela' Fleck, as well as the late
Earl Scruggs, John Hartford, Bobby Thompson, Bill Keith, and Courtney Johnson. Tim is a retired District
Ranger with the National Park Service. He enjoys spending time with his wife Teresa, son Adam, daughter Sara
and the joy of his life, grandaughter Abby and his dogs: BB, Sansa, and Arya.
Cathey Gilbert has been singing publicly since she was 5 years old with her debut at
the North Carolina Apple Festival. She graduated from Converse College with her
degree in Music. Cathey has performed with a wide array of groups and musical
styles. She was a past soloist with the Asheville Symphony Chorus and performed
multiple times in the ensemble with the Flat Rock Playhouse. Most of all Cathey
enjoys singing songs with her second graders on a daily basis as a teacher in the
Henderson County Schools and singing as a choir member and soloist for her church.
Singing with Appalachian Fire has given her the chance to get back to her roots.
Cathey says ...."A simple song request of "Precious Memories " for my father-in-law
has developed into a wonderful way to make many more precious memories with
these very talented musicians. Many thanks to my sweet husband, Chip, who puts a
song in my heart "