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The Norton Family plays on

When Telford musician Daniel Norton belts out the lyrics to Chuck Berry’s 1960s hit song, “Nadine,” it seems plenty of women might be wishing for a name change.
At just 18 years old, Norton sings of possibly spotting his future bride walking up the street. The youthfulness in his voice combined with a unique bluegrass twang make it hard not to swoon as he questions, “Nadine, honey is that you?”
Norton, along with the other members of his family’s band, performed recently at Daily Bread Restaurant in Jonesborough, opening up the entertainment lineup for a fundraising event in March that featured country music legend Ricky Skaggs.
Restaurant owners George and Denise Shinn invited the Nortons after first hearing them perform late last year when the group visited the Shinn home for a private performance.
“I started dancing. Denise had chill bumps going up her arms,” George Shinn recalled. “We’re going to record these guys and start trying to help their career.”
The group includes Norton, whose charm behind the microphone is only outdone by his self-taught skills on the banjo, Norton’s brother David, 20, and father, Scottie. The three Norton men have been playing together for more than a decade. Also in the group are family friend Bob Greene and 15-year-old Crystal Shipley, a Kingsport resident who packs a punch on the fiddle.
The group recorded a demo CD last year, and plans are already in the works to record another.
The talented lot plays predominantly bluegrass with sides of gospel and country added in for good measure.
“They like to take other people’s music and turn it into bluegrass,” said Ranae Norton, family matriarch. “That’s all Daniel.”
Much of Daniel’s musical talent emerged when he was just 5 years old.
“His daddy borrowed a banjo to actually learn himself,” Ranae Norton said. “Daniel was just 5 and he started hearing it. He picked it up and he’d hit the right string at the right time. Now it has become his love.”
With the help of people like the Shinns, it may even become his future.
“The family has always played at church and benefits,” Ranae Norton said. “God just allowed them to meet George (Shinn) and he is interested in helping Daniel develop a music career.”