Actor and musician Billy Bob Thornton is no stranger to East Tennessee.

There's a reason for that: He likes coming here.

"It's just a very welcoming environment," Thornton told 10News on Wednesday night. "It makes you forget that you're even here to do a job. All of a sudden you feel like you're on vacation or something. And you remember, Hey, in a couple of hours we're on stage."

Thornton and fellow members of the Boxmasters played a free show Wednesday night outside Ole Smoky Moonshine at the Island in Pigeon Forge.

Previous area gigs have included shows in 2015 and 2016 at Cotton Eyed Joe in West Knox County.

Other members are J.D. Andrew and Teddy Andreadis. The band has played together about 10 years.

Thornton is an Academy Award-winner and a Golden Globe-winner.

The band has three more tour dates before they'll head back to LA. to write a new album.