- From Millbrae,
California. Lives in Nashville.
is pronounced the same as "likes."
band: "Heartland" with Tony Furtado; also had a band in college
called "Colusa" with Todd Phillips (named after a California gold-mining
to UC Davis, studying to become a veterinarian. Has a BA in biology.
- Has toured
with Weary Hearts, the Lynn Morris Band, Alison Krauss, others.
joined Blue Highway.
1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012,
won the IBMA award for Dobro™ Player of the Year.
appeared in Steven Seagal movie "The Fire Down Below."
formed a jazz trio with Andy Leftwich (mandolin and fiddle) and Dave Pomeroy
(bass) called "Three Ring Circle".
playing banjo at age 15, made first U.S. tour in 1982.
won banjo contest at Galax Fiddle Convention, Virginia.
- Has recorded
several albums for Red Clay Records and Hay Holler Records.
of Office White Oak, a promotional agency in Osaka which promotes bluegrass
music in Japan.
- From Nashville.
- Formed in 2005
by guitarist Chris Eldridge (son of Seldom Scene banjo player Ben Eldridge).
- Original name
of the group was "The Stringdusters," but they found that another
band in New York was using a similar name (The String Dusters). So they added
"Infamous" to their name.
- Eldridge (AKA
"Critter") graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (Ohio).
- Original Members:
Eldridge (guitar), Chris Pandolfi (banjo), Andy Hall (dobro), Jeremy Garrett
(fiddle), Jesse Cobb (mandolin), and Travis Book (bass).
- 2006, Eldridge
left to work with Chris Thile and was replaced by guitarist Andy Falco.
- 2007, won IBMA
awards for Emerging Artist of the Year, Song of the Year ("Fork in the
Road") and Album of the Year ("Fork in the Road").
- 2011, Chris
Pandolfi gave the keynote address at the IBMA conference; band announced that
it was no longer going to brand itself as a "bluegrass" band in
order to widen its audience.
- 2011, Jesse
Cobb left the band.
in 1973 by David and Lin Cannaday, Gary John, JC Radford and Robbie Wells.
re-united to begin performing again after a several-year hiatus.
Cannaday (band leader) is also a corporate event planner and a dance/karaoke
- From Muscle
- Formed in 2000.
- Members: Tony
Robertson (mandolin), Ricky Rogers (bass), Anthony Richardson (banjo), Vance
- Several members
had previously worked with Jake Landers and Rual Yarbrough.
- They have recorded
several bluegrass tribute albums for CMH Records, including bluegrass tributes
to Metallica, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne and Modest Mouse.
ISAAC (AND THE WHEELWRIGHTS/ROUNDERS)
- From Wheelwright
(Floyd County), Kentucky.
- Began performing
at the Kentucky Opry at age 5.
- Has worked with
Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, Dave Evans & Riverbend, Ernie
Thacker & Route 23 and Gerald Evans & Paradise.
- 2005, recorded
first CD, produced by Steve Gulley (Mountain Heart) and recorded at Tom T.
- 2005, formed
his own band "The Wheelwrights."
- 2012, recorded
with a new band "The Rounders." They formerly worked together as
ISAACS (See also THE ISAACS)
Big Hill, Kentucky.
formed (with his wife Lily) The Isaacs.
forming The Isaacs, Joe worked with Larry Sparks, The Stanley Brothers, Frank
Wakefield and the Greenbriar Boys. He plays banjo and guitar.
Joe's brother Delmer died in an auto accident, which led Joe and his wife
Lily to devote their lives to singing Gospel music. Their first band was called
The Calvary Mountain Boys. Next came Sacred Bluegrass (this group had a TV
show in Hamilton, Ohio) and later the Isaacs.
Joe left the Isaacs and has since recorded several solo projects. He and Lily
had open heart surgery.
La Follete, Tennessee.
formed by Joe Isaacs, his wife Lily and three children Ben, Becky and Sonya.
was born in Germany after WW2. Her parents were Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.
Bowman (formerly with Doyle Lawson and Alison Krauss) is married to Becky.
Played banjo, guitar and fiddle with the group until 2006.
Joe and Lilly Isaacs were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Sonya toured with Vince Gill as a vocalist. While absent from the Isaacs,
Adam Steffey filled in on mandolin.
album "Bridges" won the Dove Award for Bluegrass Album of the Year.
Joe Isaacs left the band and has since recorded several solo projects. Joe
and Lily divorced.
Adam Steffey was a member of the Isaacs for more than a year; left to re-join
Rickie Simpkins joined, playing fiddle. Stayed with the group for two years.
- 2001, Became
regulars on the Bill Gaither Homecoming Tour.
- 2006, John Bowman
retired from the group to teach at a private Christian school in LaFollette
and to care for his (and Becky's) children while the group is on the road.
- 2006, Kevin
Haynie (banjo/guitar) and Jesse Stockman (fiddle) joined the group.
- 2007, Sonya
and Becky recorded with Dolly Parton.
- 2007, Kevin
Haynie left the band and was replaced by Troy Engle (banjo/guitar).
- From Philadelphia,
Mississippi. Lives in Nashville.
- Best known for
his virtuosity on the banjo. He is also a very successful vocalist, songwriter
and record producer.
- First band:
The Country Partners" with his father Lee Jackson, his Uncle Pete and
- 1967, began
his professional musical career at age 14, playing banjo with Jim and Jesse.
- 1971, joined
the Sullivan Family gospel group.
- 1972, moved
to Columbus, Ohio to form The Country Store with Keith Whitley and Jimmy Gaudreau.
worked with Glen Campbell, replacing Larry McNeeley on Campbell's TV show.
He was billed as "The Greatest Banjo Player in the World" in Campbell's
- 1990, won IBMA
Award for Song of the Year for his composition, "Little Mountain Church
- 1992, won Grammy
Award for his album "Spring Training", a collaboration with former
Seldom Scene vocalist John Starling and Emmy Lou Harris' band, The Nash Ramblers.
- 2004, won IBMA
award for Recorded Event of the Year as producer of "Livin' Lovin' Losin:
the Songs of the Louvin Brothers." This album also won Carl a second
Grammy Award the same year.
- As a songwriter,
he has written dozens of hit songs for other artists including "Against
the Grain" (Garth Brooks), "Real Ladies Man" (Vince Gill) and
"Letter to Home" (Glen Campbell). His songs have sold more than
40 million records.
- He is a collector
of baseball memorabilia, cars (like his 1957 Ford T-Bird given to him by Glen
Campbell) and claims to be the "biggest Ole Miss Rebel fan in the world."
- 2006-2007, served
as talent coordinator for the IBMA Fan Fest.-
- 2006, inducted
into the Mississippi Music Hall of Fame.
- From Wimberley,
Texas (near Austin).
- Began singing
at two, playing piano at six, took up the mandolin at ten.
- Plays mandolin,
clawhammer banjo, guitar, and piano.
- 2009, released
first solo project "Up In Her Head" at age 18.
- 2011, released
"Follow Me Down" CD with guests Vince Gill, Dan Tyminski, the Punch
Brothers, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, others.
- From Nashville
(by way of New York City and New Orleans).
- 1997, Jeff Burke
(mandolin) and Vida Wakeman (guitar) met in New York City.
- 1999, after
attending MerleFest (and getting hooked on the music) they moved to New Orleans.
- 2001, began
performing together full-time.
- Following Hurricane
Katrina in 2005, they relocated to Nashville.
- 2009, released
fourth CD, "Selma Chalk."
AND BECKY JEFFERS
- From Nashville,
TN; originally from Clinton, Tennessee.
- Met in high
school and married in 1967.
- For 24 years,
performed at Opryland theme park (it closed in 1998), doing more than 12,000
- Also perform
at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN.
- Born 1908 in
Harris, North Carolina.
- Credited as
being the first country musician to play banjo using the "three-finger"
style which was later refined and popularized by Earl Scruggs.
- A humble man,
he never wanted credit for inventing the style. Said he didn't know where
it came from—but admits he was probably the first to play it on the
- First band
to have a three-finger style banjo: The Jenkins String Band.
- 1948, formed
"The Hired Hands," a band name that he kept until his death in 1990.
- From Edmonton,
- Billed as "The
Undisputed Western Canadian Champions of Bluegrass."
- 2001, released
an album featuring LeRoy Mack (formerly with the Kentucky Colonels) on Dobro™.
- From Cincinnati,
- A family band
that formed in 2005 featuring Adam McIntosh (guitar) and his sister Angie
Young (vocals) and their father Jon McIntosh (guitar). Other members of the
band include Brad Jessmer (banjo), Wayne Haddock (mandolin) and Jeff Byrd
- Adam McIntosh
is also a member of Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, playing guitar. He
is a former member of the Dry Branch Fire Squad.
- 2008, released
first CD "Supposed to Be."
- 2010, released
AND JESSE (AND THE VIRGINIA BOYS)
- From Coeburn,
- Have recorded
more than 50 albums for Capitol, Columbia, Epic, Kentucky, CMH, Rounder, Opryland
Old Dominion, Pinecastle.
- First public
appearance: 1941 in St. Paul, Virginia (an amateur talent contest).
- First influence:
grandfather Charlie McReynolds, a fiddler and member of the Bull Mountain
- Heavily influenced
in the early days by the Delmore Brother.
- First band:
the Cumberland Mountain Boys (1947-1948).
- First radio
show: on WNVA in Norton, VA (1947).
- First recording:
a collection of Gospel songs with their 1950 group, The Virginia Trio (which
eventually became The Virginia Boys.)
- 1952, recorded
for Capitol in the historic Tulane Hotel in Nashville. The Virginia Boys included
Sonny James on fiddle and Curley Seckler on guitar.
- 1962, performed
their first song on the Opry: "I'll Never Love Anybody But You."
Jesse wrote the song as a joke (intended to be a rock and roll song) but it
caught on and became a hit.
- 1964, joined
the Grand Ole Opry.
- 1966-7, had
their own syndicated TV show, sponsored by Martha White.
- 1966, to expand
their audience, they recorded an album of Chuck Berry songs called "Berry
Pickin' in the Country." It flopped.
- 1967, had their
only "top 10" song on the country charts– "Diesel on
- 1969, Jesse
played mandolin on an album by The Doors.
- Close friends
with the Louvin Brothers. Jesse and Charlie Louvin were in the army together
during the Korean war. 1982, Jim and Jesse recorded a trio album with Charlie.
- Jesse has a
trademark style of playing the mandolin which has become widely known as "McReynolds-style
mandolin." It is a distinctive cross-picking style which Jesse developed
while trying to make his mandolin emulate the sound of the bluegrass-style
- 1993, inducted
into the IBMA's Hall of Honor.
- Have also been
inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame's "Walkway of Stars,"
the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame, and Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Hall
- 1996, Jesse
McReynolds married Joy Tipton.
- March 29, 1997,
celebrated 50 years in music with a celebration at the Grand Ole Opry House.
1997, received a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship
award from First Lady Hillary Clinton at the White House.
- 1998, Jesse's
grandson Luke McKnight joined the Virginia Boys.
- 2002, Jim McReynold
died of cancer on New Year's Eve at the age of 75. His wife died two weeks
- 2003, Jesse
re-organized the Virginia Boys with Charles Whitstein singing his brother's
parts. Bobby Hicks also joined the band, playing fiddle.
- 2008, Jesse
began hosting a weekly radio show from his family farm and music theatre (The
Pick Inn) on WHIN, Gallatin, Tennessee.
- 2010, Jesse
released an CD called "Jesse McReynolds and Friends: Songs of the Grateful
- From Lebanon,
- Band members:
Angie Young, vocals; Jon McIntosh, guitar; Adam McIntosh, guitar; Johnny Wax,
banjo; Wayne Haddix, mandolin/fiddle; Jeff Byrd, bass.
JOHNSON MOUNTAIN BOYS
- From Washington,
- Formed in 1975
as a duet featuring Dudley Connell on banjo and Ron Welch on guitar. Connell
eventually switched to guitar and added other musicians to form a full five-piece
- There is no
such place as Johnson Mountain. Connell originally named the band "The
Johnson Boys" because it just sounded good, but later added "Mountain"
because he discovered a folk group already had the name "The Johnson
- One of the
most popular bluegrass bands of the 1980's, they performed in some of the
nation's most prestigious venues: Madison Square Garden, The White House,
the Lincoln Center and the Grand Ole Opry. Also toured England, Japan, and
- 1988, broke
up and recorded a "final" performance released by Rounder Records
as a double-album titled "The Old School House." But after doing
several "reunion" shows, the group decided to re-emerge as a part-time
band in 1991. By 1994, they called it quits for good.
- Connell (guitar)
took a job with the Smithsonian Institution as director of the Folkways Record
Collection. 1995, joined the Seldom Scene as guitarist and lead singer. Also
a member of Longview.
- 1995, Eddie
Stubbs (fiddle) moved to Nashville where he took a job as fiddle player with
Johnny Wright and Kitty Wells, and also as a DJ and Grand Ole Opry announcer
on WSM-AM. He won the CMA award for Broadcast Personality of the Year in 2002.
He has also won that award twice from the IBMA (1996, 2002).
- Mandolin player
David McLaughlin formed a duo with Josh Crowe and has also worked with other
- Tom Adams (banjo)
went on to work with the Lynn Morris Band, Blue Highway, Rhonda Vincent, Dale
- From Chattanooga,
- An innovative
banjo player who made two popular banjo albums in the mid-1960's: "Twelve
Shades of Bluegrass" and "New Sounds in Bluegrass: Bluegrass Banjo
with Strings" (MGM Records.)
- Worked briefly
with Bill Monroe in 1958.
- Performed on
the Grand Ole Opry with Walter Forbes and the Lonesome Travelers (a band which
also included Norman Blake.)
- Retired from
music in 1967.
- From Purlear,
- A multi-instrumentalist
and session musician who performs primarily gospel music.
- 1999, won award
for "Studio Musician of the Year" from the Southern Gospel Music
- From Garrison,
New York. Lives in Crystal River, Florida.
- Plays clawhammer-style
- Calls his music
"Clawgrass" and also named his backup group (formed in 1996) Clawgrass.
- Took up the
banjo in 1971, learned from fiddler Jay Unger (composer of "Ashokan Farewell").
- Works for Florida
Power Authority at its Crystal River Facility. While working there, he met
Larry Rice and his brothers Tony, Ronnie and Wyatt. They recorded an album
together at Tony's home.
- 1999, formed
a duo with mandolinist Emory Lester.
- From Woodbridge,
Virginia. Lives in Asheville, North Carolina.
- Plays all the
bluegrass instruments but is best known as a mandolin/fiddle player with Travers
Chandler & Avery County.
- First performed
on the radio at age 6.
- Has worked with
such artists as Dave Evans, James King, Frank Wakefield, Charlie Waller, the
Stoneman Sisters, Gillis Brothers, Junior Sisk, Don Stover, Joe Meadows, Bobby
Hicks, Buzz Busby and Bill Harrell.
- 2012, released
"A Better Man" CD on Patuxent Records.
JOHNSON (See NEW VINTAGE and THE
JONES (AND THE NIGHT DRIVERS; THE CHRIS JONES COALITION)
- From Pomona,
New York (near Buffalo). Lives in Franklin, Tennessee.
- During his
teen years, played oboe in the school orchestra.
- Formed first
bluegrass group at age 18 called Horse Country (in New York).
- Has been a member
of The Special Consensus (1981), Weary Hearts, The Lynn Morris Band and The
Vassar Clements Band. He also worked with the McCarter Sisters, a country
- He and Ron
Block (of Union Station, and a former bandmate in Weary Hearts) are married
to sisters from Canada.
- Because he
sings in a lower range, his music has been called "the low lonesome sound."
- His wife Sally
also performs with her own band, the Sidewinders.
- 1995, formed
his band the Night Drivers, named for the night driving bluegrass bands typically
do to get from one gig to another.
- 2000, broke
his collarbone in a traffic accident in Canada.
- 2001, became
a full-time announcer for Sirius/XM Satellite Radio's bluegrass music channel.
He had previously hosted a bluegrass radio program in Franklin, Tennessee.
- 2003, toured
with the Chieftains and formed a new band called the Chris Jones Coalition
with Jeremy and Glen Garrett (formerly of the Grasshoppers).
- 2005, changed
band name back to Chris Jones and the Night Drivers.
- 2007, won the
IBMA award for Broadcast Personality of the Year as well as the IBMA award
for Song of the Year (for "Fork in the Road" which he co-write with
John Pennell and was recorded by the Infamous Stringdusters.)
- 2011, began
writing a regular column for Bluegrass
- From Mocksville,
North Carolina (near Winston-Salem).
- First public
performance: at the Snuffy Jenkins Festival with a band called The Carolina
- 1991, moved
to Japan and worked there as a musician, playing everything from jazz to bluegrass.
- 1992-1994, joined
Lou Reid, Terry Baucom and Carolina as guitarist.
- 1994-1996, took
a two-year hiatus from touring.
- 1995, played
guitar on "Bluegrass '95" CD which won IBMA award for "Instrumental
Album of the Year" in 1996.
- 1996-98, worked
with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder.
- 1999, worked
with the Gena Britt Band.
- 2000, worked
with the Schankman Twins (now Malibu Storm).
- 2003, joined
- 2005, released
solo project "Mountain Tradition."
- 2007, left Mountain
Heart to pursue solo projects, but rejoined the band 16 months later (December
JONES (Click here)
(AND THE SIDEWINDERS)
- From Alberta,
Canada. Lives in Franklin, Tennessee.
- After graduating
from Trinity Western University in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, she married Chris
Jones, who was a member of The Weary Hearts at the time. Her sister Sandra
married Ron Block, who was also a member of that band.
- Has a graduate
degree in English.
- First musical
job: a background singer for Marie Osmond.
was a member of Petticoat Junction.
- 1997, joined
Harley Allen's band.
- 2000, recorded
first solo project and formed her own band.
JORDAN (AND CAROLINA ROAD)
- From Garner,
- Plays mandolin
with her band Carolina Road.
- 2001, formed
a talent agency with Steve Dilling (of Third Tyme Out) called Jordan/Dilling
- Has a restaurant
in Raleigh, NC that features bluegrass music.
- This Lorraine
Jordan is NOT the popular Scottish singer/songwriter of the same name.
- Is a member
of the award-winning recording group "Daughters of Bluegrass."
- From Melrose,
Florida (central Florida).
- Moved to Nashville
at age 19 to pursue a career in country music, her career was put on hold
when she married and had children. Seven years later, after her divorce, she
re-married and resumed her singing career.
- 2006, won a
Momentum Award for Country Artist of the Year from Indiehaven.com (a popular
Christian music music web community).
- From Washington,
D.C., now lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
- Played banjo
for Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, Jim and Jesse, Lester Flatt and the Nashville
Grass, Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper.
- First banjo
player to work full time with Lester Flatt after Lester and Earl Scruggs broke
up in 1968 (1969-71).
- A Nashville
session musician; has worked with Dolly Parton, Hank Williams Jr., the Oak
Ridge Boys, Jerry Reed, Loretta Lynn and others.
- Played banjo
on movie soundtracks for "Coal Miner's Daughter" and "Smoky
and the Bandit."1990-91, had his own band, Old Hickory.
- 1992, worked
in the "Hee Haw" TV show band.
- 1995, worked
with Wayne Newton in Las Vegas and Branson, Missouri.
- 1996, returned
to Nashville to do session work.
- His banjo instrumental
"Pickaway" has been recorded by numerous artists. It was named after
a small town in West Virginia. Vic was driving Lester Flatt's bus one night
and Roland White spotted the "Pickaway, West Virginia" sign at three
in the morning and suggested it to Vic as the name of his new banjo tune.