Author: WR

Saffell, Tom


  • From Nashville (Antioch), Tennessee.
  • Mid-1990’s, was the banjo player with the Jim Buchanon System, the Bob Smiley Band. Also performs as a solo artist.
  • “A cross between Bela Fleck and Alison Brown” –Bluegrass Unlimited.
  • Plays an eight-string banjo which he invented. There are two lower strings and one higher.
  • 1998, released Another Lifetime album (AMI).
  • 2006, joined a Celtic band called Plaidgrass.
  • 2008, released “Forgotten Pictures” album with special guests Sam Bush, Byron House, Shad Cobb, other musicians.
  • 2008, joined a Celtic band called The Fells.



  • From Spartanburg, South Carolina.
  • Formed in 2016 by Katelyn Ingardia (guitar/lead vocals), Travis Tucker (Dobro™), Louise Hughes (mandolin), Zachary Carter (banjo) and Jason Belue (bass).
  • 2017, won the band contest at Renofest in Hartsville, SC.
  • 2017, released debut album “Carolina” (no label).
  • 2017, released “A Thousand Wishes” album (Poor Mountain)
  • 2019, released Salem Town album (Mountain Fever).
  • 2019, Chris Williamson (formerly with Volume 5) replaced Jason Belue on bass.

Salamander Crossing


  • From Northampton, Massachusetts.
  • Play “Amphibious Bluegrass,” a blend of bluegrass, folk and rock.
  • Formed in 1991 by Andrew Kinsey (guitar), Rani Arbo (fiddle), Jeff Kelliher (mandolin), Tim Farnham (banjo). Tony Furtado played banjo in 1995, Dave Dick (formerly with Southern Rail) in 1997.
  • Got their name from a unique New England phenomenon: Every spring, yellow spotted salamanders make their way from a local hillside to a nearby bog, and must cross a road in the process, a huge media event.
  • Group owes its existence to John Hartford, who failed to show up at a music workshop he was going to conduct in Massachusetts (1991). Workshop participants decided to just do some impromptu jamming, and that’s when Salamander Crossing was born.
  • 1998, released Bottleneck Dreams album (Signature Sounds).
  • Disbanded in 1999.

Dahl, Walden


  • From Norco, California (LA area).
  • Plays mandolin, guitar, fiddle.
  • Songwriter: his songs have been recorded by Ralph Stanley and Alison Krauss (“So Long, So Wrong”).
  • Former bands: Lost Highway (1975), The High Window Boys (1977, with Craig Smith and Alison Brown).
  • Has two bands: the Coyote Brothers, Grey Eagle.
  • Appeared in the movie “High Lonesome Sound.”

Kahn, Jonathan (Jon David)


  • From Hollywood, California.
  • He also goes by the name Jon David Kahn.
  • He is not the same John Kahn who played bass with Old and In the Way (and the Grateful Dead).
  • He is a screenwriter and country musician who has worked in the Hollywood film industry. His credits include a film called “The Chili Con Carne Club” and the movie “Girl” which was released in 1998.
  • He also has a country band called The Color Green, with three albums to their credit.
  • 2009, he wrote a song called “American Heart” which became an anthem embraced by the conservative wing of the Republican party (The Tea Party Movement). To protect his identity, he changed his name to Jon David.
  • 2016, after performing the song in Washington D.C. with The Blinky Moon Boys, he decided to release a bluegrass version of it (produced by Aaron Ramsey at Mountain Fever Studios).

Salazar, Phil


  • From Ventura, California.
  • A veteran Southern California fiddler who has been a performer and studio musician since the early 1970’s. He has taught music, owned a music store and has fronted several bands including the Phil Salazar Band, the Acousticats, The Rincon Ramblers and Phil Salazar and the Kinfolk.
  • He has also toured with John McEwen and Bob Weir (of the Grateful Dead).
  • 1982, released “Down at Evangelina’s” album (The Acousticats, no label).
  • 1989, released The Phil Salazar Band album (Flying Fish).
  • 2013, released LIfe on the Edge album (Filzar).
  • 2019, released Project 1, Part 3 album (Filzar).

Ladin, Evie


  • From Oakland, California (has also lived in New Jersey, Baltimore and Nigeria).
  • Plays banjo (clawhammer style), sings, step-dances.
  • Performs solo as well as with the San Francisco-based group The Stairwell Sisters.
  • 2010, released solo project Float Downstream (Evil Diane).
  • 2012, released Evie Ladin Band album (Evil Diane).
  • 2016, released Jump the Fire album (Evil Diane).
  • 2018, released Riding the Rooster album (Evil Diane).
  • 2019, released Caught on a Wire album (Evil Diane).

Lake, Tim


  • From New York City. Lives in Lexington, Kentucky.
  • Plays bluegrass, jazz, pop, country and rock, all on the banjo.
  • 1991, earned his doctorate in music from the University of Kentucky. His dissertation was titled “An American Concerto for 5-string Banjo and Orchestra.”
  • 1993, performed his concerto with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
  • 1995, released Jazz with Bluegrass & Blues album (Padraig Records).
  • Performs with a trio called The Little Big Band.

Mack, LeRoy


  • From Los Angeles, California.
  • Given name: LeRoy McNees.
  • Former Dobro™ player with the Kentucky Colonels (early 1960’s). He appeared on the Andy Griffith TV show and is a favorite at the annual “Mayberry Days” reunions in Mt. Airy, NC.
  • For more than 20 years, he performed with a Los Angeles area gospel group called The Born Again Bluegrass Band.
  • He never gave up his day job (until retirement in 2004). A devout Christian, he led an organization called Businessmen for Christ.
  • 1978, released Hound Dog Ramble album (Sierra/Brier) with Vince Gill (guitar), Byron Berline (fiddle) and John Hickman (banjo).
  • 1996, released Leroy Mack & Friends (Sugar Hill).
  • 2001, recorded “Together” album with the Canadian band Jerusalem Ridge.
  • 2003, released Smiles & Tears album (no label).
  • 2005, released “Scratchin’ My Beard” album (no label).
  • 2006, worked with Habitat for Humanity in Florida, building homes for the poor.
  • 2013, released Stories album (no label).
  • 2015, formed a new gospel group in Los Angeles called “Gloryland.”

MacKenzie, Kate


  • From Minneapolis, Minnesota. Born in Mason City, Iowa. Grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
  • 1981-1995, performed with her band Stoney Lonesome.
  • She made frequent appearances on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” (PBS) both as a member of Stoney Lonesome and as a solo performer. She was a member of the original Hopeful Gospel Quartet with Keillor, Chet Atkins and Linda Williams.
  • 1995, formed the Kate MacKenzie Band with mandolinist Chris Silver, also a former member of Stoney Lonesome.
  • 1995, won “Best Country or Bluegrass Recording” at the Minnesota Music Awards for her album Let Them Talk (Red House).
  • 1996, formed a new band called The Pocket Fishermen.
  • 1996, released Age of Innocence album (Red House).

Abeels, The


  • A family band from Disputanta, Virginia.
  • Band included Jack and Anne Abeel and their two daughters Amanda and Charity.
  • Jack and Anne are graphic artists who met in art school.
  • 1995, released their first album Snowflakes & Diamonds produced by Missy Raines.

Cadillac Sky


  • From Fort Worth, TX
  • Formed in 2002 by Bryan Simpson (mandolin, fiddle, lead vocals), Matt Menefee (banjo), Mike Jump (guitar), Clint Sturgeon (bass), and Ross Holmes (fiddle).
  • 2003, released first album “Talent Show,” produced by Pat Flynn.
  • 2005, Andy Moritz replaced Sturgeon on bass.
  • The band name was inspired by a place called Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo, Texas where a row of old Cadillacs are stuck nose-down in a cow pasture along I-40.
  • Simpson has written songs recorded by artists such as George Strait, Gretchen Wilson, Joe Nichols, Diamond Rio, Jo Dee Messina, Neal McCoy, Brad Martin and Kenny Rogers. In 2009, his song “I’ll Just Hold On” (recorded by Blake Shelton) reached #5 spot on the Billboard Country chart.
  • Fiddler Ross Holmes spent time in Josh Turner’s band.
  • Banjo player Matt Menefee won the Winfield Banjo Championship at age 17.
  • 2007, released Blind Man Walking album (Skaggs Family Records).
  • 2008, released Gravity’s Our Enemy album (Skaggs Family Records).
  • 2008, guitarist David Mayfield replaced Jump.
  • 2010, released Letters in the Deep album (Dualtone Records).
  • 2010, Bryan Simpson left the band to pursue Christian ministry opportunities and was replaced by singer/songwriter Levi Lowrey.
  • 2011 (January), disbanded.
  • 2014, reunited to play on Brian Simpson’s solo project “Whistles and Bells.”
  • 2019, Simpson and Menefee formed a new act called The Golden Age.

Mackey, Bobby


  • From Wilder, Kentucky (near Cincinnati).
  • Since 1978, has owned a night club called “Bobby Mackey’s” where he performs and hosts other country acts. Cincinnatti’s classic country radio station (WAOL) broadcasts live music from there on Friday nights.
  • Bobby Mackey’s (the night club) has also received national attention because of ghosts that are said to inhabit the building.
  • 2002, formed a bluegrass band called The Pine Hill Pickers.
  • 2004, released Ten Shades of Green album (no label) with Rhonda Vincent, Sonya Isaacs and other guest artists. Produced by Adam Steffey.
  • 2008, released Foolin’ Around album (no label).
  • 2012, released Johanna album (no label).
  • 2013, released Country Music Lives On album (no label).

G, Cindy


  • From McKeesport, Pennsylvania.
  • A singer/songwriter who has performed rhythm and blues and rock music during the bulk of her career. Her first band was a group called the Flashcats (Pittsburgh). She also worked as a singer and songwriter in New York City.
  • Her last name is Giejda (pronounced “Gayda.”
  • 2012, released her first bluegrass album Road (Blue Road). She plays mandolin and guitar on the album.
  • 2013, won Best Bluegrass/Country Act at the Jersey Acoustic Music Awards (New Jersey).
  • 2015, released Jail Break album (Blue Road), produced by Jim VanCleve.
  • 2018, released “Moonshiner’s Daughter” album (Blue Road), also produced by VanCleve.



  • From Madisonville, Tennessee.
  • Began as a family band in 1995 called The Gospel Bluegrass Boys. In 2007, after some band member changes, the name of the group was changed to LakeSide.
  • Members in 2019 include: Greg Blankenship (mandolin), Lucas Blankenship (percussion), Jackie Cummings (bass), John Robert Freels (banjo), Walt Williamson (guitar).
  • 2019, released Moving On album (Morning Glory), produced by Aaron Ramsey.

Lamb, Barbara


  • From Seattle, Washington.
  • Played fiddle with the “cowgirl” band, Ranch Romance.
  • Was Mark O’Connor’s first fiddle teacher. He was only eleven years old at the time.
  • Early seventies: performed with a Seattle-based bluegrass band called Tall Timber.
  • 1974, recorded an album of fiddle duets with Vivian Williams.
  • Nickname: “Babs.”
  • Hobby: collecting boots. She has over 75 pair.
  • 1993, released Fiddle Fatale album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1993, performed with best selling author and lecturer Robert Fulghum (All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten) at such venues as Carnegie Hall in New York City. She “colors” his stories with the fiddle.
  • Calls her flamboyant style: “chrome on the range.”
  • 1994, toured with Texas swing band Asleep at the Wheel.
  • 1996, released Tonight I Feel Like Texas album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2000, released Blue On Dakota album (no label).
  • 2006, released Bootsy Met a Bank Robber album (no label).
  • 2009, released Twisty Girl album (no label).

Lane, Lawrence (and the Kentucky Grass)


  • From Columbus Ohio.
  • Formed in 1973 by Lawrence Lane (guitar), Keith Lane (mandolin), Radford Vance (banjo) and Ray Sonaugle (fiddle).
  • 1974, released “Washington’s Files” album (Rome).
  • 1976, released “1776-1976” album (Rome).
  • Lane also promoted several bluegrass festivals in Kentucky.
  • Jimmy Olander of the group Diamond Rio was once a member of this band (playing banjo).
  • 2017, the group Carolina Blue recorded Sounds of Kentucky Grass (Poor Mountain), a tribute to Lawrence Lane and the Kentucky Grass. Lawrence Lane is the great uncle of Carolina Blue’s mandolin player, Timmy Jones.

Maddox, Rose


  • From Boaz, Alabama.
  • Full name: Roselea Arbana Maddox.
  • Moved with her family to California in 1933 in search of a better life. They traveled by hitching rides in empty railroad boxcars. When they arrived in California, the only work they could find was as migrant “fruit tramps” working the fields and orchards up and down the fertile valleys of California.
  • 1937, began performing with her brothers as “The Maddox Brothers and Rose,” one of country music’s most successful acts (broke up in 1956).
  • Voted best female country vocalist by both Billboard and Cashbox magazines. She became known as “The Queen of the West.”
  • After launching her solo career, she formed a band called The Foggy Notion Band. In her words, “I never had the foggiest notion that I would ever have my own band.”
  • 1962, recorded Rose Maddox Sings Bluegrass (Capitol) which is widely believed to be the first bluegrass album released by a female vocalist. Side musicians on the album included Bill Monroe, Don Reno and Red Smiley.
  • 1980, released This Is Rose Maddox album (Arhoolie) with the Vern Williams Band.
  • 1983, released Beautiful Bouquet album (Arhoolie) with the Vern Williams Band.
  • Rose has been the subject of several television specials and one book: Ramblin’ Rose: The Life and Career of Rose Maddox by Johnny Whiteside (Country Music Foundation).
  • Died April 15, 1998.

Wakefield, Frank


  • From Emory Gap, Tennessee, near Knoxville. Lives in Upstate New York.
  • Full name: Franklin Delano Roosevelt Wakefield.
  • Known for his technical virtuosity on the mandolin. Influenced David Grisman and many other mandolin players. One of the first to play jazz on the instrument.
  • Learned to play music in rural pentecostal “snake-handling” churches around east Tennessee.
  • Grew up on a farm and never went to school. He learned to read and write when he was 28 years old.
  • Hidden talent: he can talk backwards.
  • 1957, at age 19, moved to Dayton, Ohio and met Red Allen. They formed a group called the Blue Ridge Mountain Boys.
  • 1958, worked for a short time with Jimmy Martin.
  • 1958, he and Red Allen formed The Kentuckians.
  • 1959, briefly worked with the Stanley Brothers.
  • 1960, with Red Allen, re-assembled the Kentuckians, this time in Baltimore. Other personnel included banjo players Bill Keith, Don Reno, Bill Emerson, Pete Kuykendall, Eric Weissberg; also fiddlers Chubby Wise, Scott Stoneman, others.
  • 1964-68, joined the Greenbriar Boys. While with the Greenbriar Boys, he was seriously injured in an auto accident, putting him in a coma for more than a month.
  • He has recorded several albums as a duo with Red Allen.
  • 1972, released self titled album (Rounder) and began performing as a solo artist.
  • 1978, released “Frank Wakefield and the Good Old Boys” album (Flying Fish).
  • 1980, released “End of the Rainbow” album (Bay).
  • 1997, released “That Was Now … This is Then” album (Rosewoodl).
  • 2000, released “Midnight on the Mandolin” (Patuxent).
  • 2011, released Tribute to Bill Monroe album (Patuxent).
  • 2013, released Frank Wakefield, Taylor Baker & Friends (Patuxent).

Nance, David


  • From Oak Ridge, North Carolina (lives in Reidsville, NC).
  • Early in his career, he played Dobro™ with his father in a band called The Southland Playboys.
  • 1982, he and his father worked with Bobby Atkins.
  • 1983, joined The McPherson Brothers band.
  • 1985, formed Big Sandy Bluegrass with Lynwood Lunsford, Tim Ashley and Adam Poindexter.
  • 1987, joined Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys. Martin nicknamed Nance “Little Sweets.”
  • 1997, released My Own Sweet Time album (no label).
  • 2010, joined The Hagar’s Mountain Boys.

Bailey, Brittany


  • From Junction City (near Eugene), Oregon.
  • At age 12, performed on stage with Alison Krauss and Union Station.
  • 1996, sang with an Oregon band, Blue River.
  • 1997, formed group called Severin and Bailey.
  • After moving to Nashville, she hade guest appearances with Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time, The Sidemen, The Roland White Band, The John Cowan Band and others.
  • 2004, released first self-titled solo project.

Jackson, Carl


  • From Philadelphia, Mississippi. Lives in Nashville.
  • Best known for his virtuosity on banjo and guitar, 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 Uncle Sock.
  • 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.
  • 1973-1985, 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 live shows.
  • 1973, released Carl Jackson: Banjo Player album (Capitol).
  • 1980, released Banjo Man: A Tribute to Earl Scruggs album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1980, released Songs Of The South album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1983, released Banjo Hits ablum (Sugar Hill).
  • 1990, won IBMA Award for Song of the Year for his composition, “Little Mountain Church House.
  • 1991, released Spring Training album (Sugar Hill), a collaboration with former Seldom Scene vocalist John Starling and Emmy Lou Harris’ band, The Nash Ramblers.
  • 1992, won the Grammy Award for best bluegrass album (for Spring Training).
  • 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.”
  • 2003, won a Grammy Award for the album Livin’, Lovin’, Losin’: Songs of the Louvin Brothers (Universal), which he produced.
  • 2006, inducted into the Mississippi Music Hall of Fame.
  • 2013, released Grace Notes (Voxhall), a guitar instrumental album featuring guitars from his personal collection.
  • 2015, produced Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited album (Sony Legacy), a tribute to the “Big Bang” of Country Music.

Dailey and Vincent


  • From Nashville.
  • Formed in 2007 by Jamie Dailey (a former member of Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver) and Darrin Vincent (a former member of Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder).
  • Darrin Vincent is the younger brother of Rhonda Vincent. As youngsters, they performed together in their family band The Sally Mountain Show.
  • 2008, released first project Dailey & Vincent (Rounder Records) and made their first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.
  • 2008, won an unprecedented six IBMA awards in their first year of eligibility: Entertainer of the Year, Emerging Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year (Jamie) and Gospel Recording of the Year (for “By the Mark”).
  • 2009, released Brothers From Different Mothers album (Rounder).
  • 2009, released Singing From the Heart album (Rounder), an acapella gospel project.
  • 2009, won IBMA awards for Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year and Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year (for “On the Other Side”).
  • 2010, released Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers album (Cracker Barrel/Rounder).
  • 2010, won IBMA awards for Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year and Album of the Year.
  • 2011, released The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent album (Cracker Barrel/Rounder).
  • 2011, added band members B.J. Cherryholmes (fiddle,) Jessie Baker (banjo) and Jeff Parker (vocals and mandolin) and Christian Davis (bass vocals).
  • CMT dubbed them “The Rockstars of Bluegrass.”
  • 2013, released Brothers of the Highway album (Rounder).
  • 2014, added Seth Taylor to the band, playing lead and rhythm guitar.
  • 2014, won their fourth GMA Dove Award for Bluegrass Song of the Year (“Won’t It Be Wonderful There”).
  • 2014, won the IBMA Award for Gospel Recording of the Year (“Won’t It Be Wonderful There”).
  • 2015, released Alive! In Concert album (Cracker Barrel)
  • 2015, began hosting “The Dailey & Vincent Show” on RFD-TV.
  • 2016, made their 100th appearance on the Grand Ole Opry on December 30th (also the 10th anniversary of their forming their act) on December 30th. It was also announced that evening that they would be inducted as members of the Opry.
  • 2017, were officially inducted as members of the Opry on March 11.
  • 2017, released Patriots & Poets album (BFD).
  • 2018, added new band member Gavin Largent (banjo/Dobro™), replacing Jessie Baker.

Falco, Andy


  • Lives in Nashville.
  • 1996-1999, played guitar and sang lead with The Water Street Blues Band (later WaterStreet) combining Blues, Funk, Jazz, R&B, Country, Gospel and Bluegrass.
  • 2000-2004, worked with Buddy Merriam and Back Roads.
  • 2004, joined Alicia Nugent’s band. Also worked with Bradley Walker, Malibu Storm, other bands.
  • 2007, joined the Infamous Stringdusters, replacing Chris Eldridge (who joined Chris Thile’s band)
  • 2007, released first solo project Sentenced To Life With The Blues (FGM Records).

Magness, Tommy


  • From Roanoke, Virginia.
  • A fiddler who worked in the late 1930’s with Roy Hall and His Blue Ridge Entertainers (with whom he made the very first recording of the Orange Blossom Special.)
  • 1940, joined Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys and appeared on some of Monroe’s earliest recordings.
  • 1946-47, worked with Roy Acuff’s Smoky Mountain Boys. While with Acuff, he made the first recording of the Black Mountain Rag.
  • 1947, formed the Orange Blossom Boys.
  • 1951, formed Tommy Magness and His Tennessee Buddies, which included Don Reno and Red Smiley. They recorded several juke box hits for King Records.
  • He died in 1972.



  • Southern California-based band featuring Byron Berline, Dan Crary, John Moore, John Hickman and Steve Spurgin.
  • Formed in 1991. They were formerly called B-C-H (Berline, Crary, Hickman). Changed name to California when Spurgin and Moore were added to the group.
  • While the group was called California, John Moore was the only California native.
  • 1992, 1993, won IBMA award for “Instrumental Group of the Year.”
  • Broke up in 1996. Crary and Spurgin left to pursue solo careers. Moore performs with “Bluegrass Etc.” and Berline fronts “The Byron Berline Band” with John Hickman on banjo. Berline and Hickman now live in Oklahoma.
  • 2003, re-united to record and perform again on a part-time basis.

Camp, Shawn


  • From Arkansas.
  • A songwriter whose songs have been recorded by Garth Brooks (“Two Pina Coladas”), Brooks and Dunn (“How Long Gone”), George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Josh Turner, Patty Loveless, Randy Travis, Del McCoury, Ricky Skaggs, many others.
  • 1987, moved to Nashville at age 20, worked with Osborne Brothers, playing fiddle.
  • 1991, signed with a major label (Reprise) and recorded first album which was never released.
  • 2004, recorded a live bluegrass album at the Station Inn in Nashville, Live at the Station Inn (Oh Boy Records).
  • 2007, he and rockabilly singer Billy Burnette released an album called “The Bluegrass Elvises” featuring bluegrass covers of Elvis Presley hits.
  • 2013, formed a Flatt and Scruggs tribute band called Earls of Leicester.
  • 2017, won his second IBMA Award for Male Vocalist of the Year (he also won in 2015).

Salley, Jerry


  • From Chillicothe, Ohio. Lives in Nashville.
  • Began his music career in Nashville working at Opryland USA doing impressions of country stars like Roy Acuff, Jimmie Rodgers, Eddy Arnold and Lester Flatt. His partner who impersonated Earl Scruggs was a young Steven Curtis Chapman, who later became a well-known Christian artist).
  • Best known as a songwriter. His original songs have been recorded by such artists as Loretta Lynn, the Oak Ridge Boys, Patty Loveless, Reba McIntyre, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Chris Stapleton, Doyle Lawson and many others. One of his gospel songs “His Strength Is Perfect” has been published in several church hymnbooks.
  • As a solo artist, he has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry, Late Night with David Letterman, The Today Show.
  • 2004, he performed on the IBMA Award-winning “Livin, Lovin’ & Losin’: Tribute to the Louvin Brothers” CD (in a trio with Carl Jackson and Larry Cordle.)
  • 2003, won the SESAC “Country Music Songwriter of the Year” award.
  • 2007, released New Songs Old Friends album (Mountain Home) featuring guest artists Vince Gill, Del McCoury, Doyle Lawson, Ricky Skaggs, the Oak Ridge Boys and Rhonda Vincent.
  • 2012, released Showing My Age album (Very Jerry).
  • 2015, released Gospel From My Grass Roots album (Very Jerry).
  • 2017, released Front Porch Philosophy album (Very Jerry).
  • 2019, released All God’s Children Sing album (Very Jerry).
  • 2019, won his second IBMA Award for Songwriter of the Year (also won in 2018).

Campbell, Johnny


  • From Nashville, Tennessee. Originally from Detroit.
  • A third generation fiddler, he is brother to the late Jimmy Campbell, who worked with Jim and Jesse, Bill Monroe, the Osborne Brothers and the Sidemen.
  • 2014, his band includes wife Whitney Campbell (bass, harmony vocals), Carl Caldwell (guitar), Jeff Burke (mandolin), Chris Carter (banjo).
  • 2014, released first solo project Johnny Campbell & The Bluegrass Drifters (no label).

Mailander, John


  • From San Diego, California.
  • A graduate of the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Has played fiddle with Chris Stuart and BackCountry, Tony Trischka and Territory, Darol Anger, other bands.
  • Performs as a duo with guitarist Molly Tuttle.
  • 2014, played fiddle in Steve Martin & Edie Brickell’s musical, Bright Star, for it’s premier run in New York.
  • 2014, released first solo album Walking Distance (no label).
  • 2014, released Molly Tuttle & John Mailander album (no label).
  • 2017, released a music instruction book A Fiddler’s Guid to Moveable Shapes (self published).
  • 2018, joined Bruce Hornsby’s touring band the Noisemakers.

Cana Ramblers, The


  • From Cana, Virginia.
  • A family band featuring three siblings: Will Jones (guitar), Laura Leigh Jones (mandolin), Ashley Jones (bass), dad Phillip Jones (guitar), Rick Allred (banjo).
  • Allred previously worked with the Country Gentlemen, Larry Stephenson Band, McPeak Brothers.
  • 2010, released “No Expectations” CD. At the time of recording, Will was 18, Laura Leigh 20, Ashley 23.

Lane, Shawn


  • Born & raised in Fort Blackmore, Virginia. Lives in Walhalla, South Carolina.
  • An original member of Blue Highway. Plays mandolin.
  • 1990, worked with Lou Reid.
  • 1991-1993, worked with Doyle Lawson.
  • 1993-1994, worked with Ricky Skaggs.
  • 1995-present, Blue Highway.
  • Early days: performed at a Johnson City (TN) club every 1st Thursday of the month with country singer Kenny Chesney.
  • Has a degree in Machine Tool Technology; graduated on the President’s List of his college and was selected for “Who’s Who” of American Students in 1994.
  • 2003, released solo project All For Today (Rebel Records).
  • 2014, released solo project Mountain Songs (Cat Town Records).
  • 2014, filled in for Tim O’Brien with The Earls of Leicester.
  • 2019, released an EP with guitarist Richard Bennett called “Land and Harbor” (Bonfire).

Jarosz, Sara


  • From Wimberley, Texas (near Austin).
  • Began singing at two, playing piano at six, took up the mandolin at ten. She also plays plays clawhammer banjo and guitar.
  • 2009, released first solo project Song Up In Her Head (Sugar Hill) at age 18.
  • 2010, enrolled at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.
  • 2011, released Follow Me Down album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2014, released Build Me Up From Bones album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2016, released Undercurrent album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2017, won two Grammy Awards, one in the Best Folk Album category for Undercurrent album (Sugar Hill) and another in the Best American Roots Performance category for “House of Mercy” from the same album.
  • 2017, began touring and recording with Sara Watkins and Aoife O’Donovan as “I’m With Her.”

Canada, Mo


  • From Courtland, Virginia. Lives in Windsor, Virginia.
  • Began playing guitar at age 13.
  • Primary influences: Tony Rice, Jimmy Herring, Scott Miller, Bela Fleck, Sam Bush.
  • Has performed with Lou Reid, the Lonesome River Band, Randy Kohrs, others.
  • 1995, released album “Stoney Lonesome.”
  • 2006, released album “Grassoline.”

Mainer, Wade


  • From Weaverville, North Carolina. Lived most of his life in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
  • A country music pioneer whose mountain string band music of the 1930’s helped lay the foundation for bluegrass which developed in the 1940’s.
  • He and his older brother J.E. Mainer began performing together in 1927. They were first known as J.E. Mainer’s Crazy Mountaineers. Wade played banjo; J.E. played fiddle. In 1935, they recorded 14 songs for the RCA Bluebird label, including their biggest hit “Maple on the Hill.”
  • 1936, formed his own band, Sons of the Mountaineers with Zeke and Wiley Morris, Clyde Moody, other musicians. From 1935 to 1941, they were one of the most heavily-recorded country artists of that era.
  • 1953, left the music business and moved to Flint, Michigan where he worked for General Motors, retiring in 1972.
  • 1975, began performing again with his wife, Julia May (stage name “Hillbilly Lilly”), who sings and plays guitar. They performed exclusively Gospel music.
  • Mainer played banjo in the two-finger style popularized by Snuffy Jenkins (who inspired Earl Scruggs to develop his three-finger style.)
  • 2002, appeared at the Grand Ole Opry and was Grand Marshall for the Uncle Dave Macon Days parade in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
  • 2011, died at the age of 104.


Malina, Lubos


  • From the Czech Republic.
  • Pronounced LEW-Bosch Ma-LEEN-a.
  • He is the co-founder and banjo player for the Czech bluegrass band Druha Trava (Second Grass).
  • Early influences: Larry McNeely and Earl Scruggs; later influences: Bela Fleck and Tony Trischka.
  • 1992, won ‘Best Banjo Player Overall’ at Banjo Jamboree Festival (Czech Republic) and he won the award numerous times since then.
  • 1999, released first solo album Piece of Cake (Alliance).

Bailey, James


  • From Keysville, Virginia.
  • 1974, 1976-1979, 1986-1988, played banjo with the Country Gentlemen.
  • Has also worked with Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury, Doyle Lawson, U.S. Senator Robert Byrd, Gary Ferguson, many others.
  • 1998, formed “James Bailey and Company,” a band with Malcolm Pulley (guitar), Randy Cook (mandolin) and Doug Ganey (bass).
  • 2001, released solo banjo album “James Bailey Bluegrass.”
  • 2014, retired from the music business.

Bailey, Richard


  • From Memphis. Lives in Nashville.
  • First band: The Tennessee Gentlemen (Memphis).
  • As a sideman, he has performed with Bill Monroe, Roland White, Vassar Clements, Loretta Lynn, Chet Akins, Larry Cordle, Laurie Lewis, Dale Ann Bradley and many others.
  • As a session musician, he has recorded with Kenny Rogers, Michael Martin Murphy, Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, Ronnie Milsap and many others. He has played at Carnegie Hall and on Austin City Limits..
  • Has been a member of The Cluster Pluckers, Kathy Chiavola Band, the Roland White Band, The J.T. Gray Band and several others.
  • 1986, recorded a solo album called Night Light.
  • 2007, was a founding member of the Steeldrivers.



  • From Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • A newgrass band formed in 1999 featuring Ty Bennett (guitar) and Chris Emerson (mandolin), who also perform together in a duo called Natty Boh.
  • Candlewyck is the name of the neighborhood where Bennett and Emerson grew up. They lived down the street from each other
  • Bennett is a songwriter, producer and music instructor in Charlotte. Originally from Hampton, South Carolina.
  • Emerson is originally from Lansing, Michigan, but has lived in NC since the early 80’s. Taught himself mandolin.
  • 2001, released first album with guests Don Rigsby, John Cowan, Terry Baucom, Shawn Lane, others. A song from that album “Firemen” won an “Indy” award for best bluegrass song of the year.
  • 2007, released Live at the Palmetto Theater album (Votive).
  • 2014, released radio single “Play” featuring John Cowan on vocals.

Penn Central


  • From Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
  • Formed in 1981 by Mark Rickert (guitar) and Steve Huber (banjo). Other members of the band included Todd Clewell (bass), Wally Hughes (Dobro™ and fiddle). On their recordings, they were joined by special guests Phil Rosenthal (mandolin) and Mike Auldridge (Dobro™) of the Seldom Scene.
  • 1984, released “Play One More” album (Baldwin).
  • 1991, released “Bluefire” album (Platinum).

Abernathy, Barry


  • From Georgia.
  • A banjo player who is best known for his remarkable ability to play Scruggs-style banjo despite a birth defect which left him with no fingers on his left hand, just a thumb and several partial digits.
  • 1993, joined Silver Creek.
  • 1994, joined Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver.
  • 1997, joined IIIrd Tyme Out.
  • 1998, was a founding member of Mountain Heart.
  • 2014, left Mountain Heart to strike out on his own.
  • 2016, had surgery to repair nerve damage in his neck, which hindered his playing.
  • 2018, teamed up with Darrell Webb (guitar/mandolin) to form a new band called Appalachian Road Show.

Paisley, Danny


  • From Landenburg, Pennsylvania—about fifty miles southwest of Philadelphia.
  • Danny’s father Bob Paisley formed the Southern Grass in 1979. Prior to that he played with Ted Lundy in a band called Bob Paisley, Ted Lundy and the Southern Mountain Boys. Lundy passed away in 1980. The band became Bob Paisley and the Southern Mountain Boys.
  • After Bob Paisley’s death in 2004, Danny took over leadership of the band. The new Southern Grass includes Bob and T.J. Lundy (sons of Ted Lundy) and Dan’s brother Michael.
  • In their words, they play “unadorned, intense traditional bluegrass. There is no hybrid or genre-bending music here.”
  • 2008, released The Room Over Mine album (Rounder).
  • 2009, won the IBMA award for Song of the Year (for “Don’t Throw Mama’s Flowers Away” written by Chris Stuart)
  • 2013, released Road Into Town album (Patuxent).
  • 2015, released “Weary River” album (Patuxent). Band lineup: Danny Paisley (vocals and guitar), Mark Delaney (banjo), T.J. Lundy (fiddle), Eric Troutman (vocals and bass), and son Ryan Paisley (mandolin), just 15 years old.
  • 2016, won the IBMA Award for Male Vocalist of the Year.
  • 2019, released That’s Why I’m Lonesome album (Patuxent).

Mandolin Orange


Sally Mountain Show, The


  • From Kirksville, Missouri.
  • Stage name used by the Vincent family bluegrass band: Johnny Vincent (banjo), Carolyn (bass); sons Darrin and Brian (guitar and mandolin respectively), and daughter Rhonda (lead vocals, mandolin and fiddle).
  • 1967, began performing on their own TV show called “The Sally Mountain Show” which eventually became the band’s name. They were called The Sally Mountain Singers on their first album.
  • The name “Sally Mountain” comes from a mountain near Worthington, Missouri which the local people called Sally’s Mountain, named after Sally Mosely, an old time fiddler who lived on the mountain and claimed to have written the fiddle tune “Sally Goodin'”.
  • They performed at many prestigious venues including the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and the Lincoln Center in New York City.
  • Recorded four albums on their own label (Stardust) in the 1980’s.
  • 2003, reunited to record “A Family Tradition” album. Rhonda and Darrin performed on the album as did Jamie Dailey and Stuart Duncan.
  • They host an annual bluegrass festival in Sally Mountain Park near Queen City, Missouri.
  • 2014, Johnny Vincent died after a long illness at the age of 73.

Cane Mill Road


  • From Deep Gap, North Carolina.
  • Formed in 2015 by teens Liam Purcell (mandolin) and Tray Wellington (banjo) who are both from Deep Gap (home of Doc Watson). Also in the band: Elliott Smith (bass) and Casey Lewis (guitar).
  • 2017, released first album Five Speed (no label), produced by Cathy Fink and Tom Mindte.
  • 2019, released Gap to Gap album (Patuxent). The members of the band have to drive between Deep Gap, NC and Rocky Gap, VA (a distance of about 100 miles) in order to play music together.
  • 2019, won the IBMA Momentum Award for Band of the Year. Tray Wellington also won the Momentum Award for Instrumentalist of the Year.
  • 2020, disbanded. Mandolinist Liam Pucell kept the band name and is performing as Liam Purcell and Cane Mill Road with other musicians.

Caney Creek


  • From Ohio.
  • Formed in 2008 by Stacy Wilcox (banjo), Chris Smith (guitar) and Dave Prater (mandolin). In 2014, Joe Robinson (bass) joined the band. In 2017, Prater was replaced by Mitch Meadows (mandolin).
  • Their name comes from a little creek in southeast Kentucky, near Pikeville. There is also a song by the Dillards called “Caney Creek.”
  • 2017, released first album Cool Kentucky Rain (no label).
  • 2019, released The Tale of Willie Tackett album (9 Lives).

Earl Brothers, The


  • Based in the San Francisco area (although band members are from Virginia, Florida and New York City.)
  • Formed in 2000 by banjo player Robert Earl Davis (from Richmond, Virgina).
  • Other members: John McKelvy (guitar), Larry Hughes (mandolin) and Josh Sidman (bass).
  • They are a full-time touring band and have traveled extensively, including Europe and Australia.
  • Their music has been called “Honky-Tonk Bluegrass,” “Hillbilly Gothic,” “Neo-traditional” and “Outlaw Hillbilly.”
  • 2004, released album titled Whiskey, Women & Death (no label).
  • 2008, founding member John McKelvy departed.
  • 2012, released Outlaw Hillbilly album (no label).

Daniels, Charlie


  • From Wilmington, North Carolina.
  • As a teenager, played mandolin and fiddle with a North Carolina bluegrass band called the Misty Mountain Boys.
  • 1972, began solo career as a country artist.
  • 1979, had #1 song with “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” His album “Fire on the Mountain” (which features that song) was certified platinum in 1992.
  • 1979, 1980 won CMA Award for Instrumental Group of the Year. Also won several other CMA and ACM awards.
  • 2005, released a bluegrass gospel album Songs From the Longleaf Pine (Blue Hat Records).
  • 2009, released a bluegrass Christmas album Joy To The World – A Bluegrass Christmas (E1 Entertainment).

Waldrep, Gary


  • From Kilpatrick, Alabama.
  • Formed in 1998.
  • 1981-1989, Waldrep performed with the Warrior River Boys (plays banjo).
  • 1989, helped form the Sand Mountain Boys.
  • Hosts an annual bluegrass festival on his Alabama farm every year.
  • 2010, released “Road Leading Home” album on Blue Circle Records.

Waldron, Cliff


  • From Northern Virginia; originally from Jolo, West Virginia.
  • 1964-66, played with a group called the Page Valley Boys.
  • 1967, began professional musical career with Bill Emerson. Emerson and Waldron recorded several albums for Rebel Records, and was the first to record the Manfred Mann song “Fox on the Run” in a bluegrass style.
  • Worked briefly with The Shenandoah Cutups before forming The New Shades of Grass (1968-74), a group that recorded seven albums for Rebel Records.
  • 1974, went to work for the National Park Service.
  • 1975, became a devout Christian and formed a gospel band.
  • 1985, had severe health problems which resulted in a kidney transplant.
  • 1996, retired from the National Park Service and returned to playing bluegrass music.
  • 2001, recorded a gospel album with Paul Williams called “Higher Ground.”

Tashian, Barry and Holly


  • From Nashville.
  • A husband-and-wife duo who perform old-time country duets.
  • 1964, Barry formed a rock band called Barry and the Remains, a successful group that opened for the Beatles final U.S. tour.
  • Became friends with the late Gram Parsons, fell in love with country music.
  • 1970’s, Barry and Holly sang together in an electric country band called The Outskirts.
  • 1980-89, Barry replaced Ricky Skaggs in Emmylou Harris’ Hot Band.
  • Have performed on the Grand Ole Opry and Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion” radio show.
  • Barry and Holly grew up in Westport, Connecticut, went to the same high school and double-dated together—each dating someone else. They married in 1972.
  • 1993, released Ready for Love album (Rounder).
  • 1994, released Straw Into Gold album (Rounder).
  • 1997, released Harmony album (Rounder).
  • 2002, released At Home album (Copper Creek).
  • 2008, released Long Story Short album (Rock-a-lot).



  • From Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Formed in 2006 by Christoffer Olsson (guitar), Jens Koch (banjo), Erik Igelström (mandolin), Tobias Strömberg (Dobro™), and Jimmy Sunnebrandt (bass).
  • 2007, won first place in the band contest at the European World of Bluegrass.
  • 2007, released album Where the Tall Grass Grows (no label).
  • 2010, released album “Untapped Roots.”

Salt and Light


  • From Graham, North Carolina.
  • A family band (the Moore Family) featuring siblings Kyndal (mandolin), Morgan (guitar), Parker (banjo), Daniel (fiddle), Norah (fiddle) and Garrett (bass).
  • 2017, they ranged in age from 11 (Norah) to 21 (Parker).
  • They began performing together as a band in 2014.
  • While they are not exclusively a gospel-singing group, their band name comes from the Bible (Matthew 5:13-16).
  • 2017, released their second album “Second Course” (Whale Tone).

Sam Hill


  • From Portland, Oregon.
  • Formed in 1993 by mandolinist Jeff Smith (originally from California) who wrote much of the band’s original material.
  • 1995, released “Bring on the Blues” album (New Timey).
  • 1998, released “Hard Luck and Trouble” album (New Timey).
  • 2001, released “Haunted by a Memory” album (no label).
  • 2002 lineup: Smith, Doug Sammons (guitar), Peter Schwimmer (banjo), Pat Kramer (fiddle), Dee Ann Davidshofer (bass).

Hale, Robert


  • From Jolo, West Virginia
  • Began performing at the age of 9, playing mandolin in his father’s band “Clayton Hale and the Bluegrass Mountaineers.”
  • Age 11, was invited to perform at the Grand Ole Opry with Bill Monroe.
  • Has been a band member with the Reno Brothers, J. D. Crowe and the New South (guitar, lead vocals), Livewire, Eddie and Martha Adcock (mandolin) and several other bands.
  • 2000, founded Wildfire with Curt Chapman.
  • Played on two Dolly Parton albums: “Halos and Horns” and “For God and Country.”
  • 2012, released first solo project Pure & Simple (Pinecastle Records).

Cannon, Melonie


  • From Nashville. Born in Jackson, Tennessee.
  • Daughter of legendary country music songwriter & producer Buddy Cannon (Kenny Chesney, Reba McIntyre, Mel Tillis, George Jones, etc).
  • Her sister Maria Cannon-Goodman is also a successful songwriter (“Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo,” etc.)
  • Started recording at age 14 (with Dean Dillon). Also worked as a teenager with Vern Gosdin, Bill Anderson. Recorded duet “Cry Cry Darlin'” with Sammy Kershaw at age 16.
  • Did a stint in the U.S. Army. In her own words “I had a wild streak that needed to be tamed.” The Army helped her learn self-discipline and self-respect. She was discharged for medical reasons, but the experience changed her life.
  • 2004, released debut bluegrass album Melonie Cannon, produced by Ronnie Bowman (Skaggs Family Records).
  • 2008, released And The Wheels Turn album (Rural Rhythm).

Cantrells, The


  • Husband-wife folk duo from Helena, Montana.
  • Have sung together since 1983. Had a band called “The Tractors.”
  • Emily is originally from Nankipoo, Tennessee; Al is from Seattle, Washington
  • Before moving to Montana, they lived and worked in Nashville as songwriters
  • Performed in the movie “A River Runs Through It” starring Robert Redford. When they performed for a cast party prior to the shooting of the movie, Redford liked them so much, he worked them into the movie. They appeared in the picnic scene.

Dappled Grays, The


  • From Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Formed in 2001 by Michael Smith (mandolin) and Casey Cook (guitar).
  • Won “Best Bluegrass Band” in Atlanta’s “Creative Loafing” magazine.
  • Had several of their songs played on MTV.
  • Smith has performed and toured with the country band Sugarland.
  • Cook had a Florida band with his brother called “Special Cookin'” and was inducted into the North Florida Bluegrass Hall of Fame as the youngest professional bluegrass band in Florida. He has also been featured in “Flatpick Guitar” magazine.
  • A “Dappled Gray” is a type of horse (with gray spots).
  • Other members of the band: Leah Calvert (fiddle), Keith Morris (bass), Greg Earnest (banjo.)
  • 2007, released Doin My Job album (no label).
  • 2012, they were featured in the Clint Eastwood movie “Trouble with the Curve.” They appeared in a scene with cloggers at a night club in Athens, Georgia. They performed two songs: “The Long Waltz Home” written by guitarist Casey Cook and the traditional tune “Cotton-Eyed Joe.”
  • 2015, released “Last Night Tomorrow” album (no label).

Sanbower, Jack


  • From Smithsburg, Maryland.
  • Jack Sanbower played banjo with several Baltimore-Washington DC area bands, including CC and Company, Chestnut Ridge and the Bluegrass Image.
  • 1990, formed the No Leeway Band.
  • 1994, guitarist George Garris (formerly of the Garris Brothers Band) joined the band. They performed as Sanbower, Garris and the No LeeWay Band.
  • 1994, released “Thinking of Old Memories” album (Buck Hollow).
  • 2003, released Same Ole Fools album (Buck Hollow).
  • 2005, died of cancer at the age of 45.

Caplinger, Dennis


  • From Vista, California (near San Diego). Lives in Murietta, California (Riverside County).
  • Since 1980, plays banjo and fiddle with John Moore in the band Bluegrass Etc.
  • A busy sideman and studio musician in San Diego. Has performed on numerous TV commercials, films & TV shows. Credits include Back to the Future III & all of Kenny Roger’s “Gambler” movies. He has also appeared on the Martha Stewart TV Show, Cingular Wireless commercials and is a member of the Academy of Country Music’s house band.
  • Performs regularly with Tim Flannery (former San Diego Padres ballplayer).
  • Also produces many of CMH Records’ “Pickin’ On” series.

Railroad Earth


  • From Stillwater, New Jersey.
  • Formed in 2001 by Andy Groessling (banjo), Tim Carbone (fiddle), John Skehan (mandolin), Carey Harmon (percussion), Dave Von Dollen (bass), Todd Schaeffer (guitar).
  • They are a jam band specializing in roots & Americana music with bluegrass, folk, celtic, rock and jazz thrown into the mix.
  • Their name was derived from a short story by Jack Kerouac titled “October in the Railroad Earth.”
  • Lead vocalist Schaeffer was a founding member of a band called “From Good Homes.”
  • Groessling and Carbone formerly had a group called “The Blue Sparks from Hell.”
  • 2002, released Bird In A House album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2004, released The Good Life album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2006, released Elko album (Sci Fidelity).
  • 2008, released Amen Corner album (Sci Fidelity).
  • 2010, released Railroad Earth album (One Haven).
  • 2014, released Last of the Outlaws album (Black Bear).
  • 2015, released Railroad Earth: Live at Red Rocks album & DVD (Black Bear).

Baker, Jessie


  • From Martinsville, Indiana. Lives in Georgetown, Kentucky.
  • At age 11, learned banjo and began performing with his brother Taylor (mandolin) as The Baker Boys.
  • 2007, at age 16 took his first professional job with Karl Shiflett and Big Country Show. He also spent some time with Wildfire, The Wildwood Valley Boys, Marty Raybon and Full Circle, David Peterson and 1946, Avery County, Melvin Goins and Windy Mountain.
  • 2008, joined Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper. While with this band, they won the IBMA Award for Instrumental Group of the Year.
  • 2009, released solo project Yessir!
  • 2011, joined Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver.
  • 2012, joined Dailey and Vincent.
  • 2018, left Dailey and Vincent to recover from recurring pain in his right (picking) hand.

Naiditch, David


  • From Los Angeles, California.
  • Has played harmonica around the L.A. area since the 1960’s (he taught harmonica at the famed Ash Grove).
  • 2011, released Bluegrass Harmonica album (no label), the first ever bluegrass album featuring the “chromatic harmonica” (which differs from the diatonic harmonica used by such notables as Mike Stevens and Charlie McCoy).
  • 2014, released Bluegrass in the Backwoods album (no label).

Baker Boys, The


  • From Martinsville, Indiana.
  • Features brothers Jessie (banjo) and Taylor (mandolin) Baker. Taylor is 2 years older than Jessie.
  • Began performing in 2002 as youngsters, age 12 and 14. Mom and dad, Anna and David, performed with the boys on bass and guitar.
  • They won several band competitions and performed regularly at festivals like Bean Blossom and Ralph Stanley’s Memorial Weekend Bluegrass Festival in Coeburn, VA.
  • 2006, performed at the Grand Ole Opry with Mike Snider.
  • 2007, at age 16 Jessie began his career working as a sideman with other top bluegrass bands (see Jessie Baker).
  • 2008, The Baker Boys released their only CD on Patuxent Records.

Sand Mountain Boys, The


  • Originally from Alabama; relocated to Milton, Florida.
  • Formed in 1989.
  • Sand Mountain is a large plateau in northeastern Alabama.
  • For years, this group wore white tuxedos decked out with rhinestones.
  • Leader and banjo player Gary Waldrep previously performed with the Warrior River Boys and the gospel group, Wendy Bagwell and the Sunliters.
  • 1994, released The Sand Mountain Boys album (Hay Holler).
  • 1995, released No Rhyme No Reason album (Hay Holler).
  • When Gary Waldrep retired, original members Wayne and Jerry Crain (father/son) relocated to Florida and changed the name of the group to Sand Mountain.
  • 2000, Waldrep began touring with his own group, The Gary Waldrep Band.

Railroaders, The


  • From the Virginia-North Carolina-Kentucky-Maryland region.
  • Formed in 2016 by four bluegrass music veterans: Shayne Bartley (mandolin), Darren Beachley (bass), Greg Luck (guitar) and David Carroll (banjo). Former bands include Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, IIIrd Tyme Out, American Drive, Unlimited Tradition, the James King Band and the Darrell Webb Band.
  • Luck also performs with Alan Bibey and Grasstowne.
  • 2016, disbanded after just a few months together.

Cardwell, Ray (and Tennessee Moon)


  • From Springfield, Missouri.
  • 1975, began singing with his family band The Cardwell Family (with his sisters Nancy and Susan). Nancy Cardwell is the former executive director of the IBMA.
  • 1980’s, performed rock and reggae music, singing lead, playing keyboards and saxophone. Spent some time in Hollywood. Had a Missouri band called Resonance.
  • 1992, returned to bluegrass with a group called Slick Nickel.
  • 1994, joined the gospel group New Tradition. Moved to Nashville.
  • 1996, returned to Springfield to spend time with his family and to pursue a degree in music education. Became a band and choral director, leading his students to win several national competitions. While teaching he also played with a rock/pop/reggae band called Squigglefish.
  • 2016, moved to Nashville and formed a new bluegrass/newgrass band called Tennessee Moon.
  • 2016, released Tennessee Moon album (Pinecastle).

Baker, Kenny


  • From Jenkins, Kentucky. During much of his career, he lived in Gallatin, Tennessee.
  • 1957-1984, played fiddle with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys on four different occasions. His longest stint was 17½ years from March ‘67 to October ‘84.
  • Bill Monroe frequently called him “the greatest bluegrass fiddler in the world.”
  • First pro job: Don Gibson’s band (1953).
  • 1990-91, recorded and toured with a group called “The Masters” (Kenny, Josh Graves, Byron Berline and Eddie Adcock).
  • 1990’s, performed and recorded as a duo with Josh Graves.
  • 1993, received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • 1999, was inducted into the IBMA’s Hall of Fame.
  • 2011, passed away at the age of 85.
  • 2014, banjo player Noam Pikelny (Punch Brothers) won an IBMA Award for his banjo adaptation of Kenny Baker’s classic album Plays Bill Monroe. The album was titled Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe.


Baldassari, Butch


  • From Scranton, Pennsylvania. Lives in Nashville.
  • A mandolinist who grew up listening to the music of Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima and other classic pop stars. He was converted to bluegrass after attending the 1972 Philadelphia Folk Festival.
  • 1977, moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. Worked as a croupier, running craps tables in the El Cortez and MGM Grand Casinos.
  • 1986, joined the Arizona-based band Weary Hearts with Ron Block, Mike Bub and Chris Jones.
  • 1989, moved to Nashville with Weary Hearts. The group disbanded shortly thereafter.
  • 1990, released solo project Old Town (Rebel).
  • 1991, formed The Nashville Mandolin Ensemble, a group that performs “Bach, Beethoven and Bill Monroe.”
  • 1994-1998, worked with Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time and the Kathy Chiavola Band. He also began recording mandolin instruction videos.
  • 1996, he was named adjunct professor of mandolin at the Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University.
  • 1996, became vice president of the Classical Mandolin Society of America.
  • 1996, joined Richard Greene’s band, The Grass is Greener.
  • Founded his own record label SoundArt Recordings.
  • 1997, formed the Nashville Mandolin Trio.
  • 2002, wrote and produced “Blue Moon Over Kentucky,” a symphony for orchestra and mandolin featuring the music of Bill Monroe.
  • 2009, died from brain cancer at age 56.

Bales, Barry


  • From Kingsport, Tennessee.
  • A bass player who is best known for his tenure with Alison Krauss and Union Station (since 1990).
  • He was also worked as a sideman on albums and performances by other artists including Merle Haggard, Shania Twain, the Civil Wars, Elvis Costello, Dolly Parton, the Chieftains, Del McCoury, Vince Gill, Kenny Chesney, and Willie Nelson.
  • He also is a songwriter and producer. He has produced albums by Adam Steffey, Sierra Hull and Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out.
  • An avid outdoorsman, he enjoys any form of wing shooting. He is most passionate about duck hunting, traveling North America in pursuit of waterfowl, as well as managing his own duck club.
  • 2001, played bass on the soundtrack to the movie “O Brother Where Art Thou.”
  • 2007, worked with the Dan Tyminsky band.
  • 2013, formed a part-time Flatt and Scruggs tribute band with Jerry Douglas called The Earls of Leicester.
  • 2014, won his third IBMA Award for Bass Player of the Year (also won in 2008, 2013).

Hall, Bill


  • From North Scituate, Rhode Island.
  • Full name: Roger William Hall.
  • Played banjo in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s with the Lilly Brothers, Joe Val and the New England Bluegrass Boys and other New England bands. Also had his own group, Bill Hall and the Northwind Bluegrass.
  • Was also a prolific songwriter with more than 100 songs to his credit.
  • 1984, released “In the Shadow of the Pines” album on Old Homestead Records.
  • Was recognized by the International Bluegrass Music Museum as one of the 200 original pioneers of bluegrass music.
  • Died in 2010 in a farming accident.

Darou, Chad


  • From Susquehanna, Pennsylvania.
  • Began playing music at age 8. He is an elite Dobro™ (resonator guitar) player, but he plays all the bluegrass instruments.
  • 1982, at age 12 performed at the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • 1987, at age 17 began performing with Bill Keith and Frank Wakefield.
  • Since then he has worked as a sideman with Del Reeves, Bill Harrell, The Gibson Brothers, Wheeler Creek, Bill Anderson, Boxcar Willie and James King.
  • 2016, worked with the Dave Adkins band.
  • 2018, released first solo project Raising the Bar (Bell Buckle), featuring guest artists Dave Adkins, Rick Faris, Greg Cahill, Valerie Smith, Cia Cherryholmes, Alecia Nugent, Jim VanCleve and others.
  • 2018, signed with Mountain Fever Records.

Carlini, John


  • From Summit, New Jersey. Lives in Berkeley Heights, NJ.
  • Banjo and guitar player who was at the forefront of the new acoustic music movement in California during the 1970’s.
  • Graduate of Boston’s Berklee College of Music.
  • 1979-87, served as music director for the Ice Capades.
  • 1987, was a member of the David Grisman Quintet, playing guitar.
  • 1992, did the orchestration for the off-Broadway production “The Song of Singapore.”
  • 1994, recorded a guitar duet album with Tony Rice called “River Suite for Two Guitars.”
  • 1994, Formed band “Over the Edge.”
  • 1997, worked with the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble.
  • 2000, formed the John Carlini Quartet.
  • Writes a monthly column for Flatpicking Guitar Magazine. Continue reading “Carlini, John”

Jeff and Vida


  • 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.
  • 2003, released The Simplest Plans album (Binky).
  • Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, they relocated to Nashville.
  • 2009, released fourth album Selma Chalk (Rosebank).

Walker, Bradley


  • From Athens, Alabama.
  • Confined to a wheel chair since childhood, he was born with Muscular Dystrophy.
  • Began singing as a child. At age 3, attended an Oak Ridge Boys concert and backstage, sang “Elvira” with them. They were so impressed they invited him to sing on the Jerry Lewis Labor Day telethon, and he has appeared and performed on that annual broadcast many times.
  • 1996, graduated from high school and fell in love with bluegrass
  • 1998, formed a band called the Trinity Mountain Boys.
  • 2001, joined Lost Horizon, an Atlanta-based group, as their lead singer.
  • 2002, first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry as a guest of Third Tyme Out.
  • 2006, released Highway Of Dreams album (Rounder), produced by Carl Jackson.
  • 2007, won IBMA Award for Male Vocalist of the Year.
  • 2008, his video for the song “A Little Change” reached #1 on CMT.

Haggard, Merle


  • From Bakersfield, California.
  • Not primarily known as a bluegrass artist, but recorded an album called “The Bluegrass Sessions” in 2007. Bluegrass legend Ronnie Reno was a member of his band in the mid-1970’s and bluegrass bands such as the Osborne Brothers and Brush Arbor often toured with him.
  • Has had 40 number one country hits, including “Okie from Muskogie”, “If We Make It Through December” and “Daddy Frank.”
  • 1970, won CMA award for Album of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and Single of the Year. Has won dozens of CMA and ACM awards, three Grammies including the Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • 1994, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • 2007, recorded The Bluegrass Sessions album (McCoury Music).
  • 2016, died on his birthday (April 6) at the age of 79.

Railsplitters, The


  • From Boulder, Colorado.
  • Formed in 2012 by Lauren Stovall (guitar/lead vocals), Dusty Rider (banjo), Peter Sharpe (mandolin), and Leslie Ziegler (bass). Ziegler was later replaced by Jean-Luc Davis (bass). Joe Esposito (fiddle) also joined the group.
  • 2013, won the band contest at Rockygrass.
  • 2013, released first album The Railsplitters (no label).
  • 2015, released The Faster It Goes album (no label).
  • 2017, released Jump In album (no label).
  • 2018, disbanded temporarility. Stovall and Sharpe got married and moved to Costa Rica. Rider became a pilot for a charter airline. Davis worked with the Jeff Austin Band.
  • 2019, reunited and began working on new music.

Marcus, Lee


  • From Westminster, South Carolina.
  • Has played banjo with Mercy Tree, Legacy Drive, and Blue Streek. Blue Streek won first place at the Georgia State Bluegrass Festival (2008).
  • 2011, released solo project Grandpa’s Pond with guests Jim VanCleve, Cia Cherryholmes, Christian Ward and Josh Shilling.
  • 2011, joined Wayne Taylor and Appaloosa, playing banjo.
  • 2011, won first place in the International Songwriting Competition for his banjo tune “Gone Berserk.”
  • 2012, led a campaign to have December 12 named as National Bluegrass Music Appreciation Day.
  • 2012, left Wayne Taylor’s band and joined the military.

Fairview Avenue


  • From Albany, New York.
  • Formed in 2006 by Scott and Elizabeth Hopkins (banjo/bass). Other members: Tony Califano (mandolin) and Morrie Safford (guitar), Brig McCutcheon (guitar)and Joe Gumpper (fiddle).
  • The band is named after the street the Hopkins live on.
  • Hopkins is a public school band teacher. He plays the tuba.
  • 2010, released first album Fairview Avenue (no label).
  • 2012, Hopkins released a solo banjo project and joined Junior Barber’s group Beartracks.

OBrien, Tim and Mollie


  • From Wheeling, West Virginia.
  • Brother and sister duo; have sung together since childhood.
  • 1967, won a talent contest in Wheeling performing as “Hardship and Perseverance.” The following year, they won it again as “The Katzenjammer Kids.” Next year, they won it a third time as the “Campbell Soup Kids.”
  • Tim is a well-known bluegrass artist (best known for his work with Hot Rize and The Earls of Leicester). Mollie studied voice in college and has performed opera and musical theatre.
  • 1992, released Remember Me album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1994, toured South America for the U.S. Information Agency.

Sanders, Eddie


  • From McAlester, Oklahoma.
  • A singer/songwriter, he played guitar for many years with a band called Signal Mountain. Bandmates included Shawn Camp, Tim and Dennis Crouch, Donnie Catron and others.
  • His father, Freddie Sanders produced the Sanders Family Bluegrass Festival in McAlester, Oklahoma, one of the largest in the region.
  • Songwriting credits: “You Could Be Me” (Del McCoury) and “Down Where the River Ends” (Kix Brooks and Wayne Toups), co-written with Shawn Camp.
  • 2018, released “Fast Train to Lonesome” album (Rural Rhythm).

Tasty Licks


  • From New England.
  • Formed in 1975 by Jack Tottle (mandolin), Robin Kincaid (guitar), Paul Kahn (bass), Bela Fleck (banjo) and Stacy Phillips (Dobro™). Pat Enright (guitar) and Mark Schatz (bass) were later members of this band.
  • 1978, released Tasty Licks album (Rounder).
  • 1979, released “Anchored to the Shore” album (Rounder).
  • Broke up in 1979.

Sapp, Dean


  • From Aberdeen, Maryland.
  • 1980, formed his band The Harford Express.
  • Sapp’s uncle (Sonny Miller) played fiddle for Del McCoury.
  • Sapp plays all the bluegrass instruments, but plays guitar in the band.
  • He owns a music store where he teaches and repairs instruments.
  • 1995, released You’ve Never Had The Blues album (Old Train).
  • 1998, released Live From Australia album (no label).
  • 2001, released “Fare Thee Well” album (Old Train).
  • 2003, released Coal Black Gold album (Old Train).
  • 2005, released I Can Hear the Blue Ridge Calling Me album (Old Train).

Lang, Rick


  • From Kingston, New Hampshire.
  • A singer/songwriter, known best for his gospel songs.
  • His song “Listen to the Word of God” appeared on the Lonesome River Band’s award-winning Carrying the Tradition album.
  • Owns a lumber company in New Hampshire called “Highland Hardwoods.”
  • Has recorded several albums under the name “Rick Lang and Friends.”
  • 2010, released an album of his songs featuring special guests Russell Moore, Dale Ann Bradley, Barry Scott, Junior Sisk and other well known bluegrass musicians. He himself did not perform on the album.
  • 2014, released his second Christmas album That’s What I Love About Christmas (RLM).
  • 2018, released The Undertow album (RLM) featuring songs about the ocean.
  • 2018, released Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout album (Billy Blue), produced by Jerry Salley and featuring gospel songs with vocals by Dave Adkins, Marty Raybon, Claire Lynch, the Cox Family, Kenny and Amanda Smith, High Road, the Whites, Bradley Walker, Jerry Salley, Larry Cordle and others.
  • 2019, won the IBMA Award for Gospel Recording of the Year for the song “Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout,” sung by Claire Lynch.

Raines, Missy


  • From Short Gap, West Virginia. Lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Real name: Melissa Kay Raines Surratt (also plays a Kay bass!)
  • Has played bass with many bands including Stars and Bars, Cloud Valley, The Eddie Adcock Band, The Brother Boys, Claire Lynch and the Front Porch String Band.
  • 1997-2007, worked as a duo with guitarist Jim Hurst, both of whom were also members of the Claire Lynch Band.
  • 1998, recorded first solo project My Place in the Sun (no label).
  • 2000, released Two album with Jim Hurst (Pinecastle).
  • 2007, formed her own band called Missy Raines and the New Hip (a reference to her recent hip surgery).
  • 2009, released first “New Hip” album Inside Out (Compass).
  • 2012, formed a band with David Grier, Mike Compton and Shad Cobb called The Helen Highwater String Band.
  • 2013, released New Frontier album with The New Hip (Compass).
  • 2018, released “Swept Away” (single, Compass) with “The First Ladies of Bluegrass,” Sierra Hull (mandolin), Alison Brown (banjo), Becky Buller (fiddle) and Molly Tuttle (guitar). Each were the first women to win IBMA Awards in their respective instrument categories.
  • 2018, won the IBMA Award for Recorded Event of the Year (for “Swept Away.”)
  • 2018, released Royal Traveller album (Compass).
  • 2019, won her eighth IBMA Award for Bass Player of the Year (also won in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007.)
  • 2019, won IBMA Award for Instrumental Recording of the Year for “Darling Pal of Mine” (with Alison Brown, Mike Bub, and Todd Phillips).

Nash Street


  • From Starkville, Mississippi.
  • Formed in 1996 as a kid band called The Goat Ropers. The group featured the vocals of sisters Hannah and Caroline Melby.
  • 2001, changed their name to Nash Street, the name of the street they grew up on.
  • Members: Daniel Hare (bass), Hannah Melby (fiddle), Caroline Melby (mandolin), Clay Lezon (guitar), and Jason Graham (guitar).
  • 2007, recorded first album Carry on (no label), dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
  • 2008, won the Colgate Country Showdown, hosted by Leann Rhimes at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
  • 2010, the group moved to Nashville and released Between Hope and Heartache album (no label).
  • 2013, the name of the band was changed to Hanalena, which is the name of the sisters’ flower business in Starkville. They released HanaLena, a 5-song album (no label).

Farewell Drifters


  • From Nashville.
  • Formed in 2006 by Zach Bevill (guitar), Joshua Britt (mandolin), Trevor Brandt (banjo), and Ryan Pennington (bass).
  • They describe their music as “harmonic roots.” Others have described it as “bluegrass meets the Beach Boys.”
  • 2008, released first album “Sweet Summer Breeze.”
  • 2010, released Yellow Tag Mondays album (Heart Squeeze Records).
  • 2011, released Echo Boom album (Heart Squeeze Records).
  • 2013, released Tomorrow Forever album (Compass Records).

Maring, Wil


  • From Waterloo, Iowa. Grew up in Makanda, Illinois.
  • Given name: Lillian Maring (Wil is a nickname acquired in grade school).
  • She has a master’s degree in anthropology.
  • 1989, she and German-born husband Mark Stoffel founded a band called Shady Mix in Illinois.
  • 1992, they moved to Germany and re-formed Shady Mix there, becoming very popular in Europe.
  • 2001, moved back to Illinois and re-formed Shady Mix once again with some of the original band members.
  • 1998, won the Chris Austin song writing contest at MerleFest.
  • 1998, released An Ocean from Home album (Bear Family).
  • 2003, released The Turning of a Century album (Roan Pony).
  • 2006, released The Calling album (Roan Pony).

Balos Family, The


  • From Buchanan, Michigan.
  • A family of nine who travel the country singing and playing gospel music. Michael (dad on guitar) and Ramona (mom, bass) plus their seven kids: Kenny (guitar), Ben (mandolin), Jimmy (fiddle), Bonnie (banjo), Jenna (Dobro™), Nathanael and Joel (guitars).
  • 2012, released album “Press Toward the Mark” featuring guest musicians Andy Leftwich, Jared Easter, Tony Mabe and others.

Walker, Cory and Jarrod


  • From Lithia, Florida (near Tampa)
  • They are brothers who began performing together in their teens. Cory plays banjo, guitar and resonator guitar, Jarrod plays mandolin. Their brother Tyler, plays guitar. Ages (June 2006): Cory, age 16; Jarrod, age 14; Tyler, age 10.
  • 2003, Cory appeared on the IBMA Awards Show with the “Young American Bluegrass Idols.”
  • 2004, appeared with Keith Urban on a CBS TV special.
  • 2005, appeared on the IBMA’s “Kids on Bluegrass” video and were part of the band “Juvenescence” that performed on the IBMA’s Fanfest stage.
  • 2005-6, appeared on the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Award ceremony, opening for Alison Krauss & Union Station and Diamond Rio.
  • Perform regularly with the “Bluegrass Parlor Band with Cory and Jarrod Walker” in Florida.
  • 2007, Cory joined Sierra Hull and Highway 111, playing banjo.
  • 2007, released New Branches album (no label).
  • 2012, Jarrod joined Missy Raines and the New Hip, playing mandolin and guitar.
  • 2014, Cory worked with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, replacing Justin Moses.
  • 2015, Jarrod joined The Claire Lynch Band, playing mandolin.
  • 2015, Cory and Jarrod joined Bradford Lee Folk and the Bluegrass Playboys.

Parker, Jeff


  • From Renfro Valley, Kentucky.
  • Began playing guitar at age six. Age 12, began performing with his family band Sounds of Gospel at the Renfro Valley Barn Dance.
  • First professional gig: playing mandolin with Larry Sparks at Renfro Valley.
  • 1980, formed his first band called Train 45.
  • 1986-1994, worked full time as a musician at Renfro Valley. He was in the staff band and performed with The Parker Brothers.
  • 1995, formed Wilderness Trail with his brother Mike.
  • 2001, joined the Lonesome River Band, playing mandolin.
  • 2004, released first solo project Two Roads to Travel (Lonesome Day).
  • 2006, left the Lonesome River Band and joined Dale Ann Bradley’s band.
  • 2007, joined Dailey & Vincent, playing mandolin and singing harmony vocals.
  • 2012, released second solo project Go Parker (Lonesome Day).
  • 2013, released “It’s Christmas Time” album (Lonesome Day).
  • 2015, released “Jeff Parker & Company” album (Lonesome Day).
  • 2018, announced his decision to leave Dailey & Vincent and begin performing with his own band Jeff Parker & Company.

Wallace, Larry


  • From Starkville, Mississippi
  • Wallace played banjo with Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys for 10 years (1990-2000)
  • 2002, formed the Larry Wallace Band and performed at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.
  • 2007, released Sunny Mountain Banjo album (Gusto).
  • 2007, released “The Larry Wallace Band with Jim Brock” album on Cedar Creek Records.

Carolina Blue


  • From Brevard, North Carolina.
  • Formed in 2007 after the release of the album “Nothing So Blue” (no label) by Bobby Powell (guitar) and Tim Jones (mandolin). The album was produced by Woody Platt of the Steep Canyon Rangers.
  • Other members of the band: Reese Combs (bass), Seth Rhinehart (banjo) and Emma Best (fiddle).
  • Powell and Jones write much of the band’s original material. Jones’ song “Spring Will Bring the Flowers” was recorded by Balsam Range.
  • 2011, won the South Carolina state bluegrass championship (band contest) at RenoFest. They also released an album “Live at RenoFest” (no label).
  • 2016, released Goin Home Today album (no label).
  • 2017, released Sounds of Kentucky Grass album (Poor Mountain).
  • 2017, fiddle player Aynsley Porchak joined the band.
  • 2019, released I Hear Bluegrass Calling Me album (Pinecastle).
  • 2020, made first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.
  • 2020, released Take Me Back album (Billy Blue).

Larkins, The


  • From Church Hill, Tennessee.
  • A duo featuring sisters Shaunna (fiddle) and Tina (mandolin) Larkin. They began performing together as children in their family band “The Larkin Family.” They were regulars at Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
  • 2001, first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry.
  • 2003, released first album Larkins (Audium) with guest Dolly Parton.

Wallace, Matt


  • From Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • Began playing bass at age 10.
  • Has played bass with David Parmley and Continental Divide, Audie Blaylock and Redline, Pine Mountain Railroad, and Paul Williams and The Victory Trio.
  • 2013, joined the Mark Newton and Steve Thomas band.
  • 2014, joined Terry Baucom’s band The Dukes of Drive.
  • 2014, released solo project For a Season (Pinecastle).

Nashville Bluegrass Band


  • From Nashville, Tennessee.
  • 1984, the band was formed by Alan O’Bryant (banjo) and Pat Enright (guitar). They put together the band as part of a traveling show called “Grand Old Country with Minnie Pearl.” Original members included Mark Hembree (bass) and Mike Compton (mandolin). Blaine Sprouse was added early on to play fiddle and was later replaced by Stuart Duncan.
  • O’Bryant, from Reidsville, North Carolina, previously performed with The Bluegrass Band, a group that included Butch Robins, Ed Dye and Blaine Sprouse. He began his musical career in 1974 with James Monroe. Also worked with the Front Porch String Band (an Alabama group) and did some studio work in Nashville.
  • Enright formerly performed with Tasty Licks (a New England Band) and Phantoms of the Opry (San Francisco).
  • 1985, released their first album My Native Home (Rounder), produced by Bela Fleck. Blaine Sprouse played fiddle on this album.
  • 1986, released Idle Time album (Rounder), also produced by Fleck. This is the first album featuring Stuart Duncan on fiddle.
  • 1986, became the first bluegrass group to perform in Red China.
  • 1987, released To Be His Child album (Rounder).
  • 1988, Roland White (mandolin) and Gene Libbea (bass) joined the group, replacing Mike Compton and Mark Hembree, who were seriously injured that year when the group’s bus was involved in a traffic accident. White had previously performed with the Country Gazette, Lester Flatt’s Nashville Grass, Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys and the Kentucky Colonels
  • 1988, released New Moon Rising album (Sugar Hill) with Peter Rowan.
  • 1990, released The Boys Are Back In Town album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1991, released Home Of The Blues album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1991, did a tour in Brazil with country singer Don Williams.
  • 1992, won an IBMA Award for Song of the Year (for “Blue Train.”)
  • 1993, won their 4th IBMA Award for Vocal Group of the Year (also won in 1990, 1991 and 1992.)
  • 1993, won the IBMA Award for Entertainer of the Year.
  • 1994, toured with Lyle Lovett.
  • 1994, recorded with actress/singer Bernadette Peters.
  • 1994, won Grammy Award for the album Waitin’ For The Hard Times To Go (Sugar Hill).
  • 1995, performed at a private party for the rock band R.E.M.
  • 1996, performed with Johnny Cash on the soundtrack to the movie “Dead Man Walking” starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn.
  • 1996, performed at Wynona Judd’s wedding reception.
  • 1996, won the Grammy Award for the album Unleashed (Sugar Hill).
  • 1998, released American Beauty album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2000, Pat Enright’s voice (and yodeling) was a member of the “Soggy Bottom Boys” in the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou.”
  • 2001, Roland White retired from the band and mandolinist Mike Compton returned.
  • 2002, they were on the “Down from the Mountain” tour, featuring the music from the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
  • 2004, released Twenty Year Blues album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2006, performed at the White House for a reception for Chinese President Hu Jintao.
  • 2007, released Best Of The Sugar Hill Years (Sugar Hill).

Parmley, David


  • From Nashville (White House, Tennessee), but grew up in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1974, began playing bluegrass professionally at age 17 with his father Don in the Bluegrass Cardinals. David sang lead and played guitar.
  • 1989, released first solo project I Know a Good Thing (Sugar Hill).
  • 1993, left the Cardinals and moved to Nashville to pursue a solo career in country music.
  • 1993, released Southern Heritage album (Rebel).
  • 1994, formed Continental Divide (AKA David Parmley, Scott Vestal and Continental Divide) with Scott Vestal (banjo), Rickie Simpkins (fiddle), Jimmy Bowen (mandolin), Mike Anglin (bass) and Randy Kohrs (Dobro™).
  • 1995, released David Parmley, Scott Vestal & Continental Divide album (Pinecastle).
  • 1995, Continental Divide won the IBMA Award for Emerging Artist of the Year.
  • 1996, released On the Divide album (Pinecastle).
  • 1998, Vestal departed and band name was changed to Continental Divide, then David Parmley and Continental Divide.
  • 1999, released “There’ll Always Be a Rocking Chair” album (Pinecastle).
  • 2001, released What We Leave Behind album (Pinecastle).
  • 2002, released Pathway of Time album (Pinecastle).
  • 2002, Randy Graham (formerly with Bluegrass Cardinals, Doyle Lawson, BlueRidge) joined the band.
  • 2002, his tour bus was destroyed by fire when it collided with a gas tank on the highway.
  • 2002, formed a part-time band called White House (all members of this band from White House, Tennessee).
  • 2005, released “Long Time Coming” album (CMH).
  • 2006, released Best of David Parmley & Continental Divide album (Pinecastle).
  • 2007, released “Church House Hymns” album (Pinecastle).
  • 2008, released Three Silver Dollars album (Pinecastle).
  • 2008, took a hiatus from performing because of health problems.
  • 2010, returned to performing with his band Continental Divide.
  • 2012, retired from music. Began driving and maintaining tour buses for various artists (such as Rascal Flatts.)
  • 2015, began performing and touring again with his new band Cardinal Tradition.
  • 2019, retired from music again. Several of his band members formed a new band called Fast Track: Ron Spears (bass), Dale Perry (banjo) and Steve Day (fiddle). Joining them: Jesse Brock (mandolin) and Duane Sparks (guitar).

Waller, Randy


  • From Washington, D.C. Lives in Richmond, Virginia.
  • Son of Charlie Waller (Country Gentlemen). When Randy was four years old, his father made a promise to give him his famed guitar, a promise which was kept on Christmas Day, 2002.
  • 2003, joined his dad in the Country Gentlemen and has continued leading his own version of the band after Charlie’s death in 2004.
  • 2004, released first solo project Randy Waller (no label).
  • 2006, released Keeper of the Flame album (no label) by Randy Waller and the Country Gentlemen.
  • 2011, released One Mile East of Hazel Green album (no label) by Randy Waller and the Country Gentlemen.

Gadd, Pam


  • From Independence, Kentucky. Lives in Nashville.
  • First band: “East of Denver” (in high school).
  • 1983, joined the New Coon Creek Girls.
  • 1987, formed country group Wild Rose.
  • 1996, toured with Patty Loveless, playing guitar and singing harmony. While with Patty, she appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, Hee Haw, other TV shows.
  • 1995, returned to the New Coon Creek Girls.
  • 1996, embarked on solo career.
  • 1997, released first solo album Long Road (Vanguard).
  • 1999, was a final nominee for IBMA’s Emerging Artist of the Year award.
  • 2001, joined staff of OMS Records, doing promotion.
  • Hobby: Reading and studying naturopathic nutritional healing and theology
  • 2002-2007, sang and played with Porter Wagoner on the Grand Ole Opry.
  • 2009, released solo project Benefit of Doubt (Home Sweet Highway).

Marksmen Quartet, The


  • From Murrayville, Georgia.
  • A gospel quartet that formed in the early 1970’s.
  • Members: Earle Wheeler (bass), his son Mark Wheeler (guitar/banjo), Darrin Chambers (guitar/Dobro™), Tommy Dutton (mandolin.)
  • 1991, won Video of the Year for “Grandpa Was a Farmer (Independent Country Music Awards).
  • 1992, won a “Telly” award for their video “Wagon Tracks.”
  • 1993-95, won SPBGMA award for Best Bluegrass Gospel Group.
  • 2009, released Blue Ridge Mountain Memories: 20 Gospel Favorites album (Rural Rhythm).

Dauphinais Brothers, The


  • From Asheville, North Carolina. Originally from New Hampshire.
  • Brothers Nick and Lucas Dauphinais (pronounced DAH-FIN-AE) are of French ancestry.
  • Nick plays guitar, Lucas plays bass. Other band members: Derek Vaden (banjo), Griff Martin (mandolin) and Laura Smith (fiddle).
  • Nick graduated from University of New Hampshire with a degree in jazz and orchestral trombone.
  • 2015, released Empty Teardops album (no label).
  • 2016, Nick joined Mountain Faith (but continues to perform with his brother. He also works occasional dates with Mark Kuykendall and Bobby Hicks).

Lauderdale, Jim


  • From Troutman, North Carolina. Lives in Nashville.
  • A successful Nashville singer/songwriter who has written hits for Patty Loveless, Mark Chesnutt, Kathy Mattea, George Strait and many others.
  • Lived in New York City for several years, played bluegrass there and appeared in several musicals (“Pump Boys and Dinettes,” “The Cotton Patch Gospel,” etc). He has also lived and worked in Texas and California.
  • Has played in bands with Dwight Yoakam, Darden Smith, Carlene Carter and Lucinda Williams.
  • 1998, released I Feel Like Singing Today, a collaboration with Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys.
  • 2002, released second collaboration with Ralph Stanley called Lost in the Lonesome Pines (Dualtone) which won the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album (in 2003).
  • 2006, released Bluegrass album (Yep Roc).
  • 2008, won the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album for The Bluegrass Diaries album (Yep Roc).
  • Has studied and practiced the martial arts since 1995, focusing on Tai Chi and Chi Kong.
  • Since 2002, has hosted the Americana Music Awards Show in Nashville.
  • 2010, released Patchwork River album (Thirty Tigers).
  • Is host of the popular weekly syndicated radio show “Music City Roots,” live from the Loveless Cafe.
  • 2011, released Reason And Rhyme album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2012, released Carolina Moonrise: Bluegrass Songs by Robert Hunter and Jim Lauderdale album (Alliance).
  • 2013, released Black Roses album (Sky Crunch).
  • 2013, released Blue Moon Junction album (Sky Crunch).
  • 2013, released Old Time Angels album (Sky Crunch).
  • Co-hosts “The Buddy and Jim Show” (with Buddy Miller) on Sirius/XM Radio’s Outlaw Country channel.
  • 2014, released I’m A Song album (Sky Crunch).
  • 2015, released Soul Searching: Vol. 1 Memphis/Vol 2. Nashville album (Sky Crunch).

Faris Family, The


  • From Ozawkie, Kansas.
  • Band includes Bob and Michelle Faris (banjo and bass) and their four sons, James (fiddle/bass), Richard (guitar), Eddie (banjo/fiddle), and John (mandolin).
  • Bob Faris (dad) won the Iowa State Fiddle Championship at age 19. Played in numerous bands in Las Vegas, Nashville, Branson. Retired from full time music career in 1991 to become a full-time dad.
  • They have won numerous SPBGMA awards including “Entertaining Band of the Year.”
  • Performed regularly at their own “Bluegrass Barn Theater” in Ozawkie, Kansas.
  • 2008, Eddie Faris joined Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, replacing Darrin Vincent on arch-top guitar. In 2018, he joined the Larry Stephenson Band, playing bass.
  • 2009, Rick Faris joined Special Consensus, replacing Ashby Frank on mandolin.
  • 2009, the Faris Family officially disbanded (as a performing act).
  • 2018, Rick Faris signed with Dark Shadow Recording to release a solo project.

Tate, Clarence “Tater”


  • From Gate City, Virginia.
  • A pioneering bluegrass fiddler.
  • Began his career in country music in the late 40’s, and was introduced to bluegrass when he worked with Bill Monroe for eight months in 1956.
  • Mid-60’s, worked with The Shenandoah Cutups—a group that backed the late Red Smiley on several albums.
  • 1977-79, worked with Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass.
  • 1979-84, worked with Wilma Lee Cooper’s Clinch Mountain Clan.
  • 1984, re-joined Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys playing bass.
  • 1992, inducted into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • Died in 2007.

Sauceman Brothers, The


  • From Bright Hope, Tennessee (eastern Tennessee, near Greenville)
  • Featured Carl and John Paul (J.P.) Sauceman.
  • In the mid-forties, Carl had a band called the Hillbilly Ramblers.
  • The brothers recorded together from 1945 until 1952.
  • 1952, Carl moved to Carrollton, Alabama and pioneered bluegrass music there with his Green Valley Boys.
  • The bothers recorded for Rich-R-Tone and Mercury. Carl and his band recorded for Capitol and Republic Records.
  • 1996, Copper Creek Records released a retrospective album of their early radio recordings: On WCYB – Bristol.
  • Carl retired from music in 1962, took over a radio station in Gonzales, Louisiana in 1969.
  • J.P died in 1984.
  • Carl died in 2005.

Marks, Tad


  • From Cooksville, Maryland.
  • 1990-1992, played fiddle for the Del McCoury Band.
  • 1992-1993, the Lynn Morris Band.
  • 1994, the Kate McKenzie Band.
  • 1995-1997, the James King Band.
  • 2000, worked with Scottish folksinger Charlie Zahm.
  • 2003, worked with Big Hillbilly Bluegrass.
  • 2003, appeared in Chris Rock movie “Head of State.”
  • 2006, released solo project Back Road Home (no label).

Faris, Rick


  • From Topeka, Kansas (since 1991). He was born in Illinois, grew up in Arkansas and Missouri.
  • 1998, began playing music professionally at age 7 with his family band The Faris Family.
  • His first instrument is guitar, but he plays all the bluegrass instruments at a professional level.
  • 2009, joined Special Consensus, playing mandolin. In 2015, he took over the guitar position.
  • He is also a luthier who builds high quality guitars (including the one he plays with Special Consensus). His business is called the Faris Guitar Company.
  • 2019, released first solo album Breaking In Lonesome (Dark Shadow).

Saunders, Zeke


  • From Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
  • Harold K. (“Zeke”) Saunders was a former pilot and Senior Vice President of Piedmont Airlines (now U.S. Air).
  • He received the Distinguished Flying Cross medal for his service as a pilot during World War II.
  • For many years, he had a radio program on the all-bluegrass station WPAQ, Mt. Airy, North Carolina.
  • Between 1987-2003, recorded six albums including There’ll Be No Broken Hearts for Me (1990, Heritage).
  • He died in 2014 at the age of 93.

Kane’s River


  • From Belgrade, Montana.
  • Formed in 1995 as “Deep River” by John Lowell and Nancy Padilla, formerly with Wheel Hoss. Lowell also worked with the Wyoming band Loose Ties.
  • 1998, added Jerry Nettuno (formerly with Highstrung). Former Wheel Hoss and New Vintage banjo player Julie Elkins also joined the band.
  • 1999, changed name to Kane’s River because they found that another group was performing under the name Deep River. Named after an eccentric mountain man in Montana named Kane Fisher.
  • 2001, released Kane’s River album (Snake River)
  • 2002, Ben Winship (formerly with Loose Ties) joined the band, replacing Jerry Nettuno.
  • 2003, released Same River Twice album (Snake River)
  • John Lowell continues to perform as a solo artist.

Neal, Tom


  • From Hampstead, Maryland.
  • A banjo player who has worked with Del McCoury, Bill Harrell, Cliff Waldron, Gary Ferguson, Leon Morris, and The Carroll County Ramblers to mention a few.
  • Since the early nineties, he has performed with Bluestone Bluegrass, a Maryland-Pennsylvania regional band.
  • 2013, released solo project Banjoland (Patuxent).

Farm Hands, The


  • From Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Formed in 2011 by Daryl Mosely (bass), Tim Graves (Dobro™), Bennie Boling (banjo) and Kevin Williamson (guitar).
  • The band name came from an internet TV show called “Farm County Jubilee.” A segment of the show featured Mosley and Graves performing with the Farm Hands Quartet.
  • Featuring bluegrass gospel music, they perform primarily in churches and at gospel concerts.
  • Mosley was a founding member of New Tradition Bluegrass Band. He has also worked with the Osborne Brothers and has written numerous songs, including songs performed on American Idol, The View and other TV shows.
  • Graves has fronted his own band and has worked with the Osborne Brothers, Wilma Lee Cooper and many other bands.
  • Boling has written songs for the Oak Ridge Boys, Jeannie Seely, Gene Watson and others.
  • Williamson has fronted bands such as Redwing and Shadow Ridge.
  • 2012, released “Songs from Mama’s Hymnbook” album.
  • 2013, released “In a Country Town” album.
  • 2014, Jesse Turner (guitarist from Alabama) replaced Kevin Williamson in the band. Williamson left to work with his family band. Later the same year, guitarist Keith Tew replaced Turner.
  • 2015, banjo player Benny Boling was replaced by Don Hill.
  • 2015, released Better Than I Deserve album (Pinecastle).
  • 2016, released Diggin’ in the Dirt album (Pinecastle).
  • 2017, they were awarded a proclamation by the Tennessee State Senate honoring them as musical ambassadors for the state of Tennessee (April 20).
  • 2017, released Colors album (Pinecastle).
  • 2019, Mosely left the band to pursue a solo career and do more songwriting. Benny Boling returned to the band, playing bass.

Sawmill Road


  • Based in Carson City, NV.
  • Formed in 2006 by Steve Spurgin (bass and lead vocals), Mark Miracle (mandolin), Dick Brown (banjo), Charles Edsall (guitar) and Bruce Johnson (fiddle).
  • Spurgin previously was the lead singer with California and Bluegrass Etc. and was also known as a hit songwriter.
  • Johnson previously worked with Byron Berline & the LA Fiddle Band, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and the Laurel Canyon Ramblers.
  • Edsall previously worked with Feather River, High Strung and Ron Spears & Within Tradition.
  • Miracle previously worked with such bands as Shady Creek and Mountain Therapy.
  • Brown previously worked with the Lynn Morris Band, Traditional Bluegrass and Lost Highway.
  • 2007, released first album Sawmill Road (no label)..
  • 2008, Johnson was replaced by fiddler Doug Barlett, formerly with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver.
  • 2009, released “Fire on the Kettle” album.
  • 2010, broke up.
  • 2018, reunited to perform on an occasional basis, with guitarist David Dickey replacing Edsall.

Rarely Herd, The


  • From Athens, Ohio.
  • Formed in 1989 by Jeff Weaver (guitar) and Jim and Alan Stack (guitar and mandolin). Other original members: Dan Brooks (Dobro™) and Calvin LePort (banjo)
  • The Stack brothers formerly had a family band called Frog and the Greenhorns.
  • Rob Ickes and Ned Luberecki are former members of this band.
  • Their band name is a spin-off of the “Seldom Scene.”
  • 1991, won the “Bluegrass America” band competition in Milton, West Virginia.
  • 1992-2003, winners of the SPBGMA award for “Entertaining Band of the Year.” They received the “Gold Masters” award in 2003 for ten consecutive years winning this award. They also hosted the SPBGMA Awards Show in 2005.
  • 1994, released Heartbreak City album (Pinecastle).
  • 1995, released Midnight Loneliness album (Pinecastle).
  • 1996, released Pure Homemade Love album (Pinecastle).
  • 1997, released What About Him album (Pinecastle).
  • 1998, released Coming of Age album (Pinecastle).
  • 2000, released Part of Growing Up album (Pinecastle).
  • 2004, released Return Journey album (no label).
  • 2006, released Fields of the Harvest album (no label).
  • 2007, released Roundup album (no label).
  • Current band includes original members Jim Stack and Jeff Weaver.
  • 2016, the original band performed several reunion shows.

Walsh, Joe K.


  • From Portland, Maine.
  • A mandolinist who has worked with The Gibson Brothers, Joy Kills Sorrow, Mr. Sun, Jonathan Edwards, Darol Anger, Scott Nygaard and others.
  • He is a mandolin instructor at the Berklee School of Music in Boston.
  • 2016, released first solo project “Borderland” (no label).
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Carr, Joe


  • From Dallas, Texas. Lives in Levelland, Texas.
  • 1974, formed Texas band called Roanoke.
  • 1977-1982, worked with The Country Gazette (with Alan Munde and Roland White).
  • 1984, joined the faculty of South Plains College (Levelland, TX) as a “bluegrass specialist” in the commercial music program. He is founder of the school’s “Camp Bluegrass” in July of each year.
  • 1994, formed a duo with Alan Munde.
  • 2003, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. He continues to teach music at South Plains College.
  • Has produced numerous instruction books for guitar and mandolin for Mel Bay Publishing. He also writes frequently for Flatpicking Guitar Magazine.

Hall, Andy


  • From Binghamton, New York. Lives now in Nashville.
  • One of the top Dobro™ players in bluegrass music.
  • Early musical career, was a member of several New England bands: the Bag Boys, the Too High String Band, Boston City Limits.
  • A graduate of the Berklee School of Music in Boston. It was there that he met Chris Eldridge and Chris Pandolfi (who later joined him in the Infamous Stringdusters).
  • Moved to Nashville, arriving on September 10, 2001, the day before the terrorist attacks. First break was landing a job with Harley Allen.
  • 2003, joined Ronnie Bowman’s band with Wyatt Rice (guitar) and Jesse Cobb (mandolin).
  • 2004-5, toured and recorded with Dolly Parton, Earl Scruggs Charlie Daniels, Ronnie Bowman, Moody Bluegrass, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Alecia Nugent and his own band Short Life of Trouble.
  • 1994, released Redwing album (no label).
  • 2005, was a founding member of the Infamous Stringdusters.
  • 2007, released Sound of the Slide Guitar album (Sugar Hill).

Acoustic Blue


  • From Springfield, Massachusetts.
  • Formed in 2003.
  • Band members: Corey Zink (mandolin), T. Shaun Batho (guitar), Larry Neu (banjo), Ray Evans (bass).
  • 2012, released “Bein’ Country” on Mountain Fever Records with guests Sammy Shelor, Gena Britt and Mike Hartgrove.
  • 2012, Zink, Evans and Neu dissolved their partnership with Batho and began performing together as the Corey Zink Band.

Laughlin, Tim


  • From Bristol, Tennessee.
  • Began playing guitar at age 8; switched to mandolin at age 11.
  • Has worked with Larry Sparks, Hazel Dickens, Appalachian Trail, The McPeak Brothers and the Lynn Morris Band, to name a few.
  • 1985, formed first band: Plexigrass.
  • 1991, formed the Tim Laughlin Band.
  • Has won more than 100 mandolin competitions, including the Tennessee State Mandolin Championship.
  • 2010, joined Marty Raybon and Full Circle.
  • 2012, joined Big Country Bluegrass playing fiddle and mandolin.

Jenkins, Snuffy


  • Born 1908 in Harris, North Carolina.
  • He is 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 banjo that way on the radio.
  • First band to have a three-finger style banjo: The Jenkins String Band.
  • 1936, worked with J.E. Mainer’s Mountaineers.
  • 1939, teamed up with fiddler Homer “Pappy” Sherrill and formed the WIS Hillbillies.
  • 1948, formed The Hired Hands, a band name that he kept going until his death in 1990.
  • 1960, he semi-retired from music and worked as a car salesman.


Hall, Tom T.


  • From Olive Hill, Kentucky. Lives in Nashville.
  • Nickname: “The Storyteller.” He is a member of the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.
  • Began playing guitar at age 4; wrote his first song at age 9.
  • Age 17, formed his first band The Kentucky Travelers.
  • As a recording artist he has had seven #1 songs: “A Week in a Country Jail” (1969–70), “The Year That Clayton Delaney Died” (1971),“Old Dogs, Children and) Watermelon Wine” (1972–73),” “I Love” (1973–74), “Country Is” (1974), “I Care” (1974–75), and “Faster Horses (the Cowboy and the Poet)” (1976). Other notable hits: “The Ballad of Forty Dollars” (1968), “Me and Jesus” (1972).
  • 1968, his “Harper Valley PTA,” recorded by Jeannie C. Riley, became a huge international hit on both pop and country charts, selling nearly 2 million records in two weeks.
  • First bluegrass hit: “Fox on the Run” (1976, from the album Magnificent Music Machine (Mercury) with musicians Bill Monroe, J. D. Crowe, Jimmy Martin, Kenny Baker and others.)
  • 1971, became a member of the Grand Old Opry.
  • 1982, recorded an album with Earl Scruggs called Storyteller & The Banjo Man (Mercury).
  • 1982, ran for Governor of Tennessee (lost.)
  • 1998, released second bluegrass album Homegrown (Mercury).
  • 2005, he and his wife Dixie formed Blue Circle Records to promote young emerging bluegrass talent.
  • 2007, released Tom T. Hall Sings Miss Dixie & Tom T. (Blue Circle).
  • 2008, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • 2011, was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame.
  • 2012, was presented with the BMI “Icon” Award for his lifetime songwriting achievements.
  • 2015, Dixie Hall (“Miss Dixie”) died at the age of 80.
  • 2018, Tom T. and Dixie were together inducted into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

Carroll County Ramblers, The


  • From Carroll County in north central Maryland.
  • Formed in 1961 by husband and wife Leroy and Dottie Eyler. LeRoy died in 1995.
  • They have recorded more than a dozen albums on Zap, Adelphi, Fonotone and Alear Records.
  • 2011, the band includes Bonnie Eyler (bass), Dale Eyler (fiddle), Steve Waldon (banjo) and Dave Dulaney (guitar). Bonnie and Dale are second generation Eylers.
  • 2011, they celebrated their 50th anniversary.
  • 2012, received a special proclamation from the State of Maryland for their contributions to the arts.

Davidson Brothers, The


  • From Yinnar, Victoria, Australia (just east of Melbourne).
  • Features brothers Hamish (banjo/fiddle) and Lachlan (mandolin/fiddle) Davidson. They began performing together as teenagers.
  • Hamish is the younger brother. He won the Australian Bluegrass Fiddle Championship in 2000 and the Australian Bluegrass Banjo Championship in 2009. He is a chiropractor by trade.
  • Lachlan is a year older than Hamish. He won the Australian Bluegrass Mandolin Championship in 2008, 2009 and 2010. He is a mechanical engineer by trade.
  • 2009, 2010, 2012, won Instrumental of the Year at the Australian Country Music Awards.
  • 2010, won Group of the Year at the Australian Independent Country Music Awards.
  • 2012, won Album of the Year at the Australian Independent Country Music Awards (for “Here to Stay” album).
  • 2014, released “Wanderlust” album.
  • 2017, they were inducted into the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • 2018, won two CMAA Awards (Country Music Association of Australia) for Best Bluegrass Album (for their “Back Where I Started” album) and Best Instrumental Recording (for “Evelyn’s Kitchen”).

Parmley, Don


  • From Monticello, Kentucky. Also lived in California and Virginia.
  • Began playing banjo at age 12. After learning the Scruggs style, he performed with several groups including Carl Story and Hylo Brown.
  • 1956, after his discharge from the Army (Korean war), he married and moved to Los Angeles, California.
  • 1963, worked with the Golden State Boys in Los Angeles with Vern and Rex Gosdin. The group was also called the Blue Diamond Boys and later, the Hillmen (with Chris Hillman on mandolin).
  • 1963, released “5 String Banjo with 12 String Guitar” album (Crescendo) with backing musicians Billy Strange, LeRoy McNees, Chris Hillman, Vern Gosdin, Rex Gosdin (bass) and Hal Blaine (drums).
  • 1964-1973, played banjo for the TV Series The Beverly Hillbillies.
  • 1974, formed The Bluegrass Cardinals with his 15-year-old son David (guitar), Randy Graham (mandolin) and Bill Bryson (bass). This group performed together in various configurations for 23 years.
  • 1997, retired from music.
  • 2016, passed away at age 83.

Ramsey, Aaron


  • From Morganton, North Carolina.
  • Began playing mandolin when he was 12 years old in a Gospel bluegrass band called Damascus Road. His father Michael Ramsey played bass in that band.
  • 2002, at age 17 played mandolin and guitar with the Linville Ridge Band.
  • 2004, released solo project Aaron Ramsey (no label).
  • 2006, joined Randy Kohrs and the Lites.
  • 2007, joined Mountain Heart.
  • 2013, released solo project “Gathering.”
  • 2020, joined Volume Five , playing mandolin.

Sawtelle, Charles


  • From Boulder Colorado.
  • Played guitar for the group Hot Rize.
  • After the group disbanded in 1990, he built “Rancho De Ville” a vintage recording studio in Boulder.
  • 1993, was diagnosed with leukemia. He died from the disease in 1999.
  • 2001, an album was released posthumously of music recorded at his studio. It was nominated for an IBMA award for Recorded Event of the Year.

Laur, Katie


  • Native of Paris, Tennessee. Lives in Cincinnatti, Ohio.
  • 1975, formed The Katie Laur Band. She was one of the first female lead singers to front her own bluegrass band.
  • 1975, released “Good Time Girl” album (Vetco).
  • 1977, released “Cookin’ with Katie” album (Vetco).
  • She appeared several times on Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion” radio program.
  • She has hosted a weekly Cincinnatti radio show called “Music from the Hills of Home.”
  • Real name: Katie Haley. As a child, performed with her sister and three cousins in a singing group called “The Haley Sisters.”
  • Was presented with the Ohio Heritage Fellowship award for her influence on musicians in the Ohio region.

Hamilton County Ramblers


  • From Chattanooga, Tennessee (which is in Hamilton County).
  • Members: James Boulware (fiddle), James Kee (mandolin), Josh Hixson (bass), Roy Curry (guitar), Jim Pankey (banjo).
  • Curry (guitar) has won the Winfield National Flatpick Guitar championship three times. He also won the Minnesota and Tennessee State Flatpicking championships.
  • Boulware (fiddle) is a third generation fiddler. He has won the Tennessee State fiddle championship and has also been a featured soloist with the Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra.
  • Pankey (banjo) has won the Tennessee and Georgia banjo championships.
  • 2015, released self titled album (ByGabbled).

Sawtooth Mountain Boys, The


  • From Monmouth (Willamette Valley), Oregon.
  • Oregon’s “original bluegrass band.”
  • Formed in 1970 by Steve Waller (mandolin) and Mike Eisler (banjo). Before then, the two had a group called the Sawtooth Mountain Volunteers. They were both students at Oregon State University at the time.
  • The band was named after a mountain range in Idaho.
  • Waller died in June, 2015.

Raven, Eddy


  • From LaFayette, Louisiana.
  • Real name: Edward Garvin Futch. In 1962 he changed his name to Eddy Raven when he released his first single at age 17.
  • As a country artist he has had numerous hit records including “I Got Mexico,” “Shine Shine Shine,” “I’m Gonna Get You,” “Joe Knows How to Live,” “In a Letter to You,” and many others.
  • As a songwriter, he has written songs recorded by Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, Kenny Chesney, Roy Orbison, George Jones, Toby Keith, Waylon Jennings, Lefty Frizzell, Carl Smith, Heather Myles, Brenda Lee, Don Gibson, Faron Young, Jack Greene, Gene Watson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Lorrie Morgan, Roy Acuff, Jerry Reed, Oak Ridge Boys, Connie Smith and Charlie Louvin.
  • He has 30 ASCAP song writing awards, 8 No. 1’s, 14 Top 10’s, 23 Top 100’s, and 24 Albums to his credit.
  • 2017, recorded and released a bluegrass album with Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road called All Grassed Up (Pinecastle).

Carter, Jason


  • From Greenup County, Kentucky. Lives in Nashville.
  • While in high school, played guitar with a group called Idle Times.
  • After high school, played fiddle with the Goins Brothers.
  • 1992, joined the Del McCoury Band at age 19, playing fiddle. He had only been playing fiddle for two years at that time.
  • 1997, released solo album On the Move (Rounder).
  • 2002, formed a part-time band with David Parmley called White House.
  • He also performs with Ronnie and Rob McCoury in The Travelin’ McCourys.
  • 2014, won his fifth IBMA Award for Fiddle Player of the Year (also won in 1997, 1998, 2003, 2013).

Balsam Range


  • From Clyde, North Carolina.
  • Formed in 2007 by Marc Pruett (banjo), Caleb Smith (guitar), Darren Nicholson (mandolin), Tim Surrett (bass and resonator guitar) and Buddy Melton (fiddle).
  • Pruett has worked with Ricky Skaggs (played banjo on Skaggs’ landmark “Sweet Temptation” album in 1979 and was a founding member of Kentucky Thunder in 1996) and James Monroe. Also had a gospel group called “Harvest.”
  • Nicholson previously worked with Alecia Nugent.
  • Melton was formerly with Rock Springs Reunion (gospel group) and Jubal Foster (country band).
  • Surrett is a former member of the Isaacs and the Kingsmen.
  • Their name (Balsam Range) is the name of the mountain range on the southern edge of the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, surrounding the area where the band members live.
  • 2007, released Marching Home album (Mountain Home)
  • 2008, released Last Train To Kitty Hawk album (Mountain Home).
  • 2010, became the first band to perform at the NASCAR Hall of Fame (at its opening) in Charlotte, NC.
  • 2010, released Trains I Missed album (Mountain Home)
  • 2011, won the IBMA Award for Song of the Year (for “Trains I Missed“).
  • 2012, released Papertown album (Mountain Home).
  • 2013, won the IBMA Award for Album of the Year (for Papertown).
  • 2013, recorded an album with John Driskell Hopkins of the Zac Brown Band called Daylight.
  • 2014, released their fifth album Five (Mountain Home).
  • 2014, won IBMA Awards for Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year (Buddy Melton)
  • 2015, won IBMA Awards for Vocal Group of the Year and Song of the Year (for “Moon Over Memphis”).
  • 2016, released Mountain Voodoo album (Mountain Home).
  • 2017, released Christmas Time album (Mountain Home).
  • 2018, released Mountain Overture album (Mountain Home) with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble.
  • 2018, won IBMA Awards for Entertainer of the Year (for the second time). Buddy Melton also won for Male Vocalist of the Year (also for the second time) and Tim Surrent won the award for Bass Player of the Year (his first in that category).
  • 2019, released Aeonic album (Mountain Home).

Kallick, Kathy


  • From the San Francisco Bay Area (She is originally from the Chicago area. Her Mom was a prominent folksinger there. She moved to the Bay Area in 1973.)
  • 1975, co-founded (with Laurie Lewis) The Good Ol’ Persons (disbanded 1995). She also worked and recorded at various times with the Frank Wakefield Band.
  • 1991, recorded a duet album with Laurie Lewis titled Together (Sugar Hill).
  • 1993, recorded first solo album, Matters Of The Heart (Sugar Hill Records).
  • 1994, formed “The Little Big Band” with Keith Little (banjo), plus John Reischmann (mandolin), Sally Van Meter (Dobro™) and Todd Phillips (bass).
  • Won two “Parents Choice” awards for her children’s albums “What Do You Dream About” (1990) and Use a Napkin, Not Your Mom! (1995, Sugar Hill).
  • 1996, released Call Me A Taxi album (Sugar Hill)
  • 1997, received two IBMA awards and a Grammy for her part on “True Life Blues: The Songs Of Bill Monroe.”
  • 1998, released Walkin in My Shoes album on her own label (Live Oak Records).
  • 1999, formed the Kathy Kallick Band and released What Do You Dream About album (Live Oak Records).
  • 2002, released My Mother’s Voice album (Copper Creek Records).
  • 2004, released Reason & Rhyme album (Copper Creek Records).
  • 2005, released Warmer Kind of Blue album (Copper Creek Records).
  • 2009, fiddler Annie Staninec and bassist Greg Booth join the Kathy Kallick Band. Other members include Cary Black (bass) and Tom Bekeny (mandolin).
  • 2010, released Between the Hollow & The High-Rise album (Live Oak Records).
  • 2011, released a gospel collection, Count Your Blessings (Live Oak Records).
  • 2012, released Time album (Live Oak Records).
  • 2014, released Cut to the Chase album (Live Oak Records).
  • 2014, released a duet album “Laurie Lewis and Kathy Kallick Sing the Songs of Vern and Ray” (Spruce and Maple).
  • 2015, released “Foxhounds” album (Live Oak Records).

Taylor, Earl


  • From Virginia.
  • A legendary mandolin player and singer who for most of his career led a band called the Stoney Mountain Boys in the Cincinnati, Ohio area.
  • 1955-57, worked with Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys.
  • 1958, moved to Baltimore, Maryland and formed the Stoney Mountain Boys.
  • 1959, his was the first bluegrass band to perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
  • 1960, relocated to the Cincinnati, Ohio area and played in night clubs there for several years.
  • 1963, released his landmark “Blue Grass Taylor-made” album (Capitol Records) with his new band The Blue Grass Mountaineers.
  • 1964-1967, disbanded his group and worked with Jimmy Martin, the Stanley Brothers and Flatt and Scruggs.
  • 1967, returned to the Cincinnati area and re-organized the Stoney Mountain Boys with guitarist Jim McCall. He recorded several albums in subsequent years for Rural Rhythm and Vetco Records.
  • 1974, poor health and the death of his son led to his retirement from music for several years. He resumed performing in the early 80’s with banjo player Vernon McIntyre.
  • Died of a heart attack in 1984.


Carter Family, The


  • From Bristol, Tennessee.
  • Original group: A.P. (Alvin Pleasant), Sara and Maybelle Carter.
  • Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970. From the inscription: “A.P. Carter, his wife, Sara, and his sister-in-law Maybelle, played in one of the first commercial country recording sessions at Bristol, Tennesee … Their songs became country standards, and some of A.P.’s original compositions are among the all-time greats … the epitome of country greatness and originators of a much copied style.”
  • Original group recorded and performed from 1927 to 1942, when A.P. and Sara divorced.
  • Wrote and recorded hundreds of country and bluegrass standards: Jimmy Brown the Newsboy, The Wildwood Flower, Keep on the Sunnyside, etc.
  • After 1942, Maybelle continued to perform as the Carter Family with daughters Helen, June and Anita. In 1950, the group became regulars on the Grand Ole Opry.
  • June Carter had several hit records as a solo artist. Married Johnny Cash.
  • Performed as regulars on the Johnny Cash show until Mother Maybelle’s death in 1978.
  • Maybelle (Mother Maybelle) was famous for her autoharp playing, but rose to fame as a guitarist. She was among the first to play with finger-picks and to play guitar solos. Her style is still copied by many guitarists today.
  • 2001, The Carter Family was inducted into the IBMA’s Hall of Honor by Bill Clifton.



Band of Ruhks


  • From Nashville.
  • Formed in 2013 as “The Rambling Rooks” by Ronnie Bowman (bass), Don Rigsby (mandolin) and Kenny Smith (guitar). The three of them previously worked together in the Lonesome River Band (1995-2001)
  • 2015, changed the band name to Band of Ruhks released their first album on 101 Ranch Records. “Ruhks” is Persian word that means “a warrior’s chariot.”

Raybon, Marty


  • From Tuscumbia, Alabama.
  • Former lead singer with the country band Shenandoah (1984-1997).
  • 1991, won ACM Vocal Group of the Year Award and had numerous CMA and Grammy nominations.
  • 1975, began his musical career in Florida performing in a family band called American Bluegrass Express with his brother Tim, winning the Florida State Bluegrass Championship five years in a row. Their father Buck played fiddle.
  • 1984, moved to Nashville to pursue career in country music. Formed Shenandoah the next year in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
  • Had eleven #1 hits, including “Ghost in this House,” “Next to Me, Next to You,” “I Want to Loved Like That,”
  • 1996, won Grammy for his duet with Alison Krauss “Somewhere in the Vicinity of My Heart.”
  • 1997, left Shenandoah to record with his brother Tim as the Raybon Brothers (they had a hit with “Butterfly Kisses”) and to pursue a solo career as a gospel singer and evangelist.
  • 1998, sang on Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Country album.
  • 2002, returned to his bluegrass roots with album Full Circle and formed a bluegrass band with the same name.
  • 2013, won IBMA award for Gospel Recording of the Year (for “Beulah Land”).
  • 2014, began a reunion tour with Shenandoah.


Schankman Twins, The


  • From Calabasas, California (San Fernando Valley).
  • A bluegrass/country duo featuring Identical twins Dana (banjo) and Lauren (fiddle).
  • They both played the role of “Heather” on the CBS TV soap opera “Young and the Restless.”
  • Their first “bluegrass” influence: a Donald Duck and Goofy record with “Dueling Banjos” on it.
  • Dana won the Topanga Banjo contest and the New York City banjo contest, both at age 14.
  • They began performing bluegrass music professionally when they were 16 years old (1996).
  • 1996, released Duality album (City West).
  • An early highlight of their musical career was performing with Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys.
  • 2002, graduated from UCLA, both majoring in ethno-musicology.
  • 2002, signed with Rounder Records.
  • 2004, released an album (country) Malibu Storm under the name Malibu Storm.
  • 2010, after a five-year hiatus from music to marry and have children, they returned to performing and recording as Dana and Lauren. First single: a cover of Tupac Shakur’s “California Love.”

Laurel Canyon Ramblers, The


  • From Los Angeles, California.
  • Formed in 1994 by Herb Pedersen and Bill Bryson (who worked together in the Desert Rose Band). Released first album Rambler’s Blues on Sugar Hill Records.
  • Other original members: Billy Ray Lathum (guitar), Kenny Blackwell (mandolin) and Byron Berline (fiddle). Lathum was replaced by Roger Reed. Berline by Dennis Fetchet, then Gabe Witcher. Bobby Hicks also played a few dates with this band.
  • Laurel Canyon is an actual canyon in the Los Angeles area. Laurel Canyon Blvd. is a major thoroughfare in the San Fernando Valley.
  • Mandolinist Kenny Blackwell actually drives a Rambler (an early 60’s Ambassador station wagon).
  • 1996, released Blue Rambler 2 album (Sugar Hill.)
  • 1996, Roger Reed (guitar) cut a finger off his left hand with a power saw one month after he joined the band. He continued to perform with Bruce Johnson playing guitar while Reed sang his vocal parts. Eventually he was able to play guitar again.
  • 1998, released Back On The Street Again album (Sugar Hill).
  • After Blackwell moved from the area, Pedersen formed a new bluegrass band with Bryson called Loafer’s Glory.”

Schatz, Mark


  • From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts (near Boston). Lives in Nashville.
  • First band: Mandala, a folk dance group.
  • Has played bass with Tasty Licks, Spectrum, the Tony Rice Unit and the Bluegrass Album Band.
  • 1990-1997, played bass with Tim and Mollie O’Brien as one of the O’Boys. He continues to work with Tim and Mollie on selected dates.
  • Also plays clawhammer-style banjo (his banjo is heard on theme music for the IBMA awards show.)
  • 1995, released Brand New Old Tyme Way album (Rounder).
  • Is an accomplished dancer; serves as musical director for the dance troupe Footworks. In 1996, he performed with the hit show Riverdance.
  • 1998, formed a side band with Tim O’Brien, Jerry Douglas and Charlie Cushman called The Flatt Heads.
  • 1994, 1995, won IBMA award for Bass Player of the Year.
  • 2003, began performing regularly (on bass) with Nickel Creek.
  • 2006, released Steppin’ in the Boiler House album featuring his clawhammer banjo playing & original songs.
  • 2008, joined the Claire Lynch band.
  • 2014, re-joined Nickel Creek for their 25th anniversary tour.

Schwimmer, Peter


  • From New York. Lived several years in Colorado before moving to Portland, Oregon.
  • Has played with several bluegrass bands from New York to Seattle, including The Virginia Mountain Boys, Del McCoury’s Dixie Pals, and Generic Bluegrass.
  • 1983-1989, played banjo with Front Range.
  • 1985, won the banjo, mandolin and guitar contests at Telluride.
  • 1998, joined Sam Hill (an Oregon-based band).

Fassaert, Tammy


  • From Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
  • A singer/songwriter who plays guitar and bass.
  • 1988-1990, worked with Laurie Lewis and Grant Street.
  • 1989, formed “Tammy and the Americans” with Scott Nygaard, Sally Van Meter and John Reischman.
  • 1990, joined the Good Old Persons
  • 1994, released first album “Just Passin’ Through.”
  • 1995, formed The Sally Van Meter/Tammy Fassaert Band.
  • 1996, toured as a duo with Dobro™ player Doug Cox.
  • 1998, began performing solo.
  • 2000, released “Corner of My Eye” album.
  • 2005, formed the Shearwater Bluegrass Band with Dave Clarke (guitar) and James Whittall (mandolin).



  • From East Kentucky.
  • Formed in 2011 by Scott Tackett (guitar), father and son Dave and Chaston Carroll (guitar and mandolin), Brent Pack (banjo) and Doug Burchett (bass).
  • Dave Carroll is a prolific songwriter. His songs have been recorded by the Lonesome River Band, Junior Sisk, Lou Reid and Carolina, IIIrd Tyme Out, other artists.
  • 2013, released Hammertowne album (Mountain Fever).
  • 2015, Bryan Russell joined the band, replacing Burchett on bass.
  • 2015, released Highways & Heartaches album (Mountain Fever).
  • 2015, Scott Tackett released his solo project Looking Back (Kindred Records) which was the 2011 project that brought Hammertowne together.
  • 2016, Pack left the band to become a full-time National Parks Ranger. He was replaced by David Barnett.
  • 2017, Pack returned to the band.
  • 2017, released Hillbilly Heroes album (Mountain Fever).
  • 2019 lineup: Dave Carroll (guitar), Dale Thomas (banjo), Scott Tackett (guitar), Doug Bartlett (fiddle), Chaston Carroll on (mandolin), and Bryan Russell (bass).
  • 2019, Doug Burchett returned to the band, playing bass. Bryan Russell departed, citing health issues.

Warburton, Marty


  • From Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Plays banjo and guitar. Was a member of Dry & Dusty (with Butch Baldassari) and Sagegrass.
  • Former president of the Southern Nevada Bluegrass Music Society; also hosted a radio program on KNPR, Las Vegas.
  • 1996, the Marty Warburton band won the Pizza Hut International Bluegrass Showdown in Louisville.
  • 1996, recorded first album Headin’ Home (Pinecastle).
  • 2016, formed a band called Home Girls featuring his daughters.
  • He is well-known as one of the top bluegrass festival emcees in the Southwest.

Bankesters, The


  • From Carbondale, Illinois.
  • Began performing as a family band in 2004.
  • The original band featured mom and dad Dorene (guitar) and Phil (guitar) Bankester with daughters Melissa (bass), Alysha (mandolin & fiddle) and Emily (fiddle). Kyle Triplett (married to Melissa) is also a member of the band (banjo/guitar/Dobro™).
  • 2009, released first video.
  • 2011, released third CD on Blue Circle Records, featuring a guest appearance by Jamie Johnson of The Grascals.
  • 2012, Emily Bankester won IBMA’s “Momentum Award” for Vocalist of the Year.
  • 2013, released Love Has Wheels album (Alliance Records).
  • 2013, released Looking Forward album (Compass Records).
  • 2017, released Nightbird album (Compass Records.)
  • 2017, decided to call it quits as a band.

Reams, James


  • From southeast Kentucky. Moved to Brooklyn, New York and also has a home in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • A guitarist and vocalist, he was dubbed the Father of Brooklyn Bluegrass.
  • 1992-1998, performed and recorded with a group called The Mysterious Redbirds.
  • 1992, released first solo album Kentucky Songbird (Leghorn)..
  • 2001, released Barnstormin album (Copper Creek) with his band The Barnstormers.
  • 2002, released an album with banjo player Walter Hensley as James Reams, Walter Hensley & The Barons of Bluegrass (Copper Creek).
  • 2005, released Troubled Times album (no label).
  • 2011, moved to Arizona and formed a west-coast version of the Barnstormers with Billy Parker (mandolin), Tyler James (banjo), Dan Meyer (bass) and Blaine Sprouse (fiddle). His east-coast version of the band includes Mark Farrell (mandolin/fiddle), Doug Nicolaisen (banjo) and Nick Sullivan (bass).
  • 2012, released Blackest Crow album (no label).
  • 2013, released One Foot in the Honky Tonk album (no label).
  • 2016, released Rhyme & Season album (no label).
  • 2020, a documentary film about James was released called “Like A Flowing River: A Bluegrass Passage” (Backyard Green Films).

Parton, Dolly


  • From Locust Ridge, Tennessee.
  • Began her singing career at age 11. Moved to Nashville in 1964 after graduating from high school.
  • Was introduced to bluegrass music by the Brewster Brothers, Willie and Bud.
  • 1967-1974, worked with Porter Wagoner. Had 14 top ten hits as a duo. Won two CMA awards for Vocal Duo of the Year (1970, 1971).
  • 1969, joined the Grand Ole Opry
  • 1987, recorded “Trio” album with Linda Rondstadt and Emmylou Harris.
  • Has starred in several movies, including Steel Magnolias, 9 to 5, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
  • Owns her own record label and TV production company as well as the Dollywood Theme Park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
  • Notable hits: “Two Doors Down”, “I Will Always Love You”, “Coat of Many Colors”, “Jolene”, “Islands in the Stream” (with Kenny Rogers).
  • 1975, 1976, won CMA award for Female Vocalist of the Year.
  • 1977, ACM award for Entertainer of the Year.
  • 1978, CMA award for Entertainer of the Year.
  • 1999, Inducted into the County Music Hall of Fame.
  • 2000, released her first all-bluegrass album The Grass Is Blue (Sugar Hill).
  • 2000, she appeared on the IBMA Awards Show where she accepted the award for Album of the Year (for The Grass Is Blue).
  • 2001, won the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album (for The Grass Is Blue).
  • 2001, released second bluegrass album Little Sparrow (Sugar Hill).
  • 2002, won the Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Shine” from the album Little Sparrow.
  • 2002, released her third bluegrass album Halos & Horns (Sugar Hill).
  • 2004, received the Living Legend Award from the Library of Congress on April 14. Also hosted the CMA awards show.
  • 2004-2006, her touring band was the Grascals.
  • 2014, released her fourth bluegrass album Blue Smoke album (Sony).

Lawless, John


  • From Roanoke, Virginia.
  • Banjo player and founder (in 1994) of AcuTab Publishing Company, publisher of instrumental instruction books and recordings by well-known bluegrass artists.
  • 1978-1991, played banjo with Nothin’ Doin Band (Norfolk, VA)
  • 1999, joined Acoustic Endeavors.
  • 2001, won IBMA award for Instrumental Album of the Year for “Knee Deep in Bluegrass: The AcuTab Sessions” (produced by Lawless and featuring Lawless and other performers)
  • 2004, released solo project of banjo instrumentals called Five & Dime (no label). .
  • He is a well known bluegrass journalist, creator of the website “The Bluegrass Blog” which morphed into “Bluegrass Today.”

Daves, Michael


  • From Atlanta, Georgia. Lives in Brooklyn, New York.
  • Pronounced DAVE’S (not Davis or Davies).
  • Grew up in a musical family with bluegrass and country roots. Also studied music at Hampshire College (Western Massachusetts) and played there with a number of jazz, rock and Americana groups. His primary instrument is guitar.
  • 2002, formed an old-time string band called Underbelly, opening for Bob Dylan in ’03.
  • 2003, moved to Brooklyn, New York and began playing with several bluegrass bands including his own group The Bluegrass Mob.
  • He is a music teacher (private lessons) and also has a recording studio. He performs weekly at New York’s Rockwood Music Hall as a solo artist and also hosts a monthly bluegrass jam there.
  • 2007, released a solo project, Live at the Rockwood (no label).
  • 2011, recorded an album of duets with Chris Thile called Sleep With One Eye Open (Nonesuch Records).
  • 2013, formed a duo with fiddler Brittany Haas.
  • Has performed with Steve Martin, Tony Trischka, Rosanne Cash, Bruce Molsky, Sara Jarosz, many others.
  • 2016, released Orchids and Violence album (Nonesuch), a two-CD set featuring the same songs on each CD, but performed in two different styles: bluegrass and alternative-rock.

Davis, Brad


  • From Fort Worth, Texas.
  • Began playing classical guitar at age 5.
  • 1978, he and his brother formed a bluegrass band called Ten Degrees.
  • 1986, moved to Nashville and worked as a fiddle/guitar player at Opryland USA. Later that year, was offered a job working with The Forester Sisters.
  • 1992, joined Marty Stuart’s band.
  • 1994, toured with Sweethearts of the Rodeo. Also formed (with his brother Greg) a band called WhiteWater.
  • 1995, re-joined Marty Stuart’s band “The Rock and Roll Cowboys.”
  • Has also recorded with Willie Nelson, Pam Tillis, Dwight Yokem, Steve Earl, Travis Tritt, Emmy Lou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Warren Zevon, Joe Diffee, Mark Chestnut, Billy Bob Thornton, and many others.
  • 2001, joined the Earl Scruggs Family and Friends tour.
  • 2002, toured with Billy Bob Thornton.
  • 2003, released I’m Not Gonna Let My Blues Get Me Down album (FGM).
  • 2003, released This World Ain’t No Child album (FGM Records) and joined the Sam Bush Band.
  • 2007, joined the Boxmasters, a rockabilly band led by Billy Bob Thornton.
  • 2013, released A Bluegrass Tribute to George Jones album (Bluegrass Valley Records.) He has also done several Bluegrass Tribute albums for CMH Records (The Black Keys, Mumford and Sons, etc.)

Marrone, Marty


  • From St. Paul, Minnesota, originally from Pennsylvania.
  • Marrone is a guitarist and singer who began playing bluegrass in high school.
  • 1990-1996, lived in Chicago and played with the Special Consensus.
  • 2000, moved to Minnesota, worked a few dates with Monroe Crossing.
  • 2005, formed his own band called Tangled Roots.
  • 2006, released Seven Years With the Special Consensus album (Indys).
  • 2010, released Life of a Dream album (no label).
  • 2011, joined The High 48’s, playing guitar.

Gallatin, Amy


  • From Glastonbury, Connecticut; grew up in Louisiana.
  • 1993, moved to Connecticut and formed Stillwaters with Kevin Lynch and Matt Nozzolio.
  • 1994, released “Northern Girl” album (on Happy Appy Records, her own label).
  • 1998, released Phoenix album (Happy Appy).
  • Has frequently toured Europe and performed numerous times at the European IBMA World of Bluegrass event in the Netherlands as well as the UK.
  • 2001, released Live in Europe album (Happy Appy).
  • 2002, teamed up with Peggy Harvey (of Traver Hollow) to form a new group called the Hot Flashes.
  • 2005, resurrected Stillwaters with the addition of Dobro™ player Roger Williams and his son JD Williams (mandolin).
  • 2008, released Phoenix album (Happy Appy).
  • 2008, released a retro-county album with Roger Williams Something ‘Bout You (Happy Appy).
  • 2010, released Everything I Wanted Love to Be album (Happy Appy).
  • 2016, recorded a trio album with Gail Wade and Peggy Harvey as The Hot Flashes.

Taylor, Tut


  • Born in Possum Trot, Georgia. Lived in Milledgeville, Georgia. Moved to Nashville in 1970.
  • Real name: Robert Arthur Taylor. He was nicknamed “Tut” by his parents when he was a child.
  • He was a studio musician, sideman, graphic artist and luthier, an acoustic music icon around Nashville for more than four decades.
  • He was best known as a Dobro™ player, and was often called the “flat-picking Dobro man” because he used a flat pick rather than finger picks on the instrument.
  • 1962, recorded an album called “12 String Dobro” with Glen Campbell and the Folkswingers.
  • 1963, appeared on the Kentucky Colonels “Appalachian Swing” album featuring Clarence White.
  • 1964, released “Dobro County” album.
  • After moving to Nashville in 1970, he co-founded GTR Guitars with George Gruhn and Randy Wood (which later became Gruhn Guitars). He also owned Grammar Guitars and co-founded Rich and Taylor Banjo company.
  • He was also a sign painter and luthier. He did some custom work for Gibson in Nashville.
  • 1971, appeared on John Hartford’s landmark “Aereoplane” album.
  • 1972, released Friar Tut album (recently reissued by Rounder Records).
  • 1975, released Dobrolic Plectral Society album (Tacoma Records).
  • 1995, won a Grammy award for his part on the Jerry Douglas album The Great Dobro Sessions (Sugar Hill Records).
  • 1998, released Flash Flood album (Tutlee Records).
  • 2007, released Shacktown Road album with Norman and Nancy Blake (no label)
  • 2010, Jerry Douglas released Southern Filibuster: a Tribute to Tut Taylor (E1 Entertainment).
  • 2015, died at the age of 91.

Hancock, Arthur


  • From Paris, Kentucky.
  • Breeds and raises race horses in Kentucky. His “Stone Farm” produced Sunday Silence, winner of the 1989 Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Breeder’s Cup Races.
  • Has played bluegrass since age 11.
  • A prolific songwriter, his songs have been recorded by such artists as Ray Price and Grandpa Jones.
  • A friend of Peter Rowan since 1965, who produced his solo album of original songs in 2001.
  • 2014, his son formed a Kentucky bluegrass band called The Wooks.

Galyean, Mickey (and Cullen’s Bridge)


  • From Low Gap, North Carolina.
  • Galyean (pronouned Galleon, like the ship) is the son of Cullen Galyean, a legendary bluegrass musician from North Carolina. The band is named after him.
  • Formed in 2010 by Mickey Galyean (guitar), Rick Pardue (banjo), Brad Hiatt (bass) and Billy Hawks (fiddle).
  • Galyean and Hiatt formerly played with Rich In Tradition. Pardue has worked with several bands including Carolina Road, Long & Pardue and Rambler’s Choice. Hawks formerly worked with Big Country Bluegrass, Junior Sisk & Rambler’s Choice.
  • 2013, released Rollin With Tradition album (no label).
  • 2016, released My Daddy’s Grass album (Rebel).
  • 2018, released Songs from the Blue Ridge (Rebel).

Ward, Evan


  • From Fountain City, Indiana.
  • Began playing banjo at age 11.
  • 2000, joined first band at age 12, an Ohio group called Simple Tymes.
  • 2001, age 13, joined Gerald Evans and Paradise.
  • 2003, recorded first album of banjo instrumentals. Also performed on the Grand Ole Opry.
  • 2004, played dates in a band called “Higher Crossing” with Dennis Crouch, Ray Craft, Randy Kohrs and Aubrey Haynie.
  • 1005, worked with Don Rigsby and Midnight Call.
  • 2007, joined Audie Blaylock and Redline.
  • 2009, left Blaylock’s band to focus on his education at Vanderbilt University.

Carter, Tim (The Carter Brothers)


  • From North Carolina; lives in Nashville.
  • Plays banjo and guitar.
  • 1980, formed The Carter Brothers with his brother Danny, blending electric/acoustic, folk, rock, bluegrass and blues.
  • 1992, the Carter Brothers signed with Capitol Records.
  • The Carter Brothers are related to Hall of Fame members the Carter Family. The connection: their great-grandfather William Carter and A.P Carter are first cousins. They were also very close friends.
  • 1997-2004, Tim toured with the Alison Brown Quartet as her sound engineer. Also toured with Newgrange and Tim O’Brien.
  • Tim has his own recording studio in Nashville called Treehouse. Has worked with such bluegrass artists as Alison Brown, Tim O’Brien, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, Vassar Clements and many others.
  • 2004-2006, the Carter Brothers toured with Vassar Clements until his passing.
  • 2007, Tim released his first solo project “Bang Bang” featuring original banjo tunes.
  • 2016, joined Hayseed Dixie.
  • 2017, Danny Carter was hospitalized following multiple strokes and other health issues.

Fast Track


  • From Nashville.
  • Formed in 2019 upon the retirement of David Parmley. His band “Cardinal Tradition” continued on without him, with Duane Sparks taking his place singing lead and playing guitar.
  • Band members: Duane Sparks (guitar), Dale Perry (banjo), Jesse Brock (mandolin), Ron Spears (bass) and Steve Day (fiddle).
  • Perry is a former member of the Bluegrass Cardinals, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, the Lonesome River Band, Continental Divide and other bands. He also is owner of Lakeside Recording Studio.
  • Brock is a former member of the Lynn Morris Band, Dale Ann Bradley, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Audie Blaylock & Redline, and The Gibson Brothers. He is a two-time winner of the IBMA’s Mandolin Player of the Year award.
  • Spears is a former member of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Special Consensus, The James King Band, Continental Divide and his own band Within Tradition. He is also a professional ventriloquist and yo-yo expert.
  • Day is a former member of Continental Divide, Ronnie Reno, Gary Brewer and has worked the Grand Ole Opry on numerous occasions with other country and bluegrass artists.
  • Sparks is a former member of Gerald Evans & Paradise, Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers, the All-American Bluegrass Band and other groups.
  • 2020, signed with Englehart Music Group for their first album.

Barbed Wire Cutters, The


  • From Bellingham, Washington.
  • Members of the band: Korby Lenker (guitar), Bruce Shaw (mandolin), Adam Carp (banjo), Josh Brahinsky (fiddle) and Christopher Glass (fiddle).
  • They were called “young riders of the bluegrass revolt.” (SPIN Magazine)
  • 2002, won Best Bluegrass Band competition at the Columbia Gorge Bluegrass festival.
  • 2003, released first album Barbed Wire Cutters (Blue Light).

Acoustic Endeavers


  • Based in Jonesboro, Tennessee (later Nashville and most recently, Roanoke, Virginia)
  • Formed in 1994 by Warren Amberson (bass) and Kelly Green (guitar).
  • Amberson performed with the U.S. Army Bluegrass Band in Europe (the first Army bluegrass band in history).
  • Several members of the band attended East Tennessee State University (either students or alumni).
  • Band members have included Glen Rose, Tommy Austin, John Golden, Tommy Morse, Tim Laughlin, Ernie Power, Randy Utterbach and others.
  • 2000, added banjo player John Lawless of AcuTab Publications and Bluegrass Today.
  • 2014, vocalist and guitarist Kelly Green left the group due to problems with her voice (a neurological disorder called spasmodic dysfonia).

Hanway, Tom


  • From Larchmont, New York. Currently lives in Ireland.
  • Began performing at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA in the early 1980’s. He was studying law and labor history at the time.
  • 1984, busked in Europe, was a street musician in Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris.
  • 1985, returned to New York and studied banjo under Tony Trischka and Bill Keith.
  • 1986, formed band called Cumberland Gap.
  • 1988-1990, played banjo with the John Herald Band. Also appeared in the Off-Broadway bluegrass musical “Feast Here Tonight” (1989).
  • 1991, released solo project Bucket Of Bees album (Joyous Gard).
  • 1992, formed Grass Menagerie, later called Blue Horizon. They recorded one album Tom Hanway & Blue Horizon (Joyous Gard Music).
  • 1995, joined Burnt Toast.
  • 1997, co-designed Tom Hanway SwallowTail Deluxe banjo with Geoff Stelling, which becomes a production model (1998) with Standard and Deluxe options. Steve Martin bought one of these models for himself.
  • 1998, Mel Bay published his book/CD “Complete Book of Irish and Celtic 5-String Banjo.” Hanway is originator of a unique style called “Celtic Fingerstyle” banjo.
  • 1997-2002, co-founded Big Apple Bluegrass Society with his first wife, Kathleen Low Hanway (deceased), and promoted the annual Big Apple Bluegrass & Folk Festival in Greenwich Village, NYC.
  • 2003, married Denise Conroy and moved to Ireland
  • 2004-2006, worked with Carmel Sheerin & The Ravens, voted #1 European Bluegrass Band 2005-2006 by EBMA.
  • 2006, promotes Americana music at the United Arts Club in Dublin. Performs with the Badbelly Project and Tennessee Hob.

Necessary, Frank


  • From Ruckersville, Virginia. He was born in Boone’s Camp, Kentucky and worked in the Baltimore/Washington DC area as well as in Ohio.
  • Played banjo and was the leader or co-leader of several bands including the Stone Mountain Boys, Buzz Busby, the Spruce Mountain Boys and Eastern Tradition.
  • He played banjo in the style of Don Reno.
  • 1976, released Al Jones, Frank Necessary & The Spruce Mountain Boys album (Rounder).
  • 1987, released “Frank Necessary, Al Jones and Buzz Busby” album on Old Homestead Records.
  • 2011, died at the age of 76.

Kaufman, Steve


  • From New York City. Lives in Maryville, Tennessee.
  • Three-time winner of National Flatpick Guitar Championship in Winfield, Kansas (1978, 1984, 1986).
  • Writes guitar instruction books for Mel Bay Publications and instruction videos for Homespun Tapes. He is known as the “World’s Guitar Instuctor.”
  • Also conducts guitar workshops and hosts “Acoustic Music Kamps” featuring instruction and mentoring from top musicians. There are “Kamps” for just about every acoustic instrument in bluegrass and folk music.
  • Started his own record label, Sleeping Bear Records.
  • Owns and operates the Palace Theatre in Maryville, an acoustic music venue.


  • “Breaking Out” (1990, Sleeping Bear)
  • “Arkansas Traveler” (1994, Sleeping Bear)
  • “Bullet Train” (1997, Sleeping Bear)
  • “Circles” (2001, Sleeping Bear)
  • “Stylin” (2004, Sleeping Bear)
  • Mystique (2007, Sleeping Bear)
  • “Acoustic Stomp” (2009, Sleeping Bear)

Taylor, Wayne (Blue Highway)


  • From Richmond, Virginia. Grew up in Ohio.
  • Late 80’s, early 90’s, worked with several East Tennessee bands: The Richlands Bluegrass Boys, The Bluegrass Kinsmen, The Tim Laughlin Band.
  • 1994, formed Blue Highway with Tim Stafford. He plays bass and sings lead. Has written many of the band’s signature songs.
  • Has had a history of health problems: spent several years on crutches as a teenager. Heart attack in 2000. Colon cancer in 2002.
  • 2012, released solo project It’s About Time (no label).
  • 2016, was inducted into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • 2017, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Crab Orchard Museum at the Tazewell County Fiddlers Convention in SW Virginia.

Marshall, Mike


  • From the San Francisco Bay area.
  • He is of Italian descent; his family name is Marciarelli, which was shortened to Marshall.
  • 1979, was an original member of the David Grisman Quintet.
  • 1983, formed the Montreux Band, a new age jazz ensemble.
  • 1987, formed the Modern Mandolin Quartet.
  • 1995, traveled to Brazil and studied Brazilian choro music.
  • 1996, formed Psychograss with Darol Anger, David Grier, Todd Philips and Tony Trischka.
  • 1999, recorded and performed with Edgar Meyer, Joshua Bell and Sam Bush
  • 2000, recorded and performed with NewGrange.
  • 2002, released Into The Cauldron, an album of mandolin duets with Chris Thile (Sugar Hill).
  • 2006, released Live Duets with Chris Thile (Sugar Hill).

Warner, Chris


  • From Red Lion, Pennsylvania.
  • 1967-1969, played banjo with Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys. Also played on Jimmy’s 1978 album “Greatest Bluegrass Hits.”
  • 1969, had his own regional band and filled in with Bob Paisley, Seldom Scene, Hot Mudd Family, Bill Harrell, Jim and Jesse, others.
  • 1974, opened “Warner String Works” repairing and building string instruments; played banjo with the Carroll County Ramblers.
  • 1980, played mandolin with Tom Adams and the Double Eagle Band. A year later, played banjo while Tom played guitar.
  • 1985-1989, returned to play with Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys.
  • 1989, released “Chris Warner and Friends” album (Webco).
  • 1989, closed Warner String Works and began filling in with bands like Chief Powhatan, Rhonda Vincent, Johnson Mountain Boys and Red Allen. Also began working for Campbell’s Music Service in York, PA as a luthier and in-house repairman.
  • 2003, after a 4-year hiatus, returned to play with Audie Blaylock and Redline, also briefly with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver.
  • 2009, joined Wayne Taylor and Appaloosa.
  • 2009, released solo project Goin’ to the Dance (Patuxent)

Hanzlik, Slavek


  • From Prague, Czechoslavakia (Czech Republic). Lives in Canada.
  • Learned guitar as a child listening to smuggled-in Doc Watson albums.
  • Defected to the United States in 1982; moved to Canada in 1986. Also lived in Nashville for a couple of years.
  • Won the Canadian National Guitar Championship.
  • 1991, released Spring in the Old Country album on Flying Fish Records.
  • 1995, released Summer Solstice album on Sierra Records.
  • 1997, released Fall of My Dreams album on Hollywood Records.
  • 1998, worked with Chris Jones and the Night Drivers.

Hard Ryde


  • From Ontario, Canada
  • Formed in 1997.
  • Members: Doug DeBoer (guitar), Sally Ryba (banjo), Nick McDonald (mandolin), Nancy MacLellan (bass), Wayne Ferguson (fiddle).
  • Have won numerous Central Canadian Bluegrass Awards including Best Overall Group of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year. Band Members have also won numerous individual awards.
  • 2001, released Step By Step album (Orchard).
  • 2008, inducted into the Central Canadian Bluegrass Hall of Fame.
  • 2013 lineup: DeBoer (guitar), Rich Koop (bass), Will Meadows (mandolin), Luke Pukrin (banjo), Mark Roy (guitar/mandolin), Shawn Kellett (fiddle).

Gambetta, Beppe


  • From Genoa, Italy. Now living in New Jersey.
  • Beppe is pronounced Bay-pay.
  • He was trained as a classical musician, but after hearing bluegrass, converted to flat-pick guitar.
  • Europe’s original and best known bluegrass/folk guitarist; performs in the both the flatpicking and fingerpicking styles.
  • He was a founding member of the Italian bluegrass and country music band Red Wine.
  • Has recorded and performed with many American artists, including Norman Blake, Alan Munde, Tony Trischka and Dan Crary.
  • Winner of Italy’s prestigious Paolo Nuti award, given by the Italian Federation Folkitalia in special recognition of artists who have achieved excellence in their field.
  • 2001, recorded an album of guitar duets with Dan Crary, Synergia (Thunderation).
  • 2013, released The American Album (Gadfly Records).

Taylor, Wayne (Appaloosa)


  • From Conover, North Carolina.
  • Began playing guitar at age 9.
  • 1971-1973, first bluegrass band was called East Maiden Express.
  • 1974-1978, his first stint with the Navy. After his discharge, he finished his education, earning a degree in music therapy.
  • 1987-2008, re-joined the Navy, sang lead and played guitar with the U.S. Navy Band Country Current (21 years).
  • He has performed for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton, and George.W. Bush.
  • 2007-8, recorded and performed with Bill Emerson and the Sweet Dixie Band.
  • 2008, formed his own band, Appaloosa.
  • 2017, released a country album”Wayne Taylor’s Great American Country Band” (Raincoe).


Warren, Johnny and Charlie Cushman


  • From Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Warren (fiddle) is the son of former Foggy Mountain Boy Paul Warren. Cushman (banjo) is a celebrated banjo player who has worked primarily as a studio musician in Nashville. In 2013, both of them became members of the Earls of Leicester.
  • 2010, released A Tribute to Fiddlin’ Paul Warren album (no label).
  • 2011, released A Tribute to Fiddlin’ Paul Warren, Vol. 2 album (no label).
  • 2015, released Purely Instrumental album (no label).
  • 2016, Cushman won the IBMA Award for Banjo Player of the Year.

Davis, Christian


  • From Nashville, Tennessee.
  • He is primarily known as a bass singer, perhaps the first full-time bass singer in bluegrass music.
  • 1998, began singing professionally with The Sounds of Liberty (at Liberty University). He also performed in Dr. Jerry Falwell’s Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet.
  • He has also performed with several other gospel quartets including
    The Old Friends Quartet (while the legendary bass singer George Younce was ill), The Christian Brothers Quartet, and Mercy’s Mark.
  • 2006, he was the Assistant Director of Recruiting for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas.
  • 2010, joined Dailey and Vincent, adding bass vocals and playing second guitar.
  • 2015, left Dailey and Vincent to pursue a solo career.
  • 2019, released “The Big Picture” album (Turnberry).

Harmon, Bull


  • From Florissant, Missouri. (Originally from Alton, Illinois.)
  • Began playing guitar at age 12. With his brother and sister formed “The Harman Trio,” recording first album in 1977.
  • 1982, wife Tammy joined the group which was by this time called “The Harman Family.”
  • 1996-1998, worked with Rhonda Vincent and the Rage.
  • 1999, released solo album with guests Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent and others.
  • 2000, formed his own band, “Bull’s Eye” and released self-titled album (no label).
  • 2002, released “Rosewood, Spruce and Ebony” album (no label).
  • 2004, 2006, won SPBGMA Midwest Guitar Player of the Year.
  • For 15 years, he was a welder by trade.
  • 2009, won Silver Dollar City’s Single Microphone Championship.
  • 2010, released “Aiming to Please” album (Bull’s Eye).
  • 2017, released “Draw Four” album (Bull’s Eye).

Barber, Junior


  • From Plattsburgh, New York.
  • He played drums and electric guitar in rock bands before eventually turning to the Dobro™ guitar.
  • 1993-2002, worked for the Gibson Brothers. His son Mike has continued to play bass for the Gibson Brothers.
  • 2001, recorded a solo album produced by Alan O’Bryant, Steffi’s Waltz.
  • 2002, played dates with Gary Ferguson and Sally Love.
  • 2003, formed a three-piece band called “Beartracks.”

Martin, Benny


  • From Sparta, Tennessee.
  • Full name: Benny Edward Martin, Sr.
  • John Hartford called him “The World’s Greatest Unknown Fiddle Player.”
  • 1944, began musical career with Big Jeff and the Radio Playboys.
  • 1946, Milton Estes and His Musical Millers (on the Grand Ole Opry.)
  • 1947, joined Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys.
  • 1947, worked with Roy Acuff.
  • 1952-1954, worked with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.
  • 1954, worked with Johnny and Jack.
  • 1955, embarked on a solo career as a vocalist. Signed by Mercury Records. Act was called “Big Tige and the Little Tigers.”
  • 1956, joined the Grand Ole Opry.
  • Had the same manager as Elvis Presley, Col. Tom Parker. He was a frequent opening act for Elvis.
  • Was a close friend and drinking buddy of Hank Williams, Sr.
  • Invented an 8-string fiddle which never caught on. The only other performer to use it professionally was John Hartford.
  • 1976, released Tennessee Jubilee album (Flying Fish), produced by John Hartford.
  • 1997, received an IBMA Distinguised Achievement Award.
  • 1999, released The Big Tiger Roars Again album (OMS) with guests Tom T. Hall, Earl Scruggs, Vince Gill, John Hartford, Ricky Skaggs, Jim & Jesse, Johnny Russell and others.
  • 2001, released Big Tiger Roars Again (Part 2) album (OMS), his last.
  • 2001, died on March 13. Sadly, one of his closest friends, John Hartford, also died the same year.
  • 2005, was inducted into the IBMA’s Hall of Fame.


Schlegel, Becky


  • From St. Paul, Minnesota.
  • Began performing in high school in central South Dakota, performing at VFW and American Legion Halls. She also spent four summers as part of the “Mountain Music Show” in the Black Hills.
  • 1997, formed a bluegrass band called True Blue.
  • 1998, released This Lonesome Song album (no label).
  • 2001-2004, won Bluegrass/Old Time Artist of the Year at the Minnesota Music Awards (4 years in a row).
  • 2002, released first solo album Red Leaf (Lilly Ray).
  • 2005, released Drifter Like Me album (Lilly Ray).
  • 2006, appeared in the movie “A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor. She has been a frequent performer on the radio program.
  • 2006, formed the Becky Schlegel Band.
  • 2007, released For All the World to See album (Lilly Ray).
  • 2007, released Heartaches album (Lilly Ray).
  • 2008, released Country Ballads album (Lilly Ray).
  • 2010, released Dandelion album (Lilly Ray).
  • 2012, released Opry Lullaby album (no label).

Benedict, David


  • From Cambridge, Massachusetts (originally from Clemson, South Carolina).
  • 2013, graduated from Bryan College (Chattanooga, TN) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mandolin Music Performance.
  • 2014, released first album “Into the True Country” (no label), produced by Matt Flinner.
  • 2014-2017, played mandolin with Missy Raines and the New Hip.
  • 2017, moved to Boston and joined Mile Twelve.
  • 2018, released solo project “The Golden Angle” (no label), produced by Matt Flinner.
  • 2018, won IBMA Momentum Award for Instrumentalist of the Year.
  • 2019, married Tabitha Agnew, banjo player from England who plays with Midnight Skyracer and Cup O’Joe.
  • Also teaches mandolin and has a column “Mandolin Mondays” on the website Mandolin Cafe.

Daughters of Bluegrass, The


  • The brainchild of Lorraine Jordan and Gena Britt, who decided in 2001 to record an album featuring many of the top women musicians in bluegrass music.
  • The “Daughters” include more than 40 female artists including Jordan and Britt, Dale Ann Bradley, Valerie Smith, Claire Lynch, Sonya and Becky Isaacs, Rhonda Vincent, Alecia Nugent, Jeannette Williams and many others.
  • 2001, recorded first album called Daughters of American Bluegrass (CMH Records).
  • 2006, recorded a second album titled Back To The Well (Blue Circle Records) which won the IBMA Award for Recorded Event of the Year.
  • 2008, recorded third album Bluegrass Bouquet (Blue Circle).
  • 2013, recorded fourth album, Pickin Like a Girl (Blue Circle).

Martin, Jimmy


  • From Sneedville, Tennessee.
  • Nicknames: “Mr. Good ‘n Country” and “The King of Bluegrass Music.”
  • 1949, auditioned for Bill Monroe at the Grand Ole Opry and was hired on the spot. Worked with Monroe until 1951. He sang lead on Monroe’s first recording of “Uncle Pen.”
  • 1954, formed Jimmy Martin and the Osborne Brothers (with Bobby and Sonny).
  • 1955, formed The Sunny Mountain Boys, named after one of Jimmy’s songs, “Sunny Side of the Mountain.”
  • 1972, won a Grammy award for his work on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” album.
  • Favorite sport: coon-hunting. Over the years, he has kept a large stable of coon-dogs, most of them named after country-music stars.
  • He often credited himself with inventing the G-run, a guitar lick which is used widely in bluegrass music.
  • 1964, he received a Distinguished Citizenship Award from Nashville’s Mayor Beverly Briley after Jimmy risked his life to pull a mother and her three children to safety from a flaming automobile that was involved in an accident.
  • 1995, he was inducted into the IBMA’s Hall of Fame.
  • 1999, he was the subject of book by Tom Piazza titled True Adventures with the King of Bluegrass published by the Country Music Foundation.
  • 2002, retired from full-time performing.
  • Died May 14, 2005.


Scott, Barry


  • From Ellijay, Georgia.
  • Began singing and playing bass with his family band (The Scott Family Band) at age 7. At age 11, he learned to play piano.
  • 1984 (age 17), formed a southern Gospel quartet called The Harmony Brothers.
  • 1986, joined The Perry’s, another southern Gospel group.
  • 1988, worked with the Gold City Quartet and the Dixie Melody Boys.
  • 1990, formed a bluegrass gospel group called Silver Creek with Barry Abernathy.
  • 1993, rejoined The Perry’s.
  • 1996, joined Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, playing guitar and singing lead. Worked with Doyle for nine years.
  • 2005, left Doyle Lawson to pursue a solo career. Formed his own band, Second Wind.
  • 2009, released first album In God’s Time (Rebel).
  • 2010, teamed up with former Quicksilver bandmate Darren Beachley to form the Beachley and Scott Band.
  • 2011, left the Beachley and Scott Band to return to gospel music.

Warren, Paul


  • From Hickman County, Tennessee.
  • 1938, began playing fiddle professionally with Johnny Wright and His Tennessee Hillbillies.
  • 1942, joined the Army and during WWII, spent two years in a German POW camp.
  • 1946, rejoined Johnny Wright, now with “Johnny and Jack” until 1953. Also worked with country singer Kitty Wells.
  • 1954, replaced Benny Martin as fiddle player with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs until their breakup in 1968.
  • 1968, worked with Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass until his (Warren’s) death in 1978. Flatt died in 1979.
  • Has been called “America’s Greatest Breakdown Fiddler.”
  • 2015, was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

Bluegrass Martins, The


  • From Jefferson City, Missouri.
  • A family band featuring the Martin siblings Anne (bass), Dale (guitar), Janice (banjo), Lee (mandolin), Jeana (fiddle) and Larita (Dobro™).
  • 2007, won the SPBGMA International Bluegrass Band championship in Nashville.
  • 2017, released Travel Down This Road With Me album (Loveshine) featuring Leona and Ron Williams. Leona is a classic country music singer/songwriter from Missouri who was married to Merle Haggard and co-wrote many songs with him. Ron is her son, also a country music singer/songwriter.

Feller and Hill (and the Bluegrass Buckaroos)


  • From Southern Indiana/Northern Kentucky.
  • Formed in 2010.
  • Describe their sound as “Buck Owens and Don Rich sing the Stanley Brothers.”
  • Tom Feller (guitar) has previously worked with Jerry Williamson & Redwing, The Larry Stephenson Band, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, and 3 Fox Drive. He is also a recording engineer.
  • Chris Hill (banjo) previously worked with Gerald Evans and Paradise, The Wildwood Valley Boys, the James King Band, and The Karl Shiflett and Big Country Show. Chris is also a national clogging champion.
  • 2013, released Feller and Hill and the Bluegrass Buckaroos album (Blue Circle).
  • 2014, released Here Come Feller and Hill…Again! album (Blue Circle).
  • 2017, released Brothers and Heroes album (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2017, merged with Tony Holt and the Wildwood Valley Boys.

Wasson, Ricky


  • From Clay City, Kentucky.
  • Began playing bluegrass when he was four years old. He says that he never knew there was any other kind of music until he was 10.
  • 1984, formed a band called Southern Blend.
  • Owns a music store in Clay City.
  • Filled in as guitar player in Alison Krauss’ band for a short time.
  • 1996, released first CD “Songs from the Old Country Church.”
  • 1998, joined J.D. Crowe and the New South, singing lead.
  • 2008, released solo project From The Heart & Soul (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2012, formed a new band called American Drive with Dwight McCall and other former members of The New South (after J.D. Crowe retired).
  • 2016, released solo project “Croweology” (Truegrass Entertainment) and formed the Ricky Wasson Band.

Earle, Steve


  • Born in Fort Monroe, Virginia; grew up in the San Antonio, Texas area.
  • 1974, moved to Nashville to write songs.
  • Mid-80’s, recorded for Epic Records, scored several hit records, including “Guitar Town (1986),” and “Goodbye’s All We Got Left” (1987).
  • He has won three Grammies and has had songs recorded by Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, many others.
  • 1988-1994, went rock and recorded several albums which were generally ignored by country radio. He became something of a cult figure. He has had several run-ins with the law, including a drug charge.
  • 1998, recorded a bluegrass album called Mountain and toured with the Del McCoury Band. This was his only foray into bluegrass music.

Lawrence, Jack


  • A guitarist from Charlotte, North Carolina. Lives in Harrisburg, North Carolina.
  • 1970, got his first professional job with Carl Story.
  • 1971, joined the New Deal String Band.
  • 1972, joined the Bluegrass Alliance, replacing Tony Rice.
  • 1983, began working with Doc Watson in concerts and on recordings. After Doc’s son Merle died in 1985, he went full-time as Doc’s musical partner.
  • 2013, released Arthel’s Guitar album (n0 label), using Arthel “Doc” Watson’s guitar on the recording.

Garcia, Jerry


  • Founder and leader of the legendary rock group The Grateful Dead.
  • 1962, played banjo with two bands—the Wild Wood Boys and Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers.
  • 1963, formed The Black Mountain Boys with David Nelson and Sandy Rothman.
  • 1973, recorded with David Grisman, Peter Rowan and Vassar Clements in a band called “Old and In the Way.”
  • 1987, reunited with friends David Nelson (of New Riders of the Purple Sage) and Sandy Rothman (a former Blue Grass Boy) to record “Almost Acoustic” under the name The Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band.
  • 1991, Jerry and mandolinist David Grisman recorded an album of acoustic duets: Jerry Garcia & David Grisman (Acoustic Disk).
  • 1993, interviewed in film “Bill Monroe: The Father of Bluegrass Music” and asked “Is it true that you once auditioned to be one of Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys?” Jerry’s response: “Yeah. I wanted to be one in the worst way. I still want to be.”
  • The Grateful Dead recorded several bluegrass standards: “Dark Hollow”, “Deep Elem Blues”, “Sittin on Top of the World”, “A Voice from on High”, “Little Sadie”, “Cold Jordan” and others.
  • Died in August, 1995.
  • 2000, an acoustic album was released featuring Garcia with David Grisman and Tony Rice called The Pizza Tapes (Acoustic Disk).
  • 2001, a movie on Jerry Garcia and David Grisman was released called “Grateful Dawg.”

Ferguson & Ferguson


  • From Fredericksburg, Virginia and Littlestown, Pennsylvania.
  • Both members of this duo are named Gary Ferguson. They are not related.
  • Gary Ferguson (Virginia) is a former member of the Knoxville Grass and toured with Donna Fargo.
  • Gary Ferguson (Pennsylvania) is a singer/songwriter who has released numerous albums under his own name and with other musicians including Sally Love, Jordan Tice, Emory Lester and others.
  • 2014, while touring Ireland together, they decided to form a duo.
  • 2016, released their first album together Some Bridges (no label).

Davies, Gail


  • From Nashville, Tennessee. (Born in Broken Bow, Oklahoma.).
  • Began performing at age 9 in a family band.
  • Late sixties, moved to Los Angeles and performed in several rock, pop and jazz groups, finally returning to country music which she loved best.
  • Early days: worked with Hoyt Axton and Roger Miller.
  • Has recorded hits for Warner Brothers, RCA and Capitol Records.
  • 1980, had first #1 single with Paul Craft’s “Blue Heartache.”
  • 1986, had a group called Wild Choir (recorded for RCA).
  • 2001, recorded a live bluegrass album at the Station Inn in Nashville: Live & Unplugged at the Station Inn (Valley Records).

Martin, Mac


  • From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • His first band: the Pike County Boys (1948). He played mandolin.
  • His real name: William (Bill) Colleran. The Pike County Boys had three Bills in it, so he adopted the stage name of Mac Martin and the name stuck with him throughout his career.
  • Day job: he was an accountant.
  • 1954, formed his own band The Dixie Travelers with Mike Carson (fiddle) and Billy Bryant (banjo). Bryant died in 1994. They were regulars at a Pittsburgh club called Walsh’s Lounge (19 years).
  • 1972, retired from the band. Mandolinist (and bluegrass historian) Bob Artis led the Dixie Travelers until Martin returned in 1977.
  • 1998, released Buzz Matheson & Mac Martin: Echoes of the Past album (White Oak).
  • 2001, released A Dark Starless Night album, a collection of vintage recordings (White Oak).
  • 2004, released Travelin’ On album (Copper Creek).
  • 2005, released Venango album (Copper Creek).
  • 2015, released Goin’ Down the Country album (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2015, retired from performing at age 90. Played last concert with his Dixie Travelers on September 17, designated by the mayor of the city as “Mac Martin Day” in Pittsburgh.

Barbra, Jeff and Sarah Pirkle


  • From Walland, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains.
  • A husband and wife duo who perform primarily acoustic or Americana music (guitar, mandolin and fiddle). They are also accomplished songwriters.
  • 2000, won first place at Merlefest Songwriting Contest.
  • 2000, released “Dog Years” CD.
  • 1999-2004, hosted a radio program in East Tennessee called “Behind the Barn” on WDVX.
  • 2004, wrote the score for a play called “Measured in Labor: The Coal Creek Project” in Knoxville.
  • 2004, released “Barb Hollow Sessions” CD.
  • Their songs have been recorded by John Starling, Dale Ann Bradley, Darrell Webb, Charlie Sizemore, Blue Moon Rising and many other bluegrass artists.
  • 2011, after coming to faith, they began hosting a Sunday morning radio show called “In the Spirit.”
  • 2012, released gospel album “Family Singing.”

Cavanaugh, Ryan


  • From North Carolina.
  • A child prodigy, he began playing the banjo at age 5 and performed as a child with Doc Watson, Doug Dillard, John McEwen and others.
  • Won banjo contests at Rockygrass, Merlefest, Renofest and other competitions.
  • Developed a technically advanced style of playing jazz and other genres on the banjo. Was awarded a teaching residency at the Berklee School of Music.
  • 2006, began touring with jazz saxophonist Bill Evans.
  • 2008, released “Songs from the New Frontier” album (no label).
  • 2015, joined the Jeff Austin band.
  • 2017, joined the Songs from the Road Band.
  • 2019, left the Songs from the Road Band to return to performing solo and collaborating with other artists.

Jerusalem Ridge


  • From Edmonton, Alberta (Canada).
  • Formed in 1989, they were once known as “The Undisputed Western Canadian Champions of Bluegrass.”
  • 1991, released “North Wind” album (no label).
  • 1993, released “Looking Back” album (no label).
  • 1994, released “Make a Joyful Noise” album (no label).
  • 1998, released “How Far is Heaven?” album (Koch).
  • 1999, released Beyond the Ridge album (no label).
  • 2001, released “Together” album (no label) featuring LeRoy Mack on Dobro™.
  • 2007, released New Jerusalem album (no label).

Barenberg, Russ


  • From southeast Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. Moved to Nashville in 1986.
  • Guitarist who plays bluegrass laced with jazz, folk, cajun, celtic, carribean and latin elements.
  • He is also a renowned guitar instructor, with many instruction videos and DVD’s to his credit.
  • As a session musician, he has recorded with such artists as Randy Travis, Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, Tim O’Brien, Sam Bush and many others.
  • 1970, joined Peter Wernick and Tony Trischka in the New York-based group Country Cooking.
  • 1977, formed a new band called Heartlands.
  • 1979, released solo project, “Cowboy Calypso.”
  • 1979, formed Fiddle Fever with Matt Glaser and Jay Ungar. They performed in the Ken Burns TV series “The Civil War.”
  • 1982, performed on Jerry Douglas’ “Fluxedo” album.
  • 1992, toured with Irish folk-singer Maura O’Connell.
  • 1988, released Moving Pictures album (Rounder Records).
  • 1989-2001, performed in a trio with Jerry Douglas and Edgar Meyer and recorded the album Skip Hop & Wobble (Sugar Hill Records).
  • 2007, formed the Russ Barenberg Quartet and released When at Last album (Compass Records.)

Rector, Red


  • Originally from Marshall, North Carolina.
  • Real name: William Eugene Rector.
  • One of first mandolin players in bluegrass to have a style distinguishable from Bill Monroe’s.
  • Began his career in the early 40’s playing mandolin with the Morris Brothers, Johnnie and Jack, and Charlie Monroe.
  • Performed and recorded for many years in a duo with his cousin Fred E. Smith (“Red and Fred”).
  • 1950’s, joined Carl Story’s Rambling Mountaineers and sang lead when Carl recorded his best-known Mercury and Columbia albums.
  • Also worked and recorded with Reno and Smiley, Ramona and Grandpa Jones, Jethro Burns, Mother Maybelle and the Carter Family, Norman Blake, Bill Clifton, John Hartford, many others.
  • 1990, died at the age of 60.

Scott, Darrell


  • Born in London, Kentucky. Grew up in the Chicago area. Lives in Nashville.
  • A successful songwriter: “Long Time Gone” and “Heartbreak Town” (Dixie Chicks); “Great Day to Be Alive” (Travis Tritt); “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” (Patty Loveless, Brad Paisley); “Born to Fly” (Sara Evans); “When No One’s Around” (Garth Brooks).
  • 2o12, released Live: We’re Usually A Lot Better Than This (Full Skies), an album of duets with Tim O’Brien.
  • 2013, released Memories & Moments, a second album of duets with Tim O’Brien (Full Skies).

Jett’s Creek


  • From Lebanon, Ohio.
  • A family band featuring Adam McIntosh (guitar) and his sister Angie Young (vocals) and their father Jon McIntosh (guitar). Other members of the band (at various times): Brad Jessmer (banjo), Tim Hale (banjo), Pearl Bradley (mandolin), Wayne Haddock (mandolin) and Jeff Byrd (bass).
  • 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 “Supposed to Be” album.
  • 2010, released Guilty album (no label).
  • 2013, released The Wait Is Over album (Mountain Fever).
  • 2015, banjo played Tim Hale died, as did former mandolin player Pearl Bradley.

Watkins, Allen


  • From Alabama.
  • 1976, formed the Homemade String Band at age 16. Won the North Alabama Banjo Championship.
  • 1978, joined the Front Porch String Band and performed on their landmark debut album (1980).
  • Has also worked with the Lonesome River Band, Mark Johnson and Clawgrass, Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike.
  • 2002, formed his own group, The Allen Watkins Band with his wife Anne. Has also performed with his wife in a group called The Other Guise.

Yates, Dave


    • From Johnson City, Tennessee.
    • A multi-instrumentalist who has performed on recordings by Merle Haggard, Tim Stafford, Rhonda Vincent, Adam Steffey, Barry Bales, John Gardner, Rob Ickes, Charlie Daniels, Trey Hensley, and Doc Watson.
    • 1986, began teaching music lessons on all the bluegrass instruments.
    • 1999, became an adjunct professor in the Appalachian Studies Department of East Tennessee State University.
    • 2004, released solo project “The Working Man.”
    • 2014, released solo project “Cardboard in My Shoes.”

Ferguson, Gary


  • From Sandy Springs, Maryland. Lives in Littlestown, Pennsylvania (near Gettysburg).
  • 1980, performed in a Baltimore area band called Bittersweet.
  • 1985, formed The Gary Ferguson Band.
  • Played in a rock band until his conversion to bluegrass in 1977 at the Union Grove Fiddler’s Convention.
  • During the Vietnam War, worked in an ammunition plant in Texarkana, Texas.
  • First bluegrass band: Snodgrass. Others: The Garris Brothers, Bittersweet, and Redwood (with banjo whiz Chris Warner).
  • Holds the distinction of being the only songwriter to reach the finals of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest five times.
  • 1995, released I’m Really Leaving album (Webco/Pinecastle).
  • 1997, his song “Last Day at Gettysburg” was recorded by Larry Sparks and spent a year on the Bluegrass Unlimited charts.
  • 2000, formed a duo with vocalist Sally Love (who also is the former director of the Insect Zoo, appearing regularly as the “Bug Lady” on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman.) In 2007, she joined Seneca Rocks, a new band with Dudley Connell (whom she married) and other former members of the Johnson Mountain Boys.
  • 2004, formed a duo with 17-year-old guitar whiz Jordan Tice. Also sitting in with the Emory Lester Set and the Lonesome Road Band (Arkansas group.)
  • 2009, formed an Irish group called “Ferguson, Holmes and Henry” with Janet Holmes and Colin Henry (of Belfast, Ireland.) He tours Ireland every Summer.
  • 2014, released Songs of Mine album (no label).

Martin, Steve


  • From Los Angeles, California. Born in Waco, Texas; grew up in Garden Grove, California.
  • He is an Emmy and Grammy-award winning comedian, writer, musician and actor, appearing in dozens of films such as “The Jerk,” “Parenthood,” “Roxanne,” “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” “Father of the Bride,” and “The Pink Panther.”
  • Began playing banjo in the 1960’s, influenced by Earl Scruggs, Doug Dillard and John McEuen. He frequently used his banjo in comedy routines developed at Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm and incorporated the banjo into his stand-up routines.
  • 1981, released The Steve Martin Brothers album (Warner Brothers) which featured both comedy and banjo tunes.
  • 2001, won a Grammy for his appearance on the Earl Scruggs And Friends recording of “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.”
  • 2007, appeared on the IBMA and Grammy award-winning Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular album by Tony Trischka and Friends (Rounder).
  • 2009, released his first all-banjo album The Crow: New Songs for the Five String Banjo (Rounder).
  • 2009, began playing live dates with the Steep Canyon Rangers. Also made his first appearance as a musician on the Grand Ole Opry (With Vince Gill, May 30, 2009).
  • 2010, won the Grammy Award for Bluegrass Album of the Year.
  • 2011, released Rare Bird Alert album with the Steep Canyon Rangers.
  • 2011, performed with the Steep Canyon Rangers on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building for the PBS TV 4th of July Celebration.
  • 2011, won the IBMA Award for Entertainer of the Year.
  • 2013, released Love Has Come For You, his first album with singer/songwriter Edie Brickell, who formerly fronted the New Bohemians (1985-1990) best known for their hit “What I Am.” She also has a successful solo career (appeared and sang in the movie “Born on the Fourth of July”) and fronts another band called The Gaddabouts. She is married to singer/songwriter Paul Simon.
  • 2014, released Steve Martin And The Steep Canyon Rangers Featuring Edie Brickell Live album (Rounder).
  • 2015, received IBMA’s Distinguished Achievement Award for his contributions to bluegrass music.
  • 2015, was inducted into the National Banjo Hall of Fame.
  • 2015, released So Familiar, an album of duets with Edie Brickell (Rounder).

Cedar Hill (Missouri)


  • From Hillboro, Missouri (in the Missouri Ozarks).
  • Formed in 1967 by Frank Ray and his uncle Richard Orchard. The original name of the band was Rich Orchard, Frank Ray, and The Ramblin’ Blue Grass Boys. The name was changed to Cedar Hill Grass in 1972, and later shortened to just Cedar Hill.
  • Winner of several SPBGMA awards and in 2000, won first place at the Gibson National Bluegrass Band Showcase.
  • 2004 lineup: Frank Ray (mandolin), Mel Besher (guitar), Kenny Cantrell (banjo), Lisa Ray (fiddle) and Ali Keisler (bass).
  • 2005, released Stories album (Hay Holler).
  • 2011, released “I’ve Got a Thing About Doors” album (Blue Circle)
  • 2008, released Looking Back album (Hay Holler).
  • 2013 lineup: Ray (mandolin), Jim Bunch (banjo), Pete Brown (fiddle), Patti LeFleur (bass), Brit McGarity (guitar).
  • 2015, released “Miss Dixie, Tom T. and Me” (Blue Circle), a collection of songs written by Tom T. and Dixie Hall especially for Cedar Hill. For two years following the deaths of Frank Ray’s son Scott and his father Dallas, Ray was unable to write new songs for his band. So the Hall’s responded by offering Ray ten new songs.
  • 2008, Ray was inducted into the National Traditional Country Music Association Hall of Fame and received the Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018
  • 2019, Ray was inducted into SPBGMA’s Hall of Greats.

Lawson, Doyle


  • From Kingsport, Tennessee. Lives in Bristol, Tennessee.
  • His father was in an acapella gospel group called the Clinch Mountain Quartet.
  • 1963, joined Jimmy Martin’s band the Sunny Mountain Boys, playing banjo.
  • 1966, joined J.D. Crowe and the Kentucky Mountain Boys, playing mandolin.
  • 1971, joined the Country Gentlemen, playing mandolin.
  • 1979, formed his own band Quicksilver (original name was Foxfire but discovered the name was already in use.)
  • 1995, adopted a new look and new sound, performing around a single vocal mike with precision choreography.
  • 1998, was the first bluegrass band invited to perform at the National Gospel Quartet Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • 2003, won IBMA award for Song of the Year (“Blue Train”).
  • 2005, was elected chairman of the board of the International Bluegrass Music Trust Fund which provides financial assistance to bluegrass artists in times of emergency need. He continues to serve in this capacity.
  • 2006, was presented with a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • 2007, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree by Kings College in Bristol, Tennessee.
  • 2007, won his sixth IBMA Award for Gospel Recorded performance of the Year (also won in 1996, 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2006).
  • 2010, recorded with Paul Simon.
  • 2011, added drums to the band’s sound, much to the consternation of some of his fans. He discontinued using the drums in live performances about a year later.
  • 2011, won the IBMA Award for Recorded Event of the Year for the song “Prayers Bells of Heaven” by J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson and Paul Williams (from their album Old Friends Get Together).
  • 2012, was inducted into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame (IBMA).
  • 2012, won the Inspirational Country Music Award for Band/Vocal Group of the Year.
  • 2018, won his eighth IBMA Award for Vocal Group of the Year (also won in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007).


  • Tennessee Dream (County Records, 1977) This is Doyle’s first solo project, an album of mandolin instrumentals.
  • The Original Band (Sugar Hill, 1979, 1982) This is a reissue of the first two non-gospel albums by Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver “Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver” and “Quicksilver Rides Again.” Band included Terry Baucom, Lou Reid and Jimmy Haley.
  • Rock my Soul (Sugar Hill, 1981) This is a classic album of gospel songs. Includes one of his most requested: “On the Sea of Life.”
  • Heavenly Treasures (Sugar Hill, 1983) Gospel album. Band includes Terry Baucom, Jimmy Haley and Randy Graham.
  • Once And For Always/The News Is Out (Sugar Hill, 1985/1987) Two albums now packaged together. Two bands: one with Terry Baucom, Jimmy Haley, Randy Graham; the other with Russell Moore, Scott Vestal and Ray Deaton.
  • Beyond the Shadows (Sugar Hill, 1986) Gospel album. Band includes Russell Moore, Scott Vestal and Curtis Vestal.
  • Heavens Joy Awaits (Sugar Hill, 1988) Gospel album (acapella). Quartet includes Russell Moore, Scott Vestal and Ray Deaton.
  • Hymn Time in the Country (Sugar Hill, 1988) Gospel album. Band includes Russell Moore, Scott Vestal, Ray Deaton.
  • I’ll Wander Back Someday (Sugar Hill, 1988) Band includes Russell Moore, Scott Vestal, Ray Deaton.
  • I Heard the Angels Singing (Sugar Hill, 1989) Gospel album. Band includes Russell Moore, Scott Vestal, Ray Deaton.
  • My Heart Is Yours (Sugar Hill, 1990) Band includes Russell Moore, Ray Deaton, Jim Mills and Mike Hargrove.
  • Only God (Sugar Hill, 1991) Gospel Album. Band includes Jim Mills, Shelton Feazell and John Bowman.
  • Pressing On Regardless (Music Mill Entertainment, 1993) Band includes John Bowman, Jim Mills, Shelton Feazell, Kim Gardner, Jim Edmonds.
  • Treasures Money Can’t Buy (Music Mill Entertainment, 1993) Gospel album. Band includes John Bowman, Jim Mills, Shelton Feazell.
  • Hallelujah In My Heart (Music Mill Entertainment, 1994) Gospel album. Band includes Shawn Lane, Jimmy Stewart, Brad Campbell and John Berry.
  • Never Walk Away (Sugar Hill, 1995) Band includes Steve Gulley, Barry Abernathy, Dale Perry and Owen Saunders plus guest artists.
  • There’s a Light Guiding Me (Sugar Hill, 1996) Gospel album. Band includes Steve Gulley, Barry Abernathy, Dale Perry and Owen Saunders.
  • Kept & Protected (Sugar Hill, 1997) Gospel album. Band includes Barry Scott, Barry Abernathy, Dale Perry, Owen Saunders.
  • Gospel Radio Gems (Sugar Hill, 1998) Gospel album (acapella). Quartet includes Barry Scott, Barry Abernathy and Dale Perry.
  • Winding Through Life (Sugar Hill, 1998) Band includes Jamie Dailey, Barry Scott, Dale Perry, Doug Bartlett.
  • Just Over in Heaven (Sugar Hill, 2000) Gospel album. Band includes Barry Scott, Dale Perry, Jamie Dailey, Doug Bartlett.
  • Gospel Parade (Sugar Hill, 2001) Gospel album. Band includes Jamie Dailey, Barry Scott, Dale Perry and Hunter Berry.
  • Hard Game of Love (Sugar Hill, 2002) Includes both the IBMA Song of the Year “Blue Train” and IBMA Gospel Recording of the Year “The Hand Made Cross.” Musicians includes Jamie Dailey, Barry Scott, Dale Perry, Hunter Berry, Barry Abernathy, Jim Van Cleve, Owen Sauders.
  • Thank God (SSK, 2003) Gospel album. Band includes Jamie Dailey, Barry Scott, Dale Perry, J.W. Stockman, Jess Barry.
  • School of Bluegrass (Crossroads, 2004) A celebration of Doyle’s 25th anniversary with Quicksilver featuring many of his former band members.
  • Beyond the Shadows (Sugar Hill, 2004) Band includes Jamie Dailey, Barry Scott, Dale Perry, Jesse Stockman.
  • You Gotta Dig a Little Deeper (Rounder, 2005) Band includes Jamie Dailey, Barry Scott, Terry Baucom, Jesse Stockman.
  • He Lives in Me (Horizon, 2006) Won the IBMA Award for Gospel Recording of the Year both in 2006 and 2007. Band includes Jamie Dailey, Terry Baucom, Darren Beachley, Barry Scott, Mike Hartgrove and Jesse Stockman.
  • More Behind the Picture Than the Wall (Rounder, 2007) Band includes Jamie Dailey, Darren Beachley, Terry Baucom and Mike Hartgrove.
  • Help Is on the Way (Horizon, 2008) Gospel album. Band includes Darren Beachley, Alan Johnson, Joey Cox, Carl White and Josh Swift.
  • Lonely Street (Rounder, 2009) Band includes Carl White, Joey Cox, Josh Swift and Darren Beachley.
  • Light on My Feet, Ready to Fly (Horizon, 2010) Gospel album. Band includes Josh Swift, Jason Barie, Corey Hensley, Mike Rogers, Carl White and Jesse Baker.
  • Drive Time (Mountain Home, 2011) Band includes Josh Swift, Jason Barie, Corey Hensley, Mike Rogers, Carl White and Jesse Baker.
  • Sing Me A Song About Jesus (Mountain Home, 2012) Gospel album. Band includes Josh Swift, Mike Rogers, Jessie Baker, Carl White, Jason Barie and Corie Hensley.
  • Roads Well Traveled (Mountain Home, 2013) Band includes Joe Dean, Corey Hensley, Jason Barie, Mike Rogers and Josh Swift.
  • Open Carefully: Message Inside (Mountain Home, 2014) Gospel album. Band includes Josh Swift, Jason Barie, Joe Dean, Dustin Pyrtle and Eli Johnston.
  • In Session (Mountain Home, 2015) Band includes Dustin Pyrtle, Eli Johnston, Joe Dean, Josh Swift and Stephen Burwell.
  • Life is a Story (Mountain Home, 2017). Band includes Dustin Pyrtle, Eli Johnston, Joe Dean, Josh Swift and Stephen Burwell.
  • Live in Prague Czech Republic (2019, Billy Blue Records). Band includes Jake Vanover, Jerry Cole, Joe Dean, Josh Swift and Stephen Burwell.

Scott, Mike


  • From Wautaga, Tennessee. Lives in Gallatin, Tennessee.
  • 1972-1973, formed his first band at the age of 10, the Rocky Mountain Boys.
  • 1974-1977, played with The Tennessee Bluegrass Four.
  • 1978-1979, played with The Cumberland Mountain Boys.
  • 1980-1982, played with Carl Story and the Rambling Mountaineers.
  • 1982-1986, played with Jim and Jesse and the Virginia Boys.
  • 1983, released first album “Classics for Banjo” (CMS).
  • 1986, formed Mike Scott and The All American Band.
  • 1987-1991, performed part-time with Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass.
  • 1995, married Brenda Marshall (formerly of the Marshall Family, a gospel group).
  • 2002, joined Ronnie Reno and the Reno Tradition (as well as performing with Jesse McReynolds, Danny Davis and his own band.)
  • 2005, recorded several instrumental albums (“Star Spangled Bluegrass,” “Mountain Valley Bluegrass,” and “Applachian Sunday Bluegrass”) for Homestead Music, a Nashville label specializing in the gift shop market.
  • He is also an expert woodworker who restores vintage homes.
  • Nickname given to him by Bill Monroe: “Mike the Smilin’ Scott.”
  • He performs with his own band Mike Scott and the Nashville Band.
  • 2012, released Blue Moon of Kentucky: An Instrumental Tribute to Bill Monroe (Rural Rhythm)
  • 2012, released gospel album Take Me Lord & Use Me (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2013, released Home Sweet Home, an album of civil war era instrumentals (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2015, released Foggy Mountain Breakdown album (Green Hill Productions).

Taylor’s Grove


  • From Kennebunk, Maine.
  • A gospel and mountain music duo featuring veteran country singer Mac McHale and gospel singer Carolyn Hutton. They alternate on guitar, mandolin, and banjo.
  • The name “Taylor’s Grove” comes from the little North Carolina church where Carolyn Hutton grew up singing with her family.
  • Mac McHale also performs with “The Radio Gang” and the Celtic/country duo “Two Old Friends” (with Emery Hutchins). He is a member of the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame and was inducted as a “Pioneer” of bluegrass music by the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Martin, Tim


  • From Collinsville, Virginia. Was born in Roanoke.
  • 1968, (at age 10), joined Dennis Hall and the Hilltoppers, playing banjo.
  • 1971 (at age 13), joined Jim Eanes and the Shenandoah Valley Boys, his first professional music job.
  • 1973 (at age 15) took up the fiddle.
  • Has played fiddle with numerous bands: Lloyd Burge and the Henry County Partners, Garland Lambert and the Stoney Creek Boys, Junior Cassady and the Sundowners, Rich N Tradition, the Southern Gentlemen, and others.
  • 2010, released solo album Bluegrass Fiddle (Patuxent).

Watson, Doc


  • From Deep Gap, North Carolina.
  • One of America’s best known folk singers and flat-pick guitarists.
  • Real name: Arthel Lane Watson.
  • 1960, he was “discovered” by folklorist Ralph Rinzler.
  • Was born with a defect in the main vessels that carry blood to the eyes, causing him to permanently lose his vision as a small child.
  • Even though he was blind, he was able to perform tasks that seemed almost impossible without vision. For example, he completely wired his house for electricity. All of the wiring was passed by the county building inspector and the feat was written up in an electrical journal.
  • 1953-1962, played with a North Carolina group called “Jack Williams and the Country Gentlemen.”
  • Doc’s first bluegrass recording: a 1965 album of instrumentals with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.
  • For more than 25 years, Doc traveled and performed with his son Merle. Merle was killed in a tractor accident on the Watson farm in 1985.
  • After Merle’s death, guitarist Jack Lawrence served as Doc’s right-hand man on stage and on the road.
  • 1965, performed at the first bluegrass festival (Carlton Haney’s Fincastle, VA festival).
  • September, 1997, received the National Medal of Arts from President and Mrs. Clinton at the White House.
  • 2000, was inducted into the IBMA’s Hall of Fame.
  • He recorded more than 50 albums and won seven Grammies. In 2004, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by NARAS.
  • 2003, recorded and performed with Earl Scruggs and Ricky Skaggs as one of “The Three Pickers.”
  • 2012, died after a long illness.
  • 2012, was posthumously awarded the IBMA Award for Guitar Player of the Year.


Kawabata, Maro


  • From Kyoto, Japan.
  • At age 12, saw Bill Monroe on Japanese TV.
  • Learned guitar and formed “The Riverside Brothers” with his brother Takaharu.
  • “Riverside” is a direct English translation of Kawataba.
  • 1997, toured with Randy Howard, Don Rigsby, Missy Raines and Kaz Inaba as “The International Band.”
  • 2001, released first solo album, “Carolina Blue.”
  • 2007, released second solo project called “Rippling Water.”
  • 2010, released third solo project “Sunset Drive.”
  • 2013, died at the age of 51.

Acuff, Roy


  • From Maynardsville, Tennessee.
  • Known as “The King of Country Music.” Originally called “The King of the Hillbillies.”
  • A man of many talents: he was a professional baseball player, an actor in a touring medicine show, a recording artist with several million-sellers to his credit, a member of the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years, a star of radio, television and movies, a co-founder of one of the most famous music publishing companies in the world, co-founder of a record company, candidate for Governor of Tennessee, owner of a recreational park, director of a museum, a Shriner, owner of a peacock hatchery, a songwriter, a musician, and the first living person elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • 1962, elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • 1936, first sang “The Great Speckled Bird,” at the Grand Ole Opry with his band “The Crazy Tennesseans” (The song comes from a passage in the Bible, Jeremiah 12:9).
  • 1938, joined the Grand Ole Opry and was its first international star.1974, taught President Richard Nixon how to yo-yo on stage at the Grand Ole Opry.
  • Had a collection of more than 2200 miniature liquor bottles; also collected dolls, guns and musical instruments.
  • Died in 1992 at age 89.

RECOMMENDED: The Essential Roy Acuff (Columbia, 2008) A nice collection of his best-known songs including “The Great Speckled Bird,” “Wreck on the Highway” and “Wabash Cannonball.”

Patent Pending


  • From the Washington, DC area.
  • Formed in 1979 by Eldred Hill, Jim Steptoe, Rusty Williams, Leigh Taylor.
  • 1980, began playing Wednesday nights at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA (the Seldom Scene played there on Thursdays.)
  • 1990, group was disbanded as a full-time group.
  • 1992, re-formed with Steptoe, Hill, Teri Chism, Wayne Lanham, Ed Barney.
  • 2009, Steptoe died.
  • There is also a pop-punk band with the same name.

Barie, Jason


  • From Tampa, Florida.
  • Began playing fiddle at age 10.
  • 6-time winner of the Florida State Fiddle Championship.
  • 2002-7, worked with Jim and Jesse, the Sand Mountain Boys, Jorraine Jordan and Carolina Road, Bobby Osborne and the Rocky Top XPress, other bands.
  • 2007, joined the Larry Stephenson Band (became the first fiddle player ever in Stephenson’s band).
  • 2007, released solo project Past Is Present.
  • 2009, joined Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver.
  • 2014, joined Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers.
  • 2019, released Jason Barie as the Ramblin’ Fiddler in Pieces album (Billy Blue)

Tennessee Gentlemen, The


  • From Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Formed in 1967 by mandolinist Troy Castleberry, a Memphis fireman.
  • For 10 years, the group practiced and performed every Friday night at The Bluegrass Shack in Memphis. It was a 100-year-old two-room schoolhouse which burned down on July 4, 1989.
  • 1977, released “The Tennessee Gentlemen” album (Southern Tracks).
  • 1980, won eleven awards out of eleven categories at the SPBGMA awards show in Lake Ozark, MO, including Best Band, Best Album, Best Mandolin Player, and Best Contemporary Male Vocalist.
  • 1979, released “Just Us” album (no label).
  • 1980, released “Sunday Morning” album (no label). Group at that time included Donny Catron (guitar), Richard Bailey (banj0) and Steve Gregory (bass).
  • 1981, released “Hey Mr. Train” album (Ridge Runner).
  • 1987, released “Heading West” album (Bluegrass Shack). The group at that time included Wayne Southards (guitar) and Stuart Brownlee (bass), along with Castleberry (mandolin) and Bailey (banjo).
  • 2000, founder Castleberry died at the age of 71.
  • 2003, a new version of the band was organized by former member Donny Catron.
  • 2016, Catron died at the age of 60.

Gillis Brothers, The


  • From Soperton, Georgia.
  • Call their music “Mountain Style Bluegrass from the Georgia Swamplands.”
  • Brothers: Larry (banjo) and John (guitar). Larry is four years older than John.
  • Their band is called Hard Driving Bluegrass, which pretty much sums up their approach to the music.
  • Until 1997, they wore 50’s-era white hats on stage. “I had a headache all the time … and it’s hard to keep ‘em clean,” says John.
  • 1995, released Heart & Soul album (Rebel Records).
  • 2003, John Gillis was injured in a logging accident, preventing him from touring with the band.
  • 2004, released Down By the River album (Hay Holler).
  • 2005, released Sunshine in the Shadows album (Hay Holler).
  • 2005, Larry formed the Larry Gillis Band and performs mostly around the Tampa, Florida area.
  • 2016, John returned to performing with his brother. The act is called Larry and John Gillis and Swampgrass.

Garrett, Jeremy


  • From Idaho.
  • Began his musical career playing fiddle with his father Glen (guitar) in a group called The Grasshoppers. Honi Deaton (then Honi Glenn) was also in the band.
  • Attended South Plains College in Levelland, Texas. After graduation, he moved to Nashville where he worked with Bobby Osborne, Chris Jones, Ronnie Bowman, Jim Hurst and backed award-winning country singer Lee Ann Womack. He also released a gospel album with his father Glen under the name Garrett Grass.
  • Nicknames: “G-Grass” and “Freedom Cobra.”
  • 2005, formed the Infamous Stringdusters.
  • 2009, released solo project I Am a Stranger (Sugar Hill).
  • 2014, released a solo project called The RV Sessions (no label), recorded in his RV.
  • 2016, released instrumental album The RV Sessions II (Obsidian).
  • 2020, released a solo project Circles (Organic).

Harper Family, The


  • From Bunker, Missouri.
  • A gospel family bluegrass band featuring Gaylon and Katrina Harper (banjo and bass) and their three children Dalton (guitar), Dillon (mandolin), and Hannah (fiddle). Gaylon and Katrina met a bluegrass festival where they were each performing, Gaylon with the Bressler Brothers and Katrina with her family, The Bob Lewis Family. In need of a banjo picker, the Lewises hired Gaylon. Within a year, Gaylon and Katrina were married. The two began a family of their own and had three talented children.
  • 2012, released “Changes” album on Pisgah Ridge Records.
  • 2013, 19-year old Dalton Harper was diagnosed with stage 2B Hodgkins Lymphoma, a cancer that attacks the immune system.
  • 2014, released “Through It All” album on Pisgah Ridge Records, produced by Tim Surrett.

Mary and Mars


  • From Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • An acoustic trio formed in 2002 to explore the outer limits of bluegrass. They played everything from bluegrass classics to Motown and reggae.
  • Members: Sharon Gilchrist (mandolin), Ben Wright (guitar) and Josh Martin (bass).
  • Gilchrist previously played mandolin and bass with the Dixie Chicks. She has a degree in Mandolin Studies from Belmont University in Nashville. Also studied mandolin in Savona, Italy with master Carlo Aonzo.
  • 2004, released Mary & Mars Live at The Old Blinking Light album (Big Headed Kid Music).
  • 2004, broke up. Gilchrist went on to work with Uncle Earl, The Peter Rowan and Tony Rice Quartet and other bands.

Adair, Tina


  • From Haleyville, Alabama.
  • Began singing at age 3 in her family band, Bluegrass Edition. They also recorded under the name The Adairs.
  • She plays mandolin, piano and all the bluegrass instruments.
  • 1996, won first place at the Pizza Hut International Bluegrass Showdown in Owensboro, Kentucky.
  • 1997, Tina recorded Just You Wait & See on Sugar Hill Records. It was produced by Jerry Douglas and featured guest musicians Chris Thile, Bryan Sutton, Aubrey Haynie, Alan O’Bryant and others.
  • 2002, received a degree in music business from Belmont University.
  • 2012, released Born Bad album (Tab Music Group).
  • 2012, formed the band Sister Sadie with Dale Ann Bradley (guitar), Deanie Richardson (fiddle), Gena Britt (banjo) and Beth Lawrence (bass). Their 2018 album Sister Sadie II was nominated for a Grammy Award. In 2019 Sister Sadie won the IBMA Award for Vocal Group of the Year.
  • 2020, released album Oh Darlin’ (Pinecastle) a duet album with Dale Ann Bradley, under the name Bradley & Adair.

Red Clay Ramblers, The


  • Formed in 1972 by Jim Watson (guitar), Tommy Thompson (banjo) and Bill Hicks (fiddle).
  • Known as “America’s Favorite Whatzit Band.”
  • They specialized in energetic bluegrass, old-time, Irish, folk, cajun, blues, ragtime and country.
  • Their music was featured on the hit TV series “Northern Exposure.”
  • 1974, for six months, they performed in a play called “Diamond Studs” in New York City.
  • 1976, released Twisted Laurel album (Flying Fish)
  • 1977, released Merchants Lunch album (Flying Fish).
  • 1979, released Chuckin’ the Frizz album (Flying Fish).
  • 1981, released Hard Times album (no label).
  • 1987, Shawn Colvin was a member of the band.
  • 1988, founding member Jim Watson left the band to join Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group.
  • 1992, featured on Michelle Shocked’s album “Arkansas Traveler.”
  • 1992, toured Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Jordan and Syria for the U.S. Information Agency.
  • 1992, released Rambler album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1993, they performed in a hit Broadway play called “Fool Moon” which won a Tony Award for the band. This play also had a run at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
  • 2002, released Yonder album (no label).
  • 2003, founding member Tommy Thompson died.
  • 2004, performed in an Off-Broadway play called “Lone Star Love.”
  • 2012, celebrated their 40th anniversary as a band.
  • 2018, founding member Bill Hicks died.

Ulisse, Donna


    • From Hampton, Virginia
    • Name is pronounced “You-liss-ee.”
    • Began singing at age 3 by wandering onstage with a bluegrass band at a family Bar-B-Q
    • Married to Rick Stanley, a cousin of Ralph and Carter. Ralph and the Clinch Mountain Boys performed at her wedding reception. Rick Stanley had his own band called Bad Ridge.
    • 1980, moved to Nashville and began working as a background session singer. Her first harmony session was on a Jerry Reed album.
    • 1991, signed by Atlantic Records. Released country album Trouble at the Door,
    • Appeared on CMT “Hot Country Nights,” “Nashville Now,” “Hee Haw.”
    • 2007, released her first bluegrass album When I Look Back (Hadley Music Group) featuring her original songs. Produced by Keith Sewell.
    • 2009, released Walk This Mountain Down album(Hadley Music Group). Produced by Keith Sewell
    • 2010, released gospel album Holy Waters (Hadley Music Group) featuring twelve original songs and one Carter Stanley song. Produced by Keith Sewell
    • 2011, released An Easy Climb album (Hadley Music Group) featuring her original songs. Produced by Keith Sewell.
    • 2012, released I Am A Child Of God album (Hadley Music Group).
    • 2013, released All The Way To Bethlehem album(Hadley Music Group), the story of Christmas in original songs.
    • 2013, released Showin’ My Roots album (Hadley Music Group).
    • 2014, authored a book about her songwriting career titled The Songwriter in Me:Snapshots of My Creative Process (published by Hadley Music Group).
    • 2015, released companion CD The Songwriter In Me:The Demo Recordings for her book (Hadley Music Group).
    • 2015, released Hard Cry Moonalbum (Hadley Music Group), produced by Bryan Sutton.
    • 2016, won the IBMA Award for Songwriter of the Year.

Earls of Leicester, The


  • From Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Pronounced “The Earls of Lester.”
  • A bluegrass supergroup formed by Jerry Douglas to pay tribute to the music of Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys. They re-enact the songs of Flatt and Scruggs by performing them in similar costumes and choreography.
  • Band members (2013): Jerry Douglas (Dobro™), Tim O’Brien (mandolin), Shawn Camp (guitar), Johnny Warren (fiddle), Charlie Cushman (banjo) and Barry Bales (bass.) Subbing for O’Brien (who is also a member of the reunited Hot Rize): Shawn Lane, Ronnie McCoury and Frank Solivan.
  • While the name of the band is a pun, there have been many actual Earls of Leicester in Great Britain, part of the English “peer system” of dukes and earls which bestows automatic membership in the House of Lords. The current “7th Earl of Leicester” is Edward Douglas Coke, b. 1936. His heir apparent is Robert Edward Coke, b. 1965.
  • 2014, released their debut album Earls of Leicester on Rounder Records.
  • 2015, won the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album.
  • 2015, Jeff White took over the mandolin spot in the band.
  • 2015, won IBMA Awards for Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year, Instrumental Group of the Year and Gospel Recording of the Year.
  • 2016, released Rattle & Roar album (Rounder).
  • 2017, won their third consecutive IBMA Award for Entertainer of the Year.
  • 2018, released Live in the CMA Theatre in the Country Music Hall of Fame album (Rounder).

Adams, Brandon Lee


  • From Charleston, West Virginia. Lives in Webbville, Kentucky.
  • A flat-pick guitarist, singer and songwriter who began playing at age 8 in church.
  • As a high school student, he won several talent contests which led to an appearance at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville (1996).
  • 2004, worked with Don Rigsby.
  • 2008, appeared on the album Celebrations of Life: Musicians Against Childhood Cancer (IBMA Album of the Year).
  • 2014, released solo project Hardest Kind of Memories (no label) with special guest Tony Rice.
  • 2018, released second album “Time That I Was Leavin'” (Tritium).

Harper, Jamie


  • From Mocksville, North Carolina.
  • He plays all the bluegrass instruments but is best known as a fiddle player.
  • Began performing professionally at age 18. He has worked with Michelle Nixon and Drive, Donna Hughes, Carrie Hassler and Hard Rain, the Skip Cherryholmes Quintet, Marty Raybon, Blue Moon Rising and Ramblers Choice.
  • 2014, joined Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice.
  • 2015, released solo project Old Pal (Mountain Fever Records).

Nefesh Mountain


  • From New Jersey.
  • A husband-wife duo: Eric Lindberg (banjo, mandolin, guitar) and Doni Zasloff (vocals). Their band includes Alan Grubner (fiddle) and Tim Kiah (bass).
  • They are Jewish-Americans and their music reflects their religious heritage. It is sometimes called “jewgrass.”
  • Nefesh is a Hebrew word that is equivalent to the English word soul or life.
  • Many of their songs are sung in Hebrew or Yiddish. They perform frequently for Jewish Shabbat (sabbath) worship services and festivals.
  • 2016, released first album Nefesh Mountain (no label).
  • 2017, released Beneath the Open Sky album (no label) featuring Sam Bush, Tony Trischka, Jerry Douglas and David Grier as backup musicians.

Mashville Brigade, The


  • From Nashville.
  • Formed in 2007.
  • Like the Sidemen before them, this group was formed to perform at Nashville’s Station Inn on Tuesday nghts.
  • Band members included Aaron McDaris (banjo), Darrell Webb, (guitar), Ashby Frank (mandolin), Jim Van Cleve (fiddle) and Randy Barnes (bass). They were all members of other bands.
  • Occasional Brigadeers included Josh Williams (guitar) and Scott Vestal (banjo).
  • 2008, released Bluegrass Smash Hits Volume 1 album (Rural Rythm), recorded live at the Station Inn.
  • 2009, did some touring with Terry Baucom (banjo) subbing for Aaron McDaris.

Watson, Jim


  • From North Carolina.
  • A founding member of the Red Clay Ramblers.
  • 1988, joined Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group, playing bass.
  • Also performs with a group called Pinky LaCrosse and Duke Wyoming, and with a bluegrass band called the Green Level Entertainers.

Red June (Zoe and Cloyd)


    • From Asheville, North Carolina.
    • Formed in 2008 by Will Straughan (Dobro™ and guitar), Natalya Weinstein (fiddle), and John Cloyd Miller (mandolin and guitar).
    • Miller and Weinstein are married and also perform as a duo called “Zoe and Cloyd” (their middle names.)
    • Miller is the grandson of fiddler Jim Shumate (who played with Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs).
    • 2010, released first album Remember Me Well (no label).
    • 2012, released second album Beauty Will Come (no label).
    • 2013, Miller won 1st place in the bluegrass category at the Merlefest Chris Austin songwriting contest.
    • 2014, released third album Ancient Dreams (Organic).
    • 2015, Miller and Weinstein (as “Zoe and Cloyd”) released Equinox album (no label).
    • 2019, released I Am Your Neighbor album (Organic) as Zoe and Cloyd.

Davis, David (and the Warrior River Boys)


  • A traditional bluegrass band from Cullman, Alabama.
  • Davis’s father and grandfather were both musicians, and his uncle Cleo Davis was in Bill Monroe’s first Blue Grass Boys (1939).
  • The Warrior River Boys were originally formed in the mid-1950’s by Garry Thurmond. Due to his declining health, he turned the band over to 23-year-old Davis in 1984.
  • Davis plays mandolin and sings lead.
  • Band has included legendary musicians such as fiddler Charlie Cline and former bluegrass boy Tom Ewing.
  • 1990, released New Beginnings album (Rounder).
  • 1993, released Sounds Like Home album (Rounder).
  • 2004, released David Davis & The Warrior River Boys album (Rebel Records).
  • 2006, released Troubled Times album (Rebel).
  • 2009, released Two Dimes & A Nickel album (Rebel).
  • 2014, Davis was inducted into the National Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame.

Yoakam, Dwight


  • From Pikeville, Kentucky. Was raised in Columbus, Ohio.
  • 1977, moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music.
  • 1985, released his debut country album “Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc. Etc.” Since then, he has sold more than 25 million records. He has five Billboard #1 albums, twelve gold albums, and nine platinum albums. He is also the most frequent musical guest in the history of NBC’s The Tonight Show.
  • 1992, recorded “Miner’s Prayer” with Ralph Stanley on his “Saturday Night Sunday Morning” album.
  • 1997, recorded a cover of Clash’s “Train in Vain” with Ralph Stanley playing banjo and singing harmony.
  • 2001, wrote and recorded the song “Borrowed Love” on Earl Scruggs’ “Family and Friends” album.
  • 2016, released first bluegrass album Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars (Sugar Hill).

Yonder Mountain String Band, The


  • From Nederland, Colorado.
  • Called “The Original JamGrass Band.” They have been known to “jam” on one tune for more than 60 minutes.
  • They often invite celebrity performers to jam on stage with them–such as Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, David Grisman, Bryan Sutton, even Earl Scruggs.
  • Formed in 1998, and has since performed at hundreds of prestigious venues, including Telluride, Rockygrass, MerleFest and the historic Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco (the show was a sell-out).
  • They produce and distribute their own recordings, making them available to fans via live shows, internet downloads, etc.
  • Band members include Adam Aijala (guitar), Ben Kaufman (bass), Jeff Austin (mandolin) and Dave Johnston (banjo.)
  • Aijala previously played in punk and heavy metal rock bands.
  • Austin and Johnston met in college (University of Illinois) where Johnston played in a group called the “Bluegrassholes.”
  • 2014, Austin left and formed his own group, The Jeff Austin Band.
  • 2015, released Black Sheep album (Frog Pad).
  • 2019, founding member Jeff Austin died at the age of 45.

Young Acoustic All Stars, The


  • A group of teen bluegrass musicians that formed in 1994, evolving from Pete Wernick’s “Bluegrass Youth Allstars,” a group he assembled for the 1993 IBMA Awards Show.
  • Members included Josh Williams (guitar/banjo), Wade Butler (guitar), Joey Gipson (banjo/Dobro™), Jonathan Jones (guitar/banjo), Kati Penn (fiddle).
  • 1994, recorded one album “Somewhere Down the Road.”
  • Broke up in 1998.

Young, Adrienne


  • From Tallahassee, Florida. Lives in Nashville.
  • A singer, songwriter who plays guitar, fiddle and banjo.
  • Her grandfather had a Florida band called The Timberland Bluegrass Band.
  • As a teen, she performed with a local band called Big White Undies.
  • Graduated with a music business degree from Belmont University (Nashville). While there, she formed a band called Liters of Pop.
  • Learned banjo from Ketch Secor, of Old Crow Medicine Show.
  • 2003, won the Chris Austin songwriting contest at MerleFest.
  • 2003, formed her touring band “Little Sadie.”
  • 2003, released first album “Plow to the End of the Row” on her own label, AddieBelle Records, the name coming from nickname Young was given while working as a tour guide at Nashville’s Belle Meade Mansion. The CD, which includes a packet of wildflower seeds along with artwork based on the Farmer’s Almanac, was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Album Package.
  • 2005, released second album “The Art of Virtue” based on Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues.
  • She is spokesperson for the Food Routes Network which is involved with “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” campaigns nationwide to build and strengthen local farms and healthy food systems.

Young, Dempsey


  • From Richmond, Virginia. Lives in Rocky Mount, Virginia.
  • Early 70’s, had a group called “The New Grass Express.”
  • 1972, formed (with Alan Mills) the Lost and Found and remained with that group until his death 34 years later.
  • He is considered one of the most influential mandolin players in bluegrass. Ronnie McCoury credits Dempsey with inspiring him to play.
  • Died, December 2006 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Wayfaring Strangers, The


  • From the New York/New England area.
  • An eclectic group featuring Matt Glaser, Andy Statman, Tony Trischka, John McGann and Jim Whitney.
  • A “genre-bending group” combining elements of jazz, bluegrass, folk, Klezmer, Celtic and chamber music.
  • 2001, released first album with guests Rhonda Vincent, Ralph Stanley, Tim O’Brien, Laurie Lewis, others.

We Banjo 3


  • From Galway, Ireland.
  • Formed in 2011 by two sets of brothers: Enda Scahil (banjo) and Fergal Scahil (banjo, fiddle, viola, dobro, percussion, guitar, mandolin); and brothers Martin Howley (banjo, mandolin) and David Howley (lead vocals, guitar).
  • They call their music “Celtgrass.”
  • Collectively, they have won numerous All-Ireland music awards: Martin holding 7, Enda with 4, while Fergal and David hold All Ireland titles on Banjo, Fiddle, Bodhran and Guitar.
  • 2012, released Roots of the Banjo Tree album (no label).
  • 2014, released Gather the Good album (no label).
  • 2015, released Live in Galway album (no label).
  • 2016, released Happiness album (no label).
  • 2016, released String Theory album (no label).
  • 2016, performed for President Barack Obama in Washington D.C.
  • 2018, released Haven album (no label).
  • 2019, released Roots to Rise Live (no label), recorded live at the Ark in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA.

Weary Hearts


  • From Scottsdale, Arizona.
  • Formed in 1986 by Ron Block (banjo), Eric Uglum (guitar/mandolin), Butch Baldassari (mandolin) and Mike Bub (bass). In 1988, Chris Jones (guitar) replaced Uglum.
  • 1987, released “Faith Is the Answer” album (Cactus).
  • 1989, released By Heart album (Flying Fish).
  • Moved to Nashville in 1989, but disbanded shortly thereafter.
  • 2003, Block, Bub, Baldassari and Jones reunited for several Weary Hearts performances.
  • Where are they now? As of 2018 … Ron Block has been working with Alison Krauss since 1992, Mike Bub has worked with numerous Nashville bands, including a thirteen-year stint with Del McCoury (winning IBMA’s Bass Player of the Year award five times), Butch Baldassari formed the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble (and passed away from brain cancer in 2009), Chris Jones worked with Special Consensus, Lynn Morris and formed his own band The Night Drivers. He also is a DJ for Sirius/XM satellite radio and writes a humor column for Bluegrass Today. Eric Uglum has a recording studio in Southern California and has been a member of several bands including Copperline, Lost Highway and the Vintage Martins.

Webb, Darrell


  • From Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • 1993, began his pro career at age 19 playing mandolin with the Lonesome River Band (replacing Dan Tyminski).
  • 1997, joined J.D. Crowe and the New South.
  • 1999, released first solo project “Webbsite.”
  • 2000, joined a group called New Reflections, then returned to work a second time with J.D. Crowe’s New South.
  • 2001, formed a new band called Wildfire with New South bandmates Phil Leadbetter, Robert Hale and Barry Crabtree.
  • 2003, performed on Dolly Parton’s “Halos and Horns” project.
  • 2005, released solo project Behind the Scenes (Lonesome Day).
  • 2007, joined Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, playing guitar (replaced Josh Williams).
  • 2008, joined Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, playing guitar.
  • 2009, formed The Darrell Webb Band.
  • 2010, released Bloodline album (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2012, released Breaking Down the Barriers album (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2013, was an original member of the group Sideline.
  • 2014, joined a part-time band called Mountain Jacks, the pre-show band for the Lumberjack Feud dinner theatre in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee four nights a week.
  • 2014, released Dream Big album (Mountain Fever) with several guest artists celebrating his 20th year as a professional musician.
  • 2014, left Sideline. His Darrell Webb band became regulars at the Ole Smokey Distillery in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
  • 2017, released Lovers Leap album (Mountain Fever).
  • 2018, disbanded his Darrell Webb band to pursue a solo career.
  • 2018, teamed up with Barry Abernathy (banjo) to form a new band called Appalachian Road Show.

Webb, Tommy


  • From Langley, Kentucky (Floyd County).
  • Sings lead and tenor vocals, plays guitar and clawhammer banjo.
  • Began performing in high school with The Pine Top Ramblers. Other bands: South Creek, Onlyne, Clyde Bowling and the Southern Bluegrass Boys.
  • 2005, formed his own band and released Now That You Are Gone album (Kindred).
  • 2007, released Eastern Kentucky album (Kindred).
  • 2009, released Heartland album (Rural Rhythm).

Weissberg, Eric


    • From New York City.
    • Began performing as a 10-year-old on radio station WNYC. He plays all the bluegrass instruments including Dobro™ and steel guitar.
    • Best known as the banjo player who (with guitarist Steve Mandel of the Garrett Mountain Boys in New York) recorded the instrumental “Dueling Banjos” for the hit movie Deliverance (1973). The tune was originally called “Feuding Banjos” and was written by Arthur Smith and Don Reno in 1955. It was covered by The Dillards as “Duelin’ Banjos” in 1963 and subsequently recorded by Weissberg and Mandel for the movie soundtrack.
    • Studied string bass at the famous Julliard School of Music. Worked as a studio musician and performed with The Tarriers and the Greenbriar Boys. Has also performed on double bass with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
    • 1963, recorded a classic banjo duet album with Marshall Brickman (a banjo player who later collaborated with Woody Allen on many films) in the 1960’s called “New Dimensions in Banjo and Bluegrass” which helped to popularize melodic style (a.k.a. Keith-style or chromatic-style) banjo. In 1973, the album was released again by Warner Brothers as Dueling Banjos: From The Original Soundtrack “Deliverance” although Dueling Banjos was not included on the original album.
    • 1995, formed a band with Jim Rooney and Bill Keith called The New Blue Velvet Band.
    • 1998, began touring as a member of Art Garfunkel’s band, playing guitar.
    • 2009, joined the Aaron Copland School of Music (at Queens College) orchestra and chorus.
    • 2020, died at the age of 80.

Weisberger, Jon


  • From Nashville. Grew up in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
  • Plays bass (currently with Chris Jones and the Night Drivers) and has released several solo projects but is probably best known as a writer of songs and liner notes for albums by other well-known bluegrass artists.
  • Has played bass with numerous bands: Union Springs, The Wildwood Valley Boys, Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time, Sally Jones, The Lonesome Heirs (with Andy Falco, Jeremy Garrett and Ned Luberecki) and Chris Jones and the Night Drivers to name a few.
  • 2000, won the IBMA Award for Print Media Personality of the Year.
  • 2005, won the Charlie Lamb Award For Excellence In Country Music Journalism.
  • For many years, produced a radio program “Handpicked with Del McCoury” for the Sirius/XM Satellite Radio Network Bluegrass channel.
  • 2008, released solo project “If This Road Could Talk” album featuring his own compositions performed by guest artists.
  • 2012, won the IBMA’s first award for Songwriter of the Year.
  • 2013, was elected Chairman of the Board of the IBMA.
  • 2014, released solo project I’ve Been Mostly Awake (no label) album featuring his original songs performed by guest artists. “I’ve Been Mostly Awake” is a tongue-in-cheek interpretation of the acronym IBMA.
  • 2019, left Chris Jones and the Night Drivers after 17 years to focus on his songwriting and to work with the A&R team at Mountain Home Music. He is also teaching bass at East Tennessee State University.

Welch, Gillian


  • From New York City; grew up in West Los Angeles; moved to Nashville in 1992.
  • Her parents were writers for the Carol Burnett TV series.
  • 1988, attended Berklee College of Music in Boston.
  • While in Boston, she met her singing and writing partner, David Rawlings. She also performs in David’s band The David Rawlings Machine.
  • She is known for her songwriting talent. Her songs have been recorded by Emmylou Harris, Trisha Yearwood, Miranda Lambert, Jimmy Buffet, the Nashville Bluegrass Band, Tim and Mollie O’Brien, Valerie Smith, many other artists.
  • 1996, released Revival album (Acony), produced by T. Bone Burnett.
  • 2000, she acted and performed in the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou,” starring George Clooney.
  • 2001, her duet with Alison Krauss “I’ll Fly Away” (from the O’ Brother soundtrack) won the IBMA award for Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year.
  • 2001, released Time (The Revelator) album (Acony).
  • 2011, released The Harrow & The Harvest album (Acony).

Welty, Gregg


  • From Raleigh, North Carolina. Grew up in Western New York; lives in Pittsburgh, PA.
  • He is a banjo player, son of Eric Welty, 1993 Bluegrass Banjo National Champion.
  • He has won more state banjo championships than any other banjo player.
  • 2013-2014, played banjo with Gold Heart.
  • 2014-2015, worked with The Allegheny Drifters.
  • 2015, released Memoir album (no label).
  • 2017, joined Blue Mafia.
  • 2017, formed his own band South 79.
  • 2018, released “Community” album (no label) featuring over 50 musicians, recorded in over 30 locations. Vocalists on the album include Shawn Lane, Josh Shilling, Summer Brooke McMahan, Buddy Robertson and David Mayfield.

Werner, Missy


  • From Hamilton, Ohio (near Cincinnati)
  • Plays mandolin and leads The Missy Werner Band.
  • 1990’s, had a band called Next in Line.
  • Performs at a restaurant called The Comet (with the Comet Bluegrass All Stars) in Northside Ohio.
  • Her day job: She’s an accountant.
  • 2009, released a solo album “Drifting and Dreaming” produced by Dwight McCall with guests Ron Stewart, Alan Bibey, Tim Stafford, Randy Kohrs, Ricky Wasson & Harold Nixon.
  • 2011, released Three Kinds of Lonesome album (no label).
  • 2014, released Turn This Heart Around album (no label).



  • From Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • A duo featuring Wendy Crowe (vocals) and Jonathan Maness (vocals, guitar and mandolin).
  • Jonathan and Wendy were married in 2013.
  • Their name Westwend combines their names: West was derived from Jonathan’s middle name Wesley and Wend from Wendy.
  • Crowe began singing professionally at Dollywood in 1999. She has recorded a solo project titled “The Way I Am” (2013).
  • Maness has previously worked with the Dixie Beeliners, Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike. He has also recorded a solo project “Time Love and Money” (2013).
  • 2014, released “Linger for a While” album featuring many of their original songs.

Wernick, Peter


  • From New York City. Lives in Niwot, Colorado.
  • Known as “Dr. Banjo” because of a best-selling banjo instruction book he authored (over 200,000 copies sold).
  • Has an earned doctorate from Columbia University in sociology.
  • While at Columbia University, he performed with a band called the Orange Mountain Boys.
  • 1969, moved west and joined High Country, a San Francisco-based bluegrass band. Also worked briefly with Vern Williams and Ray Park.
  • 1970-1975, moved to Ithica, New York to complete his Ph.D. work at Cornell University. Also performed with Country Cooking with Tony Trischka and future wife Joan (known as Nondi Leonard at the time).
  • 1976, moved to Colorado. There he met up with Charles Sawtelle and formed a band called the Drifting Ramblers, or the Rambling Drifters (they couldn’t make up their mind.)
  • 1977, released “Dr. Banjo Steps Out” album (Flying Fish).
  • 1978, formed Hot Rize, a very popular band which won the very first IBMA award for Entertainer of the Year in 1990. The group also broke up in 1990.
  • With “Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers” (a country-western band that was actually Hot Rize in disguise), Peter played the steel guitar as “Waldo Otto”.
  • 1985, created one of the first bluegrass instructional videos Beginning Bluegrass Banjo. He has since created 10 instructional videos.
  • 1986, became the IBMA’s first president (stepped down in 2001 due to new term limits.)
  • Conducts “banjo camps” for musicians who want to improve their technique on the banjo.
  • 1989, he was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 232—a DC-10 that crashed in Sioux City, Iowa. While his banjo and steel guitar were damaged in the crash, he and his family survived and he was back performing with Hot Rize two days later.
  • An outspoken advocate of atheism, he served as president of the “Family of Humanists” and co-authored a book titled Atheism for Kids.
  • 1992, formed The Live Five, playing what Pete called “Virtual Bluegrass.” The group’s name was later changed to Pete Wernick and Flexigrass.
  • 1993, released On a Roll album (Sugar Hill Records).
  • 2000, created his Dr. Banjo website, offering instructional content.
  • 2004, a song from his album “Dr. Banjo Steps Out” titled “Big Rock in the Road” was played on the planet of Mars to “wake up” NASA’s landing craft Spirit Rover on February 27, making this the first bluegrass tune to be heard on another planet.
  • 2004, hosted a show on XM Satellite Radio.
  • 2005, performed with Earl Scruggs, Steve Martin and other banjo players on the David Letterman show.
  • 2009, began performing with a Colorado-based band called Long Road Home.
  • 2010, received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the IBMA.
  • 2010, launched “The Wernick Method” which trains teachers to lead successful bluegrass jam sessions.
  • 2014, began touring with a rejuvenated Hot Rize in support of their new album When I’m Free.

Whites, The


  • From Wichita Falls, Texas. Moved to Nashville in 1971.
  • 1976, began performing in Fort Smith, Arkansas as a family band as Buck White and the Down Homers (later changed to Buck White and the Down Home Folks.) Included Buck and Pat White and their young daughters Cheryl and Sharon.
  • Big break: 1979, opened for Emmylou Harris on her “Blue Kentucky Girl” album tour. Led to a recording contract with Capitol Records.
  • 1979, changed their name to The Whites.
  • 1981, Sharon White married Ricky Skaggs.
  • 1984, joined the Grand Ole Opry.
  • 1999, signed with Ricky Skaggs’ Ceili Records label.
  • 2000, appeared in the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou” starring George Clooney.
  • 2001, released Lifetime in the Making album (Ceili).
  • 2007, released Salt Of The Earth album (Skaggs Family).
  • 2008, were inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame.

White, Clarence


  • From Los Angeles (Burbank), California (although he was born in Lewiston, Maine).
  • He began playing the guitar at age 5. Started out playing the ukelele until his hands were big enough to handle a guitar.
  • He and his brothers Roland and Eric formed a band called The Country Boys, appearing regularly on a popular local Los Angeles country music TV show. That group became The Kentucky Colonels. They recorded one album for World Pacific and appeared on the Andy Griffith TV show (before the Dillards did).
  • 1967, after the Kentucky Colonels disbanded, he formed a country-rock band called Nashville West. He and bandmate Gene Parsons invented a device called the Parsons/White Stringbender (or B-Bender) which allows an electric guitar string to “bend” while playing, imitating the sound of a pedal steel guitar. Marty Stuart owns the original guitar that Clarence played during that period.
  • 1968, he joined the Byrds, replacing Gram Parsons.
  • 1973, joined Muleskinner with Richard Greene, David Grisman, Bill Keith and Peter Rowan.
  • 1973, reunited with Roland and Eric White for two tours of Europe as The New Kentucky Colonels. The banjo spot in the group was Herb Pederson and Alan Munde.
  • 1973, he died at the age of 29 after being struck by a drunk driver.
  • His style of flat-picking the guitar influenced a generation of bluegrass musicians including Tony Rice, Dan Crary, Norman Blake, David Grier and many others. He is also credited with helping to shape the sound of country-rock music.
  • Tony Rice owns his 1935 Martin D-28 guitar.
  • 2000, an album was released by Sierra Records by Clarence White called 33 Acoustic Guitar Instrumentals. The recordings were made on a home tape recorder in 1962.
  • 2016, he was inducted into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

White, Jeff


  • From Syracuse, NY; grew up in Northern Indiana.
  • A member of Vince Gill’s band since 1992.
  • First band: worked with David and Melody Johnson; won the KFC band contest in 1981.
  • Former member of Alison Krauss and Union Station and Weary Hearts. He has also toured with Tim O’Brien, Lyle Lovett, Patty Loveless and other artists.
  • 1996, released The White Album (Rounder).
  • 1998, performed with Tim O’Brien, Charlie Cushman, Mark Schatz and Jerry Douglas in a Nashville group called The Flattheads.
  • 1999, released The Broken Road album (Rounder).
  • 2001, worked with the Dan Tyminski Band.
  • 2002, recorded and toured with the Chieftains.
  • Has produced several albums for fiddler Michael Cleveland.
  • His songwriting credits include songs recorded by Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Dan Tyminski, Dale Ann Bradley and other artists.
  • 2015, began performing with the Earls of Leicester, singing tenor and playing mandolin.
  • 2016, released solo project “Right Beside You” (no label).

White, Roland


  • From Maine. Grew up in California. Lives in Nashville.
  • First band: The Country Boys with his brothers Clarence and Eric (began in Maine, continued in California.)
  • 1956, formed the Kentucky Colonels with brothers Clarence and Eric, and Billy Ray Lathum.
  • 1967, joined Bill Monroe and The Blue Grass Boys, playing guitar.
  • 1969, joined Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass.
  • 1973, re-joined brothers Eric and Clarence to form the New Kentucky Colonels (with Herb Pederson and Alan Munde.)
  • 1974, joined the Country Gazette.
  • 1977, released solo project I Wasn’t Born to Rock ‘N Roll album (Ridge Runner).
  • 1987, joined the Nashville Bluegrass Band.
  • 1994, released solo project Trying To Get To You (Sugar Hill).
  • 2001, left the Nashville Bluegrass Band to perform with his wife Diane Bouska as The Roland White Band.
  • 2002, released Jelly on My Tofu album (Copper Creek).
  • 2014, released Straight-Ahead Bluegrass album (no label).
  • 2017, was inducted into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. His brother Clarence was inducted the year before (2016).
  • 2019, released Roland White and Friends album (Mountain Home).



  • From Nashville.
  • Formed in 1995 by guitarist Brad Davis who was working with Marty Stuart at the time.
  • They appeared with Bill Monroe on the Grand Ole Opry.
  • They had a monthly radio show on WSM called “White Water Wednesday.”
  • 1997, released “No Gold on the Highway” which included special guests Sam Bush and Marty Stuart.

White, Tim


  • From Blountville, Tennessee. Originally from Roanoke, Virginia.
  • A graphic artist by trade. Among his accomplishments: the painting of a huge mural in Bristol, Tennessee designating Bristol as “The Birthplace of Country Music. He also designed and painted a new logo for the side of Ralph Stanley’s bus.
  • Has led several regional bands including Troublesome Hollow and The Beagles.
  • He is founder of the VW Boys, a group that combines bluegrass with comedy and magic.
  • 2006, executive coordinator and host of “Song of the Mountains,” a syndicated TV show which airs weekly on many PBS stations.
  • He is host of a 2 hour syndicated bluegrass and old-time country radio show which airs on several stations from Georgia to North Dakota.
  • Serves as president of the ACMA (Appalachian Cultural Music Association) dedicated to the preservation of the music and culture of the Appalachian region.
  • Helped establish the Mountain Music Museum in Bristol, Virginia and hosts a local two hour live program from there called “The Pickin Porch”.

Whitley, Keith


  • From Sandy Hook, Kentucky.
  • 1970, at age 15, began his professional musical career when he and his friend Ricky Skaggs worked with Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys. That same year, Keith and Ricky recorded a duet album.
  • 1973, worked with Jimmy Gaudreau in a short-lived band called “The Country Store.”
  • 1975, returned to Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Boys as lead singer and guitarist.
  • 1981, worked with J.D. Crowe and the New South.
  • Embarked on solo career in 1985; hit the charts with his RCA single, “Miami, My Amy” in 1986.
  • Best known for his hit songs “When You Say Nothing At All,” “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” and “I’m No Stranger to the Rain.”
  • Died on May 9, 1989 in Nashville of alcohol poisoning. He was 34 years old.

Whitstein Brothers, The


  • From Colfax, Louisiana.
  • A brothers duet featuring Robert (guitar) and Charles (mandolin) Whitstein.
  • Their style is reminiscent of the Louvin Brothers, the Delmore Brothers, and the Blue Sky Boys.
  • 1964-65, worked off and on with Faron Young and Porter Wagoner.
  • 1969, recorded their first album Sing Gospel Songs of the Louvin Brothers (later reissued by Rounder). They spelled their name “Whitstine” at the time.
  • Were absent from the music scene until the mid-1980’s when they began performing and recording again.
  • Called “the second-coming of the Louvin Brothers” by Charlie Louvin.
  • 1985, released Rose of My Heart (Rounder).
  • 1987, released Trouble Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues (Rounder)
  • 1989, released Old Time Duets (Rounder).
  • Recorded three albums before breaking up in 1991. Reunited briefly in 1993.
  • 1996, released Sweet Harmony (Rounder).
  • Charles performed occasionally with Charlie Louvin, recreating the Louvin Brothers sound.
  • Robert Whitstein died in 2001.
  • 2003, Charles joined Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys.

Wicentowski, Jerry


  • From Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Grew up in New York City.
  • A singer, guitarist and orthodox Jew, his group Lucky Break performs bluegrass interpretations of Hebrew liturgical music, along with traditional bluegrass and folk songs.
  • His name is pronouned “Wiz-entowski.”
  • He is a certified financial planner.
  • 1998, released first album “Lucky Break” (Wizgrass) featuring Byron Berline, Tim O’Brien, Andy Statman, Scott Vestal and other musicians.
  • 2018, released “Thanks Mac” album (no label), a tribute to the music of Mac Wiseman.


Wilborn, Marshall


  • Originally from Austin, Texas.
  • Best known as one of bluegrass music’s top bass players, although his first instrument is banjo.
  • 1982, joined Whetstone Run. It was then that he met Lynn Morris; they eventually married and formed a partnership.
  • Has also worked with Jimmy Martin and the Johnson Mountain Boys.
  • 1988, co-founded and played bass for The Lynn Morris band. The group had to disband following Lynn Morris’ stroke in 2003.
  • 1998, he was voted Bass Player of the Year by Bluegrass Now Magazine’s Fan’s Choice awards.
  • 1999, released an album of bass instrumentals accompanied by banjo called Root 5 (Pinecastle)..
  • 2006, formed a new band with Dudley Connell, Tom Adams, David McLaughlin and Sally Love called Seneca Rocks.
  • 2007, joined Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper.
  • 2011, won his third consecutive IBMA award for Bass Player of the Year (also won in 2009 and 2010).
  • 2011, left Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper. Currently performs with Springfield Exit.

Wild and Blue


  • From White House, Tennessee.
  • Formed in 1988 by David Harvey and his two sisters, Jan Harvey and Jill Snider.
  • David Harvey (mandolin) formerly worked with Red Allen, The Reasonable Band (from Colorado) and Larry Sparks. In 1980, he won the National Mandolin Championship in Winfield, Kansas.
  • 1994, released Come On In and Make Yourself at Home album (Pinecastle).
  • 1999, released Journey On album (HomeFolks).
  • 2000, group disbanded. Jill Snider went to work for the IBMA. David Harvey joined Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time. He also is an expert mandolin luthier for the Gibson Co.

Wilders, The


  • From Kansas City, Missouri.
  • An alt-country band featuring Ike Shelton (guitar), Phil Wade (mandolin/dobro/banjo), Betse Ellis (fiddle), and Nate Gawron (bass).
  • Formed in 1996.
  • 2002, backed Iris DeMent on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.”
  • 2006, performed at the Spiegeltent at Edinburgh Fringe Festival where they were honored with the Herald Angel Award.
  • 2008, released Someone’s Got to Pay album (Free Dirt).
  • 2011, released self titled album “The Wilders” (Free Dirt).