Category: B

Backline

BACKLINE

  • 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.

Bad Livers, The

THE BAD LIVERS

  • Originally from Austin, Texas.
  • A fusion of Tex-Mex, cajun, reggae, rock, blues, country and bluegrass. Band includes an accordion, drums and a tuba. Their music is sometimes called “bluegrass-punk” or “thrash-bluegrass.”
  • Formed in 1990 by banjo/guitar player Danny Barnes, who wrote most of the band’s material. Other members: Ralph White (fiddle) and Mark Rubin (bass).
  • 2001, the group disbanded.

RECOMMENDED ALBUMS:

Bailey, Brittany

BRITTANY BAILEY

  • 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.

Bailey, James

JAMES BAILEY

  • 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

RICHARD BAILEY

  • 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.

Baker, Jessie

JESSIE BAKER

  • 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.

Baker Boys, The

THE BAKER BOYS

  • 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.

Baker, Kenny

KENNY BAKER

  • 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.

RECOMMENDED ALBUMS:

Baldassari, Butch

BUTCH BALDASSARI (See also WEARY HEARTS, NASHVILLE MANDOLIN ENSEMBLE)

  • 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

BARRY BALES

  • 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).

Balos Family, The

THE BALOS FAMILY

  • 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.

Balsam Range

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).

Band of Ruhks

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.”

Bankesters, The

THE BANKESTERS

  • 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.

Barbed Wire Cutters, The

THE BARBED WIRE CUTTERS

  • 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).

Barber, Junior

JUNIOR BARBER

  • 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.”

Benedict, David

DAVID BENEDICT

  • 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.

Bluegrass Martins, The

THE BLUEGRASS MARTINS

  • 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.

Barbra, Jeff and Sarah Pirkle

JEFF BARBRA 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.”

Barenberg, Russ

RUSS BARENBERG

  • 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.)

Barie, Jason

JASON BARIE

  • 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)

Barnes, Danny

DANNY BARNES

  • See also THE BAD LIVERS.
  • From Temple, Texas (between Dallas and Austin). Now lives in Washington State (Seattle/Puget Sound).
  • A banjo virtuoso, he has worked as a sideman with the Dave Matthews Band, Mumford and Sons, Tim O’Brien, Robert Earl Keen and many others.
  • He is is also a licensed pilot, skateboarder, motorcyclist, flyfisher, unicyclist, trap shooter, and disc golfer.
  • 2004, released Things I Done Wrong album (Terminus)
  • 2005, released Get Myself Together (Terminus).
  • 2010, released Pizza Box album (ATO).
  • 2011, released Rocket album (ATO).
  • 2014, played banjo on Robert Earl Keen’s album Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions.
  • 2015, toured with the Jeff Austin Band.
  • 2015, won the Steve Martin prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass.
  • 2015, released Got Myself Together album (Eight 30).
  • 2017, released Stove Up album (Wendell), a tribute to Don Stover.
  • 2019, formed a new band called Blind Ricky (playing bluegrass, jazz, blues, rock and other genres of music).
  • 2020, released Man On Fire album (ATO).

Barnett, Michael (Mike)

MICHAEL BARNETT

  • From Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Learned to play violin at age 4.
  • At age 15, joined Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys, playing fiddle. That same year, became the youngest instructor ever to teach at the Fiddle School at Vanderbilt University.
  • Moved to Massachusetts where he enrolled in the Berklee School of Music and worked with Northern Lights, Jonathan Edwards, Mike Gordon (of the rock band Phish), the David Grisman Sextet and Tony Trischka.
  • 2011, formed (with Greg Liszt) the Deadly Gentlemen.
  • 2014, released solo project One Song Romance on Compass Records.
  • 2016, toured with the Bryan Sutton Band.
  • 2017, joined Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder (replacing Andy Leftwich).
  • 2017, released Portraits in Fiddles album (Compass).

Bartley Brothers, The (Rick and Shayne)

THE BARTLEY BROTHERS (RICK AND SHAYNE)

  • From Georgetown, Kentucky.
  • Formed in 2010 by brothers Rick (banjo, mandolin, guitar) and Shayne (mandolin, guitar).
  • Rick has worked with the Cumberland Mountain Boys, Hobo Grass, Newground, and his own band Rick Bartley and Blackwater. He also recorded a solo project in 2003.
  • Shayne has worked with the Lost and Found, The Charlie Sizemore Band, Southern Blend, Unlimited Tradition, the Rarely Herd, Lexington, Karl Shiflett and Big Country Show, Lightning Strike and other bands.
  • 2010, released Hit the Road album on Rural Rhythm Records.
  • 2014, Shayne joined American Drive.
  • 2016, Shayne teamed up with Greg Luck, Darren Beachley and David Carroll to form a new band called The Railroaders.
  • 2018, Shayne joined David Parmley and Cardinal Tradition, playing mandolin.

Bashful Brother Oswald

BASHFUL BROTHER OSWALD

  • Born and raised in Sevierville, Tennessee (Great Smoky Mountains). Lived in Madison, Tennessee most of his professional life.
  • Real name: Beecher Ray Kirby. He also went by the name Pete Kirby.
  • He was a longtime member of Roy Acuff’s Smokey Mountain Boys (1934-1992).
  • He is best known for introducing the resophonic guitar (Dobro™) to country music. He also plays clawhammer banjo.
  • The nickname “Bashful Brother Oswald” was given to him by Acuff when he added a young unmarried woman named Rachel Veach to his band. Oswald pretended to be her brother, making her presence in the group acceptable to conservative audiences. To fit his name, Kirby created the clownish Oswald character, wearing a floppy, wide-brimmed hat, tattered bib overalls, over-sized work shoes and adopting a braying laugh.
  • After Acuff’s death, he was made a member of the Grand Ole Opry (1994) and continued to perform as a solo artist.
  • 1994, appeared on The Great Dobro Sessions album, featuring other musicians like Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas, Josh Graves, Rob Ickes, Tut Taylor and Gene Wooten.
  • He died in 2002 at the age of 90.

Bass Mountain Boys

THE BASS MOUNTAIN BOYS

  • From Burlington, North Carolina.
  • Formed in 1974.
  • Band members: Mike Wilson (guitar), Mike Aldridge (mandolin), Mike Street (bass), Johnny Ridge (fiddle, guitar) and Steve Dilling (banjo, guitar). Jim Mills also played banjo with this group.
  • 1980, released “Bass Mountain Style” album (Outlet).
  • 1982, released “Wood and Stone” album (Outlet).
  • 1983, released “I’ll Sing for My Lord” album (Outlet).
  • 1985, released “Rollin'” album (Atteiram).
  • 1987, released “All Together Now” album (Atteiram).
  • 1989, released 18 Wheels album (CMH).
  • 1990, released A Beautiful Life album (CMH).
  • 1991, released “Fiddlin’ with Tradition” album (no label).
  • 1992, released Carolina Calling Me album (Pinecastle).
  • 1994, released Love of a Woman album (Pinecastle).
  • 1995, released My God Made It All album (Pinecastle).
  • They released several albums including “Carolina Calling Me,” “Love of a Woman,” “My God Made It All” and “A Beautiful Life.
  • For many years they hosted two bluegrass festivals each year on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend at Bass Mountain Music Park in Burlington (owned by former bass player, John Maness).
  • Disbanded in 1996.
  • 2008, they did a reunion performance

Baucom, Terry

TERRY BAUCOM

  • From Monroe, North Carolina.
  • Started playing banjo at age ten with his father’s group The Rocky River Boys. Took up the fiddle at age 14.
  • He is known as “The Duke of Drive,” a reference to his ability to “drive” a song with his steady, hard-driving banjo style.
  • 1970, got his first professional job, playing fiddle with Charlie Moore (three years.)
  • 1976, joined Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas and Wes Golding to form “Boone Creek.”
  • 1979, was a founding member of Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver.
  • 1985, formed The New Quicksilver with Randy Graham, Alan Bibey and Jimmy Haley. This group later became known as Baucom, Bibey, Graham and Haley.
  • 1991, was a founding member of IIIrd Tyme Out.
  • 1992, with Lou Reid formed “Lou Reid, Terry Baucom and Carolina.”
  • 1996, left the road to freelance and teach music in the Charlotte, NC area.
  • 1998, formed BlueRidge (a re-united New Quicksilver).
  • 2001, formed Baucom, Bibey and BlueRidge.
  • 2003, re-joined Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver.
  • 2007, left Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver to pursue “banjo-focused opportunities,” including teaching and producing instructional DVD’s.
  • 2008, worked with the Mark Newton Band and the Kenny & Amanda Smith Band.
  • 2009,worked with Dale Ann Bradley, the Mashville Brigade and Mountain Heart.
  • 2011, released first solo project “In a Groove” (Kneedeep).
  • 2013, released solo project “Never Thought of Looking Back” (John Boy and Billy).
  • 2013, won IBMA award for Recorded Event of the Year (for “What’ll I Do” featuring Sam Bush, Buddy Melton and others).
  • 2014, formed his own band The Dukes of Drive.
  • 2015, was inducted into the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame (Wilkesboro, North Carolina).
  • 2017, released song “Fourth and Goal” (John Boy and Billy) and was invited to perform during induction ceremonies for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Baylor, Donal

DONAL BAYLOR

  • From Capital City, Canberra, Australia.
  • 1985-6, won the Australian National Fiddle Contest. He also was a runner-up in the National Flat-pick Guitar Championship.
  • 1990, was the first Austalian fiddle player to qualify for the Grand Master Fiddle Championship in Nashville.
  • 1991, formed the Baylor Brothers with his brother Peter.
  • 2003, formed a band in Perth called Bluegrass Parkway.
  • 2010, released solo project “Town and Country Fiddler”

Be Good Tanyas, The

THE BE GOOD TANYAS

  • From Vancouver, BC, Canada.
  • Band members met while working as tree planters in BC’s Kootenay Mountains. Formed the band in 1999.
  • Members: Frazey Ford, Trish Klein, and Samantha Parton.
  • Blend bluegrass with folk, jazz, gospel. Has been described as “beguiling, haunting, rustic, ambient, hobo-erotica, and goth-folk.”
  • 2001, released first album Blue Horse on Nettwerk Records.
  • 2003, released Chinatown album (Nettwerk).
  • 2006, released Hello Love album (Nettwerk).
  • 2012, released Collection album (Nettwerk).

Beachley, Darren

DARREN BEACHLEY

  • From Brunswick, Maryland.
  • 1988, first pro band: South Central Bluegrass
  • 1991, played Dobro™ with Bill Harrell and the Virginians.
  • 1998, joined Norman Wright’s band The Travelers.
  • 2003, formed his own band called The Maryland Line.
  • 2005, joined Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver. Sang lead and tenor vocals, played bass and guitar. Appears on several award-winning albums including “Help is on the Way,” “More Behind the Picture than the Wall,” and “Lonely Street.”
  • 2008, left DL&Q to begin a solo career. Released Sad Songs & Sunday Mornings album (no label).
  • 2009,formed his band The Legends of the Potomac with Mike Auldridge (Dobro™), Tom Gray (bass), Norman Wright (mandolin) and Mark Delaney (fiddle)
  • 2010, released Take Off (Patuxent Records).
  • 2010, teamed up with former Quicksilver bandmate Barry Scott to form the Beachley and Scott Band.
  • 2011, after the departure of Barry Scott, the band was reorganized as Heart Town with Greg Luck, Tim Laughlin, Shayne Bartley and Jason Leek.
  • 2012, took a management position at the Frederick Memorial Hospital in Brunswick, MD. Also formed a band with Shayne Bartley, Greg Luck, Elmer Burchett and Marshall Wilborn.
  • 2016, formed a new band called The Railroaders with Shayne Bartley (guitar), Greg Luck (mandolin) and David Carroll (banjo).

Beacon Hillbillies, The

THE BEACON HILLBILLIES

  • From Boston, Massachusetts.
  • A string band formed in 1994 by mandolinist Jim (Jimmy) Ryan. Also in the band: John McGann (winner of the 1985 Winfield mandolin championship) and Jim Whitney (bass.)
  • The “original” Beacon Hillbillies formed in 1896 in Duffield, West Virginia. Ryan’s grandfather was leader of that band.
  • Ryan was also in a band called Blood Oranges, a fusion of bluegrass and rock. He is also a solo artist, with several albums to his credit.
  • Disbanded in 1996. They recorded three albums.
  • 2012, McGann died of kidney failure. He was a faculty member at the Berklee College of Music.

Bearfoot

BEARFOOT

    • From Anchorage, Alaska.
    • 2000, formed by a group of young music camp counselors who were drawn to bluegrass and traditional music. For several years they conducted music camps for bluegrass festivals across the U.S.
    • Original members: Kate Hamre (bass), Mike Mickelson (guitar), Jason Norris (mandolin), Annalisa Tornfelt (fiddle), Angela Oudean (fiddle)
    • 2001, entered and won the Telluride band competition.
    • 2002, released first album Only Time Knows (no label) selling more than 7000 copies the first year.
    • 2006, released Follow Me album (Alliance Records) featuring 8 original songs written by Tornfelt.
    • 2008, Odessa Jorgensen (fiddle) replaced Annalisa Tornfelt.
    • 2009, released Doors & Windows album (Alliance Records).
    • 2010, Hamre left the band, as did Mickelson. Hamre was replaced briefly by Sam Grisman, son of David Grisman.
    • 2011, after numerous personnel changes, the band relocated to Nashville with a new lineup including Oudean (fiddle), Todd Grebe (guitar), P.J. George (bass) and Nora Jane Struthers (guitar, vocals).
    • 2011, released American Story (Alliance Records).

Beazley, Janet

JANET BEAZLEY

  • From San Juan Capistrano, California. Originally from Bakersfield.
  • Plays banjo with Chris Stuart and Backcountry and performs in a duo with Chris Stuart (Stuart and Beazley).
  • Formerly played banjo with Copperline (with Eric Uglum).
  • Has a Ph.D in early music performance. She teaches music history and music appreciation at UC Irvine, USC’s Thornton School of Music and UC Riverside.
  • Also plays flute, recorder, and historic guitars.
  • 2005, released first solo project 5 South (Backcountry Music).
    .

Benford, Mac (and the Woodshed All-Stars)

MAC BENFORD (AND THE WOODSHED ALL-STARS)

  • From Ithica, New York.
  • A banjo player who played in the traditional clawhammer style.
  • 1967, moved to San Francisco and founded Dr. Humbead’s New Tranquility Stringband and Medicine Show.
  • 1972, moved back to New York and founded the Highwoods String Band.
  • 1979, formed a new band called Backwoods.
  • 1990, formed the Woodshed Allstars, performing traditional string-band music with a driving bluegrassy style.
  • 1996, released Willow album (Rounder Records).
  • Also played with a group called Noah’s Arkestra, so called because there are two of every instrument in the band.
  • 2020, died at the age of 79.

Bennett, Richard

RICHARD BENNETT

  • From Johnson City, Tennessee.
  • Age 11, played guitar on the Martha White Caravan for the Rose Brothers. Age 15, played guitar with fiddler Benny Sims. Then worked with The Toe River Boys, the Webb Brothers, and Mousie Creek (Gatlinburg, TN).
  • 1983-1990, worked at Dollywood theme park.
  • 1990-95, joined J.D. Crowe and the New South.
  • 1995, joined Lou Reid and Carolina
  • 1996, joined Tim White’s group, “The Beagles.”
  • 1996, recorded first solo project “Walking Down the Line” on Rebel Records.
  • 1998, formed a group called Blue Towne.
  • 1998, released Long Lonesome Time album (Rebel Records.)
  • 1999, released “Richard Bennett and Blue Towne” album on Rebel Records.
  • 1999, formed group “Auldridge, Bennett and Gaudreau” with Mike Auldridge and Jimmy Gaudreau.
  • 2004, worked with Dean Osborne.
  • 2010, formed a band called Rigsby, Leadbetter and Bennett with Don Rigsby, Phil and Matt Leadbetter.
  • 2012, released Last Train From Poor Valley album (Lonesome Day Records).
  • 2014, released In the Wind Somewhere album (Lonesome Day Records.)
  • 2019, released a duet EP with Shawn Lane called “Land and Harbor” (Bonfire).

Benson, Kristin Scott

KRISTIN SCOTT BENSON

  • From Union, South Carolina. Lives in Boiling Springs, SC with her husband Wayne (of IIIrd Tyme Out)
  • Began playing mandolin at age 5, learned banjo at age 13.
  • 1995-1999, played banjo with the Larry Stephenson Band while attending Belmont University.
  • 2000, joined Sally Jones and the Sidewinders.
  • 2002, released first solo album of banjo instrumentals, Straight Paths (Pinecastle).
  • 2002, joined Honi Deaton and Dream.
  • 2004, joined Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time.
  • 2006, left Cordle’s band to re-join the Larry Stephenson Band. She also gave birth to her first child.
  • 2008, joined the Grascals.
  • 2008, released second solo album Second Season (Pinecastle).
  • 2016, released third solo album Stringworks (Mountain Home).
  • 2018, won the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass.
  • 2019, won her fifth IBMA award for Banjo Player of the Year (also won in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011).

Benson, Wayne

WAYNE BENSON

  • From Charlotte, NC. Lives in Boiling Springs, SC. He is married to Kristin Scott Benson.
  • Full name: John Wayne Benson.
  • Started playing mandolin at age 15.
  • 1989, formed “Livewire” with Scott Vestal, Ernie Sykes and Robert Hale.
  • 1993, joined IIIrd Tyme Out.
  • 2003, released solo project An Instrumental Anthology (Pinecastle).
  • 2003, Gibson issued “Wayne Benson Signature” model mandolin.
  • 2004, left IIIrd Tyme Out to join the John Cowan Band.
  • 2007, returned to Third Tyme Out.
  • 2013, recorded an album of mandolin duets with Alan Bibey, Mandolin Chronicles.

Bentley, Dierks

DIERKS BENTLEY

  • From Phoenix Arizona. Lives in Nashville.
  • 2003, signed with Capitol Records. launching a very successful country music career.
  • 2004, his first two albums went platinum (two million copies sold).
  • Hit singles include: “What Was I Thinkin'”, as well as “Come a Little Closer”, “Settle for a Slowdown”, “Every Mile a Memory”, “Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)”, “Feel That Fire” and “Sideways.”
  • 2010, released Up on the Ridge album, a tribute to his bluegrass roots with Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers, Sam Bush, Bryan Sutton, the Del McCoury Band, Tim O’Brien and other well known bluegrass artists and sidemen.
  • Bentley says, “I fell in love with bluegrass music the first time I walked into the Station Inn with a fake ID at 19 years old. … After that I never missed a Tuesday night there in almost 8 years. Bluegrass music is my foundation.”

Bergstrom, Totte

TOTTE BERGSTROM

  • From Sweden.
  • Pronounced “Totty.”
  • 1969, performed with a group called Country Express.
  • 1970’s, had a bluegrass group called The New Strangers.
  • Was influenced by guitarist Clarence White in Sweden in 1973. Began using the Parsons-White stringbender (which White was using on his electric guitar) and formed a country-rock band called Moonshine
  • Prmarily a vocalist, he also performs on guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, Dobro™, autoharp and bass.
  • 1996-1997, toured and recorded with Bluegrass Etc.
  • 1996, released album Totte Bergstrom.
  • With a crooner’s voice and a penchant for love songs, he says he’s doing his part to put a little more “romance” in bluegrass music.

Berline, Byron

BYRON BERLINE

  • From Caldwell, Kansas. Currently lives in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
  • Three-time national fiddle champion (the Weiser Old Time Fiddle Championships).
  • Began playing fiddle at age 5.
  • Attended the University of Oklahoma on an athletic scholarship. Played football for coach Bud Wilkinson during his freshman and sophomore years. Switched to track for his junior and senior years, setting school records in the javelin throw.
  • While at OU, he met the Dillards (on Nov. 22, 1963—the day John Kennedy was assassinated) who were performing on campus. This was his first exposure to bluegrass music. After a short jam session in the parking lot, they asked him to record with them. The resulting album (called “Pickin’ and Fiddlin'”) was released on Electra Records in 1964, while Byron was still in college.
  • 1967, joined Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys. He played fiddle on the original recording of “Gold Rush” which he co-wrote with Monroe.
  • 1969, after moving to Los Angeles, joined the Dillard and Clark Expedition with Doug Dillard and Gene Clark (later called the Dillard Expedition) and the Flying Burrito Brothers. He also began doing recording sessions for movies, TV shows and albums by many popular artists including the Byrds, the Rolling Stones, Stephen Stills, the Eagles, Mason Williams and Linda Rondstadt.
  • 1972, formed the Country Gazette (which spun off of the Flying Burrito Brothers) with Roger Bush (bass), Alan Munde (banjo) and Kenny Wertz (guitar).
  • 1977, formed Byron Berline and Sundance. Vince Gill (age 19) was a member of this band. Recorded several albums including Live at McCabe’s (Tacoma).
  • 1978, formed the L.A. Fiddle Band with fiddlers Bruce Johnson and Dennis Fetchet.
  • 1980, formed BCH (Berline, Dan Crary, John Hickman).
  • 1985, worked with the Doo Wah Riders, an LA-based country band.
  • 1990, formed California (BCH plus Steve Spurgin and John Moore.)
  • While in L.A., he performed on numerous movie soundtracks including “Urban Cowboy”, “Back to the Future III”, and “The Rose.” He had a bit part in the movie “Basic Instinct” starring Sharon Stone.
  • He appeared in one episode of the original TV series “Star Trek.” Played a crew member of the Starship Enterprise who traveled back in time and found himself a violinist in a classical string quartet.
  • 1994, appeared on the TV show “Evening Shade.”
  • 1995, moved from Los Angeles to Guthrie, Oklahoma where he opened a music store called Byron’s Double Stop Fiddle Shop and Concert Hall.
  • 1996, his album Fiddle and a Song (Sugar Hill) was nominated for a Grammy Award. The album featured guest performances by Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs (together), Vince Gill, Mason Williams, others.
  • 1997, formed The Byron Berline Band which features both bluegrass and western swing. Performs regularly at the Fiddle Shop Concert Hall in Guthrie.
  • Hosts the annual International Bluegrass Music Festival in Guthrie, featuring bands from all over the world.
  • 2003, re-united with California to make several appearances and to record a new album.
  • 2005. toured China with his band.
  • 2012, received IBMA’s Distinguished Achievement Award.
  • 2013, was inducted into the National Fiddlers Hall of Fame.
  • 2013, his autobiography Byron Berline: Diary of a Fiddler was released.
  • 2019, his Double Stop Fiddle Shop and Concert Hall in Guthrie, OK burned to the ground, destroying his inventory of instruments and memorabilia. He was able to open a new shop and concert hall in a new building not far from the old one.

RECOMMENDED ALBUMS:

Berrier, Barry

BARRY BERRIER

  • From Mt. Airy, North Carolina.
  • First band: “Interstate Exchange” with friends Sammy Shelor and Alan Bibey.
  • Early 80’s, formed “Summer Wages” with Craig Smith.
  • After Summer Wages, worked with the Easter Brothers and the Bluegrass Cardinals (1989-90).
  • 1991, joined the Lost and Found as guitarist and lead singer.
  • 1995, recorded first solo album First Time With Feeling (Pinecastle Records.)
  • 2001, left the road to form his own business, a body shop in Mt. Airy, NC.
  • 2004-5, worked with Continental Divide.
  • 2005-6,worked with the Lonesome River Band.
  • 2007, retired from music.

Berry, Heather (Mabe)

HEATHER BERRY (THE HEATHER BERRY AND TONY MABE SHOW)

  • From Sherando, Virginia (Shenandoah Valley).
  • Began singing in church at age 5.
  • First instrument: autoharp. Performed with the Lewis Family as a child.
  • Age 13, formed her first band.
  • 2005, won the autoharp championship at the Maury River (VA) Fiddlers Convention.
  • 2005, formed a new band called Dominion Grass at the age of 15.
  • 2006, age 16, signed with Blue Circle Records (Tom T. and Dixie Hall’s label) and released “To a Dove” and “Before Bluegrass.”
  • 2011, teamed up with future husband Tony Mabe to form “The Heather and Tony Show.” Tony is a mult-instrumentalist (primarily banjo) who formerly worked with James King, Danny Paisley, Jeannette Williams and several other bands.
  • 2011, released Have A Merry Berry Christmas for the holiday season (Mountain Fever).
  • 2012, released Heather Berry & Tony Mabe Show (no label).
  • 2014, left the bluegrass circuit to perform gospel music.
  • 2018, signed with Clay Hess’ 7Flat Record label.
  • 2019, Heather and Tony joined Junior Sisk’s touring band.

Berry, John

JOHN BERRY

  • From Nashville, Tennessee. He was born in South Carolina and raised in Georgia.
  • 1992-1995, had several hit country records including ” Your Love Amazes Me,” “Standing on the Edge of Goodbye” and “She’s Taken a Shine” (Capitol Records).
  • 2015, released his first bluegrass recording “I’m Blended Blue” (JB Music).

Berry, Hunter

HUNTER BERRY

  • From Elizabethton, Tennessee.
  • Learned fiddle at age 4. Taught by Benny Sims and David Yates.
  • 2001, joined Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver at age 17. Was invited to join Doyle Lawson’s band when he was in the 8th grade but waited until he had his high school diploma. Stayed with Doyle for 9 months.
  • 2002, joined Rhonda Vincent and the Rage.
  • Has been a final nominee for the IBMA Fiddle Player of the Year award, and has been a multiple winner of the SPBGMA Fiddle Player of the Year award.
  • 2007, released solo project “Wow, Baby.”
  • 2010, married Sally Sandker, Rhonda Vincent’s daughter.

Best, Carroll

CARROLL BEST

  • From Haywood County, North Carolina
  • One of the earliest “melodic” or “chromatic” style banjo players, who began playing fiddle tunes note-for-note on the banjo in the 1940’s. He influenced such popularizers of the style as Bobby Thompson, Eric Weissberg and Bill Keith.
  • Was a farmer most of his life, but played banjo professionally with the Morris Brothers in the 1950’s.
  • 1990, received the Lunsford Award at the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival at Mars Hill College.
  • 1990, was a featured performer on the “Masters of the Banjo” tour organized by the National Council for the Traditional Arts.
  • 1994, received the North Carolina Heritage Award
  • Died in 1995 at the age of 64. He was shot dead by his brother Sam.
  • 2001, Copper Creek Records released an album of his banjo tunes: Say Old Man Can You Play the Banjo.

Bibelhauser, Aaron

AARON BIBELHAUSER

  • From Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Name is pronounced “Bee-bull-how-zer.”
  • A singer/songwriter/guitarist who has written songs recorded by Balsam Range, Del McCoury, Michael Cleveland, Dale Ann Bradley and other bluegrass artists.
  • He and his twin brother Adam have a Kentucky band called Relic.
  • He is a past winner of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest (at Merlefest).
  • 2015, released solo project Somewhere in Between (no label).
  • 2017, released Southwind album (no label).
  • 2019, appeared in the documentary film Flamekeeper: The Michael Cleveland Story (Validate Films).
  • 2019, released Wyoming Child album (no label) a tribute to a friend and fellow songwriter Mickey Clark, who died of cancer.
  • 2019, released Loving You Again album (no label) with his band Relic.

Bibey, Alan

ALAN BIBEY (AND GRASSTOWNE)

  • Mandolin player from North Carolina.
  • 1982, won the mandolin championship at the World’s Fair in Knoxville.
  • 1983, played with Wes Golding’s band Sure Fire.
  • 1985, formed The New Quicksilver with Terry Baucom, Randy Graham and Jimmy Haley.
  • 1990, was a founding member of IIIrd Tyme Out
  • 1997, formed BlueRidge with former members of The New Quicksilver (Baucom, Haley & Graham).
  • Owns a 1923 Lloyd Loar Gibson F-5 mandolin that was signed by Loar on the same date as the one owned and played by Bill Monroe.
  • 2002, released a solo project In the Blue Room (Sugar Hill).
  • 2006, formed Grasstowne with Phil Leadbetter, Steve Gulley and Jason Davis. After several personnel changes, the group became known as Alan Bibey and Grasstowne.
  • 2013, released an album of mandolin duets with Wayne Benson called Mandolin Chronicles (Pinecastle).
  • 2020, 2019, won the IBMA Award for Mandolin Player of the Year.
  • 2020, won the IBMA Award for Gospel Recording of the Year (for “Gonna Rise and Shine” (Mountain Fever)
    .

Big Country Bluegrass

BIG COUNTRY BLUEGRASS

  • From Independence, Virginia.
  • Formed by Tommy and Teresa Sells in 1987.
  • Perform what some call “Galax” or “Mt. Airy” bluegrass: a very hard core traditional sound.
  • James King is a former member of this band.
  • Their name came from the Jimmy Martin instrumental “Big Country” (performed by J.D. Crowe on banjo). That was the first song recorded by the band in 1989.
  • 1999, won a contest sponsored by Martha White flour on the occasion of their 100th anniversary for having the best rendition of the Martha White Theme. They got to perform it live on the Grand Ole Opry.
  • 2013 lineup: Tommy and Teresa Sells (mandolin/guitar), Eddie Gill (guitar, lead vocals), Lynwood Lunsford (banjo), Tony King (bass), Tim Laughlin (fiddle).
  • 2016, Lunsford (banjo) left the band after 9 years and was replaced by John Treadway.

RECOMMENDED ALBUMS:

Big Hillbilly Bluegrass

BIG HILLBILLY BLUEGRASS

  • From the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area.
  • Formed by guitarist Bob Perilla. Band has included Mike Munford (banjo) and Tad Marks (fiddle).
  • For years, they have performed at a club in Adams Morgan (a D.C. suburb) every Wednesday night.
  • Appeared in the Chris Rock movie “Head of State.”
  • Have made multiple Kennedy Center appearances.
  • Have made several tours overseas with the State Department.

Bills, The

THE BILLS

  • From Victoria, B.C., Canada
  • Formed in 1996 as the Bill Hilly Band.
  • Original members Marc Atkinson and Scott White (guitar, mandolin, fiddle) had formerly played jazz and rock. Added Chris Frye (guitar) and Glen Manders bass) to the band and began performing folk and acoustic music in various live music clubs around Victoria.
  • 2000, added Adrian Dolan (fiddle, accordian, piano). Released first album.
  • 2001, won Juno award (Canadian Grammy).
  • 2003, added fiddler Jeremy Penner. Recorded “Let Em Run” video, with aiplay on Canadian CMT. Shortened the name of the band to “The Bills.”
  • 2004, released Let Em Run album (Red House Records.)
  • 2012, released Yes Please album (Red House).

Biscuit Burners, The

THE BISCUIT BURNERS

  • From Asheville,North Carolina.
  • Formed in 2002 by Lizzie Hamilton (fiddle), Shannon Whitworth (guitar), Rocky Whittington (banjo) and Mary Lucey (bass). Hamilton had previously worked with the Steep Canyon Rangers.
  • Perform what they call “fiery mountain music.” A blend of old time, bluegrass and world music.
  • Started out as an all female-band, which explains the name … four women who were so engrossed in playing music that they forgot what was on the stove.
  • 2004, released first album Fiery Mountain Music (no label).
  • 2005, lineup included Lucey, Whitworth plus new members Bill Cardine (resophonic guitar), and Dan Bletz (guitar). Cardine and Lucey are married.
  • Cardine plays a 22-string resophonic guitar in the band (a cross between a Dobro™ and a sitar.) He spent time in India, studying music there.
  • The group conducts a “roots music in the schools” program to introduce elementary school children to appalachian, old-time, bluegrass and world music.
  • 2007, lineup included Lucey, Cardine, Bletz with new members Odessa Jorgensen (fiddle) and Wes Corbett (banjo).
  • 2007, Mary Lucey also worked with Uncle Earl on their “Waterloo, Tennessee” album and tour.
  • 2008, released Take Me Home album (no label).

Bishop, Lawrence

LAWRENCE BISHOP

  • From Monroe, Ohio.
  • He is the founding pastor of the Solid Rock Church in Monroe.
  • He played mandolin and wrote numerous bluegrass/country gospel songs.
  • He recorded six bluegrass albums with his band and many top bluegrass musicians including Tom Adams, Adam Steffey, Clay Hess and Michael Cleveland.
  • He also breeded and sold champion quarter horses. Before founding his church, he was a quarter horse auctioneer.
  • 2007, the Lawrence Bishop Band won the ICM Award for Inspirational Bluegrass Artist of the Year.
  • 2010, died at the age of 69.

Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys

THE BLACK MOUNTAIN BLUEGRASS BOYS

  • From Pocahontas County, West Virginia.
  • Formed in 1969 by Richard Hefner (banjo), Bill Hefner (guitar/mandolin), Harley Carpenter (guitar), Glen Irvine (mandolin) and Dwight Diller (bass).
  • They took their name from Black Mountain, near their home in WV.
  • For five years the band hosted a weekly radio program on WVMR in Richwood, West Virginia.
  • 1973, recorded “Million Lonely Days” album (Lark Records).
  • 1974, band changes: Dick Kimmel joined the band, playing mandolin. Wayne Erbson joined, playing fiddle.
  • 1974, recorded “Talk of the County” album (Lark Records).
  • 1998, Harley Carpenter passed away.
  • 1999-present band lineup: Richard Hefner (banjo), Mike Smith (bass), Chris Nickell (guitar), Rick Carpenter (mandolin). Rick Carpenter is the son of former band member Harley Carpenter.
  • 2001, released “Live at Midnight” (Pocahontas Communications).
  • 2014, played Carnegie Hall.

Blackwell, Curtis (and the Dixie Bluegrass Boys)

CURTIS BLACKWELL AND THE DIXIE BLUEGRASS BOYS

  • From Long Creek, South Carolina.
  • Formed in 1960 when seventeen-year-old guitarist/singer Curtis Blackwell with his brother Haskell (bass) and Junior Crowe (banjo; father of The Crowe Brothers). They won a talent competition sponsored by WNEG in Toccoa, Georgia. The prize was a performance on The Grand Ole Opry.
  • 1964, band included Sam Cobb (bass) Larry Jefferson (mandolin), Martin Beckman (guitar), Al Osteen (banjo), and Randall Collins (fiddle).
  • 1965, won first place at Asheville’s Bascom Lamar Lunsford’s Mountain Dance and Folk Festival.
  • 1970, won first place in the band contest at Union Grove Fiddler’s Convention.
  • During the mid 70’s, Curtis Blackwell and the Dixie Bluegrass Boys regrouped with South Carolina fiddler Verner Foster joining the band and Curtis’s son Terry Blackwell (mandolin) and Tom Roach (banjo). Wallace Crowe of the Crowe Brothers also worked with them on occasion.
  • 2010 lineup: Curtis Blackwell (guitar), Sam Cobb (bass), Vic Blackwell (mandolin), Charles Wood (banjo), and Chuck Nation (fiddle).

Bladerunners, The

THE BLADERUNNERS

  • From Riverside County, California.
  • Formed in 1998.
  • 1999, released Introducing the BladeRunners album (no label)
  • 2000, represented Southern California in the Pizza Hut International Bluegrass Showdown in Louisville.
  • Original members: Dave Dickey III (mandolin), Billy Reid (guitar) Sandy MacLean (guitar) and Dave Brown (bass.)
  • 2006, the group disbanded but re-formed a few years later with Dickey III (mandolin), John Corzine (guitar/lead vocals), Patrick Sauber (banjo) and Peggy Corzine (bass).
  • 2013, released “Another Day” album (no label).

Blake, Greg

GREG BLAKE

  • From Conifer, Colorado. Grew up in West Virginia; now lives in Kansas City.
  • A singer and guitarist who performs with several Colorado bands including Jeff Scroggins and Colorado and Troublesome Gulch.
  • He attended Bible College and Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri and played guitar for 15 years with Bluegrass Missourians. He also traveled for three years with the Harvest Quartet, a gospel group.
  • He is a past winner of the Kansas State flatpick guitar championship.
  • 2007, moved to Colorado and served as pastor of the Elk Creek Community Church in Conifer. He also formed his own band called Mountain Holler.
  • 2011, joined Jeff Scroggins and Colorado.
  • 2013, formed a duo with K.C. Groves (“Blake and Groves”), formerly with Uncle Earl.
  • 2015, released first solo project “Songs of Heart and Home” (no label).
  • 2019, formed a new band called Real Country, based out of Kansas City.

Blake, Norman

NORMAN BLAKE

  • From Chattanooga, Tennessee but grew up in Sulphur Springs and Rising Fawn, Georgia.
  • Best known as a guitarist and mandolinist. He plays all the bluegrass instruments.
  • Began performing in the 1950’s with a group called “The Dixie Drifters.”
  • Early 60’s, worked with Hylo Brown on WWVA, Wheeling, West Virginia.
  • A Nashville studio musician during the 1960’s and 1970’s. He has worked with many artists including Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earle and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
  • 1969-1970, was a regular on the Johnny Cash TV show.
  • Toured with John Hartford for two years.
  • 1975, married Nancy, a classical celloist from Independence, Missouri.
  • 1976, recorded Whiskey Before Breakfast album (Rounder).
  • 1978, with wife Nancy formed the Rising Fawn String Ensemble, performing what he calls “Chamber Bluegrass.”
  • 1987, recorded Blake & Rice (Rounder), the first of two duet albums with guitarist Tony Rice.
  • 2000, appeared on the soundtrack of the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou.”
  • 2001-2, toured with the “Down from the Mountain” tour.
  • 2011, released his 38th album, Green Light On The Southern (Plectraphone).
  • 2012, suffered a mild stroke.
  • 2015, released his 39th album Wood, Wire & Words (Plectraphone).j
  • 2017, was presented with a “Distinguished Achievement Award” by the IBMA.

Blaylock, Audie (and Redline)

AUDIE BLAYLOCK AND REDLINE

    • Born in El Paso, Texas; grew up in Lansing, Michigan. Lives in Garrett, Indiana.
    • 1983, first pro gig: playing mandolin with Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys.
    • 1990, worked with the late Red Allen (until his death in 1993).
    • 1993, a short stint with the Lynn Morris Band.
    • 1997, worked with Harley Allen.
    • 1999-2003, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, playing guitar.
    • 2001, recorded solo album “Trains Are the Only Way to Fly.”
    • 2004, formed his own band Redline.
    • 2004, was featured on “Tribute to Jimmy Martin” CD.
    • 2006, teamed up with fiddler Michael Cleveland to form “Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper featuring Audie Blaylock.”
    • 2007, left Michael Cleveland’s band to re-organize his band Redline.
    • 2009, released Audie Blaylock & Redline album (Rural Rhythm).
    • 2010, released Cryin’ Heart Blues album (Rural Rhythm).
    • 2011, released I’m Going Back to Old Kentucky: A Bill Monroe Celebration album (Rural Rhythm).
    • 2012, released Hard Country album (Rural Rhythm).
    • 2016, released The Road That Winds album (Patuxent).
    • 2019, released Originalist album (615 Hideaway). Redline included Evan Ward (banjo), Reed Jones (bass), and Mason Wright (fiddle.)

Blind Corn Liquor Pickers, The

THE BLIND CORN LIQUOR PICKERS

  • From Lexington, Kentucky.
  • A “slam-grass” band featuring Joel Serdenis (mandolin), Todd Anderson (bass), Tom Fassas (guitar), Travis Young (banjo).
  • Motto: “In Jug We Trust.”
  • Combine elements of rock, rockabilly, jazz and bluegrass.
  • Banjo player Travis Young lived in Japan, taught English there, works as a translator.
  • Guitarist Fassas built a geodesic dome “log house” and has a petroleum services business.
  • 2005, released Anywhere Else? album, produced by Bill Vorndick.

Blinky Moon Boys, The

THE BLINKY MOON BOYS

  • From Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia (band members commute to performances).
  • Formed in 1989 at the Winterhawk Bluegrass Festival (New York). Perform annually at the Galax Old Time Fiddler’s Convention (Virginia).
  • According to the band, the name comes from a joke about the Blinky Moon Tourist Court in Williamsburg, Kentucky.
  • Band members: Lynn Dugger (banjo), Jeff Huss (guitar), Darin Lawrence (mandolin), Bill Ledbetter (bass), Tom Brantley (fiddle).
  • Brantley is also a member of the gospel group New Road.
  • 2004, released first album Moonlite Theatre (Hay Holler).

Block, Ron

RON BLOCK

  • From Torrance, California. Lives in Nashville
  • His father owned a music store (Hogan’s Music) in Southern California. He grew up literally surrounded by musical instruments.
  • Began playing guitar at age 11; banjo at age 13.
  • 1983-1985, played with a Southern California band called Yankee Bluegrass.
  • 1985-1989, was a member of Weary Hearts with Chris Jones, Butch Baldassari and Eric Uglum.
  • 1991, worked with the Lynn Morris Band.
  • 1992, joined Alison Krauss and Union Station, playing banjo and guitar. Regarded the “spiritual touchstone” of the group because of his deep religious faith.
  • Has written songs that have been recorded by Alison Krauss, Randy Travis, Rhonda Vincent, the Cox Family, Dan Tyminski, many others.
  • 2000, appeared and performed in the movie and soundtrack “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
  • 2001, released solo album of original gospel music, Faraway Land (Rounder).
  • 2004, delivered the keynote address at the IBMA World of Bluegrass business conference in Louisville.
  • 2005, released second solo album Doorway (Rounder).
  • 2013, released album Walking Song (Rounder).
  • 2015, released Hogan’s House of Music album (no label), named after his father’s music store in southern California.

Blue and Lonesome

BLUE AND LONESOME

  • From the San Francisco Bay area (Petaluma, CA).
  • A traditional band formed in 2007 by mandolin player Ed Neff. Also includes Mike Wilhoyte (guitar). Larry Cohea (bass), Paul Shelasky (fiddle) and Jeff King (banjo).
  • Band members are veteran Bay Area bluegrass musicians, having worked with such bands as High Country, The Good Old Persons, David Grisman, the Vern Williams Band and many others.

Bluegrass 45, The

THE BLUEGRASS 45

  • From Kobe, Japan
  • A legendary band from Japan that formed in 1967 and made its American debut in 1971 at Bill Monroe’s Beanblossom Festival.
  • Also includes the Watanabe Brothers (Toshio and Saburo), Japan’s first bluegrass festival promoters. They also publish the magazine “Moonshiner,” and started Red Clay Records in Japan. Saburo was elected to the IBMA Board of Directors in 1995.
  • The name comes from “Train 45,” “Colt 45,” and the year 1945 when bluegrass music was born.
  • Appeared in the movie “Bluegrass—Country Soul,” featuring artists appearing at Carlton Haney’s Camp Springs (NC) festival.
  • 2017, past members of the band celebrated their 50th anniversary with an appearance at the IBMA’s Wide Open Bluegrass festival and other venues in the USA.
  • 2019, founding member and banjo player Saburo “Sab” Watanabe died at the age of 69.

Bluegrass Band, The

THE BLUEGRASS BAND

  • Formed originally in 1972 by Joseph “Butch” Robins, a former member of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys (banjo). Other members: Alan O”Bryant (guitar), Blaine Sprouse (fiddle), David Sebring (bass) and Ed Dye (bass.) They released one album “Another Saturday Night” on Voyager Records.
  • 1973, disbanded but Robins re-assembled a new version of the band 13 years later (1989) with Dudley Connell, Larry Stephenson, Ronnie and Rickie Simpkins, Wayne Henderson and several other musicians. They recorded four albums of bluegrass standards and gospel music, the first recordings for Kerry Hay’s “Hay Holler” record label which at the time sold their albums primarily by mail order on television info-mercials.

Bluegrass Album Band, The

THE BLUEGRASS ALBUM BAND

Bluegrass Alliance, The

THE BLUEGRASS ALLIANCE

  • From Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Formed in 1968 by Dan Crary (guitar), Wayne Stewart (mandolin), Buddy Spurlock (banjo), Lonnie Peerce (fiddle) and Harry Shealor (bass, AKA Ebo Walker). Danny Jones (mandolin) was also an early member of this band. Peerce eventually became the leader of the band.
  • Former members of the band: Sam Bush (mandolin), Tony Rice (guitar), Vince Gill (guitar), Marshall Billingsley (bass), Al White (mandolin), Bill Millet (banjo), Courtney Johnson (banjo) and Curtis Burch (guitar).
  • They were the first group to use the term “newgrass.” (The New Grass Revival emerged from this band in 1971.)
  • 1969, released self-titled album (American Heritage).
  • 1970, released “Newgrass” album (American Heritage).
  • 1975, released “Kentucky Blue” album (American Heritage).
  • Broke up for good in 1978.
  • 1996, Lonnie Peerce died at age 73.
  • 1998, Barry Palmer, a banjo-player and long-time fan of the BG Alliance, formed a new group using the same name in Atlanta, Georgia. Peerce had given Barry the rights to the name before he died. This group recorded an album called “Re-Alliance” in 2001.

Bluegrass Brothers, The

THE BLUEGRASS BROTHERS

  • From the Salem/Roanoke, Virginia area.
  • Formed in 1992 by brothers Robert (banjo) and Victor Dowdy (bass). They were later joined by Victor’s sons Steven (guitar) and Donald (Dobro™), adding another set of brothers to the band.
  • 2004, released The Church of Yesterday album on Hay Holler Records.
  • 2014, released Generations album on Mountain Fever Records.
  • 2018, Victor Dowdy retired from the band.
  • 2019, Steven and Donald formed a new band called The Dowdy Brothers.

Bluegrass Cardinals, The

THE BLUEGRASS CARDINALS (See also DAVID PARMLEY)

  • Originally from Los Angeles, California. Moved to Virginia in 1976.
  • Formed in 1974. Original members: Don Parmley and son David (who was 15 at the time), Randy Graham and Bill Bryson.
  • Don Parmley (banjo) is a native of Monticello, Kentucky. He moved to Los Angeles in 1956 and performed with several LA bands including the Golden State Boys and The Blue Diamond Boys (later The Hillmen)—with Vern Gosdin and Chris Hillman. He also worked with Glen Campbell. As a studio musician, he played banjo on the TV soundtrack “The Beverly Hillbillies.” (While Flatt and Scruggs recorded the theme song and made guest appearances on the show, it was Parmley who played banjo on the program’s soundtrack.) He was employed as a school bus driver when he formed the Bluegrass Cardinals in 1974.
  • 1976, released first album The Bluegrass Cardinals (Tacoma/Briar) and subsequently moved to Virginia.
  • 1977, released Welcome to Virginia album (Rounder).
  • 1978, released Livin’ in the Good Old Days album (CMH).
  • 1979, released Cardinal Soul album (CMH).
  • 1980, released Live and On Stage album (CMH).
  • 1980, released Sunday Morning Singin’ album (CMH).
  • 1981, released Where Rainbows Touch Down album (CMH).
  • 1983 released Cardinal Class album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1984 released Home is Where the Heart Is album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1986, released Shining Path album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1990, released New and Old Favorites album (BGC).
  • 1993, David Parmley left the band to pursue a solo career. He was replaced by Jeff Autry.
  • 1994, released My Kind of Grass album (BGC).
  • 1996, released Mountain Girl album (BGC).
  • 1997, the group disbanded for good.
  • 2000, Don and David re-united to do a few “Cardinal Reunion” shows with Steve Day and Mike Anglin of Continental Divide.
  • 2007, the State of Kentucky put up a commemorative road marker that reads “Welcome to Wayne County, Home of Don Parmley, Founding Member of the Bluegrass Cardinals.”
  • 2015, David Parmley formed a new band called David Parmley and the Cardinal Tradition. He had been driving a bus for Rascall Flatts.
  • 2016, Don Parmley died.

Bluegrass Etc.

BLUEGRASS ETC

  • Formed in San Diego, California in 1980
  • A trio featuring John Moore (guitar, mandolin) and Dennis Caplinger (banjo, fiddle). Other members of the trio has included John’s sister Julie Moore (guitar), Jim Green (bass), Steve Spurgin (bass/guitar), Larry Park (bass/guitar), Curtis Jones (guitar) and Bill Bryson (bass).
  • John Moore also played mandolin with the group California. He gave Chris Thile and Sean Watkins (of Nickel Creek) music lessons.
  • Caplinger is a studio musician and record producer in San Diego. He has played in bands with Richard Greene, Byron Berline, Jann Browne, Tim Flannery, others. He also produces many of the CMH “Pickin On” series of albums.
  • 1982, released first album “Tree Ripe and Ready to Pick” (no label).
  • 1995, released self-titled Bluegrass Etc. album (Tricopolis).
  • 1996, released Travelin’ Band album (Tricopolis).
  • 1999, released Home Is Where the Heart Is album (Tricopolis).
  • 2001, appeared on a Cingular Wireless TV commercial that was aired nationally.

Bluegrass Express

BLUEGRASS EXPRESS

  • From Illinois.
  • Formed in 1980 by Gary and Greg Underwood (guitar and bass, father and son, respectively). Later Greg’s son Jacob joined the band on banjo, making Bluegrass Express a unique “three-generations bluegrass band.”
  • Andy Hatfield (mandolin) won first place in the 2013 National Mandolin Championship. He won the Guitar Championship in 2011.
  • Jacob is also a multi-instrumentalist. He has won championships on mandolin, fiddle and guitar in a variety of competitions.
  • 2014, released their 8th album “In Our Own Words” (no label).
  • 2016, released “Answer to My Prayer” album (no label).

Bluegrass Outlaws, The

THE BLUEGRASS OUTLAWS

  • From Sevierville, Tennessee.
  • Formed in 2016 by Chris Monk (banjo) and his wife Becky Webb Monk (bass). Becky is sister to Darrell Webb.
  • Other members of the band: Wesley Wolfe (guitar), Evan Maynard (mandolin) and Cody Bauer (fiddle).
  • Their first “gig” was the band competition at SPBGMA convention in Nashville (2016) and they took first place.
  • 2016, released self-titled album (no label).

Bluegrass Patriots, The

THE BLUEGRASS PATRIOTS

  • From Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Formed in 1980 by banjo player Ken Seaman with Glenn Zankey (guitar), Dan Rogers (bass), Dan Mitchell (fiddle) and Willie McDonald (mandolin).
  • Achieved national acclaim with their 1991 recording of “When You and I Were Young, Maggie.”
  • Bass player Dan Rogers is a professional Santa Claus (he has a REAL white beard).
  • They recorded six albums for Red Feather, Copper Creek and Turquoise Records.
  • Disbanded in 2011 after 31 years together (same band).

RECOMMENDED ALBUMS:

Bluegrass Regulators, The

THE BLUEGRASS REGULATORS

  • From Portland, Oregon.
  • Formed in 2009 by Luke Dewhirst (banjo), Martin Stevens (fiddle/mandolin), Molly Adkins (guitar), Jake Dewhirst (guitar) and Josh Adkins (bass).
  • Luke and Jake are brothers; Molly and Josh are brother & sister, all in their teens when the band formed.
  • Luke is a banjo prodigy and won the Rockygrass banjo competition in 2009 (at age 17).
  • Jake Dewhirst is enrolled in the U.S. Military Academy, West Point.
  • 2010, released self-titled album.
  • 2011, showcased at IBMA.

Bluegrass Thoroughbreds, The

THE BLUEGRASS THOROUGHBREDS

  • From Winchester, Kentucky.
  • A family band featuring the Malicote Family: James, his wife Marcie, daughter Marcie Kaye.
  • They work on a horse farm near Lexington, famous for the world’s greatest thoroughbred, Man-o-War.
  • Formed in 1974, went full time in 1992.
  • Appeared on the TV show “You Can Be a Star.”
  • As of 2002, have recorded 11 albums to their credit.

Blue Highway

BLUE HIGHWAY

  • From Johnson City, Tennessee
  • First gig: 12/31/94 (New Year’s Eve).
  • Band members: Tim Stafford (guitar), Wayne Taylor (bass), Shawn Lane (mandolin), Jason Burleson (banjo), Rob Ickes (Dobro™). When the band formed, Tony Brown played banjo and fiddle. He was replaced by Burleson very early in the band’s development.
  • 1996, won IBMA awards for Emerging Artist of the Year and Album of the Year (for “It’s a Long Long Road.”
  • 1997, won IBMA award for Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year (for “God Moves in a Windstorm”).
  • 1998, Burleson took a leave of absence from the band and was replaced by Tom Adams. Burleson returned to the band two years later.
  • 2004, won IBMA Award for Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year (for “Wondrous Love”).
  • 2008, won IBMA Award for Song of the Year (for “Through the Window of a Train”).
  • 2012, won IBMA Award for Vocal Group of the Year.
  • They are one of the few bands (if not the only band) in bluegrass to keep all of its original members for 20+ years.
  • 2015, Rob Ickes retired from the band and was replaced by Gavin Largent of Winchester, Virginia, a former member of Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper.
  • 2018. Largent was replaced by Justin Moses.
  • 2019, Moses was replaced by Gary Hultman (formerly with the Boxcars and Highland Travelers).

RECOMMENDED ALBUMS:

Blue Mafia

BLUE MAFIA

  • From Eaton, Indiana.
  • Formed in 2011 by husband/wife team Dara mandolin) and Tony Wray (guitar). Other members: Cody Looper (banjo), Mike Gregory (bass), Kent Todd (fiddle).
  • Tony Wray was supervisor of Gibson’s banjo shop in Nashville from 2009 until the flood of 2010 which destroyed the Opry Mills factory. He also worked Mike Snider on the Grand Ole Opry.
  • Dana Wray is daughter of Dave Denman, an early member of Alison Krauss’ band Union Station. She was also personal assistant to Tom T. Hall.
  • 2012, won the band competition at DelFest.
  • 2013, released first album My Cold Heart (no label).
  • 2015, released Pray for Rain album (Pinecastle Records).
  • 2016, released Hanging Tree album (Pinecastle Records).
  • 2018, Tony Wray joined the Tyminski Band playing guitar and banjo. Fiddler Kent Todd also took time off for his family. Blue Mafia suspended its touring schedule.

Blue Moon Rising

BLUE MOON RISING

  • From East Tennessee.
  • Formed in 2000 by Chris West.
  • 2002, released first album Where Wood Meets Steel (no label).
  • Members (2005): Randall Massengill (guitar), Justin Jenkins (banjo), Tim Tipton (bass), Chris West (guitar), Keith Garrett (mandolin).
  • 2005, released On the Rise album (Lonesome Day).
  • 2006, founding member Justin Moses (Dobro™/fiddle), re-joined the band after a stint with Sierra Hull.
  • 2007, Moses left again to join the Dan Tyminski band (and Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, 2010)
  • 2008, released One Lonely Shadow album (Lonesome Day.)
  • 2008 lineup: Keith Garrett (mandolin), Justin Jenkins (banjo), Chris West (guitar). Massengill and Tipton left to form a new band called Brand New Strings.
  • 2009, Keith Garrett left the band to form The Boxcars with Adam Steffey and Ronnie Stewart.
  • 2010, Jenkins left the band to work with Grasstowne.
  • 2010, released Strange New World album with new lineup: Chris West (guitar), Brandon Bostic (guitar), Tony Mowell (bass), Owen Platt (banjo). West is the only original member remaining.
  • 2014, performed several reunion shows with original members Keith Garrett and Justin Jenkins, and they decided to book additional shows with this lineup as schedules allow. Garrett and Jenkins also perform with the Boxcars and Grasstowne respectively.
  • 2018, Garrett, Tipton, Jenkins and Massengill all returned to the band, joining Bostic and West.
  • 2019, released After All This Time album (Mountain Fever).

Blue Mule

BLUE MULE

From Roanoke, Virginia.
Formed in 2003.
Took their name from the Peter Rowan song “Blue Mule” (which he recorded with Muleskinner and Old & In the Way).
Band members include Tom Ohmsen (mandolin), John McBroom (bass), Tim Rhodes (banjo), Eli Williams (guitar).
Besides traditional bluegrass, they play “BlueJazz, BlueRock, BlueCountry and BlueBlues.”
Ohmsen is owner of Flat Five Recording Studio and has authored several instruction books for guitar and mandolin.
2005, released first CD “Enter the Mule”
2008, released “Scratchy.”
2013, released “This Way or That?”

Blue Mule (Canada)

BLUE MULE (Canada)

  • From Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • Formed in 1980 by Peter Deachman and Geoff Somers.
  • 1992, won the Winterhawk band contest.
  • 1993, Deachman was voted “composer of the year” (for his song “Norman’s Ride”) at the Central Canadian Bluegrass Awards.
  • 1994, won Central Canadian Regional Pizza Hut International Bluegrass Showdown.
  • 2002, disbanded. Deachman formed a new band called Handsome Molly.

BlueRidge

BLUERIDGE

  • From North Carolina.
  • Formed in 1998 by Terry Baucom, Alan Bibey, Randy Graham and Jimmy Haley. Bibey is the only remaining original member.
  • Nucleus of the group formed in 1985 as The New Quicksilver. They disbanded for more than a decade and reunited as Baucom, Bibey, Graham and Haley, then as BlueRidge.
  • 1999, released Common Ground album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2001, changed name to Baucom, Bibey and BlueRidge.
  • 2002, released Come Along with Me album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2002 lineup: Baucom (banjo), Bibey (mandolin), Junior Sisk (guitar) and Eddie Biggerstaff (bass).
  • 2003, Baucom left to re-join Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Was replaced by Joey Cox. Band name changed to Alan Bibey and BlueRidge, then simply “BlueRidge.”
  • 2004, released Side By Side album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2006, released gospel project Gettin Ready (Pinecastle).
  • 2006, Bibey left to form a new band “Grasstowne” with Steve Gulley (formerly of Mountain Heart) and Phil Leadbetter (formerly of Wildfire).
  • 2007, BlueRidge disbanded.

Blue Sky Boys, The

THE BLUE SKY BOYS

  • A “brothers duet” from Hickory, North Carolina featuring Bill and Earl Bolick.
  • One of the most popular and durable country music acts of the 1930’s and 1940’s.
  • Influenced by the Monroe Brothers, The Delmore Brothers and the Dixon Brothers.
  • Signed with Victor (Bluebird) Records in 1936. They were very successful as recording artists, not because they had big hit records, but because of steady, long-term sales. Today, their records are collector’s items.
  • Best known for smooth, gentle harmonies and a tasteful repertoire of songs and hymns.
  • When World War II started, Bill and Earl both joined the Armed Forces. After the war, they resumed performing at radio stations across the south and recording again for Victor.
  • Were regulars on the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, Louisiana.
  • Turned down an offer to join the Grand Ole Opry, due to prior commitments.
  • Stopped performing together in 1951—due to changing trends in country music. Bill became a postal inspector and Earl worked for Lockheed Aircraft.

Boatwright, Ginger

GINGER BOATWRIGHT

  • Born in Columbus, Mississippi; grew up in Palmetto, Alabama. Lived in Nashville for 26 years, then moved to Chugiak, Alaska.
  • 1969, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and was given three weeks to live. Fortunately, the doctors were wrong.
  • 1972, formed Red, White and Bluegrass with then-husband Grant Boatwright and Dale Whitcomb (banjo). They were based in Georgia and had a hit country single, “July, You’re a Woman.”
  • 1980, formed an all-female band called the Bushwhackers, with Susie Monick, Ingrid Herman Reese (Woody Herman’s daughter), and Kathy Chiavola.
  • 1982-1996, she was guitarist and lead singer with The Doug Dillard Band.
  • As a session vocalist in Nashville, her credits include commercials for Tony Lama boots, Coors beer and Pizza Hut.
  • 1991, released solo project Fertile Ground (Flying Fish Records).
  • In 1994, had breast cancer which required major surgery.
  • May 1991, received a college degree in human resources management.
  • 1999, released “Sipsey” album (no label).
  • 2001, released “Inside the Gate” album (no label).

Boehler, Cindy

CINDY BOEHLER

  • From Limon, Colorado. Lives in Nebraska.
  • A singer/songwriter who after raising her children began a career in bluegrass music with the release of her first album in 2006 with guests The Jordanaires.
  • Some have called her “The Karen Carpenter of Bluegrass.”

Boner, Dan

DAN BONER

  • From Elizabethton, Tennessee. He is originally from New Jersey.
  • At age 11, he performed with a group called “The Strings of Gospel.”
  • A multi-instrumentalist, he is director of the Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies Program at East Tennessee State University. Most people call him “Professor Dan.” He also leads the school’s “ETSU Bluegrass Pride” ensemble.
  • 2018, joined the Becky Buller Band, playing guitar.
  • 2019, released solo project West of West Virginia (Daysight).

Boone, Troy

TROY BOONE

  • From Erwin, Tennessee.
  • Began performing bluegrass music as a teenager. Began playing banjo, then guitar, then chose mandolin as his primary instrument.
  • 2013, enrolled in East Tennessee State University’s bluegrass music program.
  • 2015, released his first album “First Impressions” (no label).

Boohers, The

THE BOOHERS (THE BOOHER FAMILY)

  • From Johnson City,Tennessee.
  • Formed in 2000.
  • Gary Booher (banjo) and his wife Lora (guitar) lead the band with sons Jamie (bass) and Joe (mandolin).
  • 2005, released album on Lonesome Day Records, recorded in Tom T. Hall’s studio.
  • Gary is a DJ on the World Wide Bluegrass radio network (internet radio).
  • 2007, Jamie joined Grasstowne (playing bass) and Joe joined NewFound Road (playing mandolin.)

Borrowed Tyme

BORROWED TYME

  • From Indiana (south of Indianapolis).
  • Formed in 2015 by Roger Brown (Mandolin), Josh Woods (Banjo), Caleb Garrett (Bass) and Joey Coppage (Guitar). Garrett and Coppage were later replaced by Dan Canerday (guitar) and Rick Wilson (bass).
  • The band name comes from a saying attributed to mandolinist Brown’s now-deceased father: “We’re all living on borrowed time.”
  • They have appeared on the TV Show “Antique Archaeology” (American Pickers) in Nashville.
  • 2018, released self-titled album (Bonfire).

Bowers, Bryan

BRYAN BOWERS

  • From Yorktown, Virginia. Moved to Seattle, Washington in 1971.
  • Learned to play autoharp after hearing Mike Seeger of the New Lost City Ramblers.
  • After moving to Seattle, he played on the street for coins and in bars for tips.
  • 1966, traveled east in his panel truck called “Old Yeller.” Performed at the Cellar Door in Washington, D.C. and was heard by the Dillards, the New Grass Revival, and the Seldom Scene. All three bands have since worked with Bryan both in concert and in the recording studio.
  • For several years, he traveled with as many as 12 autoharps. Spent three hours before each performance tuning them. “I was basically a professional piano tuner,” he says. “I got burnt out.”
  • 1993, he was inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame.
  • “Bryan is to the autoharp what Earl Scruggs was to the banjo.” (Bluegrass Unlimited)

RECOMMENDED ALBUMS:

Bowen, Jimmy

JIMMY BOWEN (AND SANTA FE)

  • From Charlotte, North Carolina. Lives in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee
  • Began performing at the age of 8
  • Has a degree in accounting from the Citadel.
  • 1988-1994, played mandolin and sang tenor with the Country Gentlemen.
  • 1995, joined Continental Divide. Also started his own accounting firm.
  • 1998, formed his own band, Santa Fe and released several bluegrass albums.
  • 2009, released “Single Down in San Antone,”a country album.
  • 2011, made his acting debut in the FX TV drama, “Outlaw Country.”

Bowman, John

JOHN R. BOWMAN

  • From Mt. Airy, North Carolina; lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee
  • Plays all the bluegrass instruments: banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, bass
  • 1991, joined Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver
  • 1992, joined Alison Krauss and Union Station (took Dan Tyminski’s place for 15 months)
  • 1994, married Becky Isaacs and joined the Isaacs
  • 2000, released Remember Me album (Mountain Home).
  • 2003, released Take This Road album (Mountain Home).
  • 2004, left the Isaacs to be a stay-at-home dad for his children. He also taught 4th grade at a local Christian school in LaFollette, Tennessee.
  • 2008, joined J.D. Crowe and the New South, playing bass
  • 2009, formed The Boxcars with Adam Steffey and Ronnie Stewart.
  • 2011, released Family Chain: The Music of Joe Isaacs album (Mountain Home)
  • 2014, released Worship Him album (Mountain Home) and left the Boxcars to pursue his calling to the Christian ministry.

Bowman, Ronnie

RONNIE BOWMAN

  • From King, North Carolina. Lives in Bassett, Virginia.
  • Real name: William Franklin Bowman.
  • First band: “The Carolina Travelers.” Also performed with his parents and four sisters in a group called “The Bowman Gospel Singers.”
  • Before his professional music career, had a managerial position with the Sara Lee Corporation in Winston-Salem, NC.
  • 1987, joined The Lost and Found.
  • 1990, joined the Lonesome River Band, first as guitarist, then as bass player, singing lead. He recorded several albums with this band including the landmark “Carrying the Tradition” album which won the IBMA Award for Album of the Year in 1992.
  • 1994, recorded first solo album Cold Virginia Night (Rebel Records) which won the IBMA award for Album of the Year (1995). “Cold Virginia Night” also won Song of the Year.
  • 1995, 1998, 1999, won IBMA award for “Male Vocalist of the Year.”
  • 1995, his song “The Healing Kind” was a hit for country singer Dan Seals.
  • 1998, released The Man I’m Tryin to Be album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1999, won IBMA Award for “Song of the Year” and “Gospel Recording of the Year” for his recording of “Three Rusty Nails.”
  • 2001, left the Lonesome River Band to form his own band called “Ronnie Bowman and the Committee.”
  • 2002, released Starting Over album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2003, recorded and toured with Lee Ann Womack. Also toured with Rebecca Lynn Howard and filled in for an ailing Wayne Taylor in Blue Highway.
  • 2004, his song “It’s Getting Better All The Time” became a #1 hit for Brooks and Dunn.
  • 2005, released It’s Gettin’ Better All The Time album (Koch).
  • 2007, his song “Never Wanted Nothing More” became a #1 hit for Kenny Chesney.
  • 2012, began performing with Grasstowne.
  • 2012, formed a part-time band with Don Rigsby and Kenny Smith called The Rambling Rooks.
  • 2013, worked with The Likely Culprits, a Nashville based bluegrass/Americana group.

Boxcars, The

THE BOXCARS

  • Members of this band are from East Tennessee, East Kentucky, Virginia.
  • Formed in 2010 after the dissolution of the Dan Tyminski Band (of which several were members).
  • Original band included Adam Steffey (mandolin), Ron Stewart (banjo/fiddle), John Bowman (banjo/fiddle/guitar), Keith Garrett (guitar), Harold Nixon (bass).
  • 2010, released The Boxcars album (Mountain Home).
  • 2011, won the IBMA Award for Emerging Artist of the Year.
  • 2011, 2012, 2013 won the IBMA Award for Instrumental Group of the Year.
  • 2012, released All In album (Mountain Home).
  • 2013, released It’s Just A Road album (Mountain Home).
  • 2014 (June), John Bowman left the band to pursue his calling to the Christian ministry. He was replaced by 20-year old Gary Hultman (Dobro™).
  • 2016, released Familiar With the Ground album (Mountain Home).
  • 2017, the group disbanded. Ronnie Stewart joined the Seldom Scene. Adam Steffey, Keith Garrett and Gary Hultman formed a new band, the Highland Travelers.

Boyce, Furman (and the Harmony Express)

FURMAN BOYCE (AND THE HARMONY EXPRESS)

  • From Greer, South Carolina.
  • Plays guitar and mandolin. Early in his career, he worked with Carl Story and Charlie Moore
  • 1972, retired from music.
  • 1985, returned to music after giving a friend guitar lessons and having his love for music rekindled. He formed a gospel group called The Harmony Express.
  • They hosted a weekly cable TV show from Greenville, South Carolina.
  • They recorded several albums on the Atteiram label.

Boyd, Kathy (and Phoenix Rising)

KATHY BOYD AND PHOENIX RISING

  • From Taulatin, Oregon.
  • Features Kathy Boyd (bass, lead vocals), Tim Crosby (mandolin, fiddle, and guitar), Tom Tower (banjo and Dobro™) and Dennis Nelson (guitar.)
  • 2009, released Walk Humbly album (no label).
  • 2013, released their 4th album “Spending Every Christmas with You.”
  • 2015, won Bluegrass Band of the Year award from the International Music & Entertainment Association.

Boys from Indiana, The

THE BOYS FROM INDIANA

  • From Sunman, Indiana.
  • Formed in 1973 by three brothers—Aubrey, Tom and Jerry Holt. Tom and Jerry retired from the band in 1994. Paul “Moon” Mullins was also an original member of this band (playing fiddle).
  • They were called “the top show band in bluegrass” because of their entertaining style and wide assortment of original songs chronicling the history of bluegrass and country music.
  • They were frequent guests on the Grand Ole Opry.
  • They recorded 20 albums for Rebel, King Bluegrass and other labels during their career.
  • 1988, performed at the White House for President Ronald Reagan.
  • 1989, proclaimed official Ambassadors of Bluegrass by Governor of Indiana.
  • 1998, Tony Holt, Jeff Holt and Harlan Gabbard, the sons of Aubrey Holt, Jerry Holt and Harley Gabbard, formed a band called The Wildwood Valley Boys.
  • 2003, Harley Gabbard died, December 29.
  • 2017, Aubrey Holt died, October 5.

RECOMMENDED ALBUMS:

  • Good Time Blues (Rebel Records, 2006) This is a compilation of some of their classic recordings.

 

Bradley, Dale Ann

DALE ANN BRADLEY

  • From Pineville, Kentucky. Her father was a coal miner and a Baptist minister.
  • Began performing at age 14 with a group called Back Porch Grass.
  • 1988, worked at Renfro Valley.
  • 1990, joined the New Coon Creek Girls as lead singer and guitarist.
  • 1997, began performing as Dale Ann Bradley and Coon Creek.
  • 1997, released her first solo album East Kentucky Morning (Pinecastle).
  • 1999. released Old Southern Porches album (Pinecastle).
  • 2001, released Songs Of Praise And Glory album (Pinecastle).
  • 2001, released Cumberland River Dreams album (Doobie Shea).
  • 2003, released Send the Angels album (Mountain Home).
  • 2009, released Catch Tomorrow album (Compass).
  • 2011, released Don’t Turn Your Back album (Compass).
  • 2012, won the IBMA award for Female Vocalist of the Year for the fifth time (she also won in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011).
  • 2012, formed the band Sister Sadie with Tina Adair (mandolin), 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.
  • 2013, released Somewhere South of Crazy album (Compass).
  • 2015, released Pocket Full of Keys album (Pinecastle).
  • 2017, released Dale Ann Bradley album (Pinecastle).
  • 2018, was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame.
  • 2019, released The Hard Way album (Pinecastle).
  • 2020, released Oh Darlin’ album, with Tima Adair (mandolin and vocals) under the name “Bradley & Adair” (Pinecastle).

Brand New Strings

BRAND NEW STRINGS

  • From East Tennessee.
  • Formed in 2008 by Randall Massengill (guitar), Tim Tipton (bass), Mike Ramsey (mandolin), Stuart Wyrick (banjo) and Matt Leadbetter (resophonic guitar).
  • Massengill, Tipton and Leadbetter are former members of Blue Moon Rising.
  • Massengill, Ramsey and Wyrick are former members of the gospel group New Road.
  • 2010, released first album No Strings Attached on Rural Rhythm Records.

Branscomb, Louisa

LOUISA BRANSCOMB

  • Originally from upstate New York. Has also lived in the state of Alabama, Washington and at her farm “Woodsong” in Northern Georgia.
  • She was one of the first women to lead a full-time bluegrass band. In 1971, she led an all-female band called Bluegrass Liberation. She later led the North Carolina group Boot Hill, and another all-female band called Cherokee Rose (which also included Missy Raines and Lynn Morris). She has also fronted an Atlanta-based band called Born Gypsy, playing mandolin.
  • She is also considered one of the first female banjo players. Alison Brown credits Louisa as being her inspiration to play banjo (Alison’s first exposure to bluegrass, on her 10th birthday, was Louisa’s band Boot Hill).
  • She has written many songs for other artists. Her “Steel Rails” was a hit record and Grammy-winner for Alison Krauss and Union Station as well as John Denver.
  • She has an M.A. in counseling form Wake Forest University; a Ph.D from Georgia State University. She is a psychologist and author.
  • Hobby: training thoroughbred horses.
  • 2011, Compass Records released I’ll Take Love, an album of Louisa Branscomb songs featuring John Cowan, Claire Lynch, The Whites, Dave Peterson, Josh Williams, Alison Krauss and other artists.
  • 2014, her song “Dear Sister” (as recorded by Claire Lynch) won Song of the Year at the IBMA Awards.
  • 2017, was presented with a “Distinguished Achievement Award” by the IBMA.
  • 2018, was inducted into the Alabama Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

Brashear, Chris

CHRIS BRASHEAR (AND THE PERFECT STRANGERS)

  • From Pelham, Massachusetts. Grew up in Ozark, Missouri.
  • 1988, moved to Oregon and played fiddle with Kentucky Rose.
  • 1992, worked in Tucson with Peter McLaughlin and the Frog Mountain Trio.
  • 1995, moved to Italy for two years while his wife was studying there.
  • On his return to the US, he played bass with Laurie Lewis and jazz violin with the Maurizio Geri Swingtet.
  • 1999, released first solo project and formed a band called “The Perfect Strangers” with Peter McLaughlin, Jody Stecher, Bob Black and Forrest Rose (Rose passed away in 2005).
  • 2007, joined Robin and Linda Williams as part of “Their Fine Group.”

Breakaway

BREAKAWAY

  • From Burlington, Vermont.
  • Formed in 1988 by banjo player Scott Hopkins.
  • 1994, won first place in the band contest at Winterhawk Bluegrass Festival (NY).
  • Were regulars at a club called “Sneakers” in Burlington.
  • 2000, performed with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.
  • Recorded four albums altogether.

Breaking Grass

BREAKING GRASS

  • From Booneville, Mississippi.
  • Formed in 2010. Band members: Cody Farrar (guitar/lead vocals/songwriter), Tyler White (fiddle), Thelton Vanderford (banjo), Zach Wooten (mandolin), and Britt Sheffield (bass).
  • 2011, won first place at the State of Mississippi Bluegrass Band Championship, first place in the Athens Old Time Fiddler’s Bluegrass Band Competition in Alabama and first place in the Uncle Dave Macon Days Bluegrass Band Competition in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
  • 2011, recorded first self-titled album.
  • 2012, won B.O.R.N. (Band On The Rise Nationally) award.
  • 2012, released second album Running With the Moon (no label) produced by Stephen Mougin.
  • 2014, released Just As Strong album (Mountain Fever).
  • 2016, banjo player Vanderford left the band and was replaced by Jody Elmore.
  • 2017, released Warning Signs album (Mountain Fever).

Bressler Brothers, The

THE BRESSLER BROTHERS

  • From Eminence, Missouri.
  • Brothers Andy (guitar) and Alvin (vocals) Bressler.
  • 1965, began performing on the Current River Opry in Summersville, MO.
  • 2000, formed the Bressler Brothers band including Alvin’s sons Bruce and Scott.
  • 2001, performed a song they wrote (“The Bluegrass King Has Gone to Heaven”) at the ribbon cutting ceremony of the Bill Monroe Homeplace in Rosine, Kentucky.

Brewer, Gary (and the Kentucky Ramblers)

GARY BREWER (AND THE KENTUCKY RAMBLERS)

  • From Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Played rock music until “I got run over by a car,” he says. While in the hospital, he began playing acoustic guitar, singing old songs, and “that’s where I really started getting into the music.” He and his two rock ‘n’ roll buddies formed the “The Kentucky Ramblers” in 1980.
  • His father is a bluegrass musician, as was his grandfather. His band includes his father Finley (guitar) and his two sons Wayne (bass) and Mason (mandolin).
  • Nickname: “Stretch.” His record label is called Stretchgrass Productions.
  • He often refers to his music as “brewgrass.”
  • 1979, formed his band The Kentucky Ramblers. Around that time he purchased Bill Monroe’s bus which was named “Bluegrass Breakdown.”
  • 1982, recorded his first album, “Lonesome Road.”
  • 1989, started the “Strictly Bluegrass” bluegrass festival in Louisville.
  • 1994, selected to tour with Bill and James Monroe’s “Father and Son” Winter Tour.
  • Since 1986, he has been under contract with the City of Louisville, performing for the Mayor and other city functions.
  • 1994, toured with Bill Monroe including a tour to Europe.
  • 1995, first guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry
  • 2002, won two gold medals at the U.S. Tai-Kwon-Do championships, qualifying him for the 2004 Olympic team.
  • 2010, appeared on the TV Show “Extreme Home Makeover” with his family band.
  • 2015, was awarded a personalized baseball bat from the Louisville Slugger factory, for mentioning the iconic company in one of his songs and music videos “The Derby City Flash.”
  • 2018, was presented with the key to the city of Shepherdsville, Kentucky where he holds a festival.
  • 2020, released 40th Anniversary Celebration album (SGM). Includes a duet with Doug Phelps of the Kentucky Headhunters “Big Train.”

Brewster, Paul

PAUL BREWSTER

  • From Knoxville, Tennessee. Lives in Nashville.
  • First band: The Dixie Rebels (in Knoxville).
  • 1976-1978, worked with the Knoxville Grass.
  • 1978, joined the Pinnacle Boys.
  • 1979-1989, worked with the Osborne Brothers.
  • 1989-1991, lived in Florida and was a golf pro.
  • 1992, worked at Dollywood with a group called True Blue.
  • 1993, formed his own band called Heartland.
  • 1996, joined Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder.
  • 2002, released first solo album, Everybody’s Talkin (Skaggs Family Records).
  • 2013, released a country album of his original songs “3 Minute Heartache.”

Bright, Fletcher

FLETCHER BRIGHT

  • From Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.
  • A fiddler who formed a band in 1945 called The Dismembered Tennesseans. They are still together. The band was made up of students from McCallie Private Boys School in Chattanooga. They have appeared on ABC-TV’s Peter Jennings Nightly News and were featured on the NBC Sunday Today Show.
  • He is a very successful realtor by trade.
  • 2013, recorded an album of fiddle tunes with banjo player Bill Evans called Fine Times At Fletcher’s House: Fiddle and Banjo Music from Lookout Mountain, Tennessee (Native and Fine).
  • 2017, was presented with a “Distinguished Achievement Award” by the IBMA.
  • 2017, passed away on Christmas Day at the age of 86.
    .
Britt, Gena

Britt, Gena

GENA BRITT (TEW)

  • From Bisco, North Carolina.
  • Plays banjo and sings lead & harmony vocals.
  • 1990, at age 18 moved to Nashville and worked with Petticoat Junction.
  • 1992, joined New Vintage.
  • 1994, joined Lou Reid and Carolina.
  • 2001, formed her own band.
  • 2001, won IBMA award for her work on the “Follow Me Back to the Fold” project with the Daughters of Bluegrass.
  • 2003, married Tim Tew (who plays Dobro™ in her band.)
  • Has also worked dates with The Lonesome River Band, Carolina Road, Sally Jones & The Sidewinders, The Alecia Nugent Band, The Donna Hughes Band, The DaleAnn Bradley Band and others.
  • 2008, recorded and performed with the Daughters of Bluegrass.
  • 2008, released solo project Doing All I Can (no label).
  • 2011, worked with the Skip Cherryholmes Quintet.
  • 2013, formed Sister Sadie with Dale Ann Bradley and Tina Adair.
  • 2014, joined Grasstowne, playing bass.
  • 2018, left Grasstowne to work full-time with Sister Sadie.
  • 2019, released solo project Chronicle (Pinecastle).

Brock, Jesse

JESSE BROCK

  • From Bowling Green, Kentucky.
  • Began singing and playing mandolin at age 9.
  • First band: Stonewall Bluegrass.
  • 1996, joined Chris Jones and the Night Drivers.
  • 1998, joined the Lynn Morris Band.
  • 2001, recorded first solo album Kickin’ Grass (Pinecastle Records).
  • 2003, joined Dale Ann Bradley and Coon Creek.
  • 2006, joined Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper.
  • 2011, left Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper to form his own band and perform with his family band “The Brock Family Reunion Band.”
  • 2013, joined the Gibson Brothers.
  • 2015, won his second IBMA award for Mandolin Player of the Year (also won in 2009).
  • 2016, a book was published titled The Mandolin Style of Jesse Brock, co-authored by guitarist Nick DeSebastian.
  • 2018, left the Gibson Brothers and formed his own band called Mainline Express with John Miller (guitar), Gary Filgate (banjo) and Rob Ravlin (bass).

Bromberg, David

DAVID BROMBERG

  • From Philadelphia, PA grew up in New York City. Has also lived in San Francisco, Chicago and currently, Wilmington, Delaware.
  • As a teenager, got involved in the folk-music scene (Greenwich Village) and took up the guitar. He is also a virtuoso on mandolin and fiddle.
  • 1968, graduated from Columbia University, studying Musicology.
  • Has worked as a sideman for many artists including Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, John Hurt, the Reverend Gary Davis, Tom Paxton, and Chubby Checker.
  • Has recorded with many bluegrass perfomers, like Jerry Douglas, Vassar Clements, Doc Watson, Bela Fleck and Tony Trischka. Gene Johnson (of Diamond Rio) fame was a member of Bromberg’s band in the 1980’s.
  • 1971, recorded first album for Columbia Records “David Bromberg.” He recorded four others for the label including “Demon in Disguise,”Wanted Dead or Alive,” and ” Midnight on the Water.”
  • 1984, graduated from the Kenneth Warren School of Violin Making. He currently owns a high-end violin store in Wilmington, DE.
  • Tours as a solo artist as well as with a group called Angel Band, led by his wife, Nancy Josephson.
  • 2008, released a bluegrass album by the David Bromberg Quartet that was recorded live in New York City in 1982.

Brombies, The

THE BROMBIES

  • From Los Angeles, California.
  • A bluegrass/folk duo featuring Jo Ellen and George Doering (guitar and mandolin).
  • Formed in the late 1980’s.
  • They named their group after “the brumby’s,” wild horses that roam the outback of Australia, brought there by Jack Brumby, “The Man From Snowy River”, in the 1880’s. They discovered too late that they had misspelled the name.
  • Jo Ellen Doering began playing bluegrass in San Diego in the 1960’s (influenced by the Scottsville Squirrel Barkers with Kenny Wertz, Bernie Leadon, Chris Hillman, Larry Murray and Ed Douglas). Later toured with Hoyt Axton, the Smothers Brothers and Ricky Nelson.
  • George Doering studied music at San Diego State University and has worked as a studio musician and touring sideman with such artists as Sonny and Cher, Seals and Crofts, and others.
  • Other members of the group have included Bill Bryson (bass), Gabe Witcher (fiddle), Patrick Sauber (banjo) and other Southern California musicians.
  • 2010, released From the Piney Hills of Hollywood album (no label).
  • 2018, released Running with the Herd album (no label). This album was Bill Bryson’s last recording with the band, as he passed away in 2017.

Brother Boys, The

THE BROTHER BOYS

  • From Johnson City, Tennessee.
  • A duo featuring Eugene Wolf and Ed Snodderly.
  • Snodderly is a musician, songwriter, actor and owner of one of Johnson City’s oldest music venues, the Down Home.
  • They refer to their style as “New Hillbilly Music.”
  • They met while performing together in a repertory theatre group. After singing together in a play, they decided to continue as a musical act.
  • 1992, released first album “Plow” on Sugar Hill Records.
  • 1995, released second album “Presley’s Grocery” on Sugar Hill Records.
  • 1998, Snodderly joined the faculty of East Tennesse State University’s bluegrass music department.
  • 2000, Snodderly appeared in the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou” starring George Clooney. He played one of the village idiots.

Brothers Barton, The

THE BROTHERS BARTON

  • From Bakersfield, CA.
  • Paul and Loren Barton are brothers who play mandolin and guitar respectively.
  • 1996, Paul won “instrumentalist of the year” at South Plains College (Levelland, TX) where he studied music.
  • 2005, teamed up with fiddler Richard Greene to form “Richard Greene and the Brothers Barton.”

Brown, Alison

ALISON BROWN

  • Native of Connecticut; grew up in La Jolla, California. Lives in Nashville.
  • A graduate of Harvard University; has an MBA in finance from UCLA. For a short time, she worked as an investment broker with Smith-Barney.
  • First band: The Stringbenders (San Diego).
  • As a teenager, she played Dobro™ with Gold Rush, a group that included Stuart Duncan on fiddle and John Hickman on banjo.
  • 1981, recorded a duet album with Stuart Duncan called “Pre-Sequel” (Ridgerunner).
  • While at Harvard, she was a member of the band Northern Lights.
  • 1989-1991, played banjo and guitar with Alison Krauss and Union Station.
  • 1990, released solo album Simple Pleasures (Vanguard Records).
  • 1991, won IBMA award for Banjo Player of the Year.
  • 1992, toured with folk-rock performer Michelle Shocked.
  • With husband Garry West owns Compass Records.
  • 1996, formed The Alison Brown Quartet, an acoustic jazz ensemble featuring the banjo.
  • 1999, recorded and toured with the Americana band “New Grange” with Tim O’Brien, Darol Anger and Mike Marshall.
  • 2000, released bluegrass album Fair Weather featuring vocal performances by guests Vince Gill and Claire Lynch.
  • 2000, Alison’s “Girl’s Breakdown” (from her Fair Weather album) was used as the official wake up music for the crew of the U.S. Space Shuttle Destiny during their mission to the International Space Station.
  • 2001, won Grammy for Best Country Instrumental “Leaving Cottondale,” a duet with Bela Fleck (from her Fair Weather album).
  • 2002, gave the keynote address at the IBMA World of Bluegrass in Louisville.
  • 2014, received the 2014 USA Artists Berresford Fellowship, a $50,000 grant given to artists who have made significant contributions in their field of endeavor.
  • 2019, performed as a member of the “First Ladies of Bluegrass,” a group featuring the first women to win the IBMA Award in their instrument categories: Alison (banjo), Missy Raines (bass), Becky Buller (fiddle), Sierra Hull (mandolin) and Molly Tuttle (guitar).
  • 2019, was inducted into the American Banjo Hall of Fame.

Brown, Dewey & Leslie

DEWEY AND LESLIE BROWN (AND THE CAROLINA GENTLEMEN)

  • From Burlington, North Carolina.
  • A husband and wife duo. They were married in 2007.
  • Dewey Brown was the fiddle player for Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Boys for 11 years (2005-2016). He previously worked with Honi Deaton and the Country Gentlemen.
  • Leslie VanDyke Brown is a native of Virginia and began performing at age 7. She plays bass with the band and is a professional clog dancer, songwriter and booking agent. She has also worked as a registered nurse.
  • Together they own a performing arts theater, The Liberty Showcase Theater in Liberty, North Carolina. They also promote two bluegrass festivals each year, DeweyFest and GospelFest, held on their 52 acre farm in Burlington.
  • 2018, released an album with their band the Carolina Gentlemen “Our Mountain Legacy” (Liberty Showcase). Band members include Tim Spence (guitar), Brandon Henson (banjo) and Kendall Gales (mandolin). on mandolin.

Brown, Hylo

HYLO BROWN

  • From River, Kentucky.
  • Recorded for Capitol Records (1954-1961).
  • Band: the Timberliners. Also had a band at one time called “The Buckskins” (named after their trademard buckskin jackets).
  • Real name: Frank Brown. He got the name “Hylo” (High-Low) because of his incredible vocal range. He would often sing the verse of a song in a baritone voice, then falsetto on the chorus—an octave higher.
  • Was a regular on the WWVA Jamboree, Wheeling, West Virginia.
  • Late fifties, toured for Martha White Mills (as did Flatt and Scruggs).
  • July 1959, appeared at first Newport Folk Festival backing Earl Scruggs, who made a solo appearance.
  • 2003, died of cancer.

RECOMMENDED ALBUMS:

 

Brown, Jeff (and Still Lonesome)

JEFF BROWN (AND STILL LONESOME)

  • From Cedar Bluff, Virginia.
  • Guitarist and vocalist Brown began playing as a youngster in a band with his brother called the Richlands Bluegrass Boys. Wayne Taylor (of Blue Highway) was also in this band. He has since worked with Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers (playing bass, from 1993 to 1996), Charlie Sizemore, Ralph Stanley, Jesse McReynolds and many others.
  • He now fronts his own band Still Lonesome which includes Austin Brown (bass), Nick Goad (mandolin) & Rod Smith (banjo).
  • He is a bluegrass DJ and also a bluegrass concert promoter. He has helped organize and promote several bluegrass festivals and concerts.
  • 2014, was named a Kentucky Colonel.
  • 2016, released “A Distant Horizon” album (Union House).
  • 2017, released Blue Side of Me album (Mountain Fever).
  • 2019, released A Distant Horizon (Union House).
  • 2020, Jeff Brown was named Vice President of Records for Turnberry Records.

Brown, Tommy

TOMMY BROWN (AND THE COUNTY LINE GRASS)

  • From Shepherdsville, Kentucky.
  • Brown plays banjo and sings lead vocals with his band the County Line Grass (formed in 1991).
  • Began playing banjo at age 6. Won both the Kentucky and Tennessee State Banjo Championships.
  • 2002, added his 17-year old son Jereme to the band (guitar) and his 16-year old daughter Rachel (bass). His wife Laura sings and clog-dances.
  • 2014, released Leaving This Town album (Randm Records).
  • Jereme Brown is also a member of the Po’ Mountain Boys.

Brush Arbor

BRUSH ARBOR

  • From San Diego, California.
  • Had success in the early 1970’s with several top-40 country songs like “Proud Mary” and “Brush Arbor Meeting” (Capitol Records).
  • 1973, they were voted “Vocal Group of the Year” and “Touring Band of the Year” by the Academy of Country Music.
  • Network TV appearances included “Hee Haw,” “Music Country USA” and “The Johnny Cash NBC Special.”
  • Made several Grand Ole Opry appearances and toured with Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, the late Marty Robbins, the Everly Brothers, etc.
  • Twice voted the third-most-popular Bluegrass Band of the Year in a Music City News Readers Poll (1973, 1974) behind Bill Monroe and the Osborne Brothers.
  • Original members: Ken Munds (guitar), Wayne Rice (banjo), Jim Rice (guitar and pedal steel), Joe Rice (mandolin), David Rose (bass) and Pat Stephens, drums. Wayne, Jim and Joe Rice are brothers. No, they are not related to the “other” Rice brothers (Tony, Larry, Ron and Wyatt.)
  • Wayne Rice and Ken Munds left the band in 1975. Brothers Jim and Joe Rice remained with the group until 1996, performing gospel music. Joe departed in 1996 and Jim kept the band together until 1999. He now performs as a solo artist and speaker.

Bub, Mike

MIKE BUB

  • From Scottsdale, Arizona. Lives in Nashville.
  • 1985, formed Weary Hearts band with Ron Block, Eric Uglum and Butch Baldassari. Played bass.
  • 1991-1992, played banjo with Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time.
  • 1992-2005, played bass with the Del McCoury band.
  • 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2005, won IBMA award for Bass Player of the Year.
  • He often performs with “The Sidemen,” a group that performs on Tuesday nights at Nashville’s Station Inn.
  • 2006, joined the Dale Ann Bradley band.
  • 2008, joined Peter Rowan and Tony Rice.
  • 2012, joined Todd Grebe and Cold Country.
  • 2012, received the first IBMA Momentum Award for Mentor of the Year.

Buchanan, Jim

JIM BUCHANAN

  • From North Carolina. Lives in Nashville.
  • A dynamic fiddler best known for his work with Jim and Jesse and the Virginia Boys. He was also a member of The Greenbriar Boys (New York).
  • Son of old-time fiddler Clato “Buck” Buchanan.
  • At age 11, performed on the Ed Sullivan TV show with “Joe Franklin and the Mimosa Boys.”
  • 1982, recorded an album with Vince Gill, Herb Pederson, Emory Gordy, Jr. and David Grisman called Here Today.
  • Also worked with Tompall and the Glaser Brothers, Mel Tillis and George Jones. As a studio musician, his credits include albums by Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, Ronnie Millsap, Ringo Starr, the Doors, and many others.
  • 1992, recorded an album called “Bluegrass Reunion” with Red Allen, David Grisman, Herb Pederson, Jerry Garcia and others.
  • 1995, formed his own band called “The Jim Buchanan System” and released one album under that name.
  • He continues to work in the music business in Nashville. He also travels to churches, playing his fiddle and giving his testimony.

Buffalo Gals

BUFFALO GALS

  • From Syracuse, New York.
  • Formed in 1972 by Martha Trachtenberg (guitar), Nancy Josephson (bass), Susie Monick (banjo), Carol Siegel (mandolin) and Sue Raines (fiddle).
  • They are considered to be the first all-female bluegrass band in history.
  • They originally called themselves the Buffalo Chips, but Carlton Haney changed their name to Buffalo Gals when he booked them on his festival.
  • 1975, released their only album “First Born” (Revonah).
  • Susie Monick was Tony Trischka’s first banjo student.

Bullas, The

THE BULLAS (LUKE AND JENNY ANNE BULLA)

  • Originally from Grants Pass, Oregon; 1998, moved to Nashville.
  • A family band featuring parents Brad and Carol Bulla, with children Luke and Jenny Anne. The original family band was called “The In-Laws” (with Carol’s sister and her husband also in the group), then later “Legacy.”
  • Luke and Jenny Anne recorded an album for Rounder Records in 1991. Luke was eleven years old, Jenny Anne was ten.
  • Luke and Jenny began playing fiddle when they were 7 and 6 years old respectively.
  • 1989, won the national old-time fiddle championship in their respective age divisions (Weiser, Idaho). Repeated in 1993.
  • 1990, Luke placed in the top ten at the Grand Masters Fiddling Championships in Nashville—competing against fiddlers from all over the world of all ages.
  • 1998-2000, Luke played fiddle with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder.
  • 2000, Brad formed Brad Bulla Promotions, working with a variety of artists and record labels.
  • 2000-present, Jenny has worked with numerous artists including Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike, Paul Overstreet, Ricky Skaggs, the Watkins Family Hour, Chris Jones and Jim Lauderdale. She currently lives in Spokane, Washington and is married to author Caleb Mannan (her name is now Jenny Anne Mannan). She released a solo project Saints & Sinners (no label).
  • 2000-present, Luke has worked with numerous artists including the John Cowan Band, Lyle Lovett, Noam Pikelny, Kevin Costner, Earl Scruggs and Sam Bush. He also had a rock band called Wisechild (with Casey Driessen). 2014, released a solo project “Who Loves You Better” on his own label Pure Music.
  • 2014, Brad formed a band called Fireball Mail (plays guitar).

Buller, Becky

BECKY BULLER

  • From St. James, Minnesota.
  • She began performing at age 10 with her parents in a band called Prairie Grass.
  • 1996, she won the Minnesota Junior Fiddling Championship. Also won the Hank Williams songwriting contest in Avoca, Iowa.
  • While a student at East Tennessee State University majoring in public relations, she performed with the ETSU Bluegrass Band and with Linda Barker and Appalachian Trail.
  • Her songwriting credits include “Be Living” (recorded by Doyle Lawson), “Charlie Lawson’s Still” (recorded by Mark Newton), “Fishers of Men” (recorded by Rhonda Vincent), “Music to My Ears” (Ricky Skaggs).
  • 2000, released first solo project.
  • 2004, released solo album, Little Bird (no label).
  • 2008, joined Thunder Radio’s “Bluegrass Crossroads” radio program in Manchester, TN as co-host.
  • 2001-2011, was a member of Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike.
  • 2003, released Rest My Weary Feet album (no label)
  • 2012, appeared on the cover of Fiddler magazine.
  • 2012-2014, was a member of Darin and Brooke Aldridge’s band, singing harmony and playing fiddle.
  • 2014, released second solo project Tween Earth and Sky (Dark Shadow).
  • 2014, embarked on a solo career.
  • 2015, won IBMA Awards for Emerging Artist of the Year, Recorded Event of the Year (for “Southern Flavor”) and Songwriter of the Year.
  • 2016, won IBMA Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year and Fiddle Player of the Year.
  • 2017, released Crepe Paper Heart album (Dark Shadow).
  • 2018, won the IBMA Awards for Gospel Recording of the Year (for “Speaking to that Mountain” from her Crepe Paper Heart album) and also for Recorded Event of the Year (for her participation in the song “Swept Away” by Missy Raines and “First Ladies of Bluegrass.”
  • 2020, won the IBMA Award for Collaborative Recording of the Year (for The Barber’s Fiddle – with Shawn Camp, Jason Carter, Laurie Lewis, Kati Penn, Sam Bush, Michael Cleveland, Johnny Warren, Stuart Duncan, Deanie Richardson, Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, Jason Barie, Fred Carpenter, Tyler Andal, Nate Lee, Dan Boner, Brian Christianson, and Laura Orshaw.)

Burch, Curtiss

CURTIS BURCH

  • From Montgomery, Alabama. Lives in Kentucky.
  • 1971, a founding member of the New Grass Revival (left the group in 1981). Played guitar and Dobro™.
  • Has also performed with Leon Russell, John Hartford, Vassar Clements, Norman and Nancy Blake, Doc Watson, many others.
  • 1995, won Grammy for his participation on the “Great Dobro Sessions” CD, produced by Jerry Douglas.
  • 2000, performed on the “O Brother Where Art Thou” soundtrack.
  • 2001, recorded and performed with The Larry Keel Experience and Soul Grass.

Burge, Rachel (and Blue Dawning)

RACHEL BURGE AND BLUE DAWNING

  • From West Virginia.
  • Majored in music at Glenville State College and played mandolin in the GSC Bluegrass Band.
  • After college, she formed an all-girl bluegrass band called Mountain Fury. Lizzie Long was also a member of that group.
  • 2008, joined No One You Know.
  • 2012, released solo album “Don’t You Worry About Me.”
  • 2013, formed Blue Dawning with Lance Gainer (guitar), Radford Vance (banjo), Michelle Birkby-Vance (fiddle) and Rick Westerman (bass).

Burton, Chris

CHRIS BURTON

  • From Roanoke, Virginia.
  • A banjo player and songwriter who performs with a regional band called Exit 109.
  • 2006, released solo project Way I See It (no label) featuring vocals from Amanda Smith and Jerry MacMillan (former Lonesome River Band member).
  • 2015, released Wandering Again album (no label) featuring vocals from Missy Armstrong (Detour) and Junior Sisk.

Busby, Buzz

BUZZ BUSBY (AND THE BAYOU BOYS)

  • From Eros, Louisiana. Moved to Washington D.C.
  • Real name: Bernard Busbice
  • He was one of the first to popularize bluegrass music in the D.C. area.
  • 1954, he had a TV program in Washington called “Hayloft Hoedown.”
  • 1955, moved back to Louisiana to work on the Louisiana Hayride. Formed his band “The Bayou Boys.”
  • Band members included Scott Stoneman, Pete Pike, Eddie Adcock, Charlie Waller, Bill Emerson, among others.
  • 1957, signed record deal with Starday Records.
  • After a traffic accident in 1957 (he was presumed dead but was brought back to life by medical technicians), his banjo player Bill Emerson formed a new band, The Country Gentlemen.
  • Substance abuse kept him from becoming a major star in bluegrass. It also put him in prison.
  • He died in January, 2003.

Bush, Sam

SAM BUSH (See also NEW GRASS REVIVAL)

  • From Bowling Green, Kentucky. Lives in Nashville.
  • Leader of The New Grass Revival for twenty years.
  • Dubbed “the world’s greatest all-purpose mandolinist” by David Grisman.
  • Bought first mandolin at age 11. Also began playing fiddle about that time, influenced stylistically by Byron Berline and Kenny Baker.
  • As a junior in high school, joined Poor Richard’s Almanac, a band that included Wayne Stewart and Alan Munde.
  • After high school, joined The Bluegrass Alliance.
  • 1971, at age 19, formed The New Grass Revival and was the leader of that group until its breakup in the spring of 1990.
  • 1981, had cancer and was hospitalized. Surgery was successful and to date, no recurrence.
  • 1984, released first solo album Late As Usual (Rounder).
  • 1989, recorded with Jerry Douglas, Mark O’Connor, Tony Rice and Mark Schatz in a group called Strength in Numbers.
  • 1990-1994, was a member of Emmylou Harris’ band The Nash Ramblers.
  • 1995, toured with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.
  • 1996, released Glamour & Grits album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1997, formed a part-time rock/blues band called “Duck Butter” with John Cowan and guitarist Kenny Lee.
  • 1998, formed The Sam Bush Band.
  • 1998, released Howlin at the Moon album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2000, released Ice Caps: Peaks of Telluride album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2002, sang the national anthem at a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. He is a diehard Cardinals fan with an extensive collection of memorabilia. His dog is named “Ozzie” after the great Cardinals shortstop, Ozzie Smith.
  • 2004, released King of My World album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2007, hosted the IBMA Awards Show in Nashville.
  • 2009, released Circles Around Me album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2007, 1992, 1991, 1990, won IBMA Award for Mandolin Player of the Year.
  • 2015, a documentary film was released called “The Sam Bush Story.”
  • 2016, released Storyman album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2019, was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY.

Byrd, Senator Robert

SENATOR ROBERT BYRD

  • From Sophia, West Virginia. He was born in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
  • Served as U.S. Senator from West Virginia for 41 years. He has cast more votes in the Senate than any other Senator in U. S. History.
  • Learned to play the fiddle at age 12. In his early campaigns, he was known as “Fiddlin’ Bob Byrd.”
  • 1978, recorded an album of fiddle tunes for County Records with members of the Country Gentlemen: Doyle Lawson, James Bailey and Spider Gilliam.
  • Passed away on June 28, 2010.