Category: BLOG



  • 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.

Kahn, Jonathan (Jon David)


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



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

Mandolin Orange


Cane Mill Road


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

Caney Creek


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

Salt and Light


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

Railroaders, The


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

Cardwell, Ray (and Tennessee Moon)


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

Darou, Chad


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

Sanders, Eddie


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

Carolina Blue


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

Dauphinais Brothers, The


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

Faris, Rick


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

Walsh, Joe K.


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

Hamilton County Ramblers


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

Raven, Eddy


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

Galyean, Mickey (and Cullen’s Bridge)


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

Fast Track


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

Davis, Christian


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

Benedict, David


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

Bluegrass Martins, The


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

Ferguson & Ferguson


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

Garrett, Jeremy


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

Nefesh Mountain


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

Yoakam, Dwight


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

We Banjo 3


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

Welty, Gregg


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

Wicentowski, Jerry


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


Wilson Banjo Company


  • From Westminster, South Carolina.
  • They are a band rather than a banjo making business, although founder and banjo-player Steve Wilson has experience as a luthier. He worked for Gibson when he was living in Nashville and continues building instruments.
  • Band members: Steve Wilson (banjo), Joey Newton (guitar), Sarah Logan (fiddle), Dylan Armour (Dobro™), Brandon Crouch (mandolin) and Rob Walker (bass).
  • 2017, released first album Spirits in the Hills (Bonfire).
  • 2018, Steve Wilson joined Dale Ann Bradley, playing banjo. Wilson Banjo Company will continue on a limited basis.

Wooks, The


  • From Lexington, Kentucky.
  • The Urban Dictionary defines a wook as: “a hippie without any ambition, motivation, or drive other than drugs and image. They’re generally in their twenties, college students (or dropouts) at small-town liberal colleges (such as Appalachian State University) and dependent on an income other than their own.”
  • Formed in 2014 by C.J. Cain (guitar), Galen Green (mandolin), Arthur Hancock (banjo), Roddy Puckett (bass) and Jesse Wells (fiddle).
  • Hancock’s father (also Arthur Hancock) is a bluegrass songwriter and recording artist, as well as the owner of a Kentucky Derby winning race horse, Sunday Silence.
  • 2016, won the band competition at RockyGrass and released their first self-titled album (no label).
  • 2017, Wells and Green left the band; multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Aaron Bibelhauser joined.
  • 2018, released “Me and the Stars Tonight” album (Gnar Vector).
  • 2018 lineup: Cain (guitar), Harry Clark (mandolin), Hancock (guitar), Roddy Puckett (bass).
  • 2018, released “Glory Bound” album (Gnar Vector).

Workman, Jake


  • From Draper, Utah.
  • 2001, began playing guitar at age 13, when his parent gave him a guitar for Christmas. Formed a rock band called Wayward Son.
  • 2003, his parents gave him a banjo for Christmas, which kindled his love for bluegrass.
  • He has played in several Salt Lake City based groups including Cold Creek, The Aaron Ashton Band, and the Jake and Rebekah Workman Band.
  • He has a degree in jazz guitar performance from the University of Utah.
  • 2007, formed a band called Driven with the McLemore Brothers of Kansas and his wife Rebekah (fiddle).
  • 2015, replaced Cody Kilby as guitarist for Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder.
  • 2016, was given an IBMA Momentum Award for Instrumentalist of the Year.
  • 2019, released solo project Landmark (no label).

Wright, Curtis


  • From Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.
  • A singer, songwriter and guitarist, he began his career in a band called Country Generation. He also worked with Vern Gosdin, singing background vocals before launching a solo career in 1989.
  • As a songwriter, he has written several hit songs including “A Woman in Love” for Ronnie Milsap, “Next to You, Next to Me” and “Rock My Baby” for Shenandoah, “Too Much Fun” for Daryl Singletary, “What’s It To You” for Clay Walker and “She’s Got a Man on Her Mind” for Conway Twitty.
  • 1992, released solo country album Curtis Wright (Liberty).
  • 1994, formed a band with Robert Ellis Orral called “Orral and Wright.” They released one album (Giant Records).
  • 2002-2007, became Shenandoah’s third lead singer (after Marty Raybon and Brent Lamb).
  • 2007, joined Pure Prairie League.
  • 2016, recorded a self-titled bluegrass album Curtis Wright (Voxhall).

Wyrick, Stuart


  • From Luttrell, Tennessee (“Tater Valley”)
  • Began performing at age 8.
  • 1995-2009, played banjo with the gospel group New Road.
  • He also has a 60-acre farm in East Tennessee where he raises Black Angus and Hereford cattle.
  • 2008, formed Brand New Strings.
  • 2013, joined the Dale Ann Bradley band.
  • 2016, released solo project East Tennessee Sunrise (Rural Rhythm) produced by Steve Gulley.
  • 2016, joined Flashback.

Underwood, Jacob


  • From Illinois.
  • Plays banjo with Bluegrass Express, a group that includes his father and grandfather, Gary and Greg.
  • He began playing piano at age 5, then mandolin and fiddle at age 8. At age 13, he learned banjo and guitar. He has won numerous fiddle and banjo contests.
  • 2015, at age 19, he released his second solo album “The Banjo Files” (no label)

Toshinskiy, Ilya


  • From Moscow, Russia. Lives in Nashville.
  • Pronounced “Eel-ee-yuh Toe-shin-skee.”
  • Was a founding member of the Russian bluegrass/country band Bering Strait (also known as Cheerful Diligence and Siberian Heatwave). They migrated to Nashville and recorded three albums. Broke up in 2006.
  • 2004, left Bering Strait and began working as a studio musician. He is a five-time winner of the Music Row award for top guitar player and two-time winner of the ACM award for musician of the year (specialty instruments). He has performed on recordings by Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Reba McEntire, Glen Campbell, the Doobie Brothers and Rascal Flatts (including their hit son “Banjo”).
  • 2016, released solo banjo project Red Grass (Hadley Music Group).

Traveling McCourys, The


  • From Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Formed in 2009.
  • A progressive spin-off of the Del McCoury band featuring everyone in the band except Del: Ronnie McCoury (mandolin), Rob McCoury (banjo), Jason Carter (fiddle and Alan Bartram (bass). In 2017, Cody Kilby (guitar) joined the band as its permanent guitar player.
  • Until Kilby joined in 2017, the band utilized a variety of musicians to fill the guitar spot including Keller Williams, Dierks Bentley, Jeff Autry, Chris Eldridge, Josh Williams, Dan Tyminski, Jeff White, Bryan Sutton, Kenny Smith, Larry Keel, Jim Lauderdale, Peter Rowan, Josh Shilling, David Grier and others.
  • 2012, released Pick album with Keller Williams (Sci Fidelity)
  • 2018, released The Traveling McCourys album (McCoury Music).
  • 2018, won the IBMA Award for Instrumental Group of the Year.
  • 2019, won the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album for The Traveling McCourys (McCoury Music).

Tugalo Holler


  • From Westminster, South Carolina.
  • Tugalo is pronounced “Two-ga-lou.” The Tugalo is a river near Westminster, SC.
  • Formed in 2001 by Stephen Hudson (Lead Vocals, Fiddle), Michael “Porkchop” Branch (Bass), Michael Hill (Banjo), Bradley Webb (Guitar), Jessica Hudson (Lead/Harmony Vocals), and Dennis James (Mandolin).
  • Their first gig was at Gap Hill Baptist Church in Six Mile, South Carolina. They feature gospel music in all their performances.
  • 2020, released first single to radio: Mockingbird (Horseface).

Tuttle, Molly


  • From Palo Alto, California.
  • She plays is a guitarist, banjoist, vocalist and songwriter who began performing at age 11 with her family band The Tuttles. At age 13, she recorded and album titled “Molly and Jack Tuttle: The Old Apple Tree” (Back Studio Records). Jack is her father, who is a multi-instrumentalist and music teacher.
  • 2010, released “Introducing the Tuttles with A.J. Lee” album (Back Studio) with her family band and family friend A.J. Lee on mandolin.
  • 2015, attended Berklee College of Music (Boston).
  • 2015, performed and recorded as a duo with fiddler John Mailander.
  • 2016, won the Chris Austin Songwriting competition at MerleFest.
  • 2016, won the IBMA Momentum Award for Instrumentalist of the Year.
  • 2016, formed a band called The Goodbye Girls with Allison de Groot (banjo), Lena Johnson (fiddle) and Britanny Karlson (bass).
  • 2016, formed The Molly Tuttle Band with Mailander (fiddle), Wes Corbett (banjo) and Sam Grisman (bass).
  • 2017, appeared on the cover of Acoustic Guitar magazine.
  • 2017, released Rise album (Compass).
  • 2017, won the IBMA Award for Guitar Player of the Year.
  • 2018, her band lineup: Wes Corbett (banjo), Hasee Ciaccio (bass) and Duncan Wickel (fiddle).
  • 2018, won Folk Alliance International Folk Music Award for Song of the Year (for “You Didn’t Call My Name.”)
  • 2018, won Instrumentalist of the Year Award at the Americana Music Awards.
  • 2018, won her second IBMA Award for Guitar Player of the Year (also won in 2017).
  • 2019, released When You’re Ready album (Compass).

Twisted Pine


  • From Boston, MA.
  • Formed in 2013 by Berklee College of Music students: Kathleen Parks (fiddle), Dan Bui (mandolin), Ricky Mier (banjo), Chris Sartori (bass) and Rachel Sumner (guitar).
  • 2014, won band contests at the Freshgrass and Thomas Point Beach Festivals.
  • They played weekly at a club called the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, MA.
  • 2016, banjo player Mier left the band.
  • 2017, released self titled album (Signature Sounds).

Sister Sadie


  • From Nashville and various locations in the bluegrass heartland.
  • A all-female band that formed in 2012 after an impromptu jam session at the Station Inn in Nashville.
  • Members: Dale Ann Bradley (guitar), Tina Adair (mandolin), Deanie Richardson (fiddle), Gena Britt (banjo) and Beth Lawrence (bass).
  • 2016, released self titled album (Pinecastle).
  • 2019, released Sister Sadie II album (Pinecastle). This album was nominated for a Grammy Award.
  • 2019, won the IBMA Award for Vocal Group of the Year.

Slay, Scott


  • From Denver Colorado. Originally from Pensacola, Florida.
  • 2012, was in a band with Sammy Shelor (of the Lonesome River Band) called Big Virginia Sky. They released one self-titled album in 2015. He played mandolin.
  • 2016, formed his own group Scott Slay and the Rail, playing guitar.
  • 2018, was a featured band at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and the IBMA World of Bluegrass.
  • 2018, Scott won 2nd place in the guitar and mandolin instrumental performance competition at the Rockygrass festival.
  • 2019, released The Rail album (Bonfire) with guest artists, Sierra Hull, Sammy Shelor, Jim VanCleve, Mike Munford, Josh Shilling, Brandon Rickman, Aaron Ramsey and others.

Southern Raised


  • From Crane, Missouri.
  • A family band featuring four siblings: Lindsay Reith (bass), Sarah Reith (banjo), Emily Reith (fiddle/mandolin) and Matthew Reith (guitar).
  • They specialize in bluegrass gospel music and perform regularly in churches and Christian concerts.
  • 2017, released Another World album (Provident).
  • 2019, Sarah was married to David Noland and now resides in Kansas.
  • 2019, became resident performers at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO.

Sowell, The Family


  • From Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • Pronounced “Sow-(like the pig)-ell”
  • A family band featuring the Sowell siblings: Jacob (banjo), Joshua (guitar), Naomi (bass), Abigail (mandolin), John-Mark (fiddle) and Justus (guitar). They range in age from 11 to 21 (2018). Their parents Guynn (pronounced “Gwen”) and Cindy Sowell manage the group, drive the bus and coach.
  • They are primarily a gospel bluegrass band.
  • They have taken over 1000 ukeleles on mission trips to give children in Serbia and Russia.
  • 2017, won the “Youth in Bluegrass” band contest at Silver Dollar City.
  • 2017, signed with Poor Mountain Records. Released single “Mighty to Save.”
  • 2018, released single “Dusty Gravel Road” (Poor Mountain), co-written with Jerry Salley.
  • 2018, released single “Speak Love” (Poor Mountain).
  • 2020, released “Some Kind of Different” album (no label).

Stanley, Kristi


  • From Pikeville, Kentucky.
  • She is the wife of Ralph Stanley II.
  • She began singing as a teenager and performed with a country band called Sandy River, later opening for Kenny Chesney, Billy Ray Cyrus and other country acts.
  • 2001, appeared on Dr. Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Sweethearts album (Rebel).
  • After marrying Dr. Ralph’s son (Ralph Stanley II), she put her singing career on hold to raise their two children, Taylor and Ralph Stanley III.
  • 2017, returned to her singing with the release of her first album “Heart Wide Open” (Union House).
  • Her band is called Running Blind.

Stoffel, Mark


  • From Munich, Germany. Since 2001, has lived in Southern Illinois.
  • 1979, asked his parents for a ukelele and was given a mandolin instead. So he learned how to play it.
  • 1989, formed a group with singer/songwriter Wil Maring called Shady Mix.
  • 2006, joined Chris Jones and the Night Drivers, playing mandolin.
  • 2016, became a U.S. Citizen.
  • 2019, signed a recording contract with Mountain Home and released first single “Shadowbands” in 2020.

Stoney Creek


  • From Martinsburg, West Virginia.
  • Formed in the early 2000’s. 2015 lineup: Libby Files (bass), Brett Smeltzer (mandolin), Kenton Catlett (guitar), and Troy Stangle (banjo). Catlett and Stangle replaced previous members Ed Barney (guitar) and Darrell Sanders (banjo).
  • 2010, released “Hot Off the Press” album (no label).
  • 2011, released “Live in Concert” album (no label).
  • 2012, released “Are You Ready” album (no label).
  • 2016, released Memories and Tears album (no label).
  • 2017, released “Live on Location” album (no label).

Remington Ryde


  • From McClure, Pennsylvania.
  • Formed in 2005 by Ryan Frankhouser (guitar, vocals). Other band members: Billy Lee Cox (banjo), Warren Blair (fiddle), Richard Egolf (bass) and Stanley Efaw (mandolin, banjo, guitar).
  • Frankhouser and his band also host their own Remington Ryde Bluegrass Festival each July in Pennsylvania
  • 2005, released “Purely Bluegrass” album (no label).
  • 2008, released The Ryde album (Green Valley).
  • 2010, released Grandpa Was My Guide album (Green Valley).
  • 2017, released A Storyteller’s Memory album (Pinecastle), a tribute to the music of James King.
  • 2020, banjo player Billy Box retired from the band.

Roberts, Chris


  • From Montana. He has also lived in New York City.
  • He is a singer/songwriter now living in Nashville.
  • He has appeared in several Broadway plays and musical productions, including The Civil War with Larry Gatlin, who became a friend and mentor.
  • 2008, was a member of the group One Flew South and recorded one album for Decca Records Last of the Good Guys.
  • 2017, released a bluegrass single “Boeing Boeing 707” (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2018, released a second single to radio “Whole Lotta Laying Around” (Rural Rhythm).

Roberts, Jaelee


  • From Nashville, Tennessee.
  • She grew up around bluegrass music; her father is Danny Roberts (of the Grascals) and her mother is Andrea Roberts (of the Andrea Roberts Agency).
  • Began singing, performing and entering music competitions at age six.
  • Plays guitar, fiddle, mandolin and piano.
  • 2018, joined the Rebecca Long Band.
  • 2019, enrolled in the Music Business School at Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro).
  • 2019, released first single to radio “All My Tears” (Euphony).

Roe Family Singers


  • From Kirkwood Hollow, Minnesota.
  • Formed in 2005 by husband and wife duo Kim Roe (autoharp) and Quillan Roe (banjo/guitar). Other members of the group: Adam Wirtzfeld (musical saw); Dan Gaarder (guitar); Rich Rue (steel guitar); Ric Lee (fiddle); Rob Davis (jug); Kurt Froehlich (mandolin, kazoo).
  • They are a “good time, old time hillbilly band,” featuring traditional instruments. They won the title of “World’s Best Jug Band” at the 2010 and 2012 Battle of the Jug Bands in Duluth, Minnesota.
  • 2017, Kim Roe won the clogging competition at the Old-Time Music & Ozark Heritage Festival held in West Plains, MO.
  • They perform weekly (Monday nights) at the 331 Club in Minneapolis.
  • 2017, released Songs of the Mountains, Songs of the Plains (Pinecastle).

Rook, Tony


  • From North Carolina. Currently lives in Minnesota.
  • Started playing rock music as a teenager, then turned to folk music. In his early 20’s had a folk duo called Riggs and Rook.
  • Learned to play banjo from Bobby Hicks.
  • In North Carolina, performed with the Eno Ramblers and also had a group called Rook and Wood, releasing one album “Labor of Love” (no label).
  • 2006, moved to Minnesota and joined Dick Kimmel & Co, playing guitar.
  • 2016, released solo project “The Road Back Home” (no label).

Run Boy Run


  • From Tucson, Arizona.
  • Band members include brother and sister Matt Rolland (fiddle, guitar) and Grace Rolland (cello, vocals) and sisters Bekah Sandoval Rolland (fiddle, vocals) and Jen Sandoval (mandolin, vocals). When touring they also have a fifth member, playing bass.
  • 2009, won the Pickin’ In The Pines band competition.
  • 2011, won the Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition.
  • 2013, appeared on “A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor (twice).
  • 2013, released “So Sang the Whippoorwill” album (no label).
  • 2014, released Something to Someone album (Sky Island).
  • 2016, released “I Would Fly” album (Sky Island).

Peters, Carson (and Iron Mountain)


  • From Piney Flats, Tennessee.
  • Began playing fiddle at age 3.
  • By age 12, he had appeared on the Grand Ole Opry, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC) and Little Big Shots with Steve Harvey (NBC). He has also won several youth fiddle championships.
  • Formed a band called Iron Mountain with his father Jamie (guitar), Eric Marshall (banjo), Ben Marshall (bass) and Austin Tate (mandolin). Eric and Ben Marshall are also father and son.
  • 2016, released “Christmas Time in the Country” (no label), a holiday single.
  • 2018, released “Praises from the Mountain” (no label), a gospel album.

Pitney, Mo


  • From Cherry Valley, Illinois. Lives in Nashville.
  • Real name: Morgan Daniel Pitney.
  • As a teenager, he played in a bluegrass band with his brother and a friend. Keith Whitley was a hero.
  • 2014, at age 21 began his professional career in country music as a singer and guitarist. Signed with Curb Records, moved to Nashville and had his first single released “Country” co-written by Pitney and Bill Anderson.
  • 2016, married Emily Bankester (of the Bankesters).
  • 2016, released Behind This Guitar album (Curb).

Po’ Ramblin’ Boys


  • From Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
  • Formed in 2014 by C.J. Lewandowski (mandolin), Josh Rinkel (guitar), Jereme Brown (banjo) and Jasper Lorentzen (bass).
  • Lewandowski (mandolin) is originally from Missouri. He previously worked with David Davis, and with Karl Shifflett and the Big Country Show.
  • Rinkel (guitar) is originally from Louisville, Kentucky. He formerly worked with Tommy Brown and the County Line Grass (12 years), playing banjo and guitar.
  • Jereme Brown (banjo) is the son of Tommy Brown and still plays lead guitar with Tommy Brown and the County Line Grass.
  • They worked 4 months with James King as his backup band.
  • They are endorsed by Pointer Brand overalls and Anchors hair pomade.
  • The band had a dog named Dip Stick.
  • Every band member has an antique car, mainly Cadillacs.
  • 2016, released first album “Back to the Mountains” (Randm).
  • 2018, signed with Rounder Records, Rainmaker Management and Crossover Touring, who manage many of the elite acts in bluegrass music.
  • 2018, won the IBMA Award for Emerging Artist of the Year.
  • 2019, made first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry (October 1).
  • 2020, fiddler Laura Orshaw became a full-time member of the band.

Price Sisters, The


  • From Sardis (Monroe County), Ohio.
  • A duo featuring twin sisters Lauren Price (mandolin) and Leanna Price (fiddle).
  • They began singing at the age of 3 with their family band The Price Family. They formed The Price Sisters in 2012 at age 16.
  • Lauren is the older twin by five minutes.
  • Leanna does most of the lead singing.
  • Lauren took mandolin lessons from Mike Compton. Leanna took fiddle lessons from Byron Berline.
  • 2013, released Bluegrass Backroads album (no label).
  • 2016, released self titled album on Rebel Records.
  • 2018 Lauren married Scott Napier (of the Lost and Found). They both play mandolin.

Old Growth Quartet


  • From the Pacific Northwest (Seattle, Washington and Sisters, Oregon).
  • Formed in 2017 by Dale Adkins (guitar, banjo, mandolin), Paul Elliott (fiddle), Don Share (guitar), and Joseph Wilmhoff (bass).
  • Adkins is a virtuoso guitarist who formerly worked with the Kate McKenzie band, and has also worked with Dan Crary, Frontline and other Northwest bands.
  • Elliott is a well known fiddler who has worked with The Good Old Persons, John Reischman, Michelle Shocked, Alison Brown, Buell Neidlinger, and others.
  • 2018, released first album Right Smack in the Middle of Town (Laurel Inn).

Old Salt Union


  • From Belleville, IL (a suburb of St. Louis, MO).
  • Formed in 2012 by Ryan Murphey (banjo) and Dustin Eiskant (guitar). Other members: Justin Wallace (mandolin), John Brighton (fiddle), Jesse Farrar (bass). Eiskant was later replaced by guitarist Rob Kindle.
  • Banjo player Murphey is also a horticulturist. Farrar is a hip-hop producer and also played bass on a national tour of the Four Freshman.
  • 2015, won the FreshGrass Band competition (North Adams, Massachusetts).
  • 2016, signed with Compass Records.
  • 2017, released self-titled album (Compass).
  • 2019, released “Where the Dogs Don’t Bite” album (Compass).

Nixon, Blevins and Gage


  • From Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • An acoustic trio featuring Larry Nixon (guitar), David Blevins (guitar) and Steven Gage (bass).
  • Nixon is an engineer and is also host of The Pinecone Bluegrass Show on WQDR in Raleigh. He plays a thumb-picking style of guitar.
  • Blevins is also an engineer from Raleigh and plays a flat-picking style of guitar.
  • Gage is originally from Columbus, Ohio and is a psychotherapist in Raleigh.
  • They have released seven albums, their latest being “Pickin’ on Doc” (2016, no label), a tribute to the music of Doc Watson.

No Time Flatt


  • From Humboldt, Tennesee (between Nashville and Memphis).
  • Formed in 2015 by Patrick Cupples (bass), Steve Moore (banjo,guitar), Kevin Wright (guitar), Becky Weaver (fiddle) and Kevin Keen (mandolin).
  • Their fans call themselves “Flattheads.”
  • 2017, 2018 won Bluegrass Band of the Year at the Tennessee Music Awards (held in Memphis).
  • 2017, released self-titled album (no label).
  • 2019, released Calling After Me album (no label).

Norman, Holly


  • From Powell, Tennessee (near Knoxville).
  • A singer/songwriter who performed for many years as a cast member at Dollywood Theme Park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
  • Her grandfather Bill Powell was a friend of Roy Acuff’s and a member of his first band.
  • She was the featured baton twirler for the University of Tennessee’s “Tennessee Pride” Marching Band.
  • 2014, released first bluegrass album Appalachian Angel (no label).
  • 2016, released “Taking Care of Bluegrass: A Tribute to Elvis” album (no label) featuring bluegrass covers of Elvis Presley songs.

Norris, Kody


  • From Mountain City, Tennessee.
  • Band members: Kody Norris (guitar), Mary Rachel Nalley (fiddle),  Josiah Tyree (banjo) and Charlie Lowman (bass).
  • Their “show” moniker comes from their wardrobe: colorful, tailored suits adorned with rhinestones, ties, classic hats and ornate boots.
  • 2017, released When I Get The Money Made (no label) which won the award for Bluegrass Album of the Year by the National Traditional Country Music Association.

McCormack, Rod


  • From Australia (New South Wales, Central Coast).
  • He is a multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, studio musician and producer. He owns his own recording studio called The Music Cellar.
  • He has written over 30 number one country hits in Australia, along with theme songs and background music for a number of successful TV shows and documentaries.
  • He has played and toured with such artists such as Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Sherrie Austin, Jamie O’neal and was musical director for Trisha Yearwood, LeAnne Rimes, Pam Tillis, Jo Dee Messina and Tracey Lawrence on their Australian tours.
  • 2006, he was awarded Musician of the Year by the CMAA (Country Music Association of Australia).
  • 2004, 2008, 2010 was awarded Producer of the Year by the CMAA (Country Music Association of Australia).
  • 2020, released solo project Fingerprints (Sonic Timber).

Meadow Mountain


  • From Denver, Colorado.
  • Formed in 2015 by Summers Baker (guitar), Jack Dunlevie (mandolin), Ian Parker (fiddle), George Guthrie (banjo) and Wilson Luallen (bass).
  • 2017, won the Rockygrass Band Contest.
  • They have given a TED Talk on the history of bluegrass.
  • They worked on a cruise ship as the house band.
  • 2018, Sam Armstrong-Zickenfoos joined the band (banjo).
  • 2018, released self-titled album (TapeTime), produced by Chris Pandolfi of the Infamous Stringdusters.

Menzone, Dan


  • From Dudley, Massachusetts.
  • A banjo player who spent 19 years with Traver Hollow (1983-2002).
  • He refers to his banjo style as “crackling banjo.”
  • He has since worked with the Connecticut band Truegrass, Gail Wade & Turning Point and Zink & Company.
  • 2005, released solo project Menzone Drive (no label), produced by Wyatt Rice.
  • 2009, released second album Frostbite (no label), also produced by Wyatt Rice.
  • 2016, teamed up with Wyatt Rice to release Something Out of the Blue album (Mountain Fever).

Merle Monroe


  • From Nashville.
  • Formed in 2018 by Tim Raybon (guitar) and Daniel Grindstaff (banjo). Band members include: Jayd Raines (bass), Stephen Burwell (fiddle), Eli Johnston (bass), Nick Chandler (mandolin), Gary Hultman (Dobro), Derek Deakins (fiddle), Jason Burleson (mandolin) and Josh Dosh (guitar).
  • Their band name is a blend of Merle Haggard and Bill Monroe.
  • Raybon is the brother of Marty Raybon (Shenandoah) and performed with him as the Raybon Brothers. They had a hit record in 1997 with “Butterfly Kisses.”
  • Grindstaff has worked with Jim and Jesse as well as the Osborne Brothers on the Grand Ole Opry. He has also worked with Marty Raybon’s band Full Circle.
  • Besides music, Raybon and Grindstaff are both businessmen. Tim has a real estate agency in Nashville, and Daniel owns an insurance agency in Elizabethton, TN.
  • 2019, released Back to the Country album (Pinecastle).

Midnight Skyracer


  • From England and Northern Ireland.
  • An Anglo-Irish, all-female band formed in 2017 by Leanne Thorose (mandolin), Charlotte Carrivick (guitar), Laura Carrivick (fiddle and reso-guitar), Eleanor Wilkie (bass), and Tabitha Benedict (banjo).
  • 2018, released Fire album (no label)
  • 2019, Tabitha Benedict (formerly Agnew) married David Benedict (mandolinist with Mile Twelve). She also plays banjo with another British band called Cup O’Joe.
  • 2020, released Shadows on the Moon album (Island).

Mile Twelve


  • From Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Formed in 2014 by Evan Murphy (guitar), Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (fiddle), Nate Sabat(bass), BB Bowness (banjo) and David Benedict (mandolin).
  • Their name comes from a 12-mile marker that the band passes on the highway at the city limits of Boston. “It has become a signpost for our musical adventures when we’re leaving town or coming home.”
  • Murphy is the only Boston native (from Milton, Massachusetts).
  • 2017, released their first album Onward (no label). produced by Stephen Mougin.
  • 2017, won the IBMA’s Momentum Award for Band of the Year.
  • 2019, released City on a Hill album (Delores the Taurus), produced by Bryan Sutton.
  • 2019, banjo player and native New Zealander BB Bowness became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

Mitchell, Mike


  • From Floyd, Virginia; He was born in Canada.
  • He is a singer, songwriter and music teacher who performs as a solo artist and also with his Mike Mitchell Band.
  • His primary instrument is fiddle, but he plays all the bluegrass instruments.
  • 2005, founded the Floyd Music School and teaches there; it occupies the same building that formerly housed County Sales, the famous mail-order business run by Bluegrass Hall of Famer Dave Freeman.
  • 2018, released album “Small Town” (no label).

Morris, Luke


  • From Galax, Virginia.
  • Plays mandolin with a group called Shadowgrass.
  • Has been a student in the bluegrass music program at East Tennessee State University.
  • Teaches at the Galax JAM program at Chestnut Creek School of the Arts.
  • 2018, at age 18 released his first solo project “Further Down the Line” (no label).

Lee, Nate


  • From Ovilla, Texas. Now living in Nashville.
  • A multi-instrumentalist, he is best known as a mandolin player. He also plays fiddle, guitar and banjo.
  • He has worked in several bands including the Alan Munde Gazette (playing fiddle), The Jim Hurst Trio (fiddle and mandolin) and his own band, The Hard Road Trio.
  • 2015, won an IBMA Momentum award for Instrumentalist of the Year.
  • 2017, joined the Becky Buller Band (mandolin).
  • He named his mandolin “Wonderbat,” a reference to the baseball bat used by Homer Simpson on the TV Show “The Simpsons.”
  • 2020, released first solo project Wings of a Jetliner (Adverb).

Lil’ Smokies, The


  • From Missoula, Montana.
  • Formed in 2010. Band members: Andy Dunnigan (dobro), Scott Parker (upright bass), Matt Cornette (banjo), Jake Simpson (fiddle) and Matt Rieger (guitar).
  • How they got their name: At their first paid gig, the green room was supplied with beer, toothpicks and a plate of Lil’ Smokies sausages. At that time, they didn’t have a band name. After the show, when asked the name of their band, they looked at the empty plate of toothpicks and had their answer.
  • 2013, won The Northwest String Summit Band Competition in Oregon.
  • 2013, released The Lil’ Smokies album (no label)
  • 2014, released Live on New Year’s Eve album (no label)
  • 2015, won the band contest at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
  • 2016, won the IBMA Momentum Award in the band category.
  • 2018, released Changing Shades album (United Interests).

Lindley Creek


  • From Buffalo, Missouri (about 30 miles north of Springfield).
  • A family band, formerly known as the Greer Family.
  • Formed in 2005 by John (bass) and Kathie Greer (guitar) and their children Katie Greer (mandolin), Tate Greer (banjo) and Jase Greer (fiddle). Katie is the lead singer on most songs.
  • They re-named their group Lindley Creek–after an actual creek near where John grew up.
  • 2016, released Lonely Old Guitar album (no label).
  • 2017, Tate (banj0) left the group to pursue a new career and start a family.
  • 2020, released Freedom, Love and the Open Road album (Pinecastle), produced by Jim Van Cleve.

Lonely Heartstring Band


  • From Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Members: George Clements (guitar, lead vocals), Patrick M’Gonigle (fiddle), Matt Witler (mandolin), Gabe Hirshfeld (banjo) and Charles Clements (bass). George and Charles Clements are identical twins.
  • Formed in 2012. They were hired as a wedding band to perform Beatles songs bluegrass-style and decided to stay together. They called themselves BeatleGrass.
  • Several of the group members are (or have been) students at the Berklee School of Music in Boston.
  • 2015, won the IBMA Momentum Award for Band of the Year.
  • 2016, released Deep Waters album (Rounder).
  • 2019, released Smoke and Ashes album (Rounder).
  • 2019, announced an “indefinite hiatus” (no more touring and recording) beginning in September.

Long, Rebekah


  • From Lincolnton, Georgia.
  • She is the twin sister to Lizzy Long.
  • 2002-2009, played bass with Lizzy Long and Little Roy Lewis.
  • 2008, graduated from Glenville State College in Glenville, South Carolina, the first to graduate with a degree in Bluegrass Music.
  • 2009, worked with Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike.
  • Appeared on the Daughters of Bluegrass albums produced by Dixie Hall. She was the recording engineer and graphic designer for these projects.
  • 2014, married gospel music legend Ben Speer (who passed away from Alzheimers disease in 2017).
  • 2016, released first solo album Here I Am (LUK), produced by Donna Ulisse.

Lowell, John


  • From Livingston, Montana.
  • He is a singer/songwriter who has been a member of numerous bands: Medicine Wheel, Wheel Hoss, Deep River, Kane’s River, Loose Ties, the Growling Old Men (with Ben Winship), the John Lowell Band (a European touring group), Two Bit Franks and the Lone Mountain Trio.
  • He worked as a purchasing agent for Gibson musical instruments.
  • 2012, released solo project I Am Going to the West (no label).
  • 2019, released The Long Stretch of Gravel album (Beartooth).

Keith-Hynes, Bronwyn


  • From Charlottesville, Virginia. Lives in Nashville.
  • Began playing fiddle at age 3.
  • 2014, won the National Fiddle Championship at Winfield, Kansas.
  • 2014, was a founding member of the group Mile Twelve, playing fiddle.
  • 2018, won IBMA Momentum Award for Instrumentalist of the Year.
  • 2020, released solo project “Fiddler’s Pastime” (Sugar Petunia).

King James Boys


  • From Cowpens, South Carolina (near Spartanburg).
  • Formed in 1994 at their home church, Mountain View Baptist Church. They became known as the King James 1611 Boys, named after the King James edition of the Bible that was first published in 1611 (which is still widely used today.) They later dropped the “1611” from their band name.
  • Original band: Randy Spencer (guitar), Jeff Dover (bass), Jarred Spencer (mandolin), Kyle Atkins (mandolin), Derrick Mabry (Dobro™), David Mabry (banjo).
  • 2015, released their “20 Year Compilation” album (no label) which featured highlights from their previous eight albums.
  • 2016, released The Little End of Something Big album (Son Sound West).
  • 2018 band members: Randy Spencer (guitar), Jeff Dover (vocals), Cole Spencer (bass), Milom Williams (mandolin), Curtis Lewis (banjo).
  • 2018, released Time to Go Home album (Pinecastle).
  • 2020, added Josh Greene (fiddle) to the band.
  • 2020, released Living on a Promise album (Mountain Fever).



  • From Central Ireland (Tullamore, which is about halfway between Dublin on the east coast and Galway on the west coast).
  • Formed in 2013 by Jamie Keogh (guitar/tenor banjo), Daithi Nelia (5-string banjo/guitar), Cathal Guinan (bass/fiddle), Gavin Strappe (mandolin/tenor banjo).
  • They call their music I-Grass (short for Irish Bluegrass).
  • 2014, released first album “Oh Boy” (no label).
  • 2016, released “Hello World” album (no label).
  • 2017, released “Live in Tullamore” album (no label).
  • 2019, released “Phoenix” album (no label).

Johnson, Billie Renee’


  • From Mt. Sterling, Kentucky.
  • She grew up singing with her family gospel group.
  • 1996, graduated from college with a degree in criminology.
  • 1997, formed her own band Billie Renee’ and Cumberland Gap.
  • 2006, won the band competition at SPBGMA.
  • 2017, released Songs from the Heart album (Truegrass).

Jorgenson, John


  • From Redlands, California.
  • Began playing bass as a youngster, then gravitated to mandolin and guitar. He is well-known as one of the top guitarists in the world, and an authority on “Gypsy Jazz” music. He has worked with such artists as Earl Scruggs, Bonnie Raitt, Elton John, Bob Dylan and many others.
  • 1985, was a founding member of the Desert Rose Band.
  • 1990, 1991, won the Academy of Country Music Award for Guitarist of the Year.
  • 1990, formed The Hellecasters, an electric guitar band.
  • 1994-2000, worked with Elton John, touring and recording.
  • 2004, formed the John Jorgenson Quintet, performing gypsy-jazz music.
  • 2004, portrayed the legendary gypsy-jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt in the movie “Head in the Clouds” starring Charlize Theron and Penelope Cruz.
  • 2014, formed the John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band (or J2B2) with Herb Pederson (banjo), Jon Randall (guitar), and Mark Fain (bass). Jorgenson plays mandolin in the band.
  • 2015, released a three-CD set Divertuoso (Cleopatra), which included a disc featuring the John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band. That disc was later released as From the Crow’s Nest (Purple Pyramid). It was recorded at Sheryl Crow’s home studio.

Jutz, Thomm


  • From Buehl, Germany. Lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • He learned guitar as a teenager and began performing country music in Germany in various cover bands.
  • Studied classical guitar at the Stuttgart Conservatory of Music.
  • 2003, emigrated to the U.S. on a Diversity Immigrant Visa program.
  • After coming to Nashville, he worked with singer/songwriter Mary Gauthier and also with Nanci Griffith’s Blue Moon Orchestra, eventually producing an album for her. He has also worked with and produced albums for Bobby Bare, Maura O’Connell, David Olney, Kim Richey and others.
  • His songwriting credits include several bluegrass songs including “Around the Corner” (Terry Baucom & the Dukes of Drive) and “Carolina Wind” (Irene Kelley). He teaches a songwriting class at Belmont University.
  • 2011, released The 1861 Project: From Farmers to Foot Soldiers, a three-album project featuring original songs about the American Civil War.
  • 2016, with Peter Cooper, wrote and produced an album of songs about Mac Wiseman called Mac Wiseman: I Sang the Song (Mountain Fever).
  • 2016, released a duet album with Craig Market called Nowhere to Hide (no label).
  • 2017, released a bluegrass album of original songs called Crazy If You Let It (Mountain Fever).
  • 2020, released To Live in Two Worlds, Volume 1 album (Mountain Home).

Hensley, Corey


  • From Sod, West Virginia.
  • He is a tenor singer and bass player (although he can play all the bluegrass instruments).
  • Worked with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver for four years. Wrote several songs recorded by Doyle Lawson including “Light on My Feet, Ready to Fly,” “Sing Me A Song About Jesus,” and others.
  • He has his own recording studio.
  • Formed the Corey Hensley Band.

High Fidelity


  • From Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Formed in 2014 by Jeremy Stephens (banjo/guitar), Corrina Rose Logston (fiddle), Kurt Stephenson (banjo), Vickie Vaughn (bass) and Daniel Amick (mandolin/guitar/banjo).
  • The dictionary definition of the term High Fidelity is “the reproduction of an effect (such as sound or an image) that is very faithful to the original.” The phrase was often emblazoned on long-play album covers of the 50’s and 60’s as a selling point.
  • Stephens (guitar) formerly worked with the famous gospel group The Chuck Wagon Gang. He also worked with country singer Ray Stevens and with Jesse McReynolds.
  • Logsdon (fiddle) formerly worked with David Peterson & 1946, Jesse McReynolds & the Virginia Boys, Chris Henry & the Hardcore Grass, and Jim Lauderdale. She is now married to Jeremy Stephens.
  • Stephenson (banjo) won the 2010 National Bluegrass Banjo Champion at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas.
  • Vaughn (bass) previously worked with Patty Loveless, The David Mayfield Parade, Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike, and also fronts her own group, The Vickie Vaughn Band.
  • 2014, won the SPBGMA band contest.
  • 2018, released Hills and Home album (Rebel).

Highland Travelers, The


  • From Johnson City, Tennessee, Citico, Tennessee & Galax, Virginia.
  • Formed in January, 2018 by Adam Steffey (mandolin), Keith Garrett (guitar), Gary Hultman (Dobro™), Jason Davis (banjo) and Kameron Keller (bass).
  • Steffey, Garrett and Hultman were formerly with the Boxcars; Davis and Keller were formerly with Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice. Both of those groups disbanded in 2017.
  • March, 2018, released self-titled album (Mountain Fever).
  • November, 2018, disbanded after Steffey’s decision to take a break from from the music business. Garrett returned to his original band Blue Moon Rising; Hultman joined Blue Highway; Davis and Keller joined Claybank.

Hott, Joe


  • From Winchester, Virginia. Grew up in Augusta, West Virginia. Moved to Nashville in 2017.
  • Began performing as a child after hearing the Lewis Family and Ralph Stanley, his biggest influence.
  • 2012 (at age 16), formed the Short Mountain trio, playing guitar, with his father Gerald Hott (bass) and Jacob Bly (banjo). Short Mountain is a mountain in Virginia near his family’s home place. Released first album Soulful Dream’n (National Media Services).
  • 2013, released “Goodbye for Now” album (National Media Services).
  • 2014, released “Riding the Rails” album (National Media Services).
  • 2015, released “All Original West Virginia Inspirational Bluegrass” (National Media Services).
  • 2016, released Home Far Away album (no label).
  • 2017, formed the Short Mountain Boys which includes Hott (guitar), Aaron Holman (banjo), Jake Riggins (bass), and Nick Bryant (mandolin).
  • 2017, signed with Buddy Lee Attractions, one of Nashville’s top booking agencies.
  • 2018, released “Last Thing on My Mind” album (no label). Backing musicians include Josh Williams, Aaron McDaris, Randy Kohrs, Mike Bub, and Steve Thomas, Sharon White Skaggs and Cheryl White Jones (The Whites).
  • 2019, released West Virginia Rail album (Rural Rhythm).

Hudson, Brad


  • From Seymour, Tennessee. Grew up in eastern North Carolina.
  • A multi-instrumentalist and singer who has performed with The Larkins, Randy Parton, Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road, Jeff and Sheri Easter, Dolly Parton and several variety shows in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
  • 2015, joined Sideline, playing Dobro™ and singing lead vocals.
  • 2017, released solo project Next New Heartbreak (Pinecastle)
  • 2017, left Sideline to pursue a solo career.

Goodfellers, The


    • From Pinnacle, North Carolina.
    • Formed in 2011 by Ralph McGee (mandolin), Teddy Barncastle (guitar), Hersie McMillan (banjo), and Tim Hill (bass).
    • Their name is a take-off on the 1990 gangster movie classic “Goodfellas.”
    • 2018, released self titled album (no label).

Gospel Plowboys, The


  • From Salisbury, North Carolina.
  • A gospel bluegrass band formed in 2012 by David Murph (mandolin). Other members: John Goodson (banjo), Michael Jenkins (guitar), David Brown (guitar and bass), Andrew Brown (bass and resonator guitar), and Kris Miller (guitar).
  • Stage attire: denim overalls, white shirts and red ties.
  • Band member Andrew Brown served with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.
  • 2014, released first album Brethren We Have Met to Worship (no label).
  • 2016, released Welcome Home album (Mountain Fever).
  • 2017, founder and mandolin player Murph died at the age of 58.
  • 2019, banjo player Goodson died at the age of 54.
  • 2019 lineup: Michael Jenkins (mandolin), David Brown (guitar and bass), Andrew Brown (bass and resonator guitar), Kris Miller (guitar), Charles Honeycutt (banjo) and Alec McCallister (fiddle).
  • 2019, released When the Crops Are Laid By album (Mountain Fever), dedicated to the memory of their former bandmates Murph and Goodson.

Fireside Collective


  • From Asheville, NC.
  • Formed in 2014 by Jesse Iaquinto (mandolin). Band members: Tommy Maher (Dobro™), Carson White (bass) and Joe Cicero (guitar).
  • They are students (or former students) of East Tennessee State University, where they met in the school’s music program.
  • 2015, released Shadows and Dreams album (no label)
  • 2016, won the MerleFest Band cometition.
  • 2017, released Life Between the Lines album (no label).
  • 2020, released Elements album (Mountain Home).



  • From Tennessee/Kentucky.
  • Formed in 2015 as a 20-year reunion of the version of J.D. Crowe and his New South band that recorded the album “Flashback.” The group included Crowe, Richard Bennett (guitar), Don Rigsby (mandolin), Curt Chapman (banjo) and Phil Leadbetter (Dobro™).
  • After Crowe retired in 2016, the band continued to perform together under the name Flashback, with Stuart Wyrick joining them on banjo.
  • 2017, released album Foxhounds and Fiddles (Pinecastle).
  • 2017, Leadbetter retired from the group to take care of his health and to pursue a career in real estate.

Forty (40) Horse Mule


  • From Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Formed in 2016, the brainchild of Bennie Boling (bass). Also in the band: Billy Troy (guitar and vocals) and Steve Huber (banjo).
  • Bennie Boling is a former member of the Farm Hands Quartet (as banjo player in that band). He has also worked with Tim Graves and Cherokee, Mike Scott and his All American Bluegrass Band, Steve Kaufmann and other bands.
  • Billy Troy (born Billy Graves) is a singer/songwriter, and the son of Bluegrass Hall of Famer Josh Graves. He lives in Omaha, Nebraska.
  • Their band name comes from a line in a Boling song describing a tractor “… with his ol’ 40 horse Ford Mule.”
  • 2017, released first single “Hell, Fire and Brimstone” (no label).
  • 2018, released second singel “Jack the Tobacco Farmer.” This is the song which includes their band name 40 horse mule.

Foster, Aaron “Frosty”


  • From Wells Bridge, New York. Now lives in Tennessee.
  • Began playing guitar at age 10.
  • 2010, while studying business at ETSU, he enrolled in the school’s bluegrass music program
  • 2015, began playing with the ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band. He also teaches music and works with a band called Dreamcatcher.
  • 2016, released solo project Reaping the Blues (no label).
  • 2017, released “Opening Doors” album (no label).
  • 2018, released single “When I Wake Up to Sleep No More” (no label).
  • 2019, joined the Amanda Cook band, playing guitar.

Ekstein, Rudi


  • From Asheville, NC. He was born in Kansas and lived most of his life in southern California (Los Angeles).
  • The son of Austian immigrants, his surname Ekstein is translated “Cornerstone” in English.
  • 1970’s, began learning all the bluegrass instruments: banjo, mandolin, guitar, and later, upright bass and Dobro™. Played in several southern California bands with good friend and banjo player Billy Constable.
  • 1987, recorded, engineered and produced his first band project featuring his band Foxfire.
  • 1990, founded Foxfire Recording studio in Van Nuys, Calif. where he produced and/or engineered numerous albums for such labels as CMH, Rounder, and Sugar Hill. Artists recorded included Tony Rice, Larry Rice, Chris Hillman, the Laurel Canyon Ramblers, Steve Spurgin, Josh Graves, David Grisman, Gabe Witcher, Richard Greene, Bill Keith, David Grier, Dennis Caplinger, Gene Libbea, Leroy Mack, Patrick Sauber, Herb Pedersen, Bill Bryson, and many others. He was also producer and artist on several albums in the CMH “Pickin’ On” series.
  • 1990, played mandolin with the LA-based band Liberty. They recorded one album “Cornerstone” that was released in 1995.
  • 2004-2006 played with the southern California band Silverado.
  • 2009, moved to Asheville, NC to play with old friend Billy Constable and build a new recording studio.
  • 2012-2015, worked with the Bobby Hicks band and Blue Wheel Drive.
  • 2015, produced an album for Blue Wheel Drive called Hard Driving Bluegrass (Foxfire).
  • 2018, released a solo project Carolina Chimes (Foxfire) featuring his original instrumentals with supporting musicians Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Mark Schatz (bass), Jeff Autry (guitar), Patrick Sauber (banjo) and others.

Engle, Troy


  • From Glen Rock, Pennsylvania
  • He is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has worked as a sideman with Patty Loveless, Buddy Jewell, The Isaacs, Larry Sparks, Mark Newton, Leon Russell and others.
  • He has co-written several songs with Tom T. and Dixie Hall.
  • He composed instrumental tracks heard on TV Shows like the Voice, American Pickers, Duck Dynasty and others.
  • 2015, after living and working in Nashville for 12 years, he returned to his home in Pennsylvania.
  • 2018, released solo project Southern Skies (Rocky Glen). On this album, he wrote all the songs, played all the instruments, sang all the vocal parts and did all the recording/mixing.
  • He performs with his band Southern Skies, named for one of his songs.
  • 2020, released Fox Hollow Memories: Songs I Wrote with Dixie and Tom T. Hall album (Rocky Glen).

Dead South, The


  • From Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
  • Formed in 2012 by Nate Hilts (guitar), Scott Pringle (mandolin), Danny Kenyon (cello) and Colton Crawford (banjo).
  • They blend bluegrass with folk, rock and punk influences. Their signature dress is “hillbilly-pioneer.”
  • 2015, released Good Company album (Curve Music). The video from this album “In Hell I’ll be in Good Company” went viral on YouTube.
  • 2016, Crawford (banjo) left the band and was replaced by Eliza Mary Doyle.
  • 2016, released Illusion & Doubt album (Curve Music).
  • 2018, won a Juno Award for their album Illusion & Doubt.
  • 2019, released Sugar and Joy album (Six-Shooter).

Deeper Shade of Blue


  • From Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Formed in 2000 by Jim Fraley (banjo), Jason Fraley (mandolin) and Brian Hinson (bass). Jim and Jason Fraley are father and son. Other members of the band are Troy Pope (guitar) and Frank Poindexter (Dobro™). Jim and Jason Fraley are father and son.
  • Poindexter is the uncle of the Rice Brothers (Tony, Larry and Wyatt) and has recorded with them on several occasions.
  • Jim Fraley has previously worked with Mac Wiseman, Clyde Moody and Chubby Wise as well as several regional bands in North Carolina.
  • 2015, Hinson was replaced by bassist Scott Burgess.
  • 2018, released “Steam” album (Mountain Fever).
  • 2020, Jim Fraley retired from the band and was replaced by Steve Wilson.

Deer Creek Boys


  • From Amherst, Virginia.
  • Formed in 1999 by brothers Justin Tomlin (guitar) and Jason “Tater” Tomlin (bass) and their childhood friend Cason Ogden (mandolin). They began playing together when they were in grade school.
  • After a long hiatus, the band re-formed with the addition of Andy Lowe (banjo).
  • Justin Tomlin (guitar) also played guitar with Nothin’ Fancy.
  • Jason Tomlin (bass) spent five years with Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice.
  • 2016, released What Goes Up album (Mountain Fever).
  • 2017, released Midnight & Dawn album (Mountain Fever).
  • 2019, released Chaos Theory album (Mountain Fever).

Dowdy Brothers, The


  • From Catawba, Virginia.
  • Formed in 2019 by Steven Dowdy (bass) and Donald Dowdy (mandolin). Their father Victor Dowdy was one half of the Bluegrass Brothers (with their uncle Robert Dowdy). Steven and Donald performed with the Bluegrass Brothers before starting their own band.
  • Other band members include Tommy Conner (guitar), Mason Fisher (banjo) and Cody Bauer (fiddle).
  • Donald plays a left-handed mandolin.
  • 2019, released self-titled album (Tomco).

Droze, Billy


  • From LaFayette, Louisiana. Grew up in Alabama. Currently lives in Nashville.
  • He is the 10th of 12 children, son of country singer Bob “Red” Droze (who recorded for Rural Rhythm Records in the 1960’s).
  • Began playing guitar at age 12 and performed with his father’s band during his teen years.
  • A prolific songwriter, he has written songs recorded by The Grascals, Flatt Lonesome, Junior Sisk, Marty Raybon, Daryl Worley and Jamie O’Neal.
  • As a country artist, he performed and recorded as Billy Ryan. For a time he also filled in as lead singer with the country group Shenandoah.
  • 2012, released Sinnin’ Man album (no label)
  • 2013, released Ambassador album (Carmen Road).
  • 2017, released To Whom It May Concern album (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2019, released Renaissance album (RBR Entertainment).

Droze, Marija


  • From Lithuania. Lives in Nashville.
  • Her name is pronounced MAR-EE-A (the “j” is silent).
  • 2009, met singer Billy Droze at a music festival in eastern Europe. She was singing in a Lithuanian bluegrass band at the time. They later married and she emigrated to the United States.
  • 2019, released first single “Listen to Your Heart” (RBR Entertainment)
  • 2020, released single “Ghost of Your Memory” (RBR Entertainment)
  • 2020, released single “Hard Times” (RBR Entertainment)

Chandler, Nick (and Delivered)


  • From Weaverville, North Carolina.
  • Formed in 2005 by mandolinist Nick Chandler. Other members of the band are Bo Bullman (guitar), Matthew Norton (bass) and Evan Fowler (banjo).
  • 2017, signed with Poor Mountain Records and released their first bluegrass album Groceries, Gas and Used Cars. They had previously focused on gospel music.
  • 2020, released Inside the Lines album (615 Hideaway).

Charm City Junction


  • From Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore’s nickname is “Charm City.”
  • The band consists of a bluegrass fiddler, an old time banjo picker, a Celtic accordionist, and a jazz bassist.
  • Members: Patrick McAvenue (fiddle), Brad Kolodner (banjo), Sean McComskey (accordian) and Alex Lacquement (bass).
  • Their music is a hybrid of Irish and old-time music.
  • 2016, released self-titled album (Patuxent).

Che Apalache


  • From Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Band members are from Argentina, Mexico and the USA.
    They call their music “latin-grass.”
  • Formed in 2013 by North Carolinian multi-instrumentalist Joe Troop who emigrated to Argentina in 2010. He taught bluegrass and old time music there and formed the band with Pau Barjau (banjo/from Mexico), Franco Martino (guitar/from Argentina), and Martin Bobrek (mandolin/from Argentina). Troop plays fiddle in the band.
  • Troop is the principal songwriter. Many of their songs are “message songs” concerning immigration, inclusiveness, etc.
  • 2019, released “Rearrange My Heart” album (Free Dirt), produced by Bela Fleck.

Chosen Road


  • From Princeton, West Virginia.
  • A bluegrass gospel group formed in 2009 by Jonathan Buckner (guitar). The band is sometimes billed as Jonathan Buckner and Chosen Road. Other band members include (or have included) Jonathan Campbell (bass), Zack Alvis (mandolin), Brandon Green (banjo), Chris Stackwell (Reso-guitar), Tyler Robertson (banjo), Jason Wheeler (banjo), Max Silverstein (fiddle), Brandy Miller (banjo) and others.
  • 2011, released “Old Time Way” album (Poor Mountain).
  • 2013, released “Expectations” album (Poor Mountain).
  • 2014, released “Love’s Purist Light” album (Poor Mountain).
  • 2016, released Water Grave album (Poor Mountain).

Circus No. 9


  • From East Tennessee.
  • A progressive bluegrass band described as “John Hartford meets John Coltrane.”
  • Formed in 2016 by Matthew Davis (banjo), Thomas Cassell (mandolin), Vince Ilagan (bass), and Ben Garnett (guitar).
  • Matthew Davis (banjo) has won both the National Banjo Championship and the Rockygrass Banjo Championship. He also plays with a “chambergrass” (bluegrass/jazz/classical chamber music) group called Westbound Situation.
  • Thomas Cassell (mandolin) won the Rockygrass Mandolin Championship (2016). He has also performed with the Bryan Sutton Band, Billy Strings, Missy Raines, Becky Buller, and others. He has released a solo album called Voyager (no label).
  • 2018, released Modernus album (no label).



  • From West Jefferson, North Carolina.
  • Formed in 2015 by 15-year old Zack Arnold (mandolin), 17-year old Jacob Greer (guitar), Tyler Thompson (banjo) and Gary Trivette (bass).
  • 2016, won the band competition at RenoFest.
  • Claybank is the name of a street in the North Carolina community (Ashe County) where they live.
  • 2016, released first album Playing Hard to Forget (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2018, released No Escape album (Mountain Fever).
  • 2019, Thompson and Trivette left the band and were replaced by Jason Davis (banjo), Jamie Harper (fiddle), and Kameron Keller (bass.) All three previously worked with Junior Sisk. Davis and Keller most recently were with the Highland Travelers.
  • 2019, released Road Signs and Highways album (Mountain Fever).

Furtado, Gina


  • From Winchester, Virginia.
  • Began playing piano as a child but switched to banjo at age 11. Took lessons from Murphy Henry and Mike Munford.
  • Was a finalist numerous times in the banjo competition at the Galax Old Tme Fiddler’s Convention.
  • Played in a family band for several years. Her sister Malia Furtado plays fiddle in the band Circa Blue; her brother Victor Furtado is a clawhammer banjo virtuoso.
  • 2013-2016, played banjo in the group Bud’s Collective.
  • 2016, joined Chris Jones and the Night Drivers.
  • 2017, released solo project True Colors (Mountain Home) under the name Gina Clowes (her married name at the time).
  • 2019, left Chris Jones and the Night Drivers to form her own group The Gina Furtado Project. Band members include She is Drew Matulich (guitar), Max Johnson (bass) and sister Malia Furtado (fiddle).
  • 2019, released I Hope You Have a Good Life album (Mountain Home).

Coaltown Dixie


  • From east Kentucky.
  • Described as “High Heeled Bluegrass,” they were formed in 2009 by Kris Bailey Preston (mandolin), Kalyn Bradford (guitar), Stephanie May Rose (bass) and Melanie Turner (banj0).
  • They have been the recipients of a National Bluegrass B.O.R.N. (Bands On the Rise Nationally) Award, been featured as “Future Stars” in the U.S. 23 Country Music Highway Travel Guide and appeared on the cover of M.E. Music Entertainment magazine.
  • 2016, released their third album “No Town Like Coaltown” (no label).

Colebrook Road


  • From Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
  • Formed in 2008 by Jesse Eisenbise (guitar, lead vocals) and Wade Yankey (mandolin). Other members: Jeff Campbell (bass), Mark Rast (banjo), and Joe McAnulty (fiddle).
  • They are winners of the 2016 D.C. Bluegrass Union’s Mid Atlantic Bluegrass band contest in Washington D.C., the 2015 Podunk Bluegrass Festival band contest in Hebron, CT, the 2014 Watermelon Park Fest band contest in Berryville, VA, and the 2011 Pickin’ In The Panhandle Bluegrass Festival band contest in Martinsburg, WV,
  • 2012, released first self-titled album (no label).
  • 2016, released Halfway Between album (no label).
  • 2019, released On Time album (Mountain Fever).

Commonwealth Bluegrass


  • From Richmond, Virginia.
  • Formed in 2013 by Randy Cook (mandolin), Malcolm Pulley (banjo), Jason Owens (guitar), Lance Seal (bass), and Wally Hughes (fiddle). Other band members have included Jim Green (bass), Glenn Waller (guitar), Mike Bailiff (guitar) and Joe Currence (bass).
  • The group began as Randy Cook and the Commonwealth Bluegrass Band but later changed its name to simply the Commonwealth Bluegrass Band.
  • Cook and Pulley had previously worked together with James Bailey and Company.
  • Pulley is a prolific songwriter. He wrote the song “In the Gravel Yard,” which was recorded by Blue Highway and nominated for IBMA Song of the Year in 1996.
  • 2014, released self titled album (no label).
  • 2017, released “Love Reunited” album (no label.)

Cook, Amanda


  • From Pace, Florida (near Pensacola on the Gulf Coast).
  • 2007, formed a bluegrass group with her banjo-playing father called High Cotton.
  • 2013, released first solo project “One Stop Along the Road” (no label).
  • 2016, formed a band called Kennesaw Ridge with Amanda (mandolin), Carolyne VanLierop (banjo), Crystal Owens (bass), Scotty French (guitar), and George Mason (fiddle).
  • 2017, released Deep Water album (Mountain Fever).
  • 2019, released Point of No Return album (Mountain Fever).

Crandall Creek


  • From Moundsville, West Virginia
  • Band members: Jerry Andrews (guitar).  Kathy Wigman Lesnock (guitar), Dustin Terpenning (mandolin/banjo), Lilli Gadd (bass) and Heather Wharton (fiddle).
  • 2020, released first single “Drivin’ Me Insane” (Bell Buckle)

Cricket Tell the Weather


  • From Brooklyn, New York.
  • A string band featuring fiddler and songwriter Andrea Asprelli, originally from Colorado. A classical violinist, she discovered bluegrass/old time music after moving to the east coast.
  • Band members (various) include: Doug Goldstein and Hilary Hawke (banjo), Dave Speranza and Sam Weber (bass) and Mike Robinson, Jason Borisoff and Jeff Picker (guitar).
  • 2011, Asprelli won the songwriting contest at the Podunk Bluegrass Festival (Hebron, CT).
  • 2013, won the FreshGrass Award in North Adams, MA.
  • 2014, released Cricket Tell the Weather album (no label).
  • 2016, released Tell the Story Right album (no label).

Bibelhauser, Aaron


  • 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.

Bluegrass Outlaws, The


  • 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).

Boner, Dan


  • 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).

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).

Brown, Dewey & Leslie


  • 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, Jeff (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.

Appalachian Road Show


  • From east Tennessee.
  • Formed in 2018 by Barry Abernathy (banjo) and Darrell Webb (guitar/mandolin). The band includes Jim Van Cleve (fiddle), Todd Phillips (bass), and Zeb Snyder (guitar).
  • Their purpose is to “celebrate the broad musical heritage, culture, and lifestyle of the great Appalachian people.”
  • 2018, released self titled album (Billy Blue).
  • 2020, released Tribulation album (Billy Blue).

Arrowood, Carley


  • From Forest City, North Carolina.
  • Learned to play violin (classical) and then fiddle. Formed her own band at age 10 (in 2006).
  • 2011, while in high school, played in a band called Most Wanted Bluegrass, performing at Dollywood theme park and local festivals.
  • 2013, also in high schoo, formed a group with her sister called Carolina Jasmine, the first all-female group to win the band contest at Fiddlers Grove.
  • 2015, joined Darin and Brooke Aldridge, playing fiddle and singing harmony.
  • 2017, won the IBMA’s Momentum Award for Instrumentalist of the Year.
  • 2020, signed with Mountain Home records as a solo artist.

Swift Creek


  • From Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Formed in 2010 by Kevin Brown (guitar, lead vocals), Casey Elder (mandolin), Dennis Hoyle (bass), Ashley Kovacs (fiddle) and Ann Searcy (vocals).
  • 2015, Kovacs left the band and was replaced by Stephen Fraleigh (fiddle and banjo).
  • 2012, released Winner Winner Chicken Dinner album (Vital).
  • 2016, released “Magnolia” album (Vital).