Category: BLOG

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 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; Jacob Connor replaced Louise Hughes on mandolin.
  • 2023, Katelyn Ingardia released a solo project produced by Jeff Partin.
  • 2024, Jacob Carroll replaced Zach Carter on banjo; David Heavener replaced Jacob Connor on mandolin.

Jackson Hollow


  • From British Columbia (Canada).
  • A band featuring the lead vocals of Tianna Lefebvre. Other members of the group include Mike Sanyshyn (fiddle, mandolin), Charlie Frie (bass) and Eric Reed (guitar, banjo). Sanyshyn and Lefebvre are husband and wife.
  • They have three times won the BCCMA Gaylord Wood Traditional Country Award (British Columbia Country Music Association).
  • Lefebvre has also won female vocalist of the year at the BCCMA Awards. She has also worked with Shania Twain.
  • Sanyshyn was a top 3 finalist at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Championship and has won the BCCMA award for Fiddle Player of the Year.
  • 2021, signed with Mountain Fever Records.

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.

Bailey, Caleb


  • From Grottoes, Virginia (Shenandoah Valley)
  • Mid-2000’s, played in a band called Allegheny Blue.
  • Grew up in a musical family. His great uncle played steel and Dobro™ with such artists as Tom T. Hall and Eddie Rabbit.
  • With his bluegrass band, he performs as Caleb Bailey and Paine’s Run. They are: Bailey (guitar), Rob Slusser (banjo), Brandon Kyle (bass), Joe Showalter (fiddle), Chandler Beavers (mandolin) and Wyatt Wood (guitar).
  • 2021, released solo project “Poplar and Pine” (no label) featuring his original songs, produced by Gaven Largent.



  • 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.

Jake Leg


  • From Lyons, Colorado.
  • Formed in the fall of 2021 by Eric Wiggs (vocals/guitar), Dylan McCarthy (mandolin/vocals), Justin Hoffenberg (fiddle) and Troy Robey (bass).
  • Jake Leg is the name of a “paralysis caused by drinking improperly distilled or contaminated liquor (e.g. moonshine).”
  • They are a new acoustic band with bluegrass roots.
  • 2022, made their debut as a showcase artist at IBMA World of Bluegrass; also performed at Planet Bluegrass’ Rockygrass festival.

East Nash Grass


  • From Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Formed in 2017 as a pick-up band to play dates at Nashville’s Station Inn and eventually became a full-time band. They are regulars at Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge in Nashville.
  • Members: Cory Walker (banjo), Harry Clark (guitar), Maddie Denton (fiddle), Gaven Largent (Dobro™), James Kee (mandolin) and Geoff Sanders (bass).
  • 2021, released first album East Nash Grass (Lamb Lyfe Records).
  • 2023, made their first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry on Halloween night.

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).

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).

James, Ben


  • From North Carolina; resides in Nashville.
  • 2019, joined Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, singing high tenor vocals until Doyle’s retirement.
  • 2021, joined Dailey & Vincent.
  • 2022, signed with RBR Entertainment and released several singles.
  • 2023, joined the Oak Ridge Boys (replacing Joe Bonsal).

Magnolia Drive


  • From Hattiesburg, Mississippi
  • Formed in 2010 by Don Robinson (banjo/guitar), Steve Nowell (bass), Mike Nowell (guitar) and Cory Burton (mandolin).
  • Their name comes from Mississippi’s nickname “The Magnolia State,” plus the “drive” that typifies traditional bluegrass music.
  • They play “southern-style contemporary traditional bluegrass.”
  • 2022, released Timeless album (Mountain Fever).

Falle, Marty


  • From Nashville. He has lived in Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia and South Carolina. He owns a farm in Kentucky.
  • His name is pronounced “Falley” (same as “Valley” only with an F).
  • He is a singer and songwriter who has recorded both as a country and bluegrass artist.
  • 2021, released Virgin on the Bluegrass, his first bluegrass album (Country Cool Music).
  • 2023, released second bluegrass album Kentucky Bluestar (Country Cool).
  • 2023 released third bluegrass album My Farm, My Bluegrass (Country Cool).
  • 2024, released fourth bluegrass album Bluegrass Holy Land (Country Cool).

Zink, Corey


  • From Massachusetts; now lives in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
  • 2003-2012, played mandolin with a Massachusetts band called Acoustic Blue. Left to form the Corey Zink Band (later renamed Zink & Company).
  • 2014, released Zink & Company album (no label).
  • 2015, released Zink & Company II album (no label).
  • 2016, released Zink & Company III album (no label).
  • 2018, his band included Zink (guitar/lead vocals), John Roc (mandolin), Dan Menzone (banjo), Keith Edwards (bass), Doug Bartlett (mandolin) and Gary Pomerleau (fiddle).
  • 2018, released Zink & Company IV album (no label).
  • 2019, moved to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and was signed by Sound Biscuit Records. He is a regular performer at Dollywood. He also formed a “classic country” band to expand his audience.
  • 2021, released singles “Bein’ Country” and “Best of Her” (Sound Biscuit).

Mandolin Orange (Watchhouse)


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).
  • 2019, won the IBMA Momentum Award for Band of the Year. Tray Wellington also won the Momentum Award for Instrumentalist of the Year.
  • 2020, the group disbanded.
  • 2021, Mandolinist Liam Purcell re-formed the band with Rob McCormac (guitar), Jacob Smith (bass), Colton Kerchner (banjo) and Sam Stage (fiddle). Rebranded the band as Liam Purcell and Cane Mill Road.
  • 2021, Purcell released solo album Roots (Trailhead) writing all the songs and playing all the instruments.
  • 2023, fiddler Stage was replaced by Ella Jordan (formerly with Mile Twelve).
  • 2024, released Yellow Line album (Pinecastle).
  • 2024, banjo player Zack Vickers replaced Kerchner.

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.
  • 2021, signed with Turnberry Records.
  • 2022, released Susquehanna Line album (Turnberry). Darou plays all the instruments on the album with vocal performances by guest artists.

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).

Daugherty, Caleb


  • From Connersville, Indiana.
  • Began singing and playing guitar at age 7.
  • 2016, appeared with Rhonda Vincent on the Grand Ole Opry.
  • 2017, released self-titled country album (KDM).
  • 2019, released Burnt the Sawmill Downalbum (KDM) with his bluegrass band The Caleb Daugherty Band: Zion Napier (mandolin), Kyle Clerkin (banjo), Zach Collier (bass), Kyle Ramey (fiddle).
  • 2020, released single “Daylight’s Burning” (KDM)
  • 2021, was a guest artist on the album Industrial Strength Bluegrass (Smithsonian) performing a duet with Rhonda Vincent.

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).
  • 2019, released Stand On My Own album (Bonfire).
  • 2020, released Just a Little Rain album (Bonfire).
  • 2021, joined rock singer-songwriter Dave Mason’s band.

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).
  • 2022, Powell left the band to join Nick Chandler and Delivered.

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).

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).

Faris, Rick


  • Grew up in Arkansas (the Ozarks) and Kansas. 
  • Began playing music professionally at age 7 with his family band The Faris Family (1998). His father (Bob Faris) played fiddle in Reba McIntyre’s band.
  • He is best known as a guitarist but he plays all the bluegrass instruments at a professional level.
  • 2009-2021, joined Special Consensus playing mandolin (which he had to learn). Six years later he took over the guitar position.
  • He is also a luthier who builds high quality guitars. His business is called the Faris Guitar Company.
  • 2019, released first solo album Breaking In Lonesome (Dark Shadow).
  • 2021, began his solo career, formed the Rick Faris Band and released The Next Mountain album (Dark Shadow).
  • 2023, released Uncommon Sky album (Dark Shadow).
  • 2023, moved to Owensboro, Kentucky (home of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum) and became Artist in Residence with the Kentucky Guitar Center.
  • 2024, he was inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame.

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.

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).

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).

Davis, Chris


  • From Fairborn, Ohio. Lives in Russell, Kentucky.
  • Learned to play and sing bluegrass in his family band featuring his father, his grandfather and uncles “The Davis Brothers.”
  • 2011, joined Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice, playing mandolin.
  • 2013, joined Wildfire, playing mandolin and singing tenor.
  • 2014, worked with Diamond Rio, filling in for Gene Johnson during his absence from open heart surgery.
  • 2015, worked with Larry Sparks, Larry Cordle and Marty Raybon.
  • 2019, joined the Grascals, playing guitar, replacing Terry Eldridge.
  • His son Gibson plays banjo and has filled in for Grascals banjo player Kristin Scott Benson.
  • 2022, signed a record contract with RBR Entertainment and released his first single.
  • 2022, left the Grascals to join Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, playing mandolin.

Fast Track


  • From Nashville.
  • Formed in 2019 upon the retirement of David Parmley. His band Cardinal Tradition continued on without him, taking the new name Fast Track and adding Duane Sparks 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.
  • 2021, Brock departed and Shayne Bartley (mandolin) replaced him.
  • 2023, Spears died after a long illness and was replaced by bassist Zach Collier.
  • 2024, Randy Barnes (bass) joined the band, replacing Zach Collier.

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).

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.

Chandler, Nick (and Delivered)


  • From Weaverville, North Carolina.
  • 2003, played mandolin in a band with Bobby Hicks (shortly after Bobby left Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder.)
  • 2005, Formed his own group Delivered. Band members: Bo Bullman (guitar), Matthew Norton (bass) and Evan Fowler (banjo).
  • 2017, released Groceries, Gas and Used Cars album (Poor Mountain)
  • 2020, released Inside the Lines album (615 Hideaway).
  • 2020 band lineup: Gary Trivette (bass), Will Eller (banjo) and Hudson Bosworth (guitar).
  • 2021, Eller (banjo) was replaced by Zach McCraken.
  • 2022, Bosworth left the band and was replaced by Bobby Powell (formerly of Carolina Blue).
  • 2022, released Silver Bird album (Pinecastle).



  • From Brooklyn, New York.
  • Formed in 2006 by record-producer and guitarist Rench (Oscar Owens) who combined bluegrass with hip-hop to record the theme song for the FX television network’s show “Justified.”
  • 2014, released Rappalachia slbum (Rench).
  • 2014, released Broken Hearts and Stolen Money album (Rench).
  • 2015, released American Music album (Rench).
  • Since 2018, band members have been 2018 has been Rench (vocals, guitar, beats), Dolio the Sleuth (MC, vocals), R-SON the Voice of Reason (MC), Dan “Danjo” Whitener (vocals, banjo), and B.E. Farrow (vocals, fiddle).
  • Fans include Howie Mandell (“America’s Got Talent”) and the late author Elmore Leonard.
  • 2019, they appeared at the Station Inn in Nashville, the first time a hip-hop group had ever appeared at the iconic bluegrass venue.
  • 2019, released Pocket Full of Fire album (Rench).
  • 2020, released No Time for Enemies album (Rench). This album went to #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart.

Lay, Linda


  • From Stephens City, Virginia.
  • 1984-2001, she was lead singer and bassist with the group Appalachian Trail. She also performed under the name Linda Barker.
  • 2000, toured with a show called “Masters of the Steel String Guitar.”
  • 2003, she recorded a solo project for the Cracker Barrel record label and another an album with husband David Lay (guitarist with Appalachian Trail), Tom Adams (banjo) and David McLaughlin (mandolin) called Springfield Exit.
  • 2004, re-organized Appalachian Trail with several new members.
  • 2022, released self-titled solo project on Mountain Fever Records.
  • 2022, Joey Cox joined Springfield Exit playing banjo.

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).

Harper, Dalton


  • From Bunker, Missouri.
  • He is a singer, guitarist and songwriter who grew up performing with his family group The Harper Family.
  • 2019, joined Missouri band Cedar Hill, playing guitar and singing lead.
  • 2019, formed a country band called Ridgeway Pass.
  • 2022, signed a record deal with Skyline Records.
  • 2023, released first single “Highway of Love” (Skyline).

Tennessee Bluegrass Band


  • From east Tennessee.
  • Formed in 2020 by Aynsley Porchak (fiddle), Lincoln Hensley (banjo), John Meador (guitar), Gracie Meador (bass) and Tim Laughlin (mandolin). The Meadors are married.
  • The group formed as a spin-off of the band Carolina Blue. When Carolina Blue co-founder Bobby Powell left the group, he took the name Carolina Blue with him and the remaining members formed a new band.
  • 2021, signed a recording contract with Billy Blue Records.
  • 2021, the Meadors left the group to start a family.
  • 2022, Lincoln Mash (guitar) and Tyler Griffith (bass) joined the band.
  • 2023, Geary Allen (guitar) and Anissa Burnett (bass) joined the band, replacing Mash and Griffith.

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 solo project The RV Sessions (no label), recorded in his RV.
  • 2016, released instrumental album The RV Sessions II (Obsidian).
  • 2020, released solo project Circles (Organic).
  • 2022. released solo project River Wild (Organic).

Watson, Trevor


  • From southwest Virginia.
  • Plays banjo with Shannon Slaughter.
  • After graduating from Virginia Tech, he became a cast member at the Carolina Opry (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina).
  • 2003, joined Lou Reid and Carolina. He and Shannon Slaughter were bandmates for four years and have remained friends.
  • 2018, filled in for Ben Eldridge in the Seldom Scene before he retired.
  • Has worked with Shannon Slaughter on tour and on his recordings.
  • 2024, released solo project Out of the Shadows (no label).

Leach, Alex (The Alex Leach Band)


  • From Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • Alex is not only a musician (he plays all the bluegrass instruments well) but he is also a bluegrass DJ on Knoxville radio station WDVX since he was only 9 years old.
  • 2011, first professional job as a musician was with the Larry Gillis Band.
  • 2012, joined Ralph Stanley II and the Clinch Mountain Boys, playing banjo.
  • 2019, formed the Alex Leach Band. Members: Leach (guitar, lead vocals), his wife Miranda (vocals), Brandon Masur (banjo), Joshua Gooding (mandolin) and J.T. Coleman (bass).
  • 2021, released I’m the Happiest When I’m Moving album (Mountain Home).
  • 2023, disbanded his group and re-joined Ralph Stanley II and the Clinch Mountain Boys, playing banjo.

Ida Clare


  • From Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Formed in 2014 by Lea Cockrell (guitar/vocals) at her coffee shop, calling themselves “Total Strangers.” Other members: Robin Thixton (banjo), Jim Wheatley (Mandolin) and Mark Miller (Bass)
  • 2017, they changed their name to Ida Clare.
  • Fun Fact: Lea Cockrell played in a band called New Horizon as a teenager in the early 80s. The banjo player for
    that band was Murrell Thixton who would eventually meet and marry banjo player Robin Thixton who became the banjo player with Ida Clare.
  • 2017, won first place at the inaugural band contest at the John Hartford Memorial Festival held in Bean Blossom, Indiana.
  • 2018, released their first self titled album (no label).
  • 2021, Nick Stevens (bass) joins the band. He owns Downtown Recording Studio in Louisville.
  • 2023, released Ida Two album (no label).

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.”
  • Their name comes from the fact that there are three banjo players in the band.
  • 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.
  • 2022, tenor banjo player Enda Scahill was awarded the Steve Martin Banjo Prize.

Yeary, Jimmy


  • From Hillsboro, Ohio; lives in Nashville.
  • 1994, moved to Nashville after signing a record deal with Atlantic Records in 1994 but due to changes at the label, his single was never released. He has made a name himself primarily as a songwriter, penning #1 country hits for such artists as George Strait, Rascal Flatts, Joe Diffie and others.
  • 2007-2011, he was the lead singer for country group Shenandoah.
  • 2009, married Sonya Isaacs of the Isaacs.
  • 2021, began releasing bluegrass music (several singles) for RBR Entertainment.

Pert Near Sandstone


  • From Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.
  • Formed in 2004 along the sandstone bluffs of St. Paul, Minnesota by Justin Bruhn (bass), Kevin Kniebel (banjo), J Lenz (guitar), and Nate Sipe (mandolin, steel guitar, fiddle). Also in the band: Chris Forsberg (fiddle), Matt Cartier (percussion). Ryan Young (of Trampled by Turtles) was an original member.
  • They play a blend of bluegrass and string band music influenced by metal, electronic, rock, reggae and more.
  • They have performed with Steve Martin, the Flaming Lips, Trampled By Turtles, the Del McCoury Band, the Yonder Mountain String Band, Sam Bush and others.
  • 2023, released Waiting Days, their eighth studio album (no label).

Eddy, Jake


  • From Parkersburg, West Virginia.
  • Plays all the bluegrass instruments but his specialty is flat-pick and gypsy-jazz style guitar.
  • 2014, while in middle school, he entered a contest to record a jingle for the Band-Aid company and won a $10,000 prize.
  • 2014, at age 14 he was a member of Melvin Goins’ Windy Mountain Boys (playing banjo).
  • While in college (Ohio University) he had two bands: The Jake Eddy Gypsy Jazz Trio, the Eddy/Meyer Trio.
  • 2021, at age 21 joined the Becky Buller band as lead guitarist and vocalist.
  • 2021, released a solo project Jake Eddy (no label) with Bryan Sutton, Kenny Smith, Rob Ickes, Cory Walker, Dominick Leslie and his brother Carter Eddy (bass).

Nefesh Mountain


  • From New Jersey.
  • A husband-wife duo: Eric Lindberg (banjo, mandolin, guitar) and Doni Zasloff (vocals). Their band has included Alan Grubner (fiddle), Tim Kiah (bass) and Thomas Cassell (mandolin).
  • 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.

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).

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).

Wellington, Tray


  • From Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
  • Given name: Trajan Wellington.
  • Began playing banjo at age 13. He grew up on Flint Hill Road.
  • 2015, formed Cane Mill Road (with Liam Purcell).
  • 2019, won the IBMA’s Momentum Award for Instrumentalist of the Year. Cane Mill Road also won Band of the Year.
  • 2020, left Cane Mill Road and formed his own group, The Tray Wellington Band with Josiah Nelson (mandolin), Nick Weitzenfeld (guitar), and Katelynn Lowe (bass).
  • 2022, released Black Banjo album (Mountain Home).

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 (the band) will continue on a limited basis.
  • 2020, released single “Wrong Turn that Led Me to You” (Pinecastle).

Wolfpen Branch


  • From Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Formed in 2019-2020 by Arthur Hancock IV (guitar) and Chris Shouse (mandolin). They were later joined by Roddy Puckett (bass), Kati Penn (fiddle) and Aaron Bibelhauser (banjo). Hancock and Puckett were formerly members of the Wooks. Penn had her own band NewTown and Bibelhauser also performs with his band Relic.
  • The group was named after a song written by Hancock called Wolfpen Branch. It is also the name of a road in the Louisville area.
  • They formed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their other bands were unable to work, so they formed a new band during the layoff.
  • 2021, Penn left the band and was replaced by fiddler Jeff Guernsey.
  • 2021, released first music to radio, a single “Don’t Have a Clue” (no label).
  • 2023, released Long Hill to Climb album (no label)
  • 2023, the group disbanded.

Wood Box Heroes


  • From Nashville.
  • Formed in 2022 by Barry Bales (bass), Jenee Fleenor (fiddle), Seth Taylor (mandolin), Matt Menefee (banjo), and Josh Martin (guitar).
  • Bales is also a member of Alison Krauss’ band Union Station
  • 2022, Fleenor won the CMA Award for “Musician of the Year” for the fourth time. She is a first-call session musician in Nashville and has toured with Blake Shelton, Martina McBride, Terri Clark, Don Williams and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, among others. She also performed on NBC’s The Voice for 8 years. She has recorded on numerous #1 songs and is also a prolific songwriter.
  • Seth Taylor is also a member of Mountain Heart.
  • Matt Menifee is a former member of Cadillac Sky and Chessboxer.
  • Josh Martin is a singer/songwriter from Kentucky with several country albums to his credit (Sony/ATV).
  • 2023, released first single Made Up My Mind (no label).

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).
  • 2016, released “Little Circles” album (Gnar Vector).
  • 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).
  • 2019, Hancock and Puckett formed a new band with Aaron Bibelhauser and Kati Penn called Wolfpen Branch.
  • 2021, released Flyin’ High album (Gnar Vector). New lineup: Cain (guitar), Clark (mandolin), George Guthrie (banjo) and Allen Cook (Dobro™).

Workman, Jake


  • From Draper, Utah.
  • 2001, began playing guitar at age 13, when his parents 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).
  • 2020, won the IBMA Award for Guitar Player of the Year.

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.

Via, Mason


  • From Danbury, North Carolina.
  • Via is pronounced “Vie” (as in “die” or “sky”).
  • A multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter.
  • 2016, released solo project Up, Up, Up (no label). He previously recorded several projects with Tom Mindte and Ben Somervil (Patuxent).
  • Previously performed with Hot Trail Mix and the Mason Via Band.
  • 2020, joined Old Crow Medicine Show.
  • 2021, made the final top 40 competition on the ABC-TV program American Idol.
  • 2021, released solo project on Mountain Fever Records.
  • 2024, left Old Crow Medicine Show to resume his solo career.

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)
  • 2022, released “My Hope Is In the Lord” album (Plum River).

Theo & Brenna


  • From Winchester, Kentucky.
  • Theo (guitar) and Brenna (banjo) MacMillan are brother and sister, two of ten siblings in their family.
  • They both attended Berea College (Kentucky) and played in the Berea College Bluegrass Band.
  • 2016, moved to Nashville and began performing as a duo. Two years later, they formed their own band.
  • 2019, released first album Where You Go (no label).
  • 2022, released I Can Hear Kentucky Calling Me (Mountain Fever).

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).

Top, Zach


  • From Eastern Washington. Lives in Nashville.
  • Began playing guitar at age five. He is a singer/songwriter and bandleader.
  • At age seven, he and his siblings had a band called Topstring.
  • 2015, joined a Seattle-based band called North Country.
  • 2017, formed a band called Modern Tradition.
  • 2019, signed with RBR Entertainment and released first single “In a World Gone Wrong.”

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 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).
  • 2021, formed bluegrass ensemble “Golden Highway” with Dominick Leslie (mandolin), Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (fiddle), Kyle Tuttle (banjo), and Shelby Means (bass).
  • 2022, released Crooked Tree album (Nonesuch).
  • 2023, won the Grammy award for best bluegrass album (for “Crooked Tree”). She was also nominated for “Best New Artist” at the Grammys.
  • 2024, won the Grammy award for best bluegrass album (for “City of Gold”).

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).

Simpson,, Sturgill


  • From Jackson, Kentucky; grew up in Lexington. Lives in Nashville.
  • 2004, after serving in the U.S. Navy, he formed a country-rock band in Seattle, Washington called Sunday Valley.
  • 2012, moved to Nashville and recorded his first album High Top Mountain (no label).
  • 2014, released Metamodern Sounds of Country Music (High Top Mountain Music). Made guest appearances on Late Night with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, The Conan O’Brien Show and several other late night programs.
  • 2015, toured with Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.
  • 2016, released A Sailor’s Guide to Earth album (Atlantic).
  • 2018, he acted in the movie Orca Park. Since then, he has acted in several other films.
  • 2019, released Sound and Fury album (Elektra).
  • 2020, released two bluegrass albums, Cuttin’ Grass Volume 1 and Cuttin’ Grass Volume 2 (High Top Mountain).
  • 2021, released a third bluegrass album, The Ballad of Dood and Juanita (High Top Mountain).

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.
  • Original 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.
  • 2020, won IBMA Awards for Entertainer of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year.
  • 2020, Dale Ann Bradley left the group to give more attention to her solo career.
  • 2021, Jaelee Roberts (guitar) and Hasee Ciaccio (bass) joined the band.
  • 2021, the group was featured in a special exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum called American Currents: State of the Music.
  • 2022, Mary Meyer (mandolin) joined the band, replacing Tina Adair who left to pursue her solo career.
  • 2023, Meyer left the band and was replaced by Dani Flowers (guitar). Also, Maddie Dalton (bass) replaced Ciaccio.

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.
  • 2021, released Mine All Mine album (Bonfire).

Smathers, Jesse


  • From Eden, North Carolina. Lives in Floyd, VA.
  • 2009, won the guitar championship from the Virginia Folk Music Association.
  • 2010, after graduation from high school, joined the James King band playing mandolin.
  • 2014, joined Nothin’ Fancy.
  • 2015, joined the Lonesome River Band, playing mandolin. In 2021, switched to guitar.
  • 2021, released first single as a solo artist “Nothing In the World To Do” (written during the pandemic in 2020).
  • 2022, released self-titled album (no label).

Smith, Gerald


  • From Statesboro, Georgia. Has lived in Nashville since 1986.
  • He is a singer/songwriter with several number one songs to his credit including “What Part of No” (Lorrie Morgan) and “Every Minute” (Collin Raye). His songs have been recorded by dozens of country and bluegrass artists.
  • He was a regular on the “Hee Haw” television show. He was called “The Georgia Quacker” because of his ability to make realistic duck calls using just his hands and mouth.
  • He has written numerous humor and novelty songs like “You Play Like Chet” and “Where There’s a Will (There’s a Relative).”
  • 2021, he released Where There’s a Will album (no label), featuring bluegrass covers of many of his songs.

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-(as in “cow”)-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).
  • 2021, released “Time Travel” album (no label).

Sprung, Roger


  • From Newtown, Connecticut. He was originally from New York City. His father was a Manhattan lawyer.
  • Began playing banjo in the early days folk music (1950’s-1960’s) around New York City. He studied the music of the Carolinas and played in groups like the Folksay Trio, the Shanty Boys and others.
  • Recorded several banjo albums for Folkways Records, with Doc Watson on guitar, including “Progressive Bluegrass Vol. 1.”
  • 1970’s, formed a group called Roger Sprung, Hal Wylie and the Progressive Bluegrassers.
  • He is sometimes called the Godfather of Progressive Bluegrass.
  • He was also an artist and calligrapher.
  • 1970, won “World Championship Banjo Player” at the Union Grove Old Time Fiddlers Festival.
  • 2020, was inducted into the Banjo Museum Hall of Fame.
  • 2023, died at the age of 92.

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.

Starlett & Big John


  • From Southampton County, Virginia (Big John) and Ruffin, North Carolina (Starlett).
  • Starlett Boswell Austin grew up in Cascade, Virginia and began singing on stage at age 4. She plays guitar and upright bass and since 2013 has been the lead singer and bass player with the North Carolina band Lawson Creek Grass.
  • Big John Talley has been performing since the early 1980’s. At age 16 he won Male Vocalist of the Year from the Virginia Folk Music Association. At age 17, he began performing with the New Dominion Bluegrass Boys and with that group appeared on the Grand Ole Opry as a guest of Bill Monroe.
  • 2021, they signed with Turnberry Records.
  • 2021, released Til the End of the Road album (Turnberry).
  • 2022, signed with Rebel Records.
  • 2023, released Living in the South album (Rebel).

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.
  • 2020, released first solo project Coffee and Cake (Mountain Home).

Stogdill, Brady


  • From Heltonville, Indiana (originally from Bedford, Indiana).
  • 1993, he was a member of the original “Bluegrass Youth All-Star Band” that performed at the IBMA Awards Show in 1993 featuring Chris Thile (mandolin), Michael Cleveland (fiddle), Cody Kilby (guitar), Josh Williams (banjo) and Stogdill (bass).
  • 1995-2019, played guitar with a Bloomington, Indiana group called The Not Too Bad Bluegrass Band.
  • 2020, released a solo project Better Late Than Never (Dean Music).

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).
  • 2021, released A Miner’s Life album (Cal’vry Music).

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.

Retro 78


  • From Inman, South Carolina.
  • Band members: Hunter Motts (banjo), Jacob Jackson (mandolin), Bill Turnbill (fiddle), Clint Groves (guitar), Brad Kaylor (bass), and Aaron Sellers (lead guitar).
  • 2022, won the SPBGMA national band championship in Nashville.
  • 2023, released first single “Black Vinyl 45” (Ram Cat Records)

Reynolds, Shannon Leigh


  • From Washington DC; originally from Georgia.
  • She is a singer/songwriter/guitarist who performs bluegrass, classic country, and other folk styles of music.
  • 2017, formed a duo with banjo player Keith Arneson called Peace Run.
  • 2022, formed a band called Good Bygones, performing around the Maryland, Virginia and DC areas.
  • 2023, released “Triple Shot” album (no label), produced by Dede Wyland.



  • From St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Formed in 2015 by Aaron Muskopf (guitar), Andy Novara (mandolin), Will Miskall (bass), Kris Shewmake (banjo), Blake Korte (Dobro™).
  • They specialize in traditional bluegrass (ala Stanley Brothers, Vern Williams, Red Allen).
  • 2021, released first single “You’d Better Get Right” (Englehart Music).

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).
  • 2022, released first album Something You Didn’t Count On (Mountain Home).

Rock Hearts


  • From New England (Massachusetts/Rhode Island/Connecticut/New York).
  • Formed in 2013 by Alex McLeod (guitar), Billy Thibodeau (mandolin), Joe Deetz (banjo), Danny Musher (fiddle) and Rick Brodsky (bass). Austin Scelzo later replaced Musher on fiddle.
  • Deetz (banjo) previously has worked with Joe Val, John Herald and other New England bands. He also played banjo on the Sesame Street recording of the Garbage Man Blues.
  • McLeod (guitar) previously was a member of the group Northern Lights.
  • Thibodeau’s (mandolin) father was Sam Tidwell who was a pioneering New England bluegrass artist who performed with the Kennebec Valley Boys.
  • 2020, released Starry Southern Nights album (no label), produced by Ned Luberecki.

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).
  • 2022, released “Matters of the Heart” album (NC Records) with his Tony Rook Band.

Route 3


  • From Purdy, Missouri.
  • Formed in 2018 by Jason Jordan (guitar), Doug Clifton (bass), Gaylon Harper (banjo) and Roy Bond (mandolin).
  • They chose their name after discovering that three of the four band members had all lived on Rural Route 3, a highway running north-south through central Missouri, at one time or another.
  • 2020, released self-titled album (7 Flat Records)
  • 2020, was named the Bluegrass Artist of the Year at the Arkansas Country Music Awards.
  • 2022, released Losing Time album (Pinecastle).
  • 2023, Janice Martin Houk (banjo) joined the group, as did Greg Potter (mandolin), replacing both Harper and Bond.

Roxboro Connection


  • From Roxboro, North Carolina.
  • Formed in 2021 by Ricky Stroud (mandolin), Cliff Waddell (guitar), Ronald Smith (banjo), David Nance (Dobro™) and Adam Poindexter (bass). Poindexter was replaced by Bailey Moore (bass).
  • Nance, Waddell and Stroud are former members of the Hagars Mountain Boys, also from Roxboro.
  • Waddell is also a solo artist and has recorded several albums of Gospel music under his own name.
  • Smith played banjo for several years with the Lost and Found.
  • Nance was a member of Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys for more than 15 years (until Jimmy’s passing in 2005).
  • Moore is the nephew of the late Jason Moore (bassist with Sideline and other bands).
  • 2023, released Making the Connection album (Big Ricky’s Records).

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.
  • 2011, at age 8 made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
  • 2014, appeared for the first time 2016on the Grand Ole Opry with Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder.
  • 2016, appeared on Little Big Shots with Steve Harvey (NBC).
  • He has also won several youth fiddle championships.
  • 2016, released “Christmas Time in the Country” (no label), a holiday single.
  • 2017, 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
  • 2018, released “Praises from the Mountain” (no label), a gospel album.
  • 2018, appeared with Ricky Skaggs on Skaggs’ induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • 2019, released Grass Stains album (no label).
  • 2021, appeared on The Voice TV show and received a “four-chair turnaround” from the judges during his first performance on the program. He was coached by Blake Shelton.
  • 2023, released Gotta Lotta Lonesome album (Billy Blue).

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).
  • 2020, released Ain’t Looking Back (Curb). This album included “Old Home Place” which featured his “all star band” with J.D. Crowe, Aubrey Haynie, Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas, Barry Bales, Jon Randall and others. The single and video was released again in 2023.

Po’ Ramblin’ Boys


  • From Sevierville, 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).
  • 2019, released God’s Love is So Divine album (Sound Biscuit).
  • 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).
  • 2019, released Toil, Tears and Trouble album (Rounder).
  • 2020, fiddler Laura Orshaw became a full-time member of the band.

Prairie Wildfire (Sage and Prairie Wildfire)


  • From Buffalo, Wyoming.
  • Formed in 2015 by Morgan Blaney (bass), Sage Palser (mandolin) and Tessa Taylor (banjo, guitar).
  • 2023, released Watcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy album (Turnberry).
  • 2023, Palser recorded a single “What Crosses Your Mind,” a duet with Danny Paisley (Pinecastle).
  • 2024, Taylor and Blaney left the band to go back to school and pursue other musical interests. Palser re-formed the band under her own name Sage and Prairie Wildfire.

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.

Primitive Quartet, The


  • From Candler, North Carolina.
  • They perform bluegrass and Southern gospel music in churches and other gospel-music venues.
  • Formed in 1973 by two sets of brothers: Reagan and Larry Riddle, and Furman and Norman Wilson. They discovered their ability to harmonize and make music together while on a fishing trip. The original group was called the Riddle-Wilson Quartet.
  • 1976, began performing full-time. Furman Wilson was replaced by Mike Riddle, brother of Reagan and Larry. Changed their name to the Primitive Quartet.
  • 1986, added new member Randy Fox.
  • 2014, Norman Wilson passed away and was replaced by Jeff Tolbert.
  • They have recorded more than thirty albums on labels such as Pisgah and Mountain Heritage.
  • 2021, released Through the Years, Volumes 1 and Through the Years, Volume 2 (Mountain Home), a compilation from the group’s past 30 years of recordings.
  • 2023, released Stay Their Arms album (Mountain Home), their last before disbanding.

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).

Orshaw, Laura


  • From northeastern Pennsylvania. Now lives in Nashville.
  • Grew up in a musical family. Her father Mark Orshaw played guitar in a bluegrass band called the Lonesome Road Ramblers. He also owned a music store. Laura began playing fiddle as a youngster and made her first recordings at age 12.
  • Attended Berklee College of Music. Lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts for several years. While there, she performed with numerous northeastern bluegrass acts including Danny Paisley, Della Mae, Chasing Blue, Jenni Lyn and Darol Anger.
  • She is also a Master’s level counselor at Lesley University as Coordinator for their Expressive Therapies Graduate Program.
  • 2015, released first solo project Songs of Lost Yesterdays (no label).
  • 2017, married guitarist Tony Watt.
  • 2018, joined Alan Bibey & Grasstowne.
  • 2020, joined the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, playing fiddle.
  • 2022, released Solitary Diamond album (Dark Shadow).
  • 2023, was awarded the Eisenson Family Prize for American Roots Music from the Berklee College of Music.

Newton, Garrett


  • From Benson, North Carolina.
  • Began playing the banjo at age 10. Took lessons from Steve Dilling.
  • 2016, at age 16 formed his own band and was being featured at Lorraine Jordan’s Coffee House (he also works as a barista there) and appears with her on the road.
  • 2017, released first album Young Man, Old Soul (Pinecastle).
  • 2019, released Bluegrass Barn album (Pinecastle).
  • 2022, formed a Hank Williams tribute band called Garrett Newton and the Lovesick Drifters.

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 (The Kody Norris Show)


  • 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.
  • 2023, released Rhinestone Revival album (Rebel Records).
  • 2023, made their first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry (August 9).
  • 2024, won seven awards at the SPBGMA Awards in Nashville (including Entertainer of the Year and Song of the Year).

Adam McIntosh


  • From Lebanon, Ohio.
  • Began performing at age 18 with various bluegrass bands. While he is primarily known as a guitarist, he plays all the bluegrass instruments.
  • 2001-2003, joined the Dry Branch Fire Squad (playing guitar).
  • 2006-2013, joined Joe Mullins as a founding member of the Radio Ramblers.
  • 2006-2010, also played in a family band called Jetts Creek.
  • 2013, joined American Drive.
  • 2014, rejoined the Dry Branch Fire Squad.
  • 2019, rejoined Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers.
  • He received a degree in Pastoral Counseling from Lee University
  • 2024, released his first solo project, Restless (Billy Blue).

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).
  • 2021, changed the name of the band to The Tim Raybon Band.

Meyer, Johnny (Meyerband)


  • From Sheldon, Missouri (near Joplin); moved to Nashville in 2014.
  • A family band featuring four siblings, Johnny (banjo), David (guitar), Mary (mandolin) and Jim (bass).
  • 2009, won the Youth in Bluegrass competition at Silver Dollar City.
  • 2013, won the SPBGMA International Band Contest in Nashville.
  • 2014, Johnny began working with the Clay Hess Band.
  • 2015, Johnny took the banjo position with the Band of Ruhks.
  • 2019, Mary began working with the Theo and Brenna Band. Johnny began touring with the Jimmy Fortune Band.
  • 2020, Johnny recorded a solo project and began performing as Johnny Meyer and Friends.
  • 2022, Mary joined Sister Sadie, playing mandolin.
  • 2023, Johnny moved back to Missouri and has been collaborating with Mo Pitney, co-writing and performing together.

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).
  • 2020, Tabitha Benedict (formerly Agnew) received the IBMA Momentum Award for Instrumentalist of the Year.

Mighty Poplar


  • From Nashville & other locations.
  • A band formed in 2020 by Noam Pikelny (banjo), Chris Eldridge (guitar), Greg Garrison (bass), Andrew Marlin (mandolin) and Alex Hargreaves (fiddle). Pikelny and Eldridge are also in the Punch Brothers. Garrison is in Leftover Salmon. Marlin is in Mandolin Orange and Hargreaves is in Billy Strings.
  • They decided to form this band so that they could perform more traditional bluegrass.
  • How they got their name: On a live recording by Bill Monroe and Doc Watson, after performing the song “What Will You Give in Exchange for Your Soul,” Bill remarked to Doc that the song as recorded by himself and his brother Charlie had been “mighty poplar” down in the Carolinas.
  • 2023, released first album Mighty Poplar (Nonesuch). It was nominated for a Grammy award in 2024.

Milbillies, The


  • From Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Formed in 2018 by Joe Wais (fiddle), Eben Flood (guitar), Matt Brey (mandolin), Dan Shaw (banjo) and Pat Zimmer (bass.)
  • 2020, voted Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) New Artist of the Year.
  • 2022, won the John Hartford Memorial Festival band contest.
  • 2022, released self-titled album (no label).
  • 2023, released Capital B album (no label).

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.
  • 2020, won the IBMA Award for New Artist of the Year.
  • 2021, fiddler Keith-Hynes won the IBMA Award for Fiddle Player of the Year.
  • 2021, Benedict and Keith-Hynes left the band and were replaced by Ella Jordan (fiddle) and Korey Brodsky (mandolin).

Miller, Josh


  • From Spring City, Tennessee.
  • A multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter who has worked with several bands and as a solo artist.
  • 2004-2005, played banjo with The Lovell Sisters.
  • 2005-2008, played banjo with Carrie Hassler and Hard Rain.
  • 2008-2014, played banjo with Newfound Road until the group disbanded.
  • As a songwriter, he has written songs that have been recorded by IIIrd Tyme Out, the Highland Travelers, the Darrell Webb Band, Volume Five and others.
  • He also works in the field of software.
  • 2022, released first single as a solo artist “County Wishing Well” (no label).

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).

Mosley, Daryl


  • From Waverly, Tennessee.
  • A singer/songwriter whose songs have been recorded by many bluegrass and country artists.
  • 1988-2000, was a founding member of The New Tradition.
  • 2001, joined the Osborne Brothers.
  • 2010, was a founding member of The Farm Hands.
  • 2020, left the Farm Hands to begin a solo career.
  • 2020, released first solo album The Secret of Life (Pinecastle).
  • 2021, released Small Town Dreamer album (Pinecastle).
  • 2023, released A Life Well Lived album (Pinecastle).

Mulder, Seth (and Midnight Run)


  • From East Tennessee. Mulder is originally from Hillsboro, North Dakota.
  • 2011, graduated from the Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music in Hyden, Kentucky.
  • 2015, formed a band called Midnight Run while working as a bartender at the Ole Smokey Moonshine Distillery in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Band members: Mulder (mandolin), Colton Powers (banjo), Ben Watlington (guitar) and Max Etling (bass). They play regularly at the distillery as well as other show dates and tours.
  • 2020, released Traveling Kind album (no label).
  • 2021, they were signed by Mountain Fever Records.


A. J. Lee (and Blue Summit)


  • From Tracy, California.
  • 2005, she began performing at age seven with the Tuttles, a family band that featured Jack Tuttle and his children Michael, Sullivan and Molly. A. J. played mandolin and sang lead and harmony vocals. The act was later billed as “The Tuttles featuring A.J. Lee.”
  • 2014, she made her first solo recordings, two EPs “AJ Lee” and “Song for Noah.”
  • She also performed with a group called OMGG (Obviously Minor Guys and a Girl).
  • 2015, after the Tuttles disbanded (Molly went to the Berklee School of Music), A.J and Sullivan Tuttle formed a new group called Blue Summit.
  • 2019,  released “Like I Used To” album (no label).
  • 2019, Blue Summit won the FreshGrass Band Contest and Sullivan Tuttle won the 2019 National Flatpicking Contest (Winfield, Kansas).
  • 2019, A. J. won the IBMA Momentum Award for Vocalist of the Year.
  • 2021, released “I’ll Come Back” album (no label).
  • 2022, current band members: A. J. Lee (mandolin), Sullivan Tuttle (guitar), Scott Gates (guitar), Chad Bowen (bass) and Jan Purat (fiddle).

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 Greer (Hutson) 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.
  • 2020, signed with Turnberry Records and began recording under the name Rebekah Speer.

Lowe, Andy


  • From Apex, North Carolina.
  • He has performed with a number of bands including the Rockford Express, the Loose Cannons, and the Jeannette Williams band.
  • 2011, won the banjo championship at the Old Fiddlers Convention at Galax, Virginia.
  • 2014, released Motley album (no label).
  • 2015, joined the Deer Creek Boys.
  • 2022, won for the second time the banjo championship at the Old Fiddlers Convention at Galax, Virginia.
  • 2022, signed a record deal with Mountain Fever Records.
  • 2023, released Nervous Energy album (Mountain Fever).

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).

Kentucky Just Us


  • From Glasgow, Kentucky.
  • A family band including brother and sister Kacey and Caleb O’Neal (fiddle/mandolin), mom Shelane O’Neal (bass) and dad Terry O’Neal (manager/bus driver/soundman). Other members: Jesse Meador (banjo) and Justus Ross (guitar).
  • Their name was chosen because they wanted to just “be themselves.” Hence, Kentucky Just Us.
  • Meador’s brother John of Authentic Unlimited was a former member of this band.
  • 2022, Meador won the Walnut Valley 50th Anniversary National Banjo Championship and Ross placed second in the National Flat-Pick Guitar Championship.
  • 2022, released Mountains of Home album (no label).

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).

King, Lori (& Junction 63)


  • From Bloomfield, Iowa.
  • 1993, began performing (singing and playing bass) with a group called Bluegrass Addiction. Her husband Joe was also in that band.
  • She is the founder and director of Lori King Productions, which produces concerts, festivals and other music events in the midwest.
  • 2014, formed her band Junction 63. Members include Lori King (bass), Joe King (guitar), Keven Amburgey (mandolin), David Brack (mandolin, guitar, fiddle) and Alex Riffle (banjo). Several of the band members live in Missouri.
  • She also fronts a country band called Midnight Blue.
  • 2017, released “Family Tree” album (no label).
  • 2021, released Walkin’ the Blues album (no label).
  • 2023, released Watching the Corn Grow album (no label) featuring special guests Sammy Shelor, Darin & Brooke Aldridge and others.



  • 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).
  • 2023, made their first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

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).

Joines, Danny


  • From Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. Lives and works in Nashville.
  • 1992, won the Kentucky State Harmonica Championship. He also has won numerous fiddle contests and plays all the bluegrass instruments plus many others (piano, saxophone, drums, etc.)
  • He is the band manager and tour director for Christian Davis. He has also toured with John Schneider, Cross Country, and Masters Voice.
  • 2020, released single “There’s a High Lonesome Sound,” a tribute to Bill Monroe.

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.
  • Jutz is pronounced “Yootz.”
  • 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).
  • 2021, won the IBMA Award for Songwriter of the Year.

Indigo Roots


  • From Nashville.
  • A family band (siblings) featuring Bethany (fiddle), Victoria (mandolin), and Daniel (bass) Kelley.
  • They previously performed and recorded under other names: The Paper Dolls and Band of Kelleys. They chose their new name because indigo (the color) is a shade of blue (for bluegrass),
  • 2023, released several singles on their own label.

Hayde Bluegrass Orchestra


  • From Oslo, Norway.
  • Formed in 2013 after hearing music from the Oscar-nominated Belgian movie “The Broken Circle Breakdown.” They began rehearsing and recorded the song “Wayfaring Stranger” which was posted to YouTube and went viral. Since then they have recorded several YouTube songs and performances and have grown in popularity.
  • Their music is a blend of bluegrass, Americana, pop, Celtic and Norwegian folk music.
  • Band members: Rebekka Nilsson (Vocals),  Joakim Borgen (Mandolin), Ole Engrav (Guitar), Magnus Eriksrud (Banjo), Moa Meinich (Fiddle), David Buverud (Bass), Emil Brattested (Dobro™), Sjur Marqvardsen (Accordion).
  • 2020, were invited to perform at the IBMA Awards Show (virtual).
  • 2021, released first album Migrants (no label).
  • 2021, were invited to perform at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
  • 2022, Rebekka Nilsson won the IBMA Momentum award for vocalist of the year.

Heffernan, Jimmy


  • From Haddon Heights, New Jersey. Lived in Nashville for many years.
  • Best known as a sideman specializing in Dobro™ (reso guitar).
  • 1974, played Dobro™ and banjo in a band called Raintree.
  • 1976, played in a band called Transatlantic Bluegrass with Bill Keith on banjo.
  • 1980, worked with Larry Sparks & the Lonesome Ramblers.
  • 1982, worked with Red Allen and the Kentuckians.
  • 1985, worked with Bill Grant and Delia Belle.
  • 1988, worked with Doug Kershaw.
  • 1989, worked with Joe Diffie (for nine years).
  • 1999, worked in bands with Brad Paisley, Charlie Louvin and Lucinda Williams.
  • 2003, released an album with Mike Auldridge and Hal Rugg called The Resocasters (no label).
  • He has produced albums by other artists and teaches lessons on the Dobro™ and other instruments.
  • 2021, released solo project called “I’d Trade It All for a Little More” (no label).

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).
  • 2020, released Banjo Players Blues 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).
  • 2020, signed with 615 Hideaway Records for an upcoming project.

Howell, Anthony


  • From Zama, Mississippi.
  • Began playing mandolin at age 11. Since then, he has learned to play all the bluegrass instruments.
  • 2015, played banjo with a local band called Tyler Carroll and Pineridge.
  • 2015, won the Mississippi State flatpick guitar championship, the bluegrass banjo championship, and took second place in the mandolin championship.
  • 2018, joined Williamson Branch, playing banjo.
  • 2021, won the Arkansas State Banjo Championship.
  • 2021, released Memories album (no label).
  • 2022, joined the Edgar Loudermilk band, playing banjo.
  • 2023, released Hold Back the Dawn album (no label).

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.

Gilman, Billy


  • From Hope Valley, Rhode Island.
  • Began singing when he was seven years old. He was discovered by Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel and signed his first recording contract with Epic Records at age 12.
  • 2000, released first single One Voice and an album of the same name which was certified double platinum (over two million copies sold). He was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.
  • Also in 2000, he released a Christmas album which also went gold (one million copies sold).
  • 2001, released second album Dare to Dream (Epic).
  • 2003, released his third and final album for Epic, Music Through Heartsongs: Songs Based on the Poems of Mattie J.T. Stepanek.
  • 2003, he stopped singing because of changes in his voice during the teen years.
  • 2016, he was a contestant on The Voice (NBC-TV) and at the end of season 11, was declared runner-up to winner Jason “Sundance” Head.
  • 2023, released his first bluegrass album Roller Coaster (Pinecastle).

Goodfellers, The


    • From Pinnacle, North Carolina.
    • Formed in 2011 by Ralph McGee (mandolin) and Teddy Barneycastle (guitar). Other members have included Hersie McMillan (banjo), Tim Hill (bass), Kyser George (lead guitar), David George (bass) and Tommy Morse (banjo).
    • Their name is a take-off on the 1990 gangster movie classic “Goodfellas.”
    • 2018, released self titled album (no label).
    • 2021, released Love Somebody album (Bell Buckle)

Goodwin Brothers, The


  • From East Kentucky
  • A trio featuring brothers Jonathan (banjo/guitar) and William (mandolin) Goodwin with vocalist Kenneth Chase Bush and other backing musicians.
  • They recorded their first album in 1999. Jonathan was 14, William was 12.
  • Jonathan Goodwin is a veteran of the Gospel music industry. Owns a record label and produces many gospel music artists. He is not to be confused with Jonathan Goodwin, the Welsh escape artist and daredevil who rose to fame on the TV Show America’s Got Talent.
  • William Goodwin was the lead singer with the Gospel group Assembled. They recorded one album in 2015.
  • Kenneth Chase Bush (known as “Chase”) was a finalist on American Idol (Season 5, 2006). He is a childhood friend of the Goodwin brothers.
  • 2021, released first self-titled bluegrass album (615 Hideaway).
  • 2022, signed with the Mark Newton agency; also signed with Pinecastle Records.

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.
  • 2022, released Still Standing album (Mountain Fever).

Grassifieds, The


  • From Walkertown, North Carolina.
  • Formed in 2006 by Jim Grubbs (mandolin) and brothers Greg (guitar) and Joel Barnett (banjo). Other members of the band include Jerry Martin (guitar), Pete Wright (bass) and Amanda Hinds (fiddle). Martin and Wright were formerly with the band String Fever. Hinds has a Ph.D in biochemistry and is a classically-trained violinist.
  • 2020, released first album What We Are (no label).

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.
  • 2021, died at the age of 28.

Fulks, Robbie


  • From York, Pennsylvania. Grew up in the Blue Ridge of Virginia.
  • 1983, moved to Chicago and joined Special Consensus, playing guitar.
  • 1984-1992, taught at the Old Town School of Folk Music (Chicago).
  • 1993-1998, moved to Nashville and worked as a staff songwriter on Music Row.
  • As a singer/songwriter, he has recorded numerous albums in the Americana/Folk genres.
  • 2023, released first all-bluegrass album Bluegrass Vacation (Compass) featuring Sam Bush, Sierra Hull, Ronnie McCoury, Tim O’Brien, Alison Brown, John Cowan, Jerry Douglas & others.

Efaw, Larry (and the Bluegrass Mountaineers)


  • From New Franklin, Ohio (near Akron).
  • Began playing mandolin at age 7 and performed with his father’s band The Bluegrass Mountaineers until his father’s retirement. The younger Efaw has led the band since the late 1980’s.
  • A friend of Ralph Stanley, Efaw and his band play bluegrass in the style of the Stanley Brothers and other traditional bands.
  • Efaw is also a producer of bluegrass festivals, cruises and other music events.
  • Band members (2022): Efaw (mandolin), Logan Leab (guitar), Curtis Coleman (banjo), Adam Burrows (fiddle), and Mikayla Burrows (bass).
  • 1988, released “I Worship You” album (River Tracks).
  • 2013, released She Left Me Standing on the Mountain album (Blue Circle).
  • 2022, released The Old Home album (Bell Buckle).

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.

Ellis, Wyatt


  • From Maryville, Tennessee.
  • He began playing mandolin at age 10.
  • 2020 (age 11), he was selected for a Tennessee Folklife apprenticeship under the tutelage of Sierra Hull.
  • 2022 (age 12), he performed at the IBMA Awards show with Peter Rowan’s Bluegrass Band (for Rowan’s induction into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame).
  • 2023 (age 13), appeared at the Grand Ole Opry with Dailey and Vincent.
  • 2023 (age 13), performed with Billy Strings at the celebration of Doc Watson’s 100th birthday.
  • 2023, released first single “Grassy Creek” (Knee High Records), an original tune he wrote at age 11.
  • 2023, made his first appearance as a solo artist on the Grand Ole Opry (age 14).
  • 2024, released Happy Valley album (Knee High).

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).
  • 2023, signed with Pinecastle Records and released single “Back Home.”

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 had previously worked with Mac Wiseman, Clyde Moody and Chubby Wise as well as several regional bands in North Carolina.
  • 2015, Hinson (bass) left the band and was replaced by Scott Burgess.
  • 2018, released Steam album (Mountain Fever).
  • 2020, Jim Fraley (banjo) retired from the band and was replaced by Steve Wilson.
  • 2022, Jason Fraley (mandolin) also retired from the band and was replaced by Milom Williams.

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.
  • 2015, 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).

Denton, Maddie


  • From Murfreesboro, Tennessee
  • She began playing the fiddle at age 5.
  • She is a member of several bands including the Dan Tyminski Band, East Nash Grass and the Theo & Brenna Band.
  • 2009, won the National Junior Fiddle Championship.
  • 2016, won the Grand Master Fiddle Championship, the first Tennessee-born fiddler to do so.
  • She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Organismal Biology and Ecology. While at MTSU, she played on the school’s golf team for four years and helped the Lady Raiders win back-to-back Conference USA Championships. She also teaches biology and environmental science at Siegel High School in Murfreesboro and is assistant golf coach.
  • 2021, released solo album Playin’ In This Town (no label).

Full Cord


  • From Grand Haven, Michigan.
  • Formed in 2008 by Eric Langejans (guitar) and Todd Kirchner (bass). Other members: Grant Flick (fiddle), Brian Oberlin (mandolin) and Lloyd Douglas (banjo). Douglas formerly played with David Davis and the Warrior River Boys as well as Jim & Jesse and the Virginia Boys. Douglas retired from the band in 2021 and was replaced for a short time by Gabe Hirschfield (formerly with the Lonely Heartstrings Band). Ricky Mier took over the banjo spot in 2022.
  • Their name comes from a comment made at one of their first gigs. After seeing their instruments (bass, fiddle, mandolin, guitar) piled in the corner of the bar, someone said, “Looks like a full cord of wood sitting there.”
  • 2019, released Choreomania album (no label).
  • 2021, released Hindsight album (no label).
  • 2022, they won first place at the 49th annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Contest.
  • 2022, they won the IBMA Momentum Award for band of the year.
  • 2023, released Cambium album (Dark Shadow).

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.
  • His wife is singer Marija Droze, a singer he met in 2009 at a bluegrass festival in Europe.
  • 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).
  • 2021, released Waiting Out the Storm album (RBR Entertainment).
  • 2023, released Billy the Kid 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.
  • 2022, released first solo album “Maria with a J” (RBR Entertainment)

Dumas, Nick


  • From Brier, Washington. Lives in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.
  • At age 12, played fiddle in his family band The Three Generations, which included his grandfather, his mother and his aunt.
  • Formed his own band called Northern Departure. He also had a band called North Country Bluegrass.
  • 2015-2019, played mandolin with the Special Consensus.
  • 2019, released first solo project “Story of a Beautiful Life” (no label).
  • Performs regularly as part of the house band at The Fiddler’s Farm in Sturgeon Bay, WI.
  • 2023, released “Details” album (Skyline Records).

Dunlap & Mabe


  • From the Washington DC area.
  • Formed in 2021 by Jack Dunlap (guitar) and Robert Mabe (banjo). Other band members: Alex Kimble (bass), Mason Wright (fiddle) and Danny Knicely (mandolin).
  • Jack Dunlap previously worked as a solo artist, with Bud’s Collective and the Jack Dunlap Band.
  • Robert Mabe previously worked as a solo artist, with the Robert Mabe Band and the Jack Dunlap Band.
  • 2021, released Stumblin’ Out the Gate (Bell Buckle).
  • 2023, released Horses and Horsepower (Bell Buckle).

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).
  • 2018, released Duckpin album (no label).
  • 2019, released Christmas album Snowball (no label).
  • 2024, released Salt Box album (Fenchurch).

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).
  • 2020, Cassell received the IBMA’s Momentum Award for Instrumentalist of the Year.
  • 2022, released self-titled album (Bonfire).

Clark, Will


  • From Pickens, South Carolina.
  • Plays all the bluegrass instruments but focuses primarily on mandolin.
  • 2012, joined the James King Band. He also worked with Williamson Branch, The Bluegrass Outlaws, The Nashville Celts, Nathan Stanley, and The Dave Adkins Band.
  • He also had his own band called Will Clark & Rhythm Section.
  • 2014, joined Terry Baucom’s Dukes of Drive, playing mandolin and singing lead vocals.
  • 2024, signed with Mountain Fever as a solo artist and released first single.



  • 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).
  • 2019, Arnold left the band to join Sideline. In 2021, he joined Rhonda Vincent and the Rage.
  • 2020, Greer also joined Sideline. Claybank was disbanded.

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).

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. Her sister Lu Furtado also plays clawhammer banjo and bass.
  • 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 Drew Matulich (guitar), Max Johnson (bass) and sister Malia Furtado (fiddle).
  • 2019, released I Hope You Have a Good Life album (Mountain Home).

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).
  • 2022, released Changes album (Mountain Fever)

Country Gentlemen Tribute Band, The


  • From Washington, D.C. area.
  • Formed in 2005 as Bill Yates and Friends by Bill Yates, a 20-year member of the Country Gentlemen, and started with Mike Phipps (guitar), Bill Yates (vocals), Darren Beachley (guitar) David Propst (mandolin), Scott Walker (banjo), Mark Clifton (Dobro™) and Dave MacGlashan (bass). They later became known as The Country Gentlemen Tribute Band and have continued on as such with Mike Phipps sounding remarkably like original Country Gentlemen’s lead singer, Charlie Waller..
  • YBill Yates passed away in 2015. The band has continued on with the most current members being Mike Phipps (guitar), David Propst (mandolin), Lynwood Lunsford (banjo), Darren Beachley (Dobro™) and Kyle Windbeck (bass).
  • 2006, released Bill Yates & Friends: The Country Gentlemen Tribute album (MasterShield).
  • 2009, released Bill Yates & Friends: The Country Gentlemen Tribute, Volume II album (MasterShield).
  • 2023, released Yesterday and Tomorrow album (Patuxent Music).

Crabtree, Daniel


  • From Greenbriar, Tennessee.
  • Learned to play guitar and sing at age 15. Formed a group at his church called the Lights Chapel Boys, who have continued to perform together ever since.
  • Began writing songs under the tutelage of songwriter and vocalist Donna Ulisse, who has produced many of his albums.
  • 2016, released The Gospel Road album (Codel).
  • 2017, released The Shadow of His Wings album (Codel).
  • 2019, released The Storyteller in Me album (Codel).
  • 2021, released The Way I See It album (Codel).
  • 2022, released Closer Than I’ve Ever Been album (Codel).
  • 2023, won the IBMA Award for his song “The Scarlet Red Lines” as recorded by Larry Sparks.
  • 2024, released Storms on the Ocean album (Codel).

Craft, Paul


  • From Nashville. Originally from Memphis.
  • Best known as a songwriter. His songs were recorded by many top artists, including Linda Ronstadt, the Eagles, Kenny Rogers, Mark Chesnutt, Randy Travis, Ray Stevens, the Osborne Brothers, the Lewis Family, etc.
  • Some of his best known hits: “Brother Jukebox,” “Blue Heartache,” “Dropkick Me Jesus (through the Goal Posts of Life),” “Midnight Flyer,” “Teardrops Will Kiss the Morning Dew.”
  • 1961, played banjo in Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys.
  • 1998, released Brother Jukebox album (Strictly Country).
  • 2002, released Raised By the Rail Road Line album (Strictly Country).
  • 2007, released Too Bad You’re No Good album (Strictly Country).
  • 2014, died at the age of 76.

Crandall Creek


  • From Moundsville, West Virginia
  • Formed in 2015 by Jerry Andrews (guitar).  Kathy Wigman Lesnock (guitar), Dustin Terpenning (mandolin/banjo). Other band members: Lilli Gadd (bass), Heather Wharton (fiddle), Chase Arbogast (mandolin).
  • 2021, released Headed South album (no label).
  • 2022, released Handprints on the Glass album (no label).
  • 2022, Carly Greer joined the group as lead vocalist.

Creek Bend


  • From Buffalo, New York.
  • Formed in 1978 by Ted Lambert.  Original members: Ted Lambert (banjo), Ted Lambert Sr. (bass) and Rich Schaefer (guitar).
  • 1980, Marty Bray (guitar) and Kelly Simpson (mandolin) joined.
  • 1981 Bill Matthews replaced Bray on guitar.
  • 1982 lineup: Ted Lambert (banjo and fiddle), Rich Schaefer (bass), Dennis King (guitar), Tom Vaughan (mandolin) and Mark Panfil (dobro and harmonica).
  • 1984, released first album “Firm Foundation” (Mark Records).
  • 1985, Carl Eddy (guitar) and Chris Panfil (mandolin) replaced King and Vaughan.
  • 1987, Doug Yeomans (guitar) replaced Eddy and Chris Panfil left the group to form Sleepless Nights in St. Petersburg, Florida.
  • 1988, released second album “Life’s Highway” (Mark).
  • 1990, won first place in the band contest at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival.
  • 1992, released That Home Far Away album (Copper Creek).
  • 1994, Yeomans and Lambert left the band and Carl Eddy (guitar) and Chris Panfil (mandolin) returned.
  • 1996, released Thanksgiving album (Copper Creek).
  • 2005, Eddy left the band and Lambert (banjo, fiddle and mandolin) returned. Chris Panfil switched to guitar.
  • Over the next few years they were occasionally joined by Paul Norris (mandolin), Perry Cleveland (mandolin), Billy Constable (banjo), John Martz (banjo) and Ross Nickerson (banjo).
  • 2008, released “Thirty Years of Bluegrass” (no label).
  • 2015, Lambert passed away and Philip Banaszak (fiddle) joined the remaining three members Chris Panfil (guitar), Rich Schaefer (bass) and Mark Panfil (dobro and banjo).
  • 2020, Banaszak left the band and was replaced by Sally Schaefer (fiddle), daughter of Rich Schaefer.

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).

Crying Uncle Bluegrass Band


  • From Alameda, California.
  • Formed in 2016 as the Crying Uncle Duo by brothers Miles Quale (fiddle) and Teo Quale (mandolin), who were 11 and 9 years old at the time.
  • 2017, added Andrew Osborn (bass) and John Gooding (guitar).
  • 2018, released self-titled album (no label).
  • 2020, released Monroe Bridge album (no label).
  • 2023, Gooding left the band to tour with the Little Roy and Lizzie Show. He was replaced by Ian Ly, winner of the Walnut Valley National Flatpick Guitar Championship that same year.
  • 2023, won the IBMA’s Momentum Band of the Year award.

Bentley, Carl


  • Originally from McDowell, Ky.  Currently lives in Indiana.
  • Started singing in church at age 5. Learned guitar and wrote first song at age 16.
  • Early days: played in several country bands including Carl Bentley and Blue Eagle Band and the Southern Winds Band.
  • 2003, joined a band called Thousand Pounds Of Bluegrass.
  • 2004, joined The Indiana Boys.
  • 2005, formed his own group Carl Bentley & The Eagle Creek Band, opening for many bluegrass acts such as Larry Sparks, Ralph Stanley II, James King, Melvin Goins and others.
  • 2016-2022, took a break from music to coach travel baseball. He also filled in for several bands including Brook Steele and Endless Highway and Kim Robins and 40 Years Late.
  • 2022, returned to music by recording a self-titled album to be released in 2023.

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.
  • 2019, began performing with a band called Wolfpen Branch.
  • 2022, he and his twin brother Adam released new music as The Bibelhauser Brothers.

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).

Boone & Foster


  • From east Tennessee.
  • A duo featuring Troy Boone (mandolin) and Aaron “Frosty” Foster (guitar).
  • They began playing together at the Ole Smokey Distillery in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee under the name Dreamcatcher.
  • 2016, Boone joined Sideline playing mandolin. Foster joined the Amanda Cook band playing guitar. Boone married Amanda Cook’s banjo player Carolyn VanLierop which led to Boone joining the Amanda Cook band as well.
  • 2019, they signed with Mountain Fever Records.
  • 2020, began recording their first album
  • 2021, Foster died unexpectedly at the age of 28.
  • 2023, Boone & Foster’s first album Smoky Mountain Favorites (Mountain Fever) was released.

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).



  • From Boulder, Colorado.
  • Formed in 2018 by Max Kabat (guitar), James Armington (banjo), Colleen Heine (fiddle) and Zachary Smith (bass). Justin Konrad (Dobro™) joined in 2019.
  • 2019, won first prize in the Telluride Bluegrass Band competition.
  • 2020, released first album Arrows (no label), produced by Nick Forster of Hot Rize.

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.
  • 2022, released Old Kentucky Moon album (Turnberry).

Bruce, Steve


  • From LaFollette, Tennessee.
  • He is pastor of the Faith Way Assembly Of God Church (since 1991).
  • He also plays the banjo and has played in a variety of bluegrass gospel groups since the early 1980’s.
  • His father was a banjo-playing preacher and his son also. His son is the assistant pastor at his church and his daughter is the worship pastor.
  • Before his call to preach, he worked for the Norfolk Southern Railway.
  • 2022, released What I Know Now album (SweetSong Nashville) featuring banjo tunes inspired by his faith.

Burdett, Aaron


  • From Saluda, North Carolina.
  • A singer/songwriter who blends Americana, country, blues, bluegrass, and folk.
  • He has won numerous songwriting competitions and was listed as one of the top 10 most important musicians of western North Carolina by WNC Magazine.
  • He has released several albums under his own name, including Fruits of My Labor (2014) and Refuge (2017).
  • 2020, released several original bluegrass songs on the Bonfire label.
  • 2022, joined the Steep Canyon Rangers, taking the spot vacated by Woody Platt.

Burnett Sisters Band, The


  • From Boone, North Carolina
  • A family band featuring sisters Kathleen (guitar), Anissa (fiddle), Anneli (fiddle/mandolin) and Sophia (bass) Burnett.
  • Multi-instrumentalist Colin Ray joined the band in 2020.
  • They are students or graduates of the bluegrass music program at East Tennessee State University.
  • 2020, released album Long Way From Home (Bee Hive).
  • 2022, Kathleen (guitar) married Colin Ray and they left the group to perform on their own as a duo.
  • 2023, Justin Alexander (guitar) joined the group and began recording a new album.

Buzzini, Eddie Ray


  • From Mooresville, North Carolina.
  • His given name is Ettore Buzzini. Born in 2007 into a multi-lingual family. His father is Swiss-Italian and his mother is from East Tennessee.
  • He began playing his grandfather’s banjo at age six.
  • He plays banjo with a local band called Bluegrass 77.
  • 2022, released his first album Eddie Ray (Patuxent) at age 15.

Ages Past


  • From western North Carolina.
  • Formed in the early 1990’s by guitarist Randy Gallion. The group included such musicians as Jason Burleson and Tony Williamson and performed at regional festivals and events during the 1990’s before going on hiatus for twenty years.
  • 2020, the group re-emerged featuring Gallion (guitar) plus new members Chad Day (banjo), Jamie Carter (bass), Savannah Reed (mandolin),  Scott Ferguson (fiddle) and Tucker McCandless (guitar).
  • 2022, released several singles to radio on their own label.

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).
  • 2022, released Jubilation album (Billy Blue).



  • From Fayetteville, Arkansas.
  • Formed in 2010 by Zac Archuleta (guitar) and Ethan Bush (mandolin). Others members: Tom Andersen (bass) and Adams Collins (banjo).
  • They routinely perform at rock music venues rather than the bluegrass festival circuit.
  • 2016, released two albums: All Day Long (no label) and Hambone (no label).
  • 2017, released If I Were You album (no label).
  • 2019, released Maybe Someday album (no label).
  • 2023, released OK to Wonder album (no label).

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.

Authentic Unlimited


  • From East Tennessee.
  • Formed in 2022. The core of this band was the final configuration of Doyle Lawson’s band Quicksilver when he retired in December 2021.
  • From the Quicksilver band: Eli Johnston (banj0), Jerry Cole (bass) and Stephen Burwell (fiddle). New members: Jesse Brock (mandolin) and John Meador (guitar). Meador previously played with his family band Kentucky Just Us.
  • The name of the band was suggested by Doyle Lawson. Because several band members were songwriters, they had unlimited material. And since they were committed to playing authentic bluegrass music, “Authentic Unlimited” emerged as their band name. They also discovered that their initials AU is the symbol for gold on the periodic table. The symbol comes from the Latin word aurum, which means “shining dawn” or “gold.” So they incorporated AU into their band imaging to represent that they are now the “gold standard” for bluegrass music.
  • 2022, released first self-titled album (Billy Blue) and simultaneously released The Gospel Sessions, Volume 1 (Billy Blue).
  • 2023 (November 24), made their first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.
  • 2024, released So Much for Forever album (Billy Blue) and simultaneously released The Gospel Sessions, Volume 2 (Billy Blue).

Swinson, Billy


  • From Richlands, North Carolina. Lives in Jacksonville, FL.
  • At age 15 (early 90’s), began playing mandolin with several regional North Carolina bands.
  • 1996 formed a band named Code Blue  with Jimmy Fraley (Formerly of A Deeper Shade of Blue) and Greg Martin (currently with Billy Droze).
  • 2000-2002 Played mandolin with the Donna Hughes band in NC.
  • 2001, joined Constant Change (Benson, NC) and Common Ground (Charleston, SC). 
  • 2003, moved to Jacksonville, FL and played mandolin with Ernie Evans and the Florida State Bluegrass Band.
  • 2019, formed a Florida band called Greener Grass. 
  • 2021, joined The Billy Lee Cox Project.
  • 2022, joined Deano Graham and the Grass Wagon Revival.
  • 2023, released first single “Greener Grass” from album by the same name (no label).

Owens, Caroline


  • From Denton, North Carolina.
  • Began singing at the age of 2. Decided to become a bluegrass singer at age 13.
  • She has won numerous awards as a vocalist. She accompanies herself on guitar.
  • 2021, formed the Caroline Band.
  • 2022, was invited to showcase at the IBMA World of Bluegrass.
  • 2023, at age 21 released her first single “Heartbreak Train” (Skyline Records)
  • 2024, changed her band name to New Company.



  • From Oberlin, Ohio.
  • Founded by multi-instrumentalist Jesse Jones (guitar/piano). Also Jacob Joliff (mandolin), Max Allard (banj0) and Craig Butterfield (bass).
  • They describe themselves as a progressive bluegrass chamber ensemble.
  • They were all students at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio.
  • 2024, released self-titled album (Adhyâropa Records).