Category: F

Fairchild, Raymond


  • From Maggie Valley, North Carolina.
  • Called “King of the Smoky Mountain Banjo.”
  • Born on an Indian reservation in Cherokee, North Carolina.
  • Performs regularly at the Maggie Valley Opry House—a local country music performing arts center.
  • Known for his speed on the banjo. In his words, “The older I get, the faster I get.”
  • Known for his deadpan demeanor on stage—he rarely ever smiles. But friends say he does have a keen sense of humor. He just takes his work very seriously.
  • Once received six standing ovations (in one appearance) at the Grand Ole Opry.
  • 1967-1975, performed with the Maggie Valley Boys.
  • 1975-1991, worked with the Crowe Brothers (who started with the Maggie Valley Boys, then in 1978 changed the name to Raymond Fairchild and the Crowe Brothers.)
  • Formed the new Maggie Valley Boys, including his son Zane on guitar.
  • Designed the Cox/Fairchild banjo for the Cox banjo company.
  • 2017, lent his name (and family recipe) to a line of flavored moonshine whiskeys called “Raymond Fairchild White Lightning,” now legally produced by the Elevated Mountain Distillery in Maggie Valley, North Carolina.
  • 2019, died at the age of 80.


Falco, Andy


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

Fairview Avenue


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

Farewell Drifters


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

Faris Family, The


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

Faris, Rick


  • From Topeka, Kansas (since 1991). He was born in Illinois, grew up in Arkansas and Missouri.
  • 1998, began playing music professionally at age 7 with his family band The Faris Family.
  • His first instrument is guitar, but he plays all the bluegrass instruments at a professional level.
  • 2009, joined Special Consensus, playing mandolin. In 2015, he took over the guitar position.
  • He is also a luthier who builds high quality guitars (including the one he plays with Special Consensus). His business is called the Faris Guitar Company.
  • 2019, released first solo album Breaking In Lonesome (Dark Shadow).
  • 2021, left Special Consensus to pursue his solo career.
  • 2021, released The Next Mountain album (Dark Shadow).

Farm Hands, The


  • From Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Formed in 2011 by Daryl Mosely (bass), Tim Graves (Dobro™), Bennie Boling (banjo) and Kevin Williamson (guitar).
  • The band name came from an internet TV show called “Farm County Jubilee.” A segment of the show featured Mosley and Graves performing with the Farm Hands Quartet.
  • All four founding members of the band had previous experience with such groups as New Tradition, The Tim Graves Band, the Osborne Brothers, Wilma Lee Cooper and the Clinch Mountain Clan and others. They are all prolific songwriters as well.
  • 2012, released “Songs from Mama’s Hymnbook” album.
  • 2013, released “In a Country Town” album.
  • 2014, Jesse Turner (guitarist from Alabama) replaced Kevin Williamson in the band. Williamson left to work with his family band. Later the same year, guitarist Keith Tew replaced Turner.
  • 2015, banjo player Benny Boling was replaced by Don Hill.
  • 2015, released Better Than I Deserve album (Pinecastle).
  • 2016, released Diggin’ in the Dirt album (Pinecastle).
  • 2017, they were awarded a proclamation by the Tennessee State Senate honoring them as musical ambassadors for the state of Tennessee (April 20).
  • 2017, released Colors album (Pinecastle).
  • 2018, Benny Boling returned to the band, this time playing bass.
  • 2019, Mosely left the band to pursue a solo career. Boling, Hill and Tew also left to work with Mosely in the Daryl Mosely Band.
  • 2020 band members: Tim Graves (Dobro™), David Mansfield (guitar), Kelsey Crews (banj0), Bryan Graves (bass) and Kimberly Bibb (fiddle).  Graves is the only original member of the group.
  • 2021, released 4.0 album (Pinecastle) with the new lineup.
  • 2021, band lineup changed again, with original member Graves (Dobro™), Don Wayne Reno (banjo) and Jimmy Haynes (guitar). They began branding themselves as Tim Graves & the Farm Hands.
  • 2022, Terry Eldridge (formerly with the Grascals) joined, playing bass.

Fassaert, Tammy


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

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 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.

Feller and Hill (and the Bluegrass Buckaroos)


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

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).

Ferguson, Gary


  • From Sandy Springs, Maryland. Lives in Littlestown, Pennsylvania (near Gettysburg).
  • 1980, performed in a Baltimore area band called Bittersweet.
  • Played in a rock band until his conversion to bluegrass in 1977 at the Union Grove Fiddler’s Convention.
  • During the Vietnam War, worked in an ammunition plant in Texarkana, Texas.
  • First bluegrass band: Snodgrass. Others: The Garris Brothers, Bittersweet, and Redwood (with banjo whiz Chris Warner).
  • 1985, formed The Gary Ferguson Band.
  • Holds the distinction of being the only songwriter to reach the finals of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest five times.
  • 1995, released I’m Really Leaving album (Webco/Pinecastle).
  • 1997, his song “Last Day at Gettysburg” was recorded by Larry Sparks and spent a year on the Bluegrass Unlimited charts.
  • 2000, formed a duo with vocalist Sally Love (who also is the former director of the Insect Zoo, appearing regularly as the “Bug Lady” on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman.) In 2007, she joined Seneca Rocks, a new band with Dudley Connell (whom she married) and other former members of the Johnson Mountain Boys.
  • 2004, formed a duo with 17-year-old guitar whiz Jordan Tice. Also sitting in with the Emory Lester Set and the Lonesome Road Band (Arkansas group.)
  • 2009, formed an Irish group called “Ferguson, Holmes and Henry” with Janet Holmes and Colin Henry (of Belfast, Ireland.) He tours Ireland every Summer.
  • 2014, released Songs of Mine album (no label).
  • 2022, released Ferguson’s Farewell: The Irish Connection album (no label).



  • From Marian (Smyth County), Virginia.
  • Formed in 1980 by “Fat Albert” Blackburn (plays bass).
  • Fescue is a very resilient type of grass. Hence the name.
  • Other band members: Mike Goodman (banjo), Garnet Lester (guitar), Raymond Campbell (mandolin), Jordan Blevins (fiddle).
  • 1997, 2000, won first place at Galax Old Time Fiddler’s Convention band contest.
  • 2002, released “Now and Again” album on Eastwood label.
  • 2004, released “Railroad in My Mind” album on Eastwood label.

Fields, Monroe


  • From Berry, Alabama
  • 1953-1963, played mandolin with Carl Sauceman and the Green Valley Boys.
  • 1964, played bass with Jim and Jesse.
  • 1971-1973, played bass with Bill Monroe and sang lead on Monroe’s recording of “My Old Kentucky and You.”
  • He has also worked at various times with Flatt & Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, Charlie Louvin,
  • He was also a prolific songwriter. His “Please Be My Love” was recorded by Jim and Jesse and also by George Jones and Melba Montgomery.
  • 2014, released Monroe Fields with the Green Valley Boys: 1950s-60s Broadcasts(Patuxent Records).
  • He died in 2015.

Fink, Cathy (and Marcy Marxer)


  • A folk-singing duo from the Washington DC area.
  • Specialize in folk music for children.
  • Have been performing together since 1987.
  • Cathy is from Montreal, but moved to Takoma Park, Maryland in 1979. Plays banjo and guitar.
  • Marcy is from Michigan. Worked on production lines at General Motors. Began performing professionally in 1978. Plays guitar, mandolin, hammered dulcimer.
  • 2003, released Bon Appetit! Musical Food Fun album (Rounder).
  • 2005, released Scat Like That album (Rounder).
  • 2009, released Pocket Full of Stardust album (Rounder).

Finnders and Youngberg (FY5)


  • From Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Band members: Mike Finders (guitar), Erin Youngberg (bass), Ryan Drickey (fiddle), Rich Zimmerman (mandolin), Aaron Youngberg (banjo and pedal steel).
  • Erin and Aaron Youngberg are married and are former members of the band “Hit and Run Bluegrass.” Zimmerman is a former member of a Boulder, Colorado group called “Slipstream.”
  • 2011, released Fy5 album (no label).
  • 2013, released “I Don’t Want Love You Won’t Give Until I Cry” album (no label).
  • 2015, released Eat the Moon album (Swingfingers).
  • 2019, released The Way These Things Go album (Swingfingers).

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).

Five for the Gospel


  • From Louisa, Kentucky.
  • Formed in 1991 by Rick May (guitar), Pat Holbrook (bass) and Johnny Branham (banjo).
  • 1995, signed with Hay Holler Records and released seven albums for that label.
  • May was formerly a guard at the state prison. He is also an ordained Baptist minister.
  • Branham previously worked with the Goins Brothers and Dave Evans.
  • 1995, did a gospel concert in Durham Cathedral and performed at the Heart of England Bluegrass Festival in Kenilworth, England.
  • 1997, won SPBGMA award for “Traditional Gospel Group of the Year.”

Fisher, Anita


  • From Cedarville, West Virginia.
  • Began her career performing with a family band called Fisher and Company.
  • 2005, appeared on the CD “Daughters of American Bluegrass.”
  • 2006, married Ray Deaton (formerly with IIIrd Tyme Out), who also joined her band playing bass. They now perform as “The Anita Fisher Band with Ray Deaton.”

Flannery, Tim


  • From San Diego, California. (Was born in Athens, Kentucky.)
  • A professional baseball player and coach (San Diego Padres 1979-1989 as an infielder, 1992-2002 as third-base coach). Went to two World Series and one All-Star Game. For several years, he did color commentary for local Padres radio and TV broadcasts.
  • His father was a Baptist minister in Kentucky and gave him his roots in bluegrass, Irish and gospel music.
  • During his baseball playing days, he performed in the off-season with local musicians, playing mostly Jimmy Buffet-style pop and beach-rock music.
  • 2001, released first acoustic/bluegrass album, produced by Dennis Caplinger. Includes many of his original songs.
  • 2004, released Kentucky Towns album, a tribute to his late father.
  • 2007, joined the coaching staff of the San Francisco Giants (third base) and released Wayward Wind album (no label).
  • 2010, 2014, won the World Series with the Giants.
  • 2014, recorded Travelin Shoes album (no label).
  • His band is called “The Lunatic Fringe.”
  • 2015, retired from baseball to focus on his music career.



  • 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.

Flatt & Scruggs


  • From Nashville.
  • Considered by many to be the most important bluegrass band in the history of the music, primarily because they perfected the Monroe sound and exposed it to bigger audiences than ever before. They brought bluegrass from the country schoolhouse to the big city—Carnegie Hall in New York City and San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium, to name a few.
  • Flatt and Scruggs were both members of the “original bluegrass band,” Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys (1945-1948).
  • They were members of the Grand Ole Opry for 20 years.
  • They worked together for roughly twenty-one years (1948-1969).
  • Their early work on Mercury and Columbia during the late 40’s and the 50’s are the considered the “essential bluegrass recordings”—the body of work upon which the entire genre is based. Their songs are classics and continue to be recorded and re-recorded by almost every bluegrass band.
  • 1953, began doing early morning radio shows on WSM (Nashville) sponsored by Marth White Flour, and remained as promoters of the company throughout their career. The Martha White Theme as performed by Flatt and Scruggs is heard on Grand Old Opry broadcasts to this day.
  • Rose to popular fame during the urban folk music revival of the early sixties. They performed at folk festivals and college campuses, helping to convert an entire new generation to bluegrass music.
  • Recorded the theme to the CBS-TV show “The Beverly Hillbillies” and made frequent guest appearances on the show.
  • 1966, their recording of “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” was used in the soundtrack for the movie “Bonnie and Clyde” starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.
  • The Foggy Mountain Boys took its name from the song that Flatt and Scruggs used as their theme—a Carter Family song called “Foggy Mountain Top.”
  • Broke up in 1969 due to disagreements regarding musical direction. Scruggs left to play progressive music with his sons in “The Earl Scruggs Revue,” and Flatt left to play traditional bluegrass with “The Nashville Grass.”
  • 1981, they were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • 1991, they were inducted individually into the IBMA’s Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, along with Bill Monroe. Several of their band members (the Foggy Mountain Boys) have also been inducted into the Hall of Fame: Curly Seckler, Josh Graves, Benny Martin, Chubby Wise and Paul Warren.
  • 2007, inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.



Flatt, Lester (and the Nashville Grass)


  • From Sparta, Tennessee.
  • After working with Bill Monroe (1945-1948) and Earl Scruggs (1948-1969), formed his own band “Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass.”
  • He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.
  • “The Nashville Grass” was the result of a “Name the Band” contest in which Lester’s fans were invited to mail in their suggestions for a new band name.
  • His Nashville Grass band included such sidemen as Curly Seckler, Marty Stuart, Tater Tate, Kenny Ingram, Vic Jordan, Roland White and others. Marty Stuart joined the Nashville Grass when he was only 13 years old.
  • After Lester died of a heart ailment in 1979, The Nashville Grass continued on for several years led by Curly Seckler and Flatt sound-alike Willis Spears.


Flatt Lonesome


  • From Callahan, Florida (near Jacksonville).
  • Began as a gospel-singing family band called Sandy Creek Revival, led by Dolton Robertson, who pastors Liberty Baptist Church in Callahan, Florida.
  • Their name is also the name of an instrumental by Josh Graves, recorded while he was with Flatt & Scruggs. It was also recorded on “The Great Dobro Sessions” album produced by Jerry Douglas (Sugar Hill).
  • 2011, siblings Kelsi (mandolin), Charli (fiddle) and Buddy Robertson (guitar) formed Flatt Lonesome, joined by Dominic Illingworth (bass), Michael Stockton (resophonic guitar) and Paul Harrigill (banjo, now married to Kelsi). Harrigill formerly was a member of Mountain Faith.
  • 2012, won the SPBGMA International Band Championship in Nashville.
  • 2013, released first album Flatt Lonesome for Pisgah Ridge records.
  • 2014 , released second album Too on Mountain Home Records.
  • 2014, won the IBMA Award for Emerging Artist of the Year.
  • 2015, released Runaway Train album (Mountain Home).
  • 2015, made their debut on the Grand Ole Opry (August 29).
  • 2016, won IBMA Awards for Vocal Group of the Year, Song of the Year (for “You’re the One”) and Album of the Year (for Runaway Train).
  • 2017, won their second IBMA Award for Vocal Group of the Year.
  • 2018, announced that their intention to disband in 2019, at least temporarily, for personal and family reasons.

Fleck, Bela


  • From New York City.
  • Of Hungarian descent. He was named after the composer Bela Bartok. His brother Ludwig was named after Beethoven.
  • First musical instruments: guitar and french horn. As a young teen was accepted into the New York High School of Music and Art for artistically gifted students.
  • Converted to the banjo after hearing “The Beverly Hillbillies” on TV and the movie “Deliverance” featuring “Dueling Banjos.”
  • Took banjo lessons from Tony Trischka.
  • 1976, formed Tasty Licks with guitarist Pat Enright (now with The Nashville Bluegrass Band).
  • 1979, formed Spectrum with mandolinist Jimmy Gaudreau.
  • 1981-1989, was a member of New Grass Revival.
  • 1990, won the IBMA award for Banjo Player of the Year.
  • 1990, formed his jazz group The Flecktones. Spent his life savings to produce their first album, which was subsequently picked up by Warner Brothers.
  • 2000, toured with the Dave Matthews Band.
  • 2005, recorded Throw Down Your Heart in Africa as he researched the music and the instruments that were precursors to the modern banjo. A documentary film of this project was also released.
  • 2008, toured and recorded as a member of Abigail Washburn’s “Sparrow Quartet.” He and Abigail married in 2009.
  • 2011, premiered his “Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra” with the Nashville Symphony.
  • 2014, delivered the keynote address at the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass business conference.


Flinner, Matt


  • From Salt Lake City.
  • 1990, won the National Banjo Championship in Winfield, Kansas.
  • 1991, won the National Mandolin Championship. From that point on, decided to make the mandolin his primary instrument.
  • 1997, joined the Judith Edelman band
  • 1998, toured with Todd Phillips and David Grier.
  • Former bands: Sugarbeat, Tim and Mollie O’Brien, Tony Trischka.
  • 1999, recorded an album of duets with John Lowell (Wheel Hoss, Kane’s River). Also recorded with David Grier and Todd Phillips as a trio.
  • 2002, joined the Modern Mandolin Quartet in Manhattan, Kansas and toured with Leftover Salmon.
  • 2002, formed the Matt Flinner Trio.
  • 2006, his Trio began “Music du Jour” concerts featuring new compositions written on the day of the concert.
  • 2009, his Trio released its Music du Jour album (Compass).
  • 2012, his Trio released Winter Harvest album (Compass).
  • 2016, hit Trio released Traveling Roots album (Compass).

Flynn, Pat


  • From Thousand Oaks, California. Lives in Nashville.
  • 1981-1990, played guitar with the New Grass Revival.
  • During his tenure with NGR, won Frets Magazine Readers Poll for “Best Acoustic Guitarist” five years in a row. For winning five years in a row, he was inducted into Frets Magazine’s “Gallery of Greats” alongside Doc Watson, Chet Atkins and Tony Rice.
  • After NGR, went back to school and got his masters degree in counseling. Also worked as a studio musician/record producer in Nashville. Among his credits: Crucial Smith, Alan Thornhill, Cadillac Sky and Candace Corrigan.
  • Wrote and performed on Garth Brooks’ hit single “Do What You Gotta Do.”
  • 2004, served as Tom T. Hall’s musical director for Hall’s “Artist in Residence” program at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.
  • 2004, returned to recording and performing with his own record label (Request Records).
  • 2005, did shows as “Pat Flynn and Friends” with such artists as John Cowan, Tim O’Brien, Darrell Scott, Stuart Duncan, Buddy Greene, Michael Card and others.
  • 2009, worked with Michael Martin Murphey on his Buckaroo Bluegrass projects.
  • 2009, released solo project ReQuest (Emergent Records).
  • 2010, released follow up project ReVision (Mea Culpa Records).
  • 2013, Flynn was named by Flatpicking Guitar magazine as one of the most influential guitarists of his generation.
  • 2014, released solo project Renew (Mea Culpa Records).

Flowers, Doug


  • From Hephzibah, Georgia (near Augusta).
  • Plays mandolin and has performed mostly as a sideman with such Georgia-based bands as Betty Fisher and the Dixie Mountain Boys and the Little Roy and Lizzie Show. He has also worked with the Clinton Gregory Band.
  • Formed a band called Avalanche. Currently The Doug Flowers Bluegrass Band.
  • He is also a songwriters with songs recorded by Clinton Gregory, Betty Fisher, Ronnie Bowman, Valerie Smith, Little Roy and Lizzie Long.
  • 2015, released a solo project “Georgia Rose” (Melody Roundup Music) with guest musicians including Scott Vestal, Clinton Gregory, Ben Speer and John Pennell.
  • 2017, released “Favorites” album (no label) with guest musicians Sam Bush, Marty Raybon, Donna Ulisse, Don Rigsby, Tim Stafford and many others.
  • 2021, released “Brothersville” album (no label).


Fogelberg, Dan


  • From Peoria, Illinois.
  • A country-rock singer and guitarist who had numerous Gold and Platinum albums including Souvenirs (1974), Captured Angel (1975), Nether Lands (1977) and the Innocent Age (1981). Hit songs included “Leader of the Band,” “Hard to Say,” “Run for the Roses,” and “Make Love Stay.”
  • 1985, recorded a landmark bluegrass album called High Country Snows with Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas, Herb Pederson, Doc Watson, David Grisman and other bluegrass artists.
  • 2007, died at the age of 56 after a long battle with prostate cancer.

Folk, Bradford Lee


  • Born in Louisiana, raised in Missouri. Currently lives in Nashville.
  • After high school, moved to Colorado and formed a band called Open Road.
  • 2012, moved to Nashville and formed Bradford Lee Folk and the Bluegrass Playboys.
  • He has a small organic farm in Nashville.
  • 2014, released Somewhere Far Away album (Five of Diamonds).
  • 2015, reorganized his band with Jake Stargel (guitar), Cory Walker (banjo), Jarrod Walker (mandolin), Daniel Hyberger (bass) and Christian Ward (fiddle).

Forbes Family, The


  • From Littlestown, Pennsylvania (near Gettysburg). They have also lived in Greenville, Tennessee and Mt. Airy, North Carolina.
  • A family gospel group consisting of four brothers and sisters: Homer Forbes (banjo), Jay Forbes (mandolin), Lisa Forbes Roberts (vocals), Lori Forbes Slate (bass). They grew up singing at the Free Will Baptist Church in Littlestown, Pennsylvania.
  • 1982, recorded their debut album “I Am Looking For that City” (Lifeline).
  • 1983, released “Gleams of that Golden Morning” album (Rebel).
  • 1985, released “I Am a Pilgrim” album (Rebel).
  • 1986, released “Outside the Gate” album with David Marshall of the Marshall Family (Rebel).
  • 1988, released “Farewell” album and disbanded so that they could raise their families.
  • 1993, began performing again.
  • 1995, released I’ll Look to Him album and showcased at IBMA in Owensboro, Kentucky. Ron Block (of Alison Krauss and Union Station) heard them and was so impressed he produced their next album.
  • 1996, released In the Shadow of Your Wings (Rebel Records), produced by Ron Block.


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.

Foster, Billy Joe


  • From Duncan, Oklahoma.
  • A multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who spent time as a sideman with such bands as Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, Joe Diffie and the Ricky Skaggs Band. He also spent two years with the Country Gazette.
  • 1980-1986, formed a band called Special Edition which also included Joe Diffie. Foster re-formed the band in 1996.
  • 2013, died at age 51 after a bout with pneumonia.

Fox Family, The


  • From Old Forge, New York (the Adirondack Mountains). Now live in Nashville.
  • A brother and two sisters (Joel, Kim and Barb Fox).
  • 1989, won the Winterhawk Bluegrass Festival band contest.
  • Since 1990, they have hosted their own annual bluegrass festival in New York.
  • 1994, Kim won the Merle Watson Songwriting Contest at Merlefest.
  • 1998, the Fox Family disbanded and Kim moved to Nashville to pursue her career as a songwriter. She also formed The Kim Fox Band, with various Nashville musicians including Andrea Roberts (bass) and Jesse Cobb (mandolin.) Her brother Joel would often play banjo.
  • 2005, Kim, Joel and Barb re-united to form a new band called 3 Fox Drive. They released one album Listen to the Music (Koch Records).
  • 2007, 3 Fox Drive was featured on the album Christmas Grass 3 (Koch Records).



  • From Bratislava, Slovak Republic (former Czechoslovakia.)
  • Formed in 1983 as a newgrass group by Heinrich Novak (Dobro™) and other musicians.
  • 1993, reformed with Novak, Svata Kotas (banjo), Emil Formanek (guitar), Jiri Pola (bass) and Jana Dolakova (vocals).
  • 1994, released “Sunday Afternoon” album.
  • 1995, showcased at IBMA in Owensboro, Kentucky.
  • 1998, won the SPBGMA European Band competition.
  • 2002, Richard Cifersky joined the group, playing banjo.
  • 2002, played the Grand Old Opry in Nashville.
  • 2004, won the European Bluegrass Music Association (EMBA) award for Band of the Year.
  • 2005, released “Live at Leatherwoods” album and “The Way to Your Heart” album.
  • 2005, went through several personnel changes. New members included Ondrej Kosek (fiddle and guitar) and Petr Brandejs (banjo and guitar). Jana Dolalova married musician Stephen Mougin and moved to Nashville.
  • 2007, Ondra Kosak (guitar, mandolin and fiddle) joined the group.
  • 2010, Cifersky re-joined the group.
  • They have performed in 11 countries and 32 U.S. states. They have recorded 7 albums.
  • 2013, the band reunited for a European tour. (Novak, Dolakova-Mougin, Cifersky, Kosak)

Frank, Ashby


  • From Lexington, North Carolina.
  • Mandolin prodigy. Began playing guitar, then turned to mandolin at age 10.
  • 1994, performed with Bill Monroe at the Bell Cove Club in Hendersonville, Tennessee at age 11.
  • 1999, won 1st place in mandolin competition at MerleFest at age 16.
  • 1999, released first album First Crossing (Blue Road).
  • 1999, his newly-formed band Southern Drive won the Pizza Hut International Bluegrass Showdown in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • 2001, joined The Gena Britt Band.
  • 2003, joined Marty Raybon and Full Circle.
  • 2006, joined Alecia Nugent.
  • 2007, joined Special Consensus.
  • 2009, left Special Consensus to play with Mashville Brigade and do session work.
  • 2011, joined Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper.
  • 2015, joined Mountain Heart.
  • He also performs in a comedy act called the Darrell Brothers and occasionally performs with The Earls of Leicester.
  • 2022, released solo project Leaving is Believing (Mountain Home).

Franks, Randall


  • From Chamblee, Georgia. Lives in Atlanta.
  • Began performing at the age of eight.
  • Musical career includes singing, songwriting and producing. Plays guitar, bass, mandolin and fiddle.
  • At age 19, he played fiddle and bass with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys. He has also worked with Jim and Jesse, the Lewis Family, and the Golden River Grass.
  • 1992, received the “Fiddlin’ John Carson Award.”
  • First love: gospel music. Has performed with gospel artists the Marksmen, the Lewis Family, Jeff and Sheri Easter, and the Singing Perry’s.
  • He is also a professional actor, a regular on the CBS series “In the Heat of the Night,” playing the part of “Officer Randy” on the Sparta Police Force.
  • He is active in many community service programs and has his own non-profit “the Share America Foundation.”
  • Hosts the annual Grand Masters Fiddle Championships.
  • 1992, produced a Christmas album featuring the “Heat” cast and several bluegrass and country music stars (Jim and Jesse, Ralph Stanley, Josh Graves, the Lewis Family, Jimmy Martin, etc.) to benefit drug-abuse prevention programs around the country.
  • 2002, recorded an album of old-time duets with David Davis (Warrior River Boys.)
  • 2004, was inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • 2013, was inducted into the Independent Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • Hobbies: spelunking (caving) and hiking.

Frazier, John


  • From Nashville. Originally from Boulder Colorado.
  • He is a multi-instrumentalist (guitar/mandolin/fiddle) who with his wife Rebecca Frazier fronted the group Hit and Run Bluegrass from 2001-2009.
  • 2009, toured with Steve Martin and Steep Canyon Rangers. He was co-writer of “Go Away, Stop, Turn Around” with Steve Martin (recorded on Martin’s “Rare Bird Alert” album.
  • 2010, joined the John Cowan band. Also worked with Jim Lauderdale.
  • z012, formed the Frazier Band, a blend of blues, reggae, soul, bluegrass and rock. Released the album “Frazier Band.”

Frazier, Rebecca


  • Originally from Virginia.
  • Lived in Boulder Colorado for 8 years, co-founding Hit and Run Bluegrass with John Frazier. She plays guitar, sings lead and writes many of the band’s songs.
  • Maiden name: Rebecca Hoggan. John and Rebecca were married in 2007.
  • She was the first female artist to appear on the cover of Flatpicking Guitar magazine.
  • Moved to Nashville in 2007. John took a job with the John Cowan Band and Rebecca became a full-time mom.
  • 2010, she unexpectedly lost her second son. She began to write, sing and play again. “I knew I could rely on creativity and hope in order to heal,” she says.
  • 2013, released a solo project When We Fall (Compass) and began touring as Rebecca Frazier and Hit & Run Bluegrass.

Freight Hoppers, The


  • From Bryson City, North Carolina.
  • Formed in 1993.
  • Appeared on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” after entering his “Talent from Towns Under 2000” contest and being selected from 492 entrants.
  • A traditional string band, their music pre-dates bluegrass. They play music from the 20’s and 30’s, from artists like the Skillet Lickers, Uncle Dave Macon and the Carter Family.
  • Band members: Dave Bass (fiddle), Frank Lee (banjo), Cary Fridley (guitar) and Jim O’Keefe/Hanne Jorgenson (bass.)
  • 1996, released Where’d You Come From Where’d You Go (Rounder).
  • 1998, released Waiting On The Gravy Train (Rounder).
  • Broke up in 1999, re-formed, then broke up again in 2001.
  • Fiddler Rayna Gellert worked with this band for a time and also in a duo with Frank Lee. She joined Uncle Earl in 2003.
  • 2007, after a five-year hiatus, original members Bass and Lee re-formed the band, joined by Thomas Bailey (guitar) and Isaac Deal (bass).
  • 2010, released Mile Marker album (no label).

Fritts Family Band, The


  • From Rogersville, Tennessee.
  • Formed in 1986.
  • Features Larry Fritts (banjo/guitar) who began playing bluegrass when he was 12 years old.
  • Band includes Fritts’ wife, three sons and daughter.
  • Many of their concerts are sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Larry Fritts’ first band was a group called Bud Rose and the Country Tune Twisters (Elizabethton, Tennessee.)

Front Country


  • From the San Francisco (CA) Bay area.
  • Formed in 2011 by Adam Roszkiewicz (mandolin), Jacob Groopman (guitar), Jordan Klein (banjo), Leif Karlstrom (fiddle), Melody Walker (lead vocals, guitar) and Zach Sharpe (bass). Jeremy Darrow (bass) replaced Sharpe when the group relocated to Nashville.
  • They began playing a monthly gig with friends in San Francisco’s Mission District.
  • Their name means “a natural area nearer to the roads and populated areas,” the opposite of the “back country.”
  • 2012, won the Rockygrass(Colorado) band competition.
  • 2013, released This Is Front Country album (no label).
  • 2013 won the Telluride (Colorado) band competition (became first band in history to win both Rockygrass and Telluride.)
  • 2013, lead singer Melody Walker won the Chris Austin Songwriting competition at Merlefest.
  • 2013, Roszkiewicz (mandolin) was nominated for a Grammy for his work with the Modern Mandolin Quartet on their album Americana.
  • 2014, released Sake of the Sound album (no label).
  • 2016, Melody Walker won the IBMA Momentum Award for Vocalist of the Year.
  • 2017, released Other Love Songs album (Organic).

Front Porch String Band, The


  • From Hazel Green, Alabama.
  • Formed in 1974 by Larry and Claire Lynch on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Other band members have included Allen Watkins (banjo), Terry Campbell (bass), Alan O’Bryant (banjo), Jim Hurst (guitar/banjo) and Michael McLain (banjo).
  • They were originally called Hickory Wind.
  • 1977, released “Smilin’ at You” album (no label).
  • 1977, released “Country Rain” album (Lanark).
  • 1980, released landmark album Front Porch String Band (Leather/reissued by Rebel) featuring the lead vocals of Claire Lynch. They disbanded during the eighties, the Lynch’s taking time off from music to begin a family. They re-organized the group ten years later.
  • 1991, released “Lines and Traces” album (Rebel).
  • 1997, the group disbanded for good.
  • 2005, Claire began her solo career with her own Claire Lynch Band.
  • 2012, released Hills of Alabam: The Front Porch String Band featuring Claire Lynch (Rebel).

Front Range


  • Formed in 1984 in Denver, Colorado, but only two band members ever lived there (Mike Lantz, Ron Lynam). Dick and Amos live in Pennsylvania and Vermont respectively.
  • The name “Front Range” comes from the name given to the eastern slopes of the Colorado Rockies.
  • 1988, recorded first album (a cassette). Original band included Peter Schwimmer on banjo.
  • 1990, recorded second album in their own studio on their own record label. Mailed 500 copies to radio stations and the song “High Mountain Meadow” became a #1 song.
  • 1992, released New Frontier album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1993, released Back to Red River album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1995, released One Beautiful Day album (Sugar Hill). Won the IBMA award for Gospel Recording of the Year.
  • Banjo player Ron Lynam is the world’s undisputed “Underwater Banjo Champion.” He accomplished this feat by playing an aluminum banjo underwater in a pool at the Midwinter (Ft. Collins, CO) Bluegrass Festival. It has become an annual event. He is also a high school social studies teacher.
  • 1997, released Ramblin’ on My Mind album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2000, released Silent Ground album (Sugar Hill).
  • Lead singer Bob Amos is a prolific songwriter with a master’s degree in geology.
  • 2004, the group recorded its last album together.
  • 2006, mandolinist Mike Lantz died of brain cancer.
  • 2012, Bob Amos recorded a solo project called Borrowed Time (no label).

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.

Full Cord


  • From Grand Haven, Michigan.
  • Formed in 2008.
  • Members: Eric Langejans (guitar), Todd Kirchner (bass), Grant Flick (fiddle), Brian Oberlin (mandolin) and Lloyd Douglas (banjo). Douglas is a former member of David Davis and the Warrior River Boys, and Jim & Jesse and the Virginia Boys.
  • 2019, released Choreomania album (no label).
  • 2021, released Hindsight album (no label).
  • 2021, Douglas (banjo) retired from the band and was replaced by Gabe Hirschfield, formerly of the Lonely Heartstring Band.
  • 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.

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).

Furtado, Tony


  • From the San Franciso Bay area. Moved to Colorado. Now lives in Portland, Oregon.
  • Began his pro career playing banjo with Laurie Lewis and Grant Street.; and his own group Sugarbeat.
  • 1987, won the National Banjo Championship in Winfield, KS in 1987. Won a second time in 1991.
  • 1989, released Swamped album (Rounder).
  • 1991, released Rounder Banjo Extravaganza album with Tom Adams and Tony Trischka (Rounder).
  • 1994, released Full Circle album (Rounder).
  • 1994, formed a band called Sugarbeat.
  • 1997, released Roll My Blues Away album (Rounder).
  • 1999, formed the Tony Furtado Band, a fusion of country, bluegrass, blues and jazz.
  • His recording of “I Will” with guest artist Alison Krauss was included on Krauss’ “Now That I’ve Found You” album, which sold over two million copies.
  • 2002, formed The American Gypsies (a jazz group). Released American Gypsy album (no label).
  • He is also a virtuoso slide (bottleneck) guitar player. He manufactures and sells his own brand of bottleneck slides for the guitar.
  • He is also a sculptor.