Category: R

Radio Flyer


  • From Springfield, Missouri.
  • Formed in 1984 by David Wilson (mandolin/fiddle) and Dudley Murphey (guitar).
  • Won “Best New Bluegrass Band of 1985” at the Kentucky Fried Chicken bluegrass festival in Louisville. (Union Station featuring a 14-year old fiddle player named Alison Krauss came in second.)
  • 1988, released self titled album on Turquoise Records.
  • 1991, released “Old Strings, New Strings” album (Turquoise).
  • 1995, released Town & Country album (Turquoise).
  • The band broke up in 2002 but Wilson and Murphey have been playing dates together as a duo.
  • Murphey is an art professor at Drury College in Springfield.
  • Wilson also founded another band called the Undergrass Boys.
  • 2022, founding member Dudley Murphey died.

Railroad Earth


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

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.

Railsplitters, The


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

Raines, Missy


  • From Short Gap, West Virginia. Lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Real name: Melissa Kay Raines Surratt (also plays a Kay bass!)
  • Has played bass with many bands including Stars and Bars, Cloud Valley, The Eddie Adcock Band, The Brother Boys, Claire Lynch and the Front Porch String Band.
  • 1997-2007, worked as a duo with guitarist Jim Hurst, both of whom were also members of the Claire Lynch Band.
  • 1998, recorded first solo project My Place in the Sun (no label).
  • 2000, released Two album with Jim Hurst (Pinecastle).
  • 2007, formed her own band called Missy Raines and the New Hip (a reference to her recent hip surgery).
  • 2009, released first “New Hip” album Inside Out (Compass).
  • 2012, formed a band with David Grier, Mike Compton and Shad Cobb called The Helen Highwater String Band.
  • 2013, released New Frontier album with The New Hip (Compass).
  • 2018, released “Swept Away” (single, Compass) with “The First Ladies of Bluegrass,” Sierra Hull (mandolin), Alison Brown (banjo), Becky Buller (fiddle) and Molly Tuttle (guitar). Each were the first women to win IBMA Awards in their respective instrument categories.
  • 2018, won the IBMA Award for Recorded Event of the Year (for “Swept Away.”)
  • 2018, released Royal Traveller album (Compass).
  • 2019, won her eighth IBMA Award for Bass Player of the Year (also won in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007.)
  • 2019, won IBMA Award for Instrumental Recording of the Year for “Darling Pal of Mine” (with Alison Brown, Mike Bub, and Todd Phillips).
  • 2021, began performing with her new band “Missy Raines and Allegheny,” a return to her bluegrass roots.
  • 2023, released Highlander album (Compass).

Rarely Herd, The


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

Ramsey, Aaron


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

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).

Raybon, Marty


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


Reams, James


  • From southeast Kentucky. Moved to Brooklyn, New York and also has a home in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • A guitarist and vocalist, he was dubbed the Father of Brooklyn Bluegrass.
  • 1992-1998, performed and recorded with a group called The Mysterious Redbirds.
  • 1992, released first solo album Kentucky Songbird (Leghorn)..
  • 2001, released Barnstormin album (Copper Creek) with his band The Barnstormers.
  • 2002, released an album with banjo player Walter Hensley as James Reams, Walter Hensley & The Barons of Bluegrass (Copper Creek).
  • 2005, released Troubled Times album (no label).
  • 2011, moved to Arizona and formed a west-coast version of the Barnstormers with Billy Parker (mandolin), Tyler James (banjo), Dan Meyer (bass) and Blaine Sprouse (fiddle). His east-coast version of the band includes Mark Farrell (mandolin/fiddle), Doug Nicolaisen (banjo) and Nick Sullivan (bass).
  • 2012, released Blackest Crow album (no label).
  • 2013, released One Foot in the Honky Tonk album (no label).
  • 2016, released Rhyme & Season album (no label).
  • 2020, a documentary film about James was released called Like A Flowing River: A Bluegrass Passage (Backyard Green Films).
  • 2021, released Like a Flowing River Soundtrack Album (Mountain Redbird).
  • 2022, he died at the age of 66 (cancer).

Rector, Red


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

Red Camel Collective


  • From Walnut Cove, North Carolina.
  • Formed in 2023 by Tony Mabe (banjo), Heather Berry Mabe (guitar/lead vocals), Johnathan Dillon (mandolin) and Curt Love (bass). They are also members of Junior Sisk’s touring band.
  • Their name is derived from the Junior Sisk song “The Man in Red Camels.” (Red Camels is a brand of overalls.)
  • 2024, released first single “Roll On Mississippi” (Pinecastle).

Red Clay Ramblers, The


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

Red June


(See also Zoe and Cloyd)

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

Red Molly


  • From New York City.
  • A female vocal trio specializing in folk/Americana with a bluegrassy feel (lots of Dobro™, occasional banjo).
  • Formed in 2004 by Laurie MacAllister (guitar, banjo, bass), Abbie Gardner (Dobro™, guitar) and Carolann Solebello (guitar, bass) at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (New York).
  • 2010, Solebello left the group and was replaced by Austin-based singer songwriter and guitarist Molly Venter.
  • Fans are called “Red Heads.”
  • “Red Molly” is the name of a character in Richard Thompson’s song “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” which was IBMA Song of the Year in 2002 (recorded by the Del McCoury Band).
  • Abbie Gardner has released several solo projects featuring her resophonic guitar.
  • 2010, released James album (no label). James is also a character in the song 1952 Vincent Black Lightning.
  • 2011, released Light in the Sky album (no label).
  • 2014, released The Red Album (no label).

Red Wine


  • From Genoa, Italy.
  • Formed in 1978.
  • One of Europe’s first professional bluegrass bands.
  • Guitarist Beppe Gambetta was a founding member of this band.
  • Founding members Martino Coppo and Silvio Ferretti also perform with a band called Freewheelin.
  • They have toured the U.S. many times and have shared billings with Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Tony Rice, Ralph Stanley, Del McCoury, the Lonesome River Band and many others.
  • 2001, released “Italian Cats” album (no label).
  • 2007, released Winter’s Come & Gone album (no label).
  • 2008, celebrated their 30th anniversary together as a band.
  • 2015, released “Pickin’ Friends” album (no label).
  • 2023, received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the IBMA.

Red, White and Blue(grass)


  • Originally from Birmingham, Alabama. Worked for many years in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Formed in 1970 by Ginger Boatwright (vocals), Grant Boatwright (guitar), Dave Sebolt (bass) and Dale Whitcomb (banjo). Norman Blake (mandolin) was also a member of this band for a short time.
  • 1973, had a hit record (reached #71 on the Billboard Charts) with “July, You’re a Woman,” written by John Stewart of the Kingston Trio. This song appears on the album Guaranteed(GRC).
  • 1974, released “Pickin’ Up” album (GRC).
  • 1977, released “Red White and Blue (grass) and Company” album (Mercury).
  • 1979, the Boatwrights divorced and the band broke up.
  • Ginger Boatwright (who sang lead and fronted the band) later formed a Nashville group called the Bushwhackers and also worked 22 years with the Doug Dillard Band (until 2003).

Reeltime Travelers, The


  • From Johnson City, Tennessee.
  • Formed in 1999.
  • Name: they play old-time (string band) music in a “real time” (modern) context.
  • Members: Thomas Sneed (mandolin), Martha Scanlan (guitar), Roy Andrade (banjo), Heidi Andrade (fiddle), Brandon Story (bass).
  • 2002, performed on the Down From the Mountain tour.
  • 2003, performed on the soundtrack to the movie “Cold Mountain.”

Reid, Lou


  • Born on a tobacco farm in Moore Springs, North Carolina.
  • Real last name: Pyrtle.
  • Birthday: September 13—same as Bill Monroe’s.
  • Began playing guitar at age seven.
  • Early 1970’s, had a band called The Bluegrass Buddies.
  • 1973-1979, played banjo with an Atlanta band called Southbound.
  • 1979, was a founding member of Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver.
  • 1982-1986, was a member of the Ricky Skaggs Band.
  • 1986-1992, was lead singer and guitarist with The Seldom Scene.
  • 1991, released solo project When It Rains (Sugar Hill).
  • 1992, tried forming his own band, then worked briefly with Vince Gill and IIIrd Tyme Out.
  • 1992, formed Carolina with banjo player Terry Baucom. They recorded two albums as Lou Reid, Terry Baucom and Carolina.
  • 1996, released Lou Reid & Carolina album (Rebel).
  • 1997, returned to the Seldom Scene (replacing the late John Duffey).
  • 1998, re-formed Carolina (while continuing to perform with the Seldom Scene). He has continued to perform and record as Lou Reid and Carolina.
  • 2000, released Blue Heartache album (Rebel).
  • 2004, released Carolina, I’m Coming Home album (no label).
  • 2005, released Time album (Lonesome Day).
  • 2008, recorded and performed with Longview.
  • 2009, released My Own Set of Rules album (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2010, released Sounds Like Heaven to Me album (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2012, released Callin Me Back Home album (KMA).
  • 2013, released Live at the Down Home 20th Anniversary Concert album (KMA).

Reischman, John


  • From Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Originally from Ukia, California.
  • Was inspired to play mandolin by David Grisman.
  • Owns (and plays) a 1924 Gibson F-5 signed by Lloyd Loar.
  • 1977, joined the Good Old Persons.
  • 1980, joined the Tony Rice Unit.
  • 1990, joined Kathy Kallick’s “Little Big Band.”
  • 1993, moved to Canada; released North of the Border album (Rounder).
  • 1996, worked with Kate MacKenzie and Frontline.
  • 2000, released Up in the Woods album (Corvus).
  • 2000, formed his own band called The Jaybirds and released first self-titled album John Reischman & The Jaybirds (Copper Creek). Band members included Trisha Gagnon (bass), Nick Hornbuckle (banjo) and Jim Nunally (guitar).
  • 2004, released The Singing Moon album with guitarist John Miller (no label).
  • 2004, released Field Guide album (Copper Creek).
  • 2005, released Road West album (Corvus).
  • 2007, released Stellar Jays (Corvus).
  • 2011, released Vintage & Unique album (Corvus).
  • 2013, released Walk Along John album (Corvus).
  • 2013, released Road Trip album with guitarist John Miller (no label).
  • 2017, released On That Other Green Shore album (Corvus).

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.

Reno Brothers, The


  • From Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Formed in 1984, broke up as a band (not as brothers) in 2001.
  • Includes Dale, Don Wayne and Ronnie—the three sons of banjo legend Don Reno.
  • Dale and Don Wayne worked with their father until his death in 1984.
  • Ronnie had formerly sang and played mandolin with Don Reno, Red Smiley and the Tennessee Cut-ups, worked with the Osborne Brothers and Merle Haggard.
  • 1982, Don Wayne and Dale previously played together in a group called The Cripple Creek Quartet which recorded a Grammy-nominated album for Reader’s Digest. It sold more than 100,000 copies.
  • They toured with Vern Gosdin, the Whites, Randy Travis, Billy Joe Royal, Exile, Bill Anderson, Porter Wagoner and others.
  • They were frequent performers on the Nashville Network and CMT.
  • 1988, released self titled album (Step One Records).
  • 1992, released Kentucky Gold album (Webco).
  • 1993, they hosted a TV program on the Americana Television Network called “Reno’s Old Time Music Festival.” (The network folded in 1995). The show was revived by Ronnie Reno a few years later on the RFD-TV Network.
  • 1994, released Acoustic Celebration album (Webco).
  • 1996, released Drawing from the Well album (Webco).
  • 1998, released Three Part Harmony album (Pinecastle).
  • 2001, disbanded with Ronnie forming his own band The Reno Tradition and Don Wayne and Dale playing with Hayseed Dixie.
  • 2004, Don Wayne formed The Reno Revival to teach his father’s banjo technique. Conducts banjo camps and workshops.
  • 2013, Don Wayne and Dale teamed up with Mitch Harrell to record a new album “Reno Bound” (John Boy & Billy) under the name Reno and Harrell, the same name used by their fathers when they worked together.
  • 2021, Don Wayne joined The Farm Hands.

Reno, Don


  • From Spartanburg, South Carolina.
  • One of the innovators and early masters of the bluegrass (three-finger style) banjo.
  • Like Earl Scruggs, learned to play the three-finger style from Snuffy Jenkins.
  • Began pro career at age 12, playing banjo with the Morris Brothers.
  • Mid-1940’s, was playing banjo with Arthur Smith and the Carolina Cracker Jacks when Bill Monroe invited him to join his band. Reno declined in order to serve in the Army, and Monroe hired Earl Scruggs instead.
  • 1948, discharged from the Army and replaced Scruggs in Monroe’s band. He developed his own style of playing banjo, so as not to be compared directly with Earl.
  • 1949, started his own band The Tennessee Cutups—the group he headed up the rest of his life. He was joined in this band by guitarist Red Smiley and they played together throughout the 1950’s and 60’s.
  • 1964, teamed up with guitarist Bill Harrell to form Reno and Harrell. They (backed by their band The Tennessee Cutups) recorded several albums together.
  • Was the banjo player on the original recording of “Dueling Banjos”. He and the composer of the song Arthur Smith recorded it under the original name “Feudin’ Banjos” using a tenor banjo played by Arthur and a 5-string played by Don. The tune was later re-named “Duelin’ Banjos” by The Dillards and subsequently recorded by Eric Weissburg and Steve Mandel for the hit movie “Deliverance.”
  • Wrote a total of 457 songs (although most were never recorded.) Most well-known songs: “I Know You’re Married, But I Love You Still” and “I’m Using My Bible for a Roadmap.” Instrumentals: “Dixie Breakdown” and “Chokin’ the Strings.”
  • 1984, died at the age of 57.
  • 1992, he was elected to the IBMA’s Hall of Fame along with Red Smiley, his singing partner for many years.

Reno, Don and Red Smiley


  • One of the of the pioneering first-generation bluegrass bands.
  • Very popular and influential throughout the 50’s and 60’s.
  • Worked numerous radio and television shows across the south, including the Old Dominion Barn Dance in Richmond, VA and the “Top of the Morning” TV show in Roanoke, VA. They also made guest appearances on the Arthur Godfrey TV Show.
  • They incorporated elaborate comedy routines and skits into their act. As comedians, they were known as “Chicken and Pansy Hot-Rod and the Banty-Roosters.”
  • Last album recorded together: May, 1971, Letter Edged in Black (Wango Records).
  • Smiley died in 1972. Bill Harrell replaced Red for about a dozen years, and Don kept the Tennessee Cut-ups together until his own death in 1984.
  • Reno and Smiley’s personal manager for many years was Carlton Haney, organizer of the first bluegrass festival in 1965 (Fincastle, VA).
  • 1992, Reno and Smiler were inducted together into the IBMA’s Hall of Fame.


Reno, Ronnie


  • From Nashville.
  • Oldest son of the late Don Reno.
  • Began performing and recording with his father and Red Smiley at the age of 8.
  • 1968, joined the Osborne Brothers, playing guitar and singing harmony vocals.
  • 1975, joined Merle Haggard and the Strangers.
  • 1978, his song “Boogie Grass Band,” became a big hit for Conway Twitty.
  • 1983, had solo country hits with “Homemade Love” and “The Letter.”
  • 1980, appeared in a Clint Eastwood film “Bronco Billy.”
  • 1984, formed the Reno Brothers with brothers Dale and Don Wayne.
  • 2001, became the producer of “Reno’s Old-Time Music Festival” TV Show, broadcast on the Americana Television Network, RFD-TV and other networks.
  • 2002, formed a new band called The Reno Tradition. Released Portfolio album (no label).
  • 2004, helped launch new cable network called Blue Highways TV.
  • 2013, won the IBMA Award for Broadcaster of the Year for his work on TV.
  • 2015, released Lessons Learned album (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2019, announced his retirement.

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.

Rice, Larry


  • Born in Danville, Virginia. Grew up in California.
  • A mandolin player, vocalist and songwriter.
  • The oldest of the Rice Brothers (Larry, Tony, Ronnie and Wyatt).
  • Late 60’s, played in a Southern California band called Aunt Dinah’s Quilting Party.
  • 1969, began his professional career with J. D. Crowe’s first band, The Kentucky Mountain Boys.
  • 1975, joined the Dickey Betts Band (Betts was a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band.)
  • 1975, recorded first solo album “Mr. Poverty” (King Bluegrass).
  • 1979, retired from music for several years, but returned in the 80’s to record three solo albums, a Rice Brothers album, and to form The Larry Rice Band.
  • 1986, released Hurricanes and Daydreams album (Rebel).
  • 1987, released Time Machine album (Rebel).
  • 1988, released Artesia album (Rebel).
  • 1990, released Larry and Wyatt Rice album (Rebel).
  • 1990’s, recorded and performed with brother Tony, Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen as Out of the Woodwork and Rice, Rice, Hillman and Pedersen. Released two albums, Running Wild and Rice, Rice, Hillman and Pedersen.
  • 1996, released Notions and Novelties album (Rebel).
  • 2005, released Clouds Over Carolina album (Rebel).
  • 2006, died from cancer.
  • 2014, Rebel Records released If You Only Knew: The Best of Larry Rice, a Larry Rice retrospective album.

Rice, Tony


  • From Danville, Virginia. Grew up in southern California, near L.A.
  • Considered one of the greatest flatpick guitar players of all time. Until he lost his voice in the 1990’s, he was also considered one of bluegrass music’s top lead singers.
  • Main influence: Clarence White whom he met in 1963. (Tony owns Clarence’s Martin D-28).
  • 1970, left California to join the Louisville-based Bluegrass Alliance.
  • 1971, joined his brother Larry in J.D. Crowe’s band, The Kentucky Mountain Boys (later re-named The New South). While with this band, he recorded one of the most important bluegrass albums of all time: J.D. Crowe & The New South (1973, Rounder).
  • 1975, joined the The David Grisman Quintet, playing jazz-oriented “Dawg Music.”
  • 1977, released Tony Rice album (Rounder).
  • 1978, released Guitar album (Rebel).
  • 1978, released landmark Manzanita album (Rounder), the first bluegrass album without a banjo.
  • 1980, recorded a classic album of duets with Ricky Skaggs Skaggs & Rice: The Essential Old-Time Country Duet Recordings (Sugar Hill).
  • 1981, arranged the first Bluegrass Album Band recording with friends Doyle Lawson, J.D. Crowe, Bobby Hicks, and Todd Phillips. The album sold so well, five more were recorded and the ensemble won the IBMA award for Instrumental Group of the Year (1990).
  • 1983, released Church Street Blues album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1984, released Cold On The Shoulder album (Rounder).
  • 1985, formed his own band, The Tony Rice Unit.
  • 1987, released and album of duets with guitarist Norman Blake Blake & Rice (Rounder). This was followed up with Blake & Rice 2 (1990, Rounder).
  • 1988, released Me & My Guitar album (Rounder).
  • 1993, his home in Florida was destroyed in a hurricane. His guitar was underwater for three hours, but Tony dried it out very slowly and reported that “it sounds better than ever.”
  • 1993, participated in a recording session at David Grisman’s Dawg Studios in Berkeley, California with Grisman and Jerry Garcia. The recordings were later released as The Pizza Tapes (Acoustic Disk).
  • 1994, developed voice problems, a malady called Muscle Tension Dysphonia and was forced to curtail his singing.
  • 1995, the Tony Rice Unit won the IBMA award for Instrumental Group of the Year.
  • 1996, released Tony Rice Sings Gordon Lightfoot album (Rounder), his last featuring vocals.
  • His hobbies: photography and collecting/repairing old watches.
  • 1997, 2000, recorded and performed with brother Larry, Chris Hillman and Herb Pederson as Out of the Woodwork and also as Rice, Rice, Hillman and Pederson.
  • 1998, released Native American album (Rounder).
  • 1998, released Tony Rice Plays And Sings Bluegrass album (Rounder).
  • 2000, released The Bluegrass Guitar Collection album (Rounder).
  • 2001, began performing and recording with Peter Rowan. Released Quartet album (Rounder) and You Were There for Me album (Rounder).
  • 2007, won his fifth IBMA award for Guitar Player of the Year (also won in 1990, 1991, 1994 and 1997).
  • 2008, worked dates with Mountain Heart.
  • 2010, his biography Still Inside: The Tony Rice Story was was published, co-authored by Tim Stafford and Caroline Wright.
  • 2011, released Hartford-Rice-Clements album (Small Dog a-Barkin’) with John Hartford and Vassar Clements. This album was recorded in John Hartford’s home in 1988 but was not released until 2011.
  • 2013, was inducted into the IBMA’s Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. His memorable acceptance speech included a seemingly miraculous recovery of his voice.
  • 2020, died on Christmas day at the age of 69.

Rice, Wyatt


  • Born in California. Grew up in Florida. Lives in Ferrum, Virginia.
  • Like his brother Tony, he is an accomplished flat-pick guitarist. Began playing at age 6.
  • For 15 years, he was a member of the Tony Rice Unit.
  • 1990, released solo album New Market Gap (Rounder).
  • 1995, formed his own band Santa Cruz.
  • 1996, released Picture in a Tear album (Rounder).
  • 2003, joined Ronnie Bowman’s band The Committee.
  • Operates Rice Recording Studio where he produces and masters recordings. He also teaches guitar and continues to perform solo and with other artists.
  • 2016, released Something Out of the Blue album (Mountain Fever) with Massachusetts banjo player Dan Menzone (of the group Traver Hollow). The call themselves the Wyatt Rice & Dan Menzone Alliance.

Rich in Tradition


  • From Low Gap, North Carolina.
  • Formed in 2008 by Mickey Galyean (guitar), Greg Jones (mandolin), Brad Hiatt (bass), Tim Martin (fiddle), Jay Adams (banjo).
  • 2010, released Black Mountain Special album (Mountain Roads).
  • 2010, Galyean and Hiatt left to form a new band Micky Galyean and Cullen’s Bridge. New lineup: Jay Adams (banjo), Greg Jones (mandolin), Ronnie Edwards (guitar), Jake Harbour (bass).
  • 2014, released Lonesomeville album (Mountain Roads).

Richardson, Deanie


  • From Kingston Springs, Tennessee, near Nashville.
  • An award-winning fiddler, she has worked with country and bluegrass artists such as Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Emmy Lou Harris, Hank Williams Jr, Marty Stewart, Travis Tritt and Holly Dunn. She first performed at the Grand Ole Opry at age 13 and later became a member of the Grand Ole Opry staff band. Her brother
  • 1989, was with The New Coon Creek Girls.
  • 1991, had her own band called Second Fiddle and released In the Mood album (Webco).
  • 2012, began touring internationally with the Chieftains.
  • 2013, joined a band called The Likely Culprits with Ashby Frank (later replaced by Ronnie Bowman), Garnet Bowman and Melanie Cannon on vocals, Brandon Bostic (guitar/banj0) and Austin Ward (bass).
  • 2013, joined Sister Sadie with bandmates Dale Ann Bradley (guitar), Tina Adair (mandolin), Gena Britt (banjo), Beth Lawrence (bass).
  • 2019, released Love Hard, Work Hard, Play Hard album (Pinecastle)
  • 2020, won the IBMA Award for Fiddle Player of the Year.

Richardson, Kevin


  • From Seagrove, North Carolina.
  • 2002, joined Lou Reid and Carolina.
  • 2008, joined the Larry Stephenson Band.
  • 2012, formed his own band Cuttin’ Edge (Richardson-Guitar, Boyd Hulin-Mandolin, Scott Burgess-Bass, Chris Ward-Banjo). The band is known as KRACE to their fans.
  • 2012, released first album Kevin Richardson & Cuttin’ Edge (Mountain Fever).
  • 2014, returned to the Larry Stephenson Band.
  • 2017, retired from music to spend more time with family.

Rickman, Brandon


  • From Purdy, Missouri. Lives in Nashville.
  • 1999, joined The New Tradition playing upright bass.
  • 2001, joined Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time.
  • 2002, joined The Lonesome River Band, playing guitar and singing lead vocals.
  • 2009, released solo project Young Man, Old Soul (Rural Rhythm).
  • He is also an award-winning songwriter with many of his songs appearing on the bluegrass and Americana charts including “Always Have, Always Will” (co-written with Chris Stapleton).
  • 2015, released Don’t Forget Me Little Darling: Remembering The Carter Family as one third of the trio Antique Persuasion (with Jenee Fleenor and Brennen Leigh).
  • 2016, released “Things Kids and Dogs Know” album (Voxhall).
Posted in R



  • From Boone, North Carolina.
  • Formed in 1993 by Jimmy Trivette (bass), Steve Lewis (banjo), Randy Greer (guitar) and David Pendley (mandolin.)
  • 1994, released Ricochet album (Rebel)
  • 1995, released Carolina Memories album (Rebel).
  • There was an Oklahoma country music band also called Ricochet which had a #1 hit record on Columbia Records called “Daddy’s Money.”

Rigneys, The


  • From Nashville, Tennessee.
  • A family band featuring Mark Rigney (banjo), Melissa Rigney (bass) and their two sons Andrew (guitar, mandolin, banjo) and Grant (mandolin, fiddle).
  • They began performing as Rigney Family Bluegrass, then changed to The Rigneys.
  • 2012, released “Familiar Paths” album produced by Stephen Mougin.
  • 2013, released “Double of Nothing” album, also produced by Mougin.

Rigsby, Don


  • From Isonville, Kentucky.
  • One of the best known tenor singers in bluegrass music. Plays mandolin.
  • Began professional career as a member of the Charlie Sizemore Band. Also worked with Vern Gosdin, the Bluegrass Cardinals, J.D. Crowe and the New South and True Grass.
  • 1995, replaced Dan Tyminski in the Lonesome River Band.
  • 1998, 2000, released solo projects.
  • 1997, recorded with the group Longview, winning IBMA awards for Recorded Event of the Year and Song of the Year (1998).
  • 1998, released A Vision album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1999, toured with Suzanne Thomas.
  • 1999, released first of two albums of duets with Dudley Connell Meet Me By Moonlight (Sugar Hill).
  • While with the Lonesome River Band, he occasionally appeared on stage as “Soup Bean” with his sidekick “Cornbread” (Kenny Smith) in bizarre comedy routines.
  • 2000, released Empty Old Mailbox album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2001, released second album with Dudley Connell Another Saturday Night (Sugar Hill).
  • 2001, left the Lonesome River Band to become the first Director of the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music (Morehead, KY) and to perform with his own group, Rock County and Longview. (Rock County disbanded in 2004).
  • 2003, released The Midnight Call album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2006, began performing with a new band called Midnight Call (named after a popular song on one of his albums.)
  • 2006, released Hillbilly Heartache album (Rebel).
  • 2010, played dates as Rigsby, Leadbetter and Bennett with Phil and Matt Leadbetter and Richard Bennett.
  • 2010, released The Voice of God album (Rebel).
  • 2012, reunited with Ronnie Bowman and Kenny Smith (former bandmates in the Lonesome River Band) to form a part-time band called The Rambling Rooks (later to be called Band of Ruhks).
  • 2013, sang harmony vocals on Alan Jackson’s “The Bluegrass Album.”
  • 2013, released Doctors Orders: A Tribute to Ralph Stanley album (Rebel).
  • 2014, recorded an album of duets with California guitarist David Thom.
  • 2016, formed Flashback, with Richard Bennett, Phil Leadbetter, Curt Chapman and Stuart Wyrick.

Rigsby, John


  • From Sandy Hook, Kentucky.
  • Began his career with Dwight Whitley and the Sideroads while in high school.
  • 1995, joined Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, playing mandolin.
  • 1996, released a duet album with Ralph Stanley II “Clinch Mountain Echos: Songs in the Stanley Tradition.”
  • 1998, worked with Melvin Goins and Windy Mountain.
  • 1999, returned to work with Ralph Stanley, playing mandolin. Then, in 2004, switched to fiddle, replacing James Price.
  • 2000, released solo project Forks of the Ivy (Hay Holler).
  • 2008, joined Summertown Road.



  • 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, Danny


  • From Leitchfield, Kentucky. Lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
  • Began playing guitar at age 13, mandolin a few years later.
  • 1988, formed The New Tradition, a gospel group.
  • Has also worked with Ronnie Reno and the Reno Tradition, Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time, the Marty Raybon Band, Special Consensus, Charlie Sizemore.
  • 2000, went to work for Gibson Musical Instruments. He became head of the Gibson Mandolin Division and Plant Supervisor for Gibson (including the banjo and resophonic guitar divisions). He was also the Gibson Repair Supervisor.
  • 2004, was a founding member of the Grascals. Toured with Dolly Parton.
  • 2004, released first solo album Mandolin Orchard (Butler Music Group).
  • 2014, released Nighthawk album (Mountain Home).
  • He formed his own instrument repair business “Just Off the Bench Stringed Instrument Repair.”

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).

Robinette, Tammy Jones


  • From Middlesboro, Kentucky. She and her husband Jim currently live in Northeast Ohio in the Lake Erie region.
  • Grew up as part of a popular gospel group called The Jones Family which included Tammy and her three siblings, plus mom and dad. They recorded dozens of albums and had many of their songs become hits on gospel radio stations.
  • 1999, began her solo career in gospel music and recorded several projects which established her as an award-winning Southern Gospel artist and songwriter.
  • 2013, released her first bluegrass album “Let It Shine” (no label), produced by Mark Fain.
  • 2015, released Tammy Jones Robinette & The Drive (Rural Rhythm), also produced by Mark Fain.

Robins, Butch


  • From Lebanon, Virginia. Lives in Pulaski, Virginia.
  • Real name: Joseph Calvin Robins.
  • 1967, won banjo contest at Union Grove Festival. Shortly thereafter, worked briefly with Bill Monroe as a teenager.
  • 1969-1971, served in the U.S. Army’s entertainment division, stationed in South Carolina.
  • 1971, played banjo with Charlie Moore and his Dixie Partners.
  • 1972, recorded and toured with Leon Russell.
  • 1973-1974, played bass with the New Grass Revival.
  • 1975-1977, played banjo with Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper.
  • 1977, worked briefly with Jim and Jesse.
  • 1977-1981, played banjo with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys.
  • 1978, released solo project “Fragments of My Imagicnation” (Rounder).
  • 1982-1983, formed The Blue Grass Band with Alan O’Bryant, Blaine Sprouse and Ed Dye.
  • 1983, quit performing and pursued a business career (real estate).
  • 1989, returned to music on a part-time basis with a new version of The Blue Grass Band (including Dudley Connell, Larry Stephenson, Ronnie and Rickie Simpkins, others) to record several albums of bluegrass standards marketed primarily through info-mercials on TV. These recordings were the first for Hay Holler Records.
  • 2003, wrote and published a book (What I Know About What I Know) chronicling his life in bluegrass music.
  • 2007, performed with the World International Bluegrass Band in Japan, Australia and Europe.
  • 2015, recorded a five-part video series called Butch Robins Presents: Blue Grass Music, its Origin and Development as a Unique and Creative Art Form.
  • 2016, was inducted into the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame in Bean Blossom, Indiana.

Robins, Kim


  • From Bloomington, Indiana.
  • Began singing at an early age but postponed her music career for 40 years. Worked as a medical sales rep while raising her family.
  • Married Butch Robins, a former Blue Grass Boy, who re-ignited her passion for music. They are no longer married.
  • She is a nurse when she is not performing music.
  • 2013, released 40 Years Late album (no label) and began performing and touring with her own band.
  • 2015, discontinued her band.
  • 2017, released Raining in Baltimore album (Pinecastle).
  • 2022, released Leave the Porch Light On album (Pinecastle).
  • 2022, started her own record label Ram Cat Records.

Rock County


  1. From various parts of Kentucky.
  2. Formed in 2001 by Don Rigsby (formerly with the Lonesome River Band).
  3. Members included Rigsby (mandolin), Glen Duncan (fiddle), Dale Vanderpool (banjo) Ray Craft (guitar) and Robin Smith (bass).
  4. 20o2, released album Rock County (Rebel).
  5. 2003, released album Rock Solid (Rebel).
  6. 2003, Vanderpool was replaced by Scott Vestal.
  7. 2004, broke up.

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.

Rockin’ Acoustic Circus


  • From Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • A band featuring five teen musicians and one adult who founded the band in 2005. Rick Morton. Morton is a fiddler and mandolin instructor who has performed with Brooks and Dunn and the Tractors. Other band members include Sterling Abernathy (mandolin), Eric Dysart (fiddle and banjo), Emma Hardin (cello), Zac Hardin (bass) and Carson Clemishire (banjo).
  • 2010, released album Lonestar Lullabye (no label).
  • 2012, following some extensive personnel changes (leaving only one original member, Sterling Abernathy), they adopted the name Belfry Fellows and moved to Nashville. The name comes from an Edgar Allen Poe story “The Devil in the Belfry” which has a fiddle playing “fellow” in it.

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.

Rosenberg, Ivan


  • From Portland, Oregon.
  • A Dobro™ (resophonic guitar) player who has worked with Chris Stuart and Backcountry, Evie Laden, Chris Jones and others.
  • He also plays clawhammer banjo.
  • 2001, released first solo project The Lost Coast (no label).
  • 2002, released “Back to the Pasture: Mighty Lonesome Bluegrass” album.
  • 2006, released “Clawhammer and Dobro™ album.
  • 2009, won an IBMA Award for co-writing Song of the Year “Don’t Throw Mama’s Flowers Away” (with Chris Stuart)
  • 2010, released an album with banjo player Chris Coole Farewell Trion (no label).
  • 2010, performed on the Jerry Douglas-produced album Southern Filibuster: a Tribute to Tut Taylor (E1Entertainment).
  • 2011, recorded an album with the Toronto-based Foggy Hogtown Boys The Hogtown Sessions (no label).
  • 2013, released Oldies & Old Time album (no label).

Rosenthal, Phil


  • From Guilford, Connecticut.
  • 1970-75, played with a New England band called Apple Country.
  • 1976-77, had a band with his wife Beth called “Old Dog.” This group recorded an album with Mike Auldridge “Mike Auldridge and Old Dog” (Flying Fish).
  • 1977-1986, played guitar and sang lead with the Seldom Scene.
  • 1983, released first solo project Matter of Time (Sierra).
  • Plays all the bluegrass instruments (guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bass).
  • A prolific songwriter. His songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, the Osborne Brothers and the Seldom Scene.
  • He is the owner of American Melody Records, a label specializing in traditional folk music for children. He is producer, composer, artist and distributor of such albums as:
  • 1994, he was named the official State Troubadour of Connecticut.
  • 2000, formed a group called Bluegrass Reunion.

Ross, Joe


  • From Roseburg, Oregon. He was born in Virginia but grew up in Japan and heard his first bluegrass there on the Far East Network.
  • A multi-instrumentalist who writes, records and performs sea songs, Scottish, Celtic and children’s music, all with a bluegrass twist.
  • His band “Cold Thunder” gets its name from a natural phenomenon from Ozark folklore in which frozen lakes and creeks slowly expand, forcing the earth to move and groan with a thundering roar.
  • He promoted an Oregon bluegrass festival called The Myrtle Creek Bluegrass and Arts Festival, or “Myrtlegrass.”
  • Ross is a well-known writer in bluegrass circles and a frequent contributor to Bluegrass Unlimited magazine.
  • 1998, released “The Harper’s Reverie: Irish Music of Turlough O’Carolan” (Zephyr).
  • 2000, released “The Crazy Zoo: An Animal Songfest” of bluegrass & folk for kids “of all ages” (Zephyr)
  • 2006, released Festival Time Again album (Zephr).
  • 2007, released The Spirit of St. Louis album (Zephr).
  • 2008, released an album entitled Moonglow (Zephr) with classic jazz and swing favorites.
  • 2008, released Bluegrass Alphabet album (no label).
  • Since 1990 has been a regular writer and reviewer for The Roots Music Report (online).
  • Bands he performs (or has performed) with: The Celtic Tradition, The HotQua String Band, The Umpqua Valley Bluegrass Band, The Ceili Boys, Irish Creme, Alamojo Western Swing Band, Zephyr Duo, & The Keynotes Polka Band.
  • His solo shows include “Sea Breeze” (world music), “The Beatless” (music of the Beatles), “Music of the Pioneers” (early folk music), and “Folk Tales of Old Japan” (storytelling).
  • Since 2010 has played mandolin with guitarist Jerry Ashford in a duo/trio called “The Sunny Sky Boys” and Gypsyjazz with guitarist Jesse Scriven.

Rothman, Sandy


  • From Berkeley, California (born in Oakland).
  • A banjo, guitar and Dobro™ player who was a close friend of the late Jerry Garcia (of Grateful Dead fame) and has performed in Garcia’s acoustic band. He also produced Jerry’s album “Almost Acoustic.”
  • 1964, worked briefly with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, playing banjo.
  • Early 1970’s, played banjo for Earl Taylor and the Stoney Mountain Boys.
  • Has also worked with Clarence White, Don Stover, Red Allen, Larry Sparks, New Riders of the Purple Sage and Country Joe McDonald.
  • 1991, recorded an album of Bluegrass Guitar Duets (Sierra) with Steve Pottier, a long-time Bay-area guitarist who at the time was playing bass with High Country.
  • 1993, released The Old Road to Home album (Tone Bar).

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.

Rowan, Peter


  • From Wayland, Massachusetts.
  • Performs a variety of musical styles including bluegrass, rock, Tex-Mex, Irish, country, rockabilly, folk and reggae.
  • Began performing in junior high school with a rockabilly group called the Cupids, playing mostly Buddy Holly material.
  • 1963, began his professional career with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys.
  • 1967, formed a rock group with David Grisman called Earth Opera. Toured with The Doors, other bands.
  • 1969, joined a California country-rock group called Sea Train.
  • 1973, performed with Old and In the Way with Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead and David Nelson of New Riders of the Purple Sage.
  • 1974, worked with Richard Greene, Bill Keith, Clarence White and David Grisman in Muleskinner.
  • 1975-1978, performed with his brothers Chris and Lorin as the Rowan Brothers. Recorded three albums including Tree On A Hill (Asylum). They reunited in 1992 for several shows.
  • 1978, released Peter Rowan album (Flying Fish).
  • 1978, formed two Tex-Mex groups: The Green Grass Gringos and the Mexican Air Force.
  • 1982, released The Walls Of Time album (Sugar Hill). Band included Ricky Skaggs, Alan O’Bryant, Eddie Adcock, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, others.
  • 1983, formed the Wild Stallions in Nashville.
  • 1984, formed The Free Mexican Air Force which at times included Tony Rice on guitar.
  • 1988, released New Moon Rising album with the Nashville Bluegrass Band (Sugar Hill).
  • 1990, released Dust Bowl Children album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1990, released The First Whipporwill album (Sugar Hill). Band included Bill Keith, Richard Greene, Sam Bush, Alan O’Bryant, Buddy Spicher.
  • 1991, released All On A Rising Day album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1995, released With The Red Hot Pickers album (Sugar Hill). Band included Tony Trischka, Richard Greene, Andy Statman, Roger Mason.
  • 1996, released Bluegrass Boy album (Sugar Hill). Band included Mike Munford, Charles Sawtelle, Laurie Lewis, Richard Greene, Roy Huskey Jr., Buell Neidlinger.
  • 2004, released You Were There For Me album with Tony Rice (Rounder).
  • 2006, formed The Peter Rowan & Tony Rice Quartet. Original group included Sharon Gilchrist and Bryn Davies (Bright). Mike Bub and Rickie Simpkins also played with this band.
  • 2007, released Quartet album (Rounder) featuring the Peter Rowan and Tony Rice Quartet.
  • 2007, formed The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band with Keith Little and Jody Stecher.
  • Hobby: studying and painting Asian art. He is a devotee of Tibetan Buddhism.
  • 2010, released Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band: Legacy album (Compass).
  • 2013, released The Old School album (Compass) with guests Del McCoury, Bobby Osborne, Jesse McReynolds, others.
  • 2018, had to cancel several months of touring to recover from exhaustion.
  • 2018, released Carter Stanley’s Eyes album (Rebel).
  • Recent band configurations: the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Peter Rowan’s Big Twang Theory (rockabilly), Peter Rowan’s Twang and Groove (Rhythm and Blues), Peter Rowan and Crucial Reggae (Reggae) and The Free Mexican Air Force (Tex Mex).

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).

Roys, The


  • From Fitchburg, Massachusetts and also lived in Coal Branch, New Brunswick, Canada. Now live in Nashville.
  • A brother/sister duo featuring Lee and Elaine Roy.
  • 2009, 2010, won Inspirational Country Music (ICM) Award for Duo of the Year.
  • 2010, recorded their first bluegrass album called “Right Back at You.” Subsequently signed with Rural Rhythm Records.
  • 2011, signed with ValCom Studios to produce their own 30-minute weekly variety TV show “Roots and Music with the Roys.”
  • 2011, released Lonesome Whistle album (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2012, released New Day Dawning album (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2012, won ICM Award for Song of the Year, “I Wonder What God’s Thinking.”
  • 2013, released Gypsy Runaway Train album (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2014, released The View album (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2014, won their 4th ICM Award for Bluegrass Artist of the Year (also won in 2011, 2012, and 2013).
  • 2023, after a long hiatus, Elaine Roy signed with Grace Records Nashville for a solo project. Lee has been driving tour buses.

Rozum, Tom


  • From Waterbury, Connecticut.
  • Best known as the singing partner of Laurie Lewis. He plays a rare 1924 Gibson Lloyd Loar F-5 mandolin.
  • 1974, played with The Summerdog Experience and Mariachi Ensemble in Tucson, Arizona.
  • 1978), played with Geoff Stelling and Hard Times and The Rhythm Rascals in San Diego, California.
  • 1982) played with Flying South in Flagstaff, Arizona.
  • 1986, joined Laurie Lewis and Grant Street.
  • 1994, was seriously injured in an auto accident with Laurie Lewis while on tour. Doctors weren’t sure he would ever walk again, but he recovered completely.
  • 1996, his duet album with Laurie Lewis The Oak and the Laurel (Rounder) was nominated for a Grammy Award.
  • He is also an artist (graphic design and illustration) and has a degree in biology.
  • 1998, released a solo project Jubilee (Dog Boy).

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).

Run C&W


  • From Nashville.
  • A comedy act (1992-1995) specializing in bluegrass adaptations of Motown and classic rock songs.
  • The brainchild of Bernie Leadon, founding member of The Eagles.
  • Name is a take-off on the name of the popular rap group, Run DMC.
  • According to the story line of their first album (1993), Run C&W is a band featuring The Burns Brothers, a family of bluegrass pickers who migrated from the backwoods of Kentucky to Detroit, Michigan, where they learned to play “that good old soul music—the way God intended for it to be played—bluegrass style.”
  • First gained recognition when they played at the CMA’s Fan Fair in Nashville and did a spoof of Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart” called “Itchy Twitchy Spot.” What started out as a joke turned into a full-fledged album project.
  • Members of Run C&W: Rug Burns is Russell Smith (formerly with the Amazing Rhythm Aces.) Crashen Burns is Bernie Leadon (formerly with the Eagles.) G.W. “Wash” Burns is Vince Melamed (a.k.a. Dan Fogelberg), and Side Burns is Jim Photoglo (a Nashville songwriter). Their fictional father was known as Dad Burns.
  • 1993, released Into The Twangy-First Century album (MCA).
  • 1994, released Row Vs. Wade album (MCA).

Runkle, Bill (and Smith Hollow)


  • From Brogue, Pennsylvania.
  • A banjo player who worked with Del McCoury’s Dixie Pals from 1969-1977. He played banjo on McCoury’s classic “High on a Mountain” LP (Rounder) in 1973.
  • 2015, (at age 75) released “Lonely Tonight” album (Patuxent) with his band Smith Hollow.

Russell, Johnny


  • From Sunflower County, Mississippi. Grew up in Fresno, California.
  • Billed himself as “the biggest act in country music” because of his large size. His famous opening line on the Grand Ole Opry was “Can you see me all right?”
  • A successful songwriter, who wrote hits for Jim Reeves, Buck Owens, Loretta Lynn and the Beatles.
  • As a singer and recording artist (RCA) he scored hits with “The Baptism of Jesse Taylor,” “Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer,” and several others.
  • His biggest song “Act Naturally” was a hit for both Buck Owens and the Beatles.
  • 1985, joined the Grand Ole Opry. He not only performed as a singer but as a comedian. A large man, one of his favorite opening lines was “Can you see me alright?”
  • 2000, recorded a bluegrass album Actin’ Naturally (OMS) with guests Buck Owens, Earl Scruggs, Bobby Osborne, Benny Martin, Dolly Parton, the Whites, others.
  • 2001, died at the age of 60.