Performers

BLUE HIGHWAY

At the 20-year mark, Blue Highway is indisputably one of the most esteemed and influential groups in contemporary bluegrass. The band’s eleven exceptional albums and compelling live performances give proof to the stellar reviews, Grammy nominations, and numerous awards earned by the band since it first took the stage on December 31, 1994. That first performance featured the same musicians that comprise Blue Highway today, making their 20th anniversary all the more remarkable..

With a deep bench of virtuosic songwriters, vocalists and instrumentalists, Blue Highway’s hallmark is an unwavering commitment to the ensemble, the “democracy of the band” that makes Blue Highway a powerhouse.

Individually, Jason Burleson (banjo, guitar, mandolin), Rob Ickes (Dobro), Shawn Lane (mandolin, fiddle, vocals), Tim Stafford (guitar, vocals), and Wayne Taylor (bass, vocals) are masters of their respective roles.

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BREAKING GRASS

With their fresh sound, original material, strong vocals and innovative musicianship, Breaking Grass is doing exactly what their name implies. Although not quite traditional, the music they present is without a doubt steeped in the timeless genre they grew up listening to. Comprised of Cody Farrar on guitar; Tyler White on fiddle; Thelton Vanderford on banjo; Zach Wooten on mandolin; and Britt Sheffield on bass; this relatively new band formed with one goal in mind – to make music that all ages could enjoy. They are well on their way to becoming a household name and recently won the B.O.R.N. (Band On The Rise Nationally) award in June 2012.

 

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THE CLEVERLY’S

Our family comes from the remote part of the Ozark Mountains, near Cane Spur, Arkansas. We spent our days working on the family farm mostly raising our own food and growing dad’s famous pipe tobacco. I guess he grew the best pipe tobacco around. People came from as far as Big Flat to get it. We worked hard but we had fun. In the evening we played and sang. On weekends we had pickens’. There was always a big crowd around. The Cleverly Trio is our family band. It was founded by dad and his three brothers, Turk, Tink and Bunyon. The whole family at one time or another has played in the band. Since 2005 my brother Digger has taken over the band. The current members of the trio are Digger, my brother Vernon Dean “VD” Cleverly, nephews Monk Cleverly and Ricky Lloyd Cleverly.
Digger is the oldest boy born in 19 and 60 in Star Gap, Arkansas. Digger worked and played music with the family until 19 and 74. At the young age of 14 he got his first outside gig as the guitar tech for Leif Garrett. He was exposed to a lot as a young boy, even more when he became the flute tech for Jethro Tull.

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CODE BLUE

Code Blue is a high energy bluegrass band playing everything from the traditional bluegrass music, to doing their own arrangements their way ! Code Blue puts in the hard work and individual experience to provide the best sound so they can please every age group. From the very first song, you can feel the energy and hear the great vocal harmonies the group is known for, but don’t over look the great musicians ! The band is based in the Tidewater area of Virginia, and was formed in the late summer of 1996.

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DARIN & BROOKE ALBRIDGE

With their fresh sound, original material, strong vocals and innovative musicianship, Breaking Grass is doing exactly what their name implies. Although not quite traditional, the music they present is without a doubt steeped in the timeless genre they grew up listening to. Comprised of Cody Farrar on guitar; Tyler White on fiddle; Thelton Vanderford on banjo; Zach Wooten on mandolin; and Britt Sheffield on bass; this relatively new band formed with one goal in mind – to make music that all ages could enjoy. They are well on their way to becoming a household name and recently won the B.O.R.N. (Band On The Rise Nationally) award in June 2012.

 

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DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER

With nearly 40 albums to their credit, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver have multiple Grammy, Dove, ICM, IBMA and SPBGMA Award nominations, and are 7-time winners of IBMA’s Vocal Group of the Year. Lawson is reigning SPBGMA Mandolin Player of the Year, and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver are the reigning Inspirational Country Music Association (ICM) Vocal Group of the Year, crowned in October 2012 at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, on the heels of Lawson’s induction into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame at the Ryman Auditorium on September 27, 2012.

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FLATLAND DRIVE

Flatland Drive formed in the early spring of 2009 and is composed of members residing in Denton, Maryland and Harrington, Delaware. Their sound is influenced by the patriarchs of bluegrass music, but they also pay homage to the likes of The Seldom Scene, Bluegrass Album Band, and Lonesome River Band.

Curt Fox plays banjo and sings. He has long been active in local acoustic music, and he has performed with several bands from around the region. His banjo playing is heavily influenced by the great J.D. Crowe, who is considered the dean of Scruggs-style bluegrass banjo. Lee Collins plays guitar and sings. His magnificent tenor voice is smooth and strong on any song he sings for Flatland Drive. Alan Rausch plays dobro and sings. Originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, he started learning ukelele, and then he learned guitar, mandolin, banjo, and pedal steel before settling on his love of playing dobro.

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FLATT LONESOME

Since their debut in 2011, Flatt Lonesome has enjoyed a nearly unprecedented trip to place them among bluegrass’ elite. Bluegrass Today calls them “the sort of band bluegrass needs right now” and says their brand of original bluegrass is “some of the freshest our genre has been offered in a while.” Stellar picking and heartfelt songs centered around beautiful sibling harmony have made Flatt Lonesome a hit among bluegrass fans both young and old and their vibrant, youthful spirit with careful respect towards tradition has earned the
praise of peers twice their age.

Mature beyond their years (both musically and professionally), Flatt Lonesome has already reached success levels comparable to bands that have been playing for decades. Their whirlwind ride has included being named Emerging Artists of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), releasing a trio of successful albums, being heard on bluegrass radio across the country and world, and playing some of the biggest bluegrass events on the continent.

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THE GRASCALS

About the Grascals:
Timely yet timeless, The Grascals make music that is entirely relevant to the here and now, while acknowledging the traditional values that birthed the genre. Their cutting-edge modern Bluegrass is delivered with a deep knowledge of, and admiration for, the work of the music’s founding fathers.

 

It’s a unique sound that has earned the group three-time Grammy® nominations and two Entertainer of the Year awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association, as well as national media attention that seems to perpetually elude other acts entrenchedin niche genres. High-profile appearances include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Fox & Friends, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and CBS’ The Talk . The bastions of Country and Bluegrass continue to welcome them, as evidenced by 150- plus performances on the Grand Ole Opry. Additional honors include President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Ball at the Smithsonian and two performances for President George W. Bush

 

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THE LONESOME RIVER BAND

The year 2001 brought a lot of new changes with the addition of Brandon Rickman and Jeff Parker along with fiddler Mike Hartgrove who had just left IIIrd Tyme Out, along with bassist Irl Hees. The band was rewarded rave reviews for Window of Time, the first recording with that band configuration.John Wade soon replaced Hees on bass, and the group the recorded Head On Into Heartache CD.

In 2005, Hartgrove left to join Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and Rickman chose to give up touring to spend more time focusing on songwriting, but more importantly much needed time with his family. With Jeff Parker’s contributions on mandolin and tenor vocals, this took LRB into the next generation returning to the bands aggressive, four piece sound that had brought them to prominence years earlier. Shelor brought on a strong picker and a distinctive singer, Barry Berrier on bass who had made a name singing lead and playing guitar with The Lost & Found. Shannon Slaughter then came onboard after initially being hired to fill in during the search for a new guitar man.

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NOTHIN’ FANCY

From the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, comes one of the most entertaining bands in the bluegrass genre, Nothin’ Fancy. As a matter of fact, they’ve won SPBGMA’s award for Entertaining Group of the Year six times!

Nothin’ Fancy was formed as a bluegrass band in 1994 to compete in a bluegrass competition. Ever since then, they have grown in popularity, released 11 full length albums, and continue to perform at festivals all across the United States, Canada and Norway including the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN, the Lincoln Center in New York City, and the Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia. They have successfully hosted their own Nothin’ Fancy Bluegrass Festival every year since 2001 in Buena Vista, Virginia.

Their full-time touring schedule has earned them one of the most loyal fan bases in all of bluegrass music. They are loved by festival-goers and bluegrass fans from the East to West Coast and abroad.

 

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SELDOM SCENE

The Seldom Scene is an American bluegrass band formed in 1971 in Bethesda, Maryland. The Scene has been instrumental in starting the progressive bluegrass movement as their shows include bluegrass versions of country music, rock, and even pop. What does it take for a bluegrass band to remain popular for more than four decades? For The Seldom Scene, it’s taken not only talented musicians, a signature sound, and a solid repertoire, but also a sheer sense of fun.

 

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THE STEELDRIVERS

Right there, at two minutes and ten seconds into the first song, “Long Way Down.” The part where Gary Nichols sings, “Girl, we both know where your soul is bound.” Only he bleeds it as much as he sings it. He sounds murderous, maniacal. Her soul is bound for nothing skyward, for nothing heavenly. And he’s fine with that.

Richard Bailey’s banjo plays funky, little Kentucky-goes-to-Memphis rolls. Tammy Rogers’ fiddle soars. Brent Truitt’s mandolin chops time, and Mike Fleming’s bass pounds the downbeat. And all that is righteous and right-on. Elevated, even. But Nichols—he lets loose something the opposite of righteousness. It’s a howl, full of hurt and anger and life. Starts on the highest E note that 99.9% of male singers can hit, then ascends into a sweet falsetto, and then opens up like the gates of Hell, into a reeling screech.

“That made me dizzy for a second,” Nichols says, remembering the moment he sang the line. “Really, I almost passed out. There are certain lines in SteelDrivers songs that require a little bit of Wilson Pickett.”

 

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VOLUME FIVE

Volume Five is certainly blazing a red-hot trail on the bluegrass scene with their live stage performances and chart topping albums. Their newest release, Drifter, on Mountain Fever Records, certainly demonstrates their various styles of bluegrass that has earned them critical acclaim from media, radio and their peers. The album made its debut on the Billboard Top 10 Bluegrass Album Chart and has achieved significant radio success this year with four tracks charting and two singles reaching #1 on the Bluegrass Today Top 20 Chart.

In 2015, the band received two separate industry award nominations. Volume Five was nominated for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Emerging Artist of the Year Award and also a GMA Dove Nomination for Bluegrass Song of the Year for “Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man” featuring guest vocals by the Queen of Bluegrass Rhonda Vincent on the Dolly Parton cover song from their album VOICES.  That album received significant radio airplay and hit #1 on SiriusXM Radio’s Bluegrass Junction Most Played Albums with “Dream Softly” in the top spot the program’s Most Played Tracks in April 2015…

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WOUND TIGHT

WoundTight is an award winning Bluegrass band comprised of dynamic musicians from Southwest Virginia. Led by brothers Chris and Ray “Mike” Martin, WoundTight’s unique sound brings forth innovative and sophisticated renderings of their traditional bluegrass roots. Their energetic bluegrass style has captured the attention of fans and judges alike resulting in first place winnings at both the 20th Annual Maury River Fiddlers Convention and the 24th Annual Sedalia Bluegrass Festival. WoundTight continues to excel in their musical genre placing in the top 15 at the Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention in 2014 and 2016.

 

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