A friend of mine once said that Jerry Butler made every band he played with better because he was there. Upbeat, friendly, and deeply grounded in bluegrass music with experience in both major touring bands and playing around his home town of Knoxville, TN, Jerry always brings warmth and enthusiasm to any festival where he performs. His current band has been with him for three years now, and they're a solid, accomplished bunch.
This North Carolina band is Carolina Blue to its very core. Lorraine Jordan has fronted the for a dozen years or more, building it into a reliable and entertaining group featuring virtuoso Josh Goforth on fiddle and guitar with Tommy Long as lead singer. Ben Greene is one of the most reliable Scruggs style banjo players around. Lorraine writes many of the band's songs and emcees while also playing mandolin and singing - a good, entertaining band.
We saw Penny Creek, an enjoyable local bluegrass band from Melbourne, FL that grew together out of jams in a local tap room, for the first time last year. Our immediate reaction was to ask, "Where've they been all the time we've been coming to Florida?" They're entertaining and solidly musical.
The Bluegrass Brothers, based in Virginia, have become quite popular and recognized for the hard-edged and enthusiastic interpretations of first and second generation bluegrass classics. The return of Robert and Donnie Dowdy to this band has returned a good deal of its original spirit. Filled with energy and enthusiasm, they always give their best.
Hwy 41 South has become a staple local band many Florida festivals during past several years. Featuring the fine country voice of JR Davis and excellent instrumental ensemble work, the band plays primarily classic bluegrass covers. Mark Horn leads the band and serves as emcee.
The host band for YeeHaw Junction, the band features strong material from bluegrass' second generation and a solid ensemble sound highlighted by Shane Stewart and Clint Dockry's singing. Enjoy this band!
Sideline began as just what the name implies, a side project for musicians from the Raleigh area looking for some extra cash during slack periods of the year. Imagine their surprise as the gigs started to pile up and parent bands to complain. Brian Aldridge has replaced Darrell Webb on mandolin and vocals, while Skip Cherryholmes has committed himself to playing closer to home with his father-in-law Steve Dilling, still one of the best band emcees in the business. Greg Luck brings depth and breadth to the band, while Jason Moore can drive any band from his position at bass. This is as good a cover band as your likely to see. They've recently embarked on recording their second CD.
There's a good reason Rhonda Vincent is called the "Queen of Bluegrass." She's the hardest working, and arguably most successful woman to ever front a bluegrass band. The Rage regularly cards over 130 dates a year from major festivals to super market openings where her sponsor Martha White Flour often asks her to appear. The band consists on many of the most able side men in bluegrass, highlighted by three time guitar player of the year and former emerging artist Josh Williams. Her latest son-in-law Brent Davis is one of the finest Dobro players in the business despite his youth. His brother-in-law Hunter Berry is past due for recognition as fiddle player of the year. Rhonda still has one of the clearest singing voices around and sparkles whenever she hits the stage. Her willingness to spend time with her legion of fans is legendary. Rhonda Vincent & the Rage always deliver.