Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, fronted by the longtime member of progressive bluegrass pioneers the Country Gentlemen, is a bluegrass ensemble that has made both gospel and secular recordings since its inception in 1979. (Though, as Lawson is a devout Christian, the numbers tip in favor of the gospel.) The group has had numerous members move through its ranks over the years, the one constant being Lawson, who jokingly refers to his group as a "farm team" for professional bluegrass.
North Carolina can once again be credited for producing great bluegrass. Hailing from just east of Charlotte, Deeper Shade of Blue includes Jason Fraley (mandolin/vocals), Troy Pope (guitar/vocals), Frank Poindexter (dobro/vocals), Scott Burgess (bass/vocals), and Steve Wilson (banjo). The band has been together for 21 years, has self-produced six albums, had a very successful 2018 release with "Steam," on Mountain Fever Records, and are back in the studio wrapping up their next album now, due to release in 2021. A quick search on Facebook or YouTube will no doubt prove why this band has been a favorite in bluegrass for so long. With their signature tight harmonies, dynamic instrumentation and energetic stage show, they’ve been lauded as one of the best touring groups in the industry and one that festivals have added to their lineup year after year.
Bringing together the meaningful lyrics of country music with the traditional musicianship of bluegrass, The Caleb Daugherty Band has emerged as one of the most promising groups on the acoustic festival scene. Blessed with an expressive and resonant baritone, Daugherty was born and raised near Connersville, Indiana, and still calls it home. He grew up playing in his family’s band and cites his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather for his love of bluegrass and country music. Daugherty’s career highlights include performing at an all-star tribute to Keith Whitley in Nashville and playing guitar with Rhonda Vincent at the Grand Ole Opry. Additional members of The Caleb Daugherty Band, who also live in Indiana, include Zion Napier on mandolin, Kyle Clerkin on banjo, Zach Collier on bass, and Kyle Ramey on fiddle. Following a 2019 album, Burnt the Sawmill Down, the band returned in 2020 with the single, “Daylight’s Burning.”
Since its formation decades ago, Lonesome River Band continues its reputation as one of the most respected names in bluegrass music. Five-time International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Banjo Player of the Year, and winner of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, Sammy Shelor leads the group that is constantly breaking new ground in acoustic music. With two stellar lead vocalists, Jesse Smathers (guitar) and Adam Miller (mandolin), with the impressive talents of Mike Hartgrove (fiddle) and Kameron Keller (bass), the band seamlessly comes together, performing the trademark sound that fans continue to embrace.
Junior Sisk is widely recognized as one of today's top bluegrass vocalists, and a constant reminder that traditional bluegrass is still alive and well. A longtime resident of the Virginia Blue Ridge, his bluegrass pedigree runs deep. Influenced by a father who wrote songs and played guitar and a mother who sang, Sisk first learned to play around age 14. His early influences included The Stanley Brothers, Larry Sparks, and Dave Evans, but he often credits the Johnson Mountain Boys with inspiring him to pursue bluegrass professionally
Fans of acoustic guitar music should be well acquainted with the name Wyatt Rice. He was first spotlighted as an original member of the Tony Rice Unit. He has been featured on numerous recordings and videos, including his solo album "Newmarket Gap" and "Picture In a Tear" with his own band, Wyatt Rice & Santa Cruz
Russell Moore formed IIIrd Tyme Out in 1991, and bluegrass music hasn’t been the same since. IIIrd Tyme Out helped to usher in a new era of youthful, energetic bluegrass, and establish his own unique sound. IIIrd Tyme Out has been named IBMA’s Vocal Group of the Year seven times, with Russell being the most-awarded male vocalist in the history of the International Bluegrass Music Awards (six awards and counting). Since 1991, IIIrd Tyme Out has been headlining bluegrass festivals and topping bluegrass charts with hits including “Moundsville Pen,” “Erase The Miles,” “John and Mary,” “Raining In L.A.,” “I’m Leaving Detroit”, “The Best Durn Ride,” and “Lovin’ You, Goin’ Blind” are all staples on bluegrass radio. The band’s latest album, It’s About Tyme generated rave reviews from fans and critics alike, and produced a handful of chart-toppers, including “Brown County Red,” “I’m Leaving You and Fort Worth Too,” and “Cottontown.”
Second Chance Bluegrass is a Bluegrass Gospel group from Lexington, NC with soaring harmonies, exceptional musicianship and driving sounds of traditional bluegrass with all the dynamic harmonies and style of today’s sounds. Band Members are Jon Essick (Bass), Jerry Tysinger (Guitar), Randy Dally (mandolin), & Blake Lanning (Banjo). In 2019 the band released the long awaited self-titled album Second Chance Bluegrass.
Richard Bennett and Wyatt Rice perform together it's always something special, a magical musical experience that everyday acoustic music fans, and musicians as well, will appreciate. The two guitarists go way back and enjoy bringing the music to us they learned from Wyatt's brother Tony Rice. Many of these songs will be ones they played while Tony while simply jamming. Bennett & Rice will be bringing back this music as a tribute to the inimitable Tony Rice.
Hailing from the Gateway of the Great Smoky Mountains, Seth Mulder & Midnight Run began its journey in February of 2015 at the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. This group of friends and musicians created a band tied to bluegrass music's rich traditions, offering a fresh approach to that "High Lonesome" sound. With each member drawing from various influences, including bluegrass, country and rock, Seth Mulder & Midnight Run's sound was born. Seth Mulder & Midnight Run has completed three albums to date on their label. Two live projects recorded at the Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and a full-length studio album, "Traveling Kind," released in February of 2021. In March 2021, they signed with Mountain Fever Records out of Willis, Virginia, and released their first single, "One More Night."
Jake Goforth is a 17-year-old powerhouse Bluegrass flat picker with a baritone voice from Troy, NC. He has performed with such music notables as Dan Tyminski, Rhonda Vincent, the Gibson Brothers, and Sideline. “The future of Bluegrass music is in great hands!” stressed Rhonda Vincent on these teenagers’ abilities. The style of music he will bring to Bluegrass First Class will definitely be true to the genre!
Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass play powerful, unadorned, and intense traditional bluegrass. There is no hybrid or genre-bending music here. Their combination of instrumentation and vocals convey the energy and emotion of classic bluegrass and country music. Danny’s lead vocals will captivate your senses, so much so that many prominent musicians, including Alison Krauss, have considered Danny as one of their favorite singers. His voice combines powerful range and soulful blues with a sound like no one else in bluegrass today. With Danny Paisley on guitar, Southern Grass continues the family tradition adding Danny’s son Ryan on mandolin, the next generation of up and coming pickers. Ted Lundy with Lundy’s sons T.J. (Fiddle) and Bobby (Bass and Vocals). T.J. Lundy is a highly respected fiddler bridging the gap between old-time fiddling and bluegrass music. Bobby Lundy is also a renowned multi-instrumentalist who has gained attention for his unique bass style. Southern Grass also includes Mark Delaney (formerly with Randy Waller and the Country Gentlemen, and Darren Beachley & Legends of the Potomac) on banjo.