Performer Bios

 

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Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

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With almost 40 albums to their credit, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver have multiple Grammy, Dove, ICM, IBMA and SPBGMA Award nominations, and are seven-time winners of IBMA’s Vocal Group of the Year Award. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver are the reigning Inspirational Country Music Association Vocal Group of the Year, crowned in October 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.

Lawson was heralded by journalist Craig Havighurst as “one of music’s lions” following Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver’s performance at the 2011 IBMA Awards Press Conference in Nashville. Of DLQ’s performance, which garnered three standing ovations from a sold-out crowd in Nashville, Havighurst wrote: “There was no question who was going to close the show. Doyle Lawson is one of music’s lions at this point, and when he came out in perhaps the most beautiful western jacket I’ve ever seen… he was a holy vision. … When DLQ, in quartet mode, nailed the final chorus of the a cappella gospel song “He Made It All Right,” I swear we were mainlining the holy spirit. You know how the word awesome gets overused and misused? Here’s where it applies.” (http://www.musiccityroots.com/passionate-precision)

A native Tennessean, Lawson was honored in February 2012 by Governor Bill Haslam and the State of Tennessee for his contributions to the state and America through his music (Senate Joint Resolution 467). Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (DLQ) were very visible in 2011 through multiple national television appearances and a European tour, while their album “Drive Time” spent several weeks atop the new Alternate Roots Top 66 International Bluegrass Chart at #1, reflecting radio airplay nationwide and across the globe. “Drive Time” was also heralded as an Essential Album of 2011 by “Acoustic Guitar” magazine (Feb 2012 issue).

 

Snyder Family Band

The Snyder Family Band features the talents of siblings Zeb and Samantha Snyder from Lexington, NC.  Backed by their dad, Bud, on upright bass, this band has delighted and surprised audiences at venues including Merlefest (Wilkesboro, NC), Music City Roots (Nashville, TN), Bristol Rhythm & Roots (Bristol, VA/TN), the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree (Nashville, TN), the Musicians Against Childhood Cancer Festival (Columbus, OH), and the Red White and Bluegrass Festival (Morganton, NC). They have also appeared on the “WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour” (Lexington, KY) and twice on the PBS TV program “Song of the Mountains” (Marion, VA). Mom, Laine, occasionally joins in with harmony vocals, and six-year-old Owen also makes special appearances singing or playing guitar.

Samantha, now thirteen, began playing classical violin at age three.  In 2007 she won first place at the Jimmy Edmonds Homecoming Competition in Galax, VA. In 2008 at age nine she became the youngest ever to win the prestigious Fiddler of the Festival award at Fiddler’s Grove, NC.  She also won the 2011 Adult Bluegrass Fiddle competition at the Old Fiddler’s Convention held in Galax, VA. In addition to playing fiddle, Samantha sings both lead and harmony vocals.

Zeb, now sixteen, began classical guitar lessons at age seven.  In 2007, he won the top prize, a Wayne Henderson guitar, at the Jimmy Edmonds Homecoming Competition in Galax, VA. In 2011 he became the South Carolina Guitar Champion at RenoFest in Hartsville, SC.  He also placed first in the adult guitar competition at the 2011 Old Fiddler’s Convention in Galax, VA.  In addition to guitar and mandolin, Zeb also plays banjo, bass, and dobro and sings lead and harmony vocals.

The Snyder Family’s latest CD, titled “Stages,” was released in October 2011 on the Mountain Roads Recordings record label. Samantha wrote the title track as well as two other songs and Zeb wrote two instrumentals on this project.  There is even a bonus track featuring Owen, the youngest member of the family.

 

 

 

Carolina Crossing

Carolina Crossing is a bluegrass band from the mountains of North Carolina, which was formed in early 2010.  Carolina Crossing is committed to keeping bluegrass music alive with a good selection of standards and original material.  The band enjoys performing hard-driving arrangements to soft ballads.  Venues such as festivals, churches, local events, and private parties are the mainstays of the band’s bookings.

Gary Trivette is the band’s upright bass player and sings lead and tenor.  He was born and raised in Watauga County, North Carolina. Curtis Main plays the banjo and compliments the group with his lead and harmony vocals.  He is from Watauga County, North Carolina. Corey Pittman plays lead guitar and fiddle and contributes vocally also.  He makes his home in Avery County, North Carolina. Blake Vance is the band’s mandolin player and also makes his home in Avery County, North Carolina. Tyler Thompson plays lead and rhythm guitar and also contributes vocally.  He was born in Watauga County, North Carolina and now makes his home in Mountain City, Tennessee.

Upright N’ Breathin’

It all started at a secret downtown Boone location, the legendary jam room in Ben Smith’s basement. Ben knew a mandolin player named Jeff Moretz, and they invited John Sheffield over to play some fiddle tunes. John invited Brian Kreher, and from the first night they all played together, they knew something special was happening. It was on. They booked a weekly gig and people started paying attention to their unique mountain sound. They started earning their fans, one show, and one music-lover at a time.

Since those early days of basement jams and back porches, Upright n’ Breathin’ continues to develop and evolve. Today, Jeff Moretz, Brian Kreher, Kim France, Chris Capozzoli and the band’s newest addition from Ashe County, bass player Ryan McClure,  form the core of Upright & Breathin’.

 

The New River Boys

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From their humble beginnings in 2009, The New River Boys, created and established in Boone NC, developed a reputation for their engaging performances and ever-increasing, energetic fan base. With their well-blended harmonies and their infectious personalities, The New River Boys are a fantastic force to be reckoned with! Together, Andrew Jacobs (guitar/vocals), Aaron Simpson (mandolin/vocals), and Everett Hardin (cello/vocals) work to develop and refine the group’s unique sound.

 

He Said…She Said…he said she said

Appalachian Folk originals with a bluegrass flavor. Kim and Pete’s songs come from life’s experiences, and tell stories of love, loss, and inspiration. Their music has been featured on WNCW’s “Local Color” and “This Ole Porch”, and at Music Fest N Sugar Grovel, where for the past four years Kim and Pete have been guest artists for the Songwriter Showcase.

Kim McWhirter : As a dedicated and professional dancer , Kim McWhirter has honed her rhythm skills that come through in her guitar style. She began playing guitar professionally in 2004 when she joined husband Pete for their first gig. Previous to that, she had been writing songs and working on her vocal style. Kim has been featured at many songwriter workshops and brings an honest voice and heartfelt joy to her songs. She still does a mean buck dance too.

Pete McWhirter : A professional musician since 1984 Pete cut his teeth playing the Asheville North Carolina bars . Mainly progressive rock styles that led him to participate in some Dramatic dance theater with the Asheville Contemporary Dance Theater in the mid 80′s. Ad-lib creative approaches led the way toward his vision of music. In the mid 90′s Pete began to get together with long time friend Kenny Jobe, and pickin’ around the dining room table.

Pete and Kim are also potters in Yancey County, continuing the McWhirter family business that has thrived since 1963, and are currently making small pottery jugs for the Grammy Award-winning traditional group The Carolina Chocolate Drops. They have just released their first album, He Said, She Said’s “The Dream” which is available at their live performances as well as all the on-line stores, Amazon, I-Tunes, and CDBaby.com.

 

Sons of Bluegrass

sons of bluegrassHeralded as one of the best upcoming Bluegrass bands in the country, the award winning Sons of Bluegrass are setting the standard for a new generation of Bluegrass professionals. Comprised entirely of high caliber Bluegrass Majors from the one of a kind four year B.A. in Bluegrass Music Program at East Tennessee State University, The Sons of Bluegrass provide high quality, high energy entertainment to festivals and venues throughout United States. As Audio-Technica endorsed artists The Sons are working with award winning guitarist and songwriter Tim Stafford as their personal mentor, and are honing their craft to mastery Having been featured in Bluegrass Today several times, having been awarded the 2012 “Arts Build Communities” Grant from The Tennessee Arts Commission, and having been recognized as The 2012 Championship Bluegrass band by the State of North Carolina, the Sons are garnering recognition on a regional and national level at unprecedented speed. Working, performing and recording with some of the biggest names in Bluegrass music The Sons are on the rise.

Spirit Fiddle

SpiritFiddlePromo5bw10Composed of Champion Fiddler Robin Warren and Guitarist Brian Clancey, Spirit Fiddle, performs a wide variety of energetic music. Their repertoire ranges from bouncy Southern and Texas swing tunes to sweet waltzes, old popular songs, bluegrass numbers, French Canadian and Celtic jigs and reels, and Parisian musette.

From The Boston Museum of Fine Arts to the renowned Fiddler’s Grove Festival in Union Grove, North Carolina, from the syrup festival in Henderson, Texas, to the oldest bluegrass festival in Canada, from sidewalk cafes to coffee houses and formal concerts, audiences delight in the eclectic mix of music Spirit Fiddle performs, and in their natural sense of humor on stage. Since its first appearance over 12 years ago, Spirit Fiddle has given 100s of performances and recorded 6 full-length albums.

After studying classical violin as a child, and giving solo violin recitals in Boston’s Brown Hall and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Master Fiddler Robin Warren took first place prizes in numerous fiddle contests in North Carolina and New England. She was the first fiddler ever to win the coveted Fiddler of the Festival title during 3 different years at Fiddler’s Grove in North Carolina. For this, she was granted the title of Master Fiddler. She is also one of several fiddlers featured in the 1994 PBS Special entitled Fiddler’s Grove, a Celebration of Old-Time Music. She has appeared on over 2 dozen albums and collections.

Brian Clancey brings a lifetime of experience (from Renaissance lute to bluegrass) to his sensitive guitar arrangements of Spirit Fiddle tunes. Drawing on musical experience that crosses boundaries of time and style, he is able to create an authentic setting for each Spirit Fiddle tune. Brian is known throughout the Boston area as an outstanding rhythm player, and he is a popular backup guitar player at contests and festivals throughout New England.

 

Vudu Sister

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 Vudu Sister is a weird band. Keith McCurdy is a Romanichal singer/songwriter. Songs of death, the dying, the dead, murder, sadness and insanity. Vudu Sister’s debut album Bastard Children was recorded in the summer of 2011 at Treading Thomas Records. In addition to McCurdy’s vocals and guitar, the album includes the sounds of banjo, dobro, mandolin, bouzouki, violin, electric guitar, bass, drums and backing vocals by some of Rhode Island’s most talented young musicians.

 

ETSU Country Pride Band

ETSU country prideComprised of six talented young musicians from ETSU’s world renowned Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music program, these folks deliver a truly timeless country sound. Covering classic country artists from Patsy Cline to Johnny Cash, a little dash of Elvis, and a few of modern gems, ETSU Country Pride stays true to the roots of country music.

 

Whitetop Mountain Band

whitetop mtnbandThe Whitetop Mountain Band is a family-based band from the highest mountains of Virginia. Whitetop, Virginia is an area rich in the old time music tradition; this band has deep roots in mountain music. The members have done much to preserve the Whitetop region’s style of old time fiddling and banjo picking and are legendary musicians and teachers of the style.

At the same time, Whitetop Mountain Band shows are very versatile and entertaining containing everything from fiddle/banjo instrumentals to powerful solos and harmony vocals on blues, classic country, honky tonk, traditional bluegrass numbers, old timey ballads, originals, and four part mountain gospel songs. Shows also include flat foot dancing. The band is well known for their high energy and charisma on stage.

The Whitetop Mountain Band is one of the most popular dance bands of the Appalachian Mountains. They have a great following at square dances all over Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky at venues like the Carter Family Fold. The band has also performed at all sorts of venues throughout the United States from festivals to concerts, competitions, and colleges. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, National Folklife Festival, World Music Institute in NYC, Carter Family Festival, Dock Boggs Festival, World Fair, Virginia Arts Festival, Floydfest, Ola Belle Reed Festival and Merlefest are a few of the many festivals the band has performed at. They were featured on the NCTA Crooked Road Music tour of California, Nevada, Oregon, and Idaho in October 2007 and the East Coast tour of MD, VA, PA, NJ, WV and D.C. in 2010. The band members have toured overseas in the UK, Ireland, and Australia. WTMB has also taught and been master musicians/dancers for workshops and classes in fiddle, banjo, guitar, vocals, and dance all over the US. Some of these include Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville, NC, Cowan Creek Music School in KY, Mountain Music School in Big Stone Gap, and Mt. Rogers Combined School.

The band currently has recordings on the Arhoolie Record Label and Virginia Foundation of the Humanities. The band members have also been recorded by JuneAppal, Heritage and been on fiddle compilations for Rounder Records.

The Whitetop Mountain Band has been featured in many books, magazines, and TV/radio shows about Appalachian music such as The Guide to the Crooked Road, A Hotbed of Musicians, Strings of Life, In Good Keeping, Country Music Television, Travel Channel, PBS, Old Time Herald, and many TV news and radio programs.

 

Ashley Heath & Kevin Reese

AshleyandKevinOut of the Woodwork of Marshall, NC, Ashley Heath and Kevin Reese have been collaborating for nine years rocking faces and tuning it up for the world. Heavily inspired by Patsy Cline, Eva Cassidy, Doc, and more, be prepared to hear some heart and soul spilled on their stage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

many more to come….