The International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) most awarded Male Vocalist of the Year (5-time career), Russell Moore, is truly at the top of his game. Fronting one of the most popular bands in bluegrass history; Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out are celebrating 25 years as one of the genres most awarded and influential groups in modern day bluegrass. Joined by four unequivocally talented musicians with Wayne Benson on mandolin, Justen Haynes on fiddle, Keith McKinnon on banjo, and Jerry Cole on bass, this band continues to bring fresh music to the ears, while staying true to the tradition that has made them an industry favorite for a quarter century. They have recorded 18 albums including Timeless Hits From The Past Bluegrassed, released exclusively in Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, and among Billboard’s Top 5 Selling Albums of 2013. They reached a new career milestone with their latest self-produced album, It’s About Tyme, which has been the fastest charting album in the band’s history, making its debut on the National Bluegrass Survey’s Top 15 Albums at #2 in November, climbing to #1 in December, and remaining at the top of the chart for an unprecedented SIX consecutive months through May 2016! Additionally, the first single, “Brown County Red” reached #1 on the National Bluegrass Survey’s Top 30 Songs chart in March while “I’m Leaving You And Fort Worth Too” reached #1 in April and May! All that success has resulted in an IBMA Awards Nomination for Album of the Year! The band is celebrating 25 years of making ground-breaking music in 2016 and as journalist Jon Weisberger recently stated, “…it’s more than just longevity that gets Russell Moore’s name out front. The man is, to put it simply, one of the finest singers you’ll ever hear, and he makes it seem positively effortless.”
The United States Navy Band Country Current is the Navy’s premiere country-bluegrass ensemble. The group is nationally renowned for its versatility and “eye-popping” musicianship, performing a blend of modern country music and cutting-edge bluegrass. This seven member ensemble employs musicians from diverse backgrounds with extensive high-profile recording and touring experience in the music scenes of Nashville, Tenn., New York, New Orleans and more. In the tradition of country music, each member is a skilled performer on multiple instruments. The band utilizes banjo, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, fiddle, electric bass, upright bass, dobro, pedal steel guitar and drum set.
Recognized as one of Virginia’s fast rising new bluegrass bands, Josh Grigsby and County Line was awarded the 2015 Bluegrass Band of Virginia Championship by the Virginia Folk Music Association. The VFMA is the only organization in Virginia sanctioned by the Governor of Virginia to hold Virginia Bluegrass, Gospel and Country Music “Championship Contests” and to induct Virginia Artists into the VA Country Music Hall of Fame. In addition to winning the Band Championship, Josh Grigsby was voted first place Male Vocals, Chris Westcott was voted second place Male Vocals, Judge Parker was voted third place Male Vocals and Frankie Ballowe was voted third place Mandolin. Band members are Crystal Grigsby (vocals), Mark Mills (guitar, vocals), Whitney Perkins (Dobro), Robert Kidd (bass), “Judge” Parker (banjo, vocals) and, of course, Josh Grigsby on guitar and lead vocals.
Sideline is a powerful group of seasoned pros which has been getting busier and busier since this “side project” became a main gig for its members. Sideline consists of Steve Dilling (banjo), Skip Cherryholmes (guitar), Jason Moore (bass), Brad Hudson (resophonic guitar), Troy Boone (mandolin), and Nathan Aldridge (fiddle).
As the name suggests, Sideline intended to be a sometime band, but the success of their debut album made Sideline a main line.
Sideline captures so much of what was great about bluegrass in the 1980s and early 1990s. In large measure, Sideline serves up what was contemporary bluegrass thirty years ago. It sounds traditional in 2015. Sideline’s driving bluegrass with killer harmonies and propulsive rhythm, well-chosen blend of new and old material, and especially the focus on being an equal ensemble takes the listener right back in time to when these guys were jamming in the campground.
These musicians all speak the same language. Steve, Nathan, and Jason all come from the same area, went to the same festivals, picked in the same jam sessions, and heard the same bands. California-born guitarist Skip Cherryholmes spent 13 years with his family band before choosing to become a North Carolinian. The band added its sixth member, Brad, who comes from eastern North Carolina, and now lives in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee surrounded by a rich musical culture. There most recent member, Troy, also resides in East Tennessee where he grew up in traditional bluegrass music. This band enjoys playing together and projects just that on stage and in recordings.