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Bluegrass in May: Bluegrass on the Waccamaw

8th Annual Ocean Lakes Bluegrass Weekend – August 25 & 26, 2006!
Featuring Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys, IIIrd Tyme Out, The Bluegrass Strangers, The James King Band, The Bluegrass Brothers, Alecia Nugent and New Hope!

2006 Tickets and Reservations…
Wristbands include two outstanding days of bluegrass bands! The concert will began on Friday at 4 PM until 10 PM, and again on Saturday from 3 PM until 10 PM.  It is held in the air-conditioned Recreation Building, and will feature several premier bands (see below).  Wristbands are $30 for both days in addition to your site fee.  Many guests made reservations for Thursday, August 24th (to participate in the fun) and departed on Sunday, August 27th, 2006.

Call Ocean Lakes, for campsite reservations dial toll free, 1-877-510-1413, for rental reservations dial 1-800-845-2229.  This show is exclusively for Ocean Lakes’ guests (campers, renters and Annual Lease holders) – there are no wristbands for the general public. Seating is limited.  When you call to make your reservation, let us know you are coming to hear bluegrass and we’ll take care of the rest!

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2006 Schedule

Friday, August 25, 2006 (Concert is 4 PM – 10 PM)

9:00 AM Mini-Golf Tournament 1:00 PM Golf Car Poker Run 1:30 PM-2:30 PM Workshop? 2:30 PM-3:30 PM Workshop? 4:00 PM-4:45 PM New Hope 4:45 PM-5:30 PM The Bluegrass Strangers 5:30 PM-6:15 PM Alecia Nugent 6:15 PM-7:00 PM IIIrd Tyme Out 7:00 PM –   7:45 PM New Hope 7:45 PM –   8:30 PM The Bluegrass Strangers 8:30 PM –   9:15 PM   Alecia Nugent 9:15 PM – 10:00 PM IIIrd Tyme Out (Back to the top of the page.)

Saturday, August 26th, 2006 – (Concert is 3 PM – 10 PM)

1:00 PM  Golf Car Poker Run 1:00 PM Bingo @ Sandy Harbor Pool 3:00 PM –   3:45 PM The Bluegrass Brothers 3:45 PM –   4:30 PM The Bluegrass Strangers 4:30 PM –   5:15 PM The James King Band 5:15 PM –   6:15 PM    Dinner Break 6:15 PM –   7:00 PM    The Bluegrass Brothers 7:00 PM –   7:45 PM  The Bluegrass Strangers 7:45 PM – 8:30 PM The James King Band 8:30 PM – 10:00 PM Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys

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The Bands

Strangers1Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys

Born February 25, 1927, in Stratton, Virginia, Ralph and his older brother, Carter, formed the seminal bluegrass ensemble the Stanley Brothers, who made a series of watershed recordings for Columbia Records from 1949 until 1952. Now 75 years old, Stanley has been performing professionally since he and Carter, formed their first group in their native southwestern Virginia in 1946. Between that date and 1966, when Carter died, the Stanley Brothers and the Clinch Mountain Boys became the most celebrated bluegrass groups in the world, ultimately rivaling in popularity such titans as Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, Jim & Jesse and the Osborne Brothers.

After Carter’s death, Ralph shifted the band’s musical emphasis from bluegrass to an older, sadder, less adorned mountain style. As a bandleader, he nourished such young and promising talents as Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, Larry Sparks and Charlie Sizemore, all of whom eventually graduated to distinguished solo careers.

While he has long been revered by enthusiasts of folk, bluegrass and country music, Stanley has lately been commanding the kind of honors due a musical original. In 2002, he won Grammys for Best Country Male Vocalist Performance (beating out Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw, Lyle Lovett and Ryan Adams) and Album of the Year (for his part in the O Brother collection). Last year, he was the subject of an admiring profile in the New Yorker, written by novelist David Gates, who traveled with Stanley for months gathering material. He is the central figure in the D. A. Pennebaker/Chris Hegedus documentary “Down From The Mountain.”

In January, 2000, Stanley became the first artist to be inducted into the historic Grand Ole Opry in the new millennium. He holds the Living Legend award from the Library of Congress and was the first recipient of the Traditional American Music award from the National Endowment for the Humanities. One of his proudest achievements is the honorary doctorate in music Lincoln Memorial University conferred on him in 1976. In addition to all these honors, Stanley was chosen to be the closing act for the 2002 Down From The Mountain Tour, a sold-out series of concerts inspired by the success of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? album.

“Well, it’s true these awards have been coming pretty fast,” says the reticent, plainspoken Stanley, “but I enjoy every one of them.” Of his Best Country Male Vocalist Grammy, he notes, “I was a little surprised, but that was the one I really hoped to win. It just felt so good I can’t hardly tell you.” He acknowledges that there are few major recognitions he still aspires to but adds, “Well, there is the Country Music Hall of Fame. I’d like that to happen some day.”

Stanley still lives near the spot where he was born in a mountainous, tucked-away corner close to the rugged Virginia-Tennessee border. It is his secluded retreat from the rigors of the road and the 150 to 200 shows he continues to do each year.

The Clinch Mountain Boys currently live in scattered communities in the mountains of Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky.  They meet up in Coeburn, where their tour bus is parked and head out on the road.  Their typical work week starts on Wednesday or Thursday and wraps up on Sunday, when they normally head in home for a couple days of well-deserved rest before starting out all over again.

A life-long resident of Norton, Virginia, Jack Cooke has been a Clinch Mountain Boy since 1970.  His 31 year tenure as bass player makes him the longest serving Clinch Mountain Boy except for Ralph Stanley. Jack served as a Bluegrass Boy and Bill Monroe’s lead vocalist for four and a half years (1956-1960) Jack’s also played with the Virginia Mountain Boys, Earl Taylor, and the Stoneman Family before returning to the Clinch Mountain Boys for good in 1970.

James A. Shelton joined the Clinch Mountain Boys in March 1994 as Lead Guitarist.  James grew up in Scott County, Virginia (which is near Gate City, Virginia).  Since joining the Clinch Mountain Boys, he’s taken on additional duties as Road Manager and Booking Agent. James is an expert on vintage acoustic musical instruments.  James has five solo projects out as well as a collaboration with veteran guitarist George Shuffler.  James also has a book of Guitar Tablature through Mel Bay publications and an upcoming guitar instructional video, “Clinch Mountain Guitar”.

Steve Sparkman has been a Clinch Mountain Boy for eleven years now.  As part of being a Clinch Mountain Boy, Steve has received several IBMA awards, as well as a Grammy for his work on the lost in the lonesome pines project. Steve began listening to the Stanley Brothers albums and taught himself to play as close to the way Ralph did as he could.  Ralph had seen and heard Steve play a little around the festival grounds at the Hills of Home park, and when Ralph broke his femur he knew just who he wanted to fill in until he recovered, Steve Sparkman.  But when Ralph recovered he couldn’t let Steve go.  Ralph has said many times that Steve is the only banjo player as good as himself.

A native Virginian from Coeburn, Ralph Stanley II is the son of Ralph and Jimmi Stanley and currently the youngest member of the band, having graduated in the Class of ’96 from Ervinton High School in Nora, Virginia.  For the past several years, Ralph II has distinguished himself as lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the Clinch Mountain Boys.  Ralph II is now signed with Rebel Records and has two solo projects out already and another one in the works.

A native of Eastern Kentucky, John Rigsby returned as mandolinist and tenor vocalist with the Clinch Mountain Boys in January 2000, after serving a several year stint with Melvin Goins and Windy Mountain.  Prior to that, John had previously been a Clinch Mountain Boy.  John recently released his first solo project, “Forks of the Ivy,” with Hay Holler Records.

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IIIrd Tyme Out

Success for IIIrd Tyme Out was nearly an overnight occurrence for this group after its forming in 1991. Founding members Ray Deaton (bass) and Russell Moore (guitar), along with everyone else in the group, created a new tradition in modern bluegrass music. Rounding out IIIrd Tyme Out are Steve Dilling (banjo), Alan Perdue (mandolin), Justen Haynes (fiddle) and their excellent sound technician, Donnie Carver.

As the saying goes, “The proof is in the pudding”, and what more proof of the band’s niche as a top bluegrass group in the world than its seven consecutive IBMA awards as its Vocal Group of the Year – 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997,1998,1999 and most recently 2000. Acapella renditions of many songs can rarely be matched. Its superb instrumentation provides even more quality sound to the rich vocal blends.

IIIrd Tyme Out – Where did such a name have its origin? This was the third time out for founding members Deaton, and Moore and consequently the third professional bluegrass band association for each. No doubt, the third time proved to be a charm for these talented artists.

As a founding member of IIIRD TYME OUT, Russell Moore has seen the group expand, and evolve, from where it started to where it has risen today. Originally from Pasadena, Texas (true home state of the ‘Whataburger’!!), he now lives near the foothills of the north Georgia mountains in Cumming. Russell, born December 21, 1963, began playing music around the age of eleven after being inspired by bluegrass greats ‘The Osborne Brothers’, and joined a regional band at the age of fifteen, playing concerts and festivals in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. Around 1982, he moved to Arlington, Texas, and helped form the bluegrass band ‘Southern Connection’. After almost two years of living in Arlington, the ‘band’ moved east and settled in Asheville, North Carolina. In 1985, Russell went to work for the bluegrass band Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. After six years, and seven recordings, with Quicksilver, Russell left to help form IIIRD TYME OUT in 1991. Russell has been awarded several ‘Male Vocalist’ awards to date, two of the most prestigious being the coveted ‘Male Vocalist of the Year’ by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA). He lives in Cumming, GA. with his wife, Carol (married November 16, 1985) and two sons, Taylor (born Dec. 29, 1990) and Spencer (born April 12, 1994). When he’s not touring, Russell spends his time working in the offices of Chateau Music Group (which he co-owns), maintaining their tour bus, and spending as much time as possible with his family.

Ray Deaton started playing mandolin and singing tenor at the age of eleven. He played with a band in Suwanee, GA called the Everett Brothers for fifteen years before forming his own band called Clearwater. In 1986, shortly after forming Clearwater, Ray went to work playing bass and singing bass with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. With Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Ray became known as the top bass vocalist in the industry. Then, in February of 1991, Ray and band-mate Russell Moore formed IIIrd Tyme Out. Ray won the award for “Bass Vocalist of the Year” for two consecutive years at the Bluegrass Now Fans’ Choice Awards in Nashville, TN. He has also won the award for “Bass Player of the Year” at the SPBGMA awards in Nashville, TN. Ray has been with IIIrd Tyme Out since ‘day one’ and has always worked hard to help the band achieve it’s goals. He also has a booking agency called ‘The Deaton Agency’ and is nationally recognized, representing IIIrd Tyme out as well as other nationally known bands. Ray, along with Russell Moore, formed their own recording label in 2002 called, Chateau Music Group, which IIIrd Tyme Out records for today. Ray has also become one of the top producers in the industry. He has produced projects for bands such as: The Chapmans, Laura Walker, The Stevens Sisters, The James King Band, Fisher & Company, The Bluegrass Strangers, and Honi Deaton & Dream. Ray is a tough act to follow with all of his involvement in the music industry as a whole.

Alan Perdue was born May 8th, 1969 in Asheboro, North Carolina. At age 5, he fell in love with the mandolin, mainly because it was small enough for him to hold. His older brother, Sandy, was fascinated with the banjo after attending a benefit show where a local bluegrass band had performed. Alan and his brother then ‘cut their teeth’ to the lonesome sounds of Carter and Ralph, the Stanley Brothers. Raised near the legendary ‘Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Bluegrass Festival’ in Denton, N.C., Alan had the opportunity to see, and hear, many of the groups that bluegrass music had to offer. In the mid-eighties, he was introduced to the music of the ‘Bluegrass Album Band’, a band that was made up of (in many people’s minds) the ‘best-of-the-best’ in bluegrass music. It was during this time that Alan spent many hours ‘jamming’ with the likes of Greg Luck, Steve Dilling and many other musicians from the same area and his love for hard-driving bluegrass music escaladed. Alan worked a short time for a group called ‘After Five’, a band that took honors at the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA) band contest in 1992, and then later for the group ‘Rambler’s Choice’. Then, in 1998, Alan was recruited by the bluegrass group ‘Mountain Heart’, where he gained touring and performing experience. Alan and his wife, Sabrina, were married in February of 1990 and they have a son, Christopher (born Sept. 20, 1990) and daughter, Tabatha (born march 17, 1995). While at home, Alan enjoys hunting and fishing, along with attending his children’s baseball and softball tournaments.

Steve Dilling was born August 5, 1965, at Ramey Air Force Base, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, while his father was stationed there. About a month later, the family returned home to North Carolina, fertile grounds to bluegrass banjo players. Steve fell in love with the banjo at the age of 10, after hearing a recording of Earl Scruggs playing the Foggy Mountain Breakdown. He finally got his first banjo on his 12th birthday, and he hasn’t been quite the same since. After a few years of playing, he became friends with two other musicians in North Carolina by the name of Greg Luck and Wayne Benson, and the three jammed around together for several years at local festivals and bluegrass shows. In March of 1985, Steve joined regional favorites, The Bass Mountain Boys, and stayed there until a job with The Lonesome River Band opened in 1992. Then, in July of 1993, Steve, also known as ‘Big Man’, brought his banjo playing skills and emcee talents to IIIrd Tyme Out, being regarded as one of the best in the business. His musical influences are varied, and include well known artists Flatt & Scruggs, J. D. Crowe, Terry Baucom and Tony Rice. When off of the road, steve enjoys spending time at home with his family and watching sports. Steve and his wife, Macie, were married on December 14, 1985, and have two children, Stephanie (born Jan. 16, 1991) and Matt (born Sept. 16, 1995).

Donnie Carver was born on August 16, 1961 in Portsmouth, Ohio to Donald and Jeanne Carver. He has always been surrounded by music on his father’s side of the family. He has three sisters, two of which played music in bands, as Donnie did, growing up. Graduating in 1979, he began working for GTE as an installer/repairman while still playing in the family band, as well as other groups in the area. His grandfather, father, uncles, sisters and cousins would get together on Saturday nights and pick at his grandparents home in Kentucky. After a number of other jobs, none of which presented the future that he had hoped for, Donnie started thinking of music as more of a vocation than a hobby. He married his wife, Karen, in 1992 while he was layed off from a coal dock on the Ohio river. It was around this time that he took a job playing mandolin with a band that also provided ‘sound’ for concerts and festivals. This band had work year-round and made it possible for him to make a living doing something that he loved to do. In 1996, IIIrd Tyme Out asked him if he’d be interested in taking a job as their full-time, audio technician and he jumped at the chance to work for a band of such top-notch quality. From then on, he has never looked back at the forty hour work week, except to remember what it was like and to thank God for the blessing of having a job that means so much to him. In 1998, Donnie and Karen had a son named Kurtis and, in 2003, a daughter named Jewel. Donnie thanks God everyday for his friends and family and says that prayer is the only way to be prepared for anything. ‘It works!!’

Justen Haynes was born on August 27, 1982 in Fredericksburg, VA. Justen grew up in a house where his mother and father toured with the gospel bluegrass band Sonrise. At age 4, he began to follow in their footsteps by developing a passion for bluegrass music and learned how to play all the instruments. He received the opportunity to start his first tour gig at age 9 playing the bass with Sonrise. He played the bass on stage but on the bus, enjoyed playing the banjo and fiddle. Throughout high school, Justen gained experience while participating in the Virginia State Orchestra. He graduated and attended Shenandoah Musical Conservatory. Justen studied to be a performance major, and sat first chair. During college, he started playing and singing for Michelle Nixon and Drive. He got a real perspective of life on the road, responsibilities of a band member, and what it takes to pursue a passion in bluegrass. During his time with Michelle, he also recorded for many successful bands completing some free lance studio work. He played with Michelle for three years before God opened up the window of opportunity to play with IIIrd Tyme Out. Justen and Melanie just got married in January 2005, and they are also expecting a child at the end of the year. Justen recalls growing up and listening to Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, the Lonesome River Band and IIIrd Tyme Out. He considers it a blessing to now be a part of the 3TO family! Justen enjoys hunting, fishing, and playing with his two pit bulls – Bullock and Lady.

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The James King Band

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The Bluegrass Brothers

The Bluegrass Brothers are a high energy bluegrass band that are a must see show for a traditional bluegrass delight! They have all grown up in bluegrass music families in Virginia and it is evident very soon after they hit the stage. Their family harmony vocals are exceptional. Brothers Robert, on banjo, and Victor Dowdy, on bass, have made many musical accomplishments over numerous years, and their vocals and musicianship are second to none. Carrying on in the family tradition, Victor’s two sons, Donald and Steve Dowdy are also very talented vocalists and their guitar work is very entertaining. Brandon Farley plays an intense mandolin and provides a rich fiddle performance.

ROBERT DOWDY– Banjo,Lead and Harmony Vocals. Born on October 27, 1956. I started playing the guitar at age five. I played Rock and Country music until I was twelve and then started playing the banjo and Bluegrass music. I was influenced by The Osborne Brothers, Flatt and Scruggs, Reno Smiley and The Stanley Brothers. I have been married for twenty one years and have a son and a daughter. I work for Medeco Security Locks in Virginia, as a Maintenance Technician. I started playing the banjo on a Kay. After one year I had saved up enough money to buy a new RB 800 Gibson Master Tone and played it for thirty four years. I recently purchased a RB 75 JD Crowe signature Gibson Master Tone, That I currently play. The first band I played in was The Bluegrass Playboys. which was a family band consisting of my brothers and I. I played with The New Grass Revue for five years and then spent two years with The Gospel Gentlemen. In 1989 my brother Victor and I formed The Bluegrass Brothers.

STEVEN DOWDY-Guitar,Lead and Harmony Vocals. I was born on January 27, 1980 in Salem Virginia. Started singing at the age of three. The first song I sang was “Elvira” by The Oak Ridge Boys. I started playing bass at age seven. I started playing guitar at age sixteen, when my grandfather S.M. Dowdy bought me a FG 180 Yamaha, and he showed me my first chords. Also play mandolin. I have played with several bands including Lock, Stock and Barrell, Bum Ride and Junior Sisk and Rambler’s Choice. I founded Southern Comfort with by brother Donald and was an original member of The Locust Mountain Boys, along with my father. I joined The Bluegrass Brothers nine years ago as the guitar player and have been on seven recordings. I enjoy writing songs and have written several that our band has recorded. Few Degrees Colder, Blue Eyed Girl, Country Boy Moves On, Cold Virginia Blues, One More Try and two Gospel songs, Please Take My Hand and Ask The Lord. When not playing music I enjoy fishing and hunting, especially “Coon Hunting”, and Nascar racing. My favorite food is ribeye steak, favorite color is blue and my favorite movie is Days Of Thunder.

DONALD DOWDY– Guitar,Lead and Harmony Vocals. I was born April 7, 1987 and I have been singing and playing Bluegrass music for ten years. I play my instruments strung right handed but I play left handed. So, my chords and picking are really upside down. I play Guitar, Mandolin and Bass. I have done recordings on four CD’s. My most recent was on “the Old Crooked Trail”, by The Bluegrass Brothers, in which I done a song that I wrote called “Lonesome Ole Prisoner”. My favorite singers are Larry Sparks, The Stanley Brothers and my father Victor Dowdy. When I’m not playing music I like to hunt, fish and practice my music.

VICTOR DOWDY– Bass,Lead and Harmony Vocals. I was born on March 15, 1961 and started playing music at the age of seventeen with a local group from Salem, Virginia, where I have lived all my life. The band was called The Back Creek Boys, and thats how I got my first gig. I played Bluegrass with The Back Creek Boys for about a year, almost every night of the week and I credit my learning Bluegrass from those guys. I had to quit playing every night because of family and work. I started playing “Old Time” music about a month later with some good ol’ boys from Craig County. They called themselves The Meadow Creek Express Band. Thats where I learned to sing the Old Time music that I Love. We played together until 1989 and that’s when my brother Robert and I started pickin’ together, with three other guys. Mickey Conner, John Conner and Billy Hurt Jr.. Since that day we have had several different guitarists and a couple of different Mandolin players, until we found Jack Leonard Jr., and my son Steven Dowdy. Although Steve was a very young musician, I stuck with him because I knew that he would someday be a top-knotch musician. Boy was I right! I guess my greatest accomplishment would have to be winning the Virginia State Championship five times on bass fiddle and three times on the male vocal, though I hope that someday I can reach the National spotlight like some of the greatest singers such as Russell Moore, Ronnie Bowman or Ralph Stanley, or to be recognized for my bass pickin’ like the great Tom Gray.

RANDON FARLEY– Mandolin, Fiddle and Harmony Vocals. I was born December 5, 1985 and I live in Princeton, West Virginia with my wife, Savannah, and our son Brent . I began playing Mandolin at age five and at about eight years old I learned Banjo, Guitar and Fiddle. I have been special guest on Mandolin for The Lewis Family and Ralph Stanley and I also played in a group with Melvin Goens. I have also won the individual Mandolin competitions at the Galax Fiddlers Convention and at the Fairview Ruritan Club in Galax, Virginia . My Grandfather, Joe Meadows, played Fiddle for Jim and Jesse, The Stanley Brothers, and Bill Monroe. I also like playing Fiddle but when I’m not playing music I Love trading stuff!, and if I’d have to say, one of my favorite things would be a 1979 Ford Truck.

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The Bluegrass Strangers are a favorite every year according to concert goers and are back by popular demand for the 8th year!   The Bluegrass Strangers are one of the most exciting, straight ahead, traditional bands performing today!  They come to Myrtle Beach from Kentucky and Ohio.

Richard William Webb – Dick Webb formed The Bluegrass Strangers in 1976. The first band members were Dutch Lykins, Steve Parsons, Bob Myers and John Myers. Cliff Chapman and Chester Willis joined the band in 1979 replacing Bob and John Myers. When Cliff left the band in 1980, Jimmy Lykins stepped in to finish the schedule and has been with the band ever since. Their traditional sounds are just as popular today as they were 30 years ago. Dick was born in Portsmouth, Ohio and doesn’t have to take a back seat to anyone when it comes to playing straight-ahead five string banjo. He’s also a superb claw-hammering style player, which is also used in their show. He sings baritone and low tenor in the trios and bass in the quartet. He lives with his wife, Wendy in Powellsville, Ohio. Wendy also runs sound for the band. Dick is the proud father of three sons, Richard, Jason and Aaron and the proud grandfather of Wyatt born February 27, 2006. When he isn’t on the road with the band, he enjoys indian arrow head hunting, deer hunting and fishing. He’s an expert at wood working and always makes time to take care of his baby, the band’s 40-foot MCI. Dick doesn’t have to take a backseat to anyone when it comes to playing a traditional five-string banjo.  He also does a fantastic job playing old style claw hammer.  Dick also sings baritone and low tenor in the trios and bass in the quartet. Dick and Jim’s sound system, known as Pine Creek Audio, is a favorite at Bluegrass Festivals.

Jimmy Lykins, from Garrison, Kentucky is lead singer with songs straight from the heart with soul and feeling like no one else.  He also plays a strong rhythm guitar.  Jimmy was born in Petersville, Lewis County, Kentucky. When it comes to a traditional vocalist, Jimmy is one of the best. He sings straight from the heart with soul and feeling like no one else. He also plays a strong rhythm guitar in the band. Jimmy owns and operates The Little Quincy Opry and is co-owner of the Quincy Grocery Store in Quincy, Kentucky.. He is the proud father of James, Robert, Jena Faye, Connie and Jennifer. Jimmy also has seven grandchildren. Jimmy joined The Bluegrass Strangers in 1980. When he’s not on the road with the band, he loves listening to bluegrass and gospel music.

Bryan Wayne Tackett is the newest member of our band and is usually called Big Bubba by band members. He was born in Lewis County, Kentucky and makes his home in Quincy, Kentucky with his wife, Rebecca and their two daughters, McKenzie, 3 and Mackayla, 3 months. Rebecca is an L.P.N. at Hillview Retirement Center in Portsmouth, Ohio. Bryan’s life has always been around music with his dad, Walt playing guitar and bass and his mother, Vicki playing piano. His high lonesome soulful bluegrass voice allows for perfect harmony with Jimmy’s traditional sound of bluegrass. When he’s not on the road with the band, he’s employed by Adelphia Cable and enjoys hunting and basketball.

Jamie Brooks Shannon is an outstanding mandolin player and shouldn’t be overlooked. His playing is tasteful, exciting and full of energy and also sings lead vocal for the band. He also plays guitar, banjo and bass. He was recently married to Wendy Lemaster on his father and stepmother’s, Bill and Linda Shannon, farm. Jamie and Wendy are making their home in Louisa, Kentucky. When he’s not on the road with the band, he works as an owner/operator for Admiral Merchants Motor Freight. Jamie just finished making his first mandolin.

K. Dean Whitaker is a great asset to the band with his rock solid timing on the upright bass. He also provides bass and baritone vocals to the band along with filling in as sound technician at festivals. Dean and his wife, Pam live in Ashland, Kentucky. They have two sons, Mark and Jason and three grandchildren. He loves fishing and when he’s not on the road with the band, he’s an owner/operator for Admiral Merchants Motor Freight.

Wendy Webb gives fans of The Bluegrass Strangers a great bluegrass experience with great sound mixing, micing and equalization of the sounds fans expect. She also runs sounds for numerous bands at numerous festivals giving all of them the almost sacred sounds of bluegrass on the Behringer soundboard. Wendy is married to Dick Webb and also plays banjo, guitar and bass. When traveling she helps drive the bus and helps with setup as part of Pine Creek Audio. When she isn’t on the road with the band, she loves riding 4 wheelers, an avid hunter and writes poetry for The Strangers Newsletter and The Strangers web site. Her latest passion is Chun Kuk Do. She just achieved her yellow belt making her closer to the coveted black belt. Wendy and Dick are the owners of Pine Creek Records and Pine Creek Entertainment.

Dick Webb and his wife Wendy will also handle the sound for the Ocean Lakes’ Premier Bluegrass Weekend.

Archie Duncan has joined The Strangers as their backup sound technician. Archie resides in Vanceburg, Kentucky with his wife Gloria. They are the parents of Serena and Brian and have 2 grandchildren. Archie is a retired auto mechanic and also plays guitar. When he’s not on the road with The Strangers, he loves playing and listening to bluegrass music and fishing.

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Alecia Nugent

Nugent’s career was born of a life in music, thanks to her parents’ strong influence. Performing throughout the south with her family band, Alecia sights influences as varied as Reba McIntire, Carl Smith, Ray Price, and Loretta Lynn. Mix in the indelible sounds and styles of legendary bluegrass acts like Flatt & Scruggs and the Stanley Brothers, and you have some idea where Nugent’s unmistakable style originated. Nugent met her producer, Carl Jackson nearly 15 years ago, when she had the opportunity to sing with him and Larry Cordle at a local event. “Carl believed in me from the beginning” Nugent explains. “Having him produce my albums, means a great deal to my career. He’s such a professional. I think Carl definitely brings out the best in me.

Andy Falco (guitar) has been performing and recording American roots music for more than 10 years. His love has led him through a journey of musical experiences, allowing him to develop many styles and making him one of the most diverse musicians in the business. His high energy in live performances and tasteful recording styles have drawn much attention to him from audiences and press, and have earned him much respect from his peers. Andy performed for several years with an American Roots Rock band called The Water Street Blues Band, which later developed into Waterstreet. With Waterstreet, Andy played lead guitars, was a lead singer and songwriter. From there, he spent four years as lead guitar player and baritone vocalist in Buddy Merriam and Back Roads, a Northeast based bluegrass band. He’s also shared billings with James Cotton, Buckwheat Zydeco, Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury, Tony Rice, Chris Hillman, Rhonda Vincent, Richie Havens, Steve Howe, Andy Summers (the Police), Old and in the Way (reunion), Vassar Clements, Marsha Ball, Leslie West, and many more. Currently, Andy resides in Nashville, Tennessee and has been seen regularly touring with Malibu Storm (formerly the Shankman Twins), The Greencards, Buddy Merriam and Back Roads, along with various other groups and recently accepted the position as guitar player with Alecia.

Darren Nicholson (mandolin & vocals) is the baby of the family (Alecia’s family). He’s also the one that keeps everyone smiling! Born in Sylva, NC – his upbringing is rich in mountain traditions and music. At the age of 14, he began playing the fiddle and a few years later moved to the mandolin, playing at all kinds of events in North Carolina and east Tennessee. It was there that he got the attention of Hazelcreek, a band composed of some of western North Carolina’s finest musicians and singers where he spent several years touring heavily at regional festivals, concerts and churches and recorded two CD’s with the group. Darren is one of Alecia’s original band members and was actually brought to the band by Steve Sutton. Thank you Steve! His first two performances with Alecia were at the Grand Ole Opry in 2004. Darren currently lives in Canton, NC – enjoying the scenery on and off the road.

Gena Britt-Tew (bass & vocals) began her professional career with an all-girl ensemble called Petticoat Junction in 1990. She then went on to be an integral part of New Vintage, and Lou Reid & Carolina in later years. The Gena Britt Band was formed in 2001, and fans couldn’t have been happier. Gena is a gifted musician and singer and is very comfortable as a performer, whether it be on banjo or acoustic bass. And, she can belt out a traditional bluegrass song! Alecia and the guys welcome Gena as the newest member of the group, and look forward to the road dates ahead. Gena makes her home in Clinton, NC with her husband Tim and daughter Jalyn.

Steve Sutton (banjo) hails from Waynesville, NC and began playing music at road side stands in Maggie Valley, NC at the age of seven with Raymond Fairchild. At age 13, he had the privilege to perform with the legendary Earl Scruggs in Gatlinburg, TN and in 1974 became a member of Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys where he remained for several years. After graduating college in 1979, Steve and long time friend Marc Pruett teamed up as the house band for Bill Stanley’s BBQ in Asheville, NC. You could visit Bill’s, have a great meal and hear Marc and Steve picking for nearly 10 years. From there Steve worked as a corporate musician for Norfolk Southern Railway. We knew stories of banjo players riding the rails had to be true! He spent several years with Hazelcreek and toured for 2 years with Rhonda Vincent & The Rage. Steve is another original member of Alecia’s band, joining in June 2004. He and his wife Roddy live on a farm in Waynesville where he works on landscaping and horses when not on the road.

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New Hope

Bluegrass GospelDavid Brown combines his love of the Lord with his passion for music to create a unique bluegrass gospel style. David’s warm vocal harmonies combined with his energetic fiddling will bring a smile to your face. Born to a musical family in Asheville, North Carolina, David also plays piano, trumpet, guitar, classical violin, and sings in the church choir. He picked up the fiddle at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. where he studied under Craig Duncan. He has played in the Charleston area since 1982 with many bands including Hiway 52, The Bluegrass Gentlemen, Southern Flavor Bluegrass Band, and YeeHaw Junction.

Linda Cockerill has been playing and teaching banjo since the late 1970’s and has played on several bluegrass CD’s. She draws on her vast teaching knowledge to keep hard driving banjo lead and fill-ins from kick off to songs’ end. Linda relies on her years of experience playing piano in church and for her family trio and playing banjo in bluegrass bands (High Cotton, Bill Wells and the Bluegrass Boys, and Four Wheel Drive) which were known for their tight harmonies. Earl Scruggs is her biggest influence, but she also draws on the styles of John Hickman and Sammy Shelor. Linda’s main strengths on the banjo are her taste, expression, tone and fluidity.

Eve Hinman has honed her bluegrass-style of singing and rhythm guitar playing over the past ten years as a member of the “house band” at Guy and Tina’s Bluegrass Pickin’ parlor in Bethera, South Carolina. Along with her husband-musician, Steve Hinman, Eve has provided rhythm and electric bass guitar, lead, and harmony vocals for numerous groups in that setting. Born and raised in North Charleston, South Carolina, she was blessed to have parents who encouraged musical training in piano, flute, & youth choir. Her early bluegrass influences include the Grand Ole Opry, the Stonemans, and Arthur Smith. She studied folk and classical guitar with the late David Reuter, and developed her bluegrass playing style with the help of her husband. She was a member of the band Kindred Hearts, and has performed as a guest with bands General Delivery, Sounds of Grass, Common Ground, and the Marshgrass Mamas.

Hal Leming, husband of Jean Leming, has been playing music since age seven. Born in Macon, Georgia, Hal grew up in a family of musicians with which he played country music for nearly 23 years. In 1994 he developed a love for bluegrass music. Not only does he play guitar, mandolin, and harmonicas in addition to his upright bass, but he also sings in his church choir. Although his style is smooth and graceful, his voice as well as his bass playing offer a charming approach audiences enjoy. Hal played and sang with the High Cotton Bluegrass Band for several years.

Jean Leming, wife of Hal Leming, has a passion to serve God through singing and playing her guitar. She has been enthused by many genres of music including folk, country, pop, opera and bluegrass. Although she started singing as a lead singer for a local rock and roll band in the mid sixties, now as a born-again believer, Jean would rather sing old-fashioned, foot-stomping, hand-clapping bluegrass gospel as well as soft, heart-warming, soul-satisfying songs of faith. Her love for the Lord and a deep desire for others to know Him is demonstrated through her expressive yet serene style. Jean has sung lead and harmony vocals and played rhythm guitar for Kindred Hearts and High Cotton Bluegrass/Gospel bands.

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