Sierra Hull’s positively stellar career started early. Grand Ole Opry debut at age 10, Carnegie Hall at 12; at 13 signed with Rounder Records at 17, received the Presidential Scholarship at the Berklee College of Music. As a 20-year-old, Hull played the White House. In recent years she grew out of the child prodigy tag with the very mature, Grammy nominated, Weighted Mind, and has won the IBMA’s mandolin player of the year award three years in a row. Her husband, Justin Moses, can play all the bluegrass instruments with ease, and won the IBMA’s dobro player of the year Award in 2018. Together, the musicality is out of this world.
Based on looks alone, Chatham County Line conjures a sepia-toned timelessness by huddling around a single microphone on stage, playing traditional string band instrumentation while clad in suits and ties. But for nearly two decades, the Raleigh, NC-based outfit has consistently crafted top-notch, original modern acoustic music that draws upon American roots forefathers like bluegrass inventor Bill Monroe and folk innovator John Hartford while acknowledging its own members’ backgrounds in rock ‘n’ roll bands.
With a style best described as mature, seasoned and deeply expressive, Larry Sparks’ career spans half a century and has garnered him the title -The King of Bluegrass Soul. Beginning in the mid-1960s as a guitarist with the Stanley Brothers and later becoming lead vocalist for Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, Sparks formed his own band, The Lonesome Ramblers, in 1969. It didn’t take the IBMA long to take notice and numerous awards followed including Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year. A 2015 inductee into the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame, Allison Krauss best summed it up - “After fifty years in the spotlight, Larry is still on a roll and creating some of his best music. Larry Sparks is bluegrass musics Ray Charles, no one can touch him. He is an absolute original.”
TEXAS & TENNESSEE
Playing classic bluegrass music in a passionate style intended to honor the artists who helped define the genre, each band member has a deep love and respect for the music of Flatt & Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys, J. D. Crowe & The New South, and the Bluegrass Album Band. T&T brings an enthusiasm for the music that’s quickly conveyed to the audience and features songs that nearly all long-time bluegrass fans will recognize (and maybe sing along with) and that casual bluegrass fans will want to hear again. John R. Bowman’s strong lead vocals are a highlight, and the brilliantly explosive breaks by Steve Huber and Ron Inscore are supported by driving bass from Alan Tompkins.
You could easily say these two musicians were born to make music together. Identical twins Katy Lou and Penny Lea Clark of The Purple Hulls were raised on a working family farm in the deep piney woods of East Texas, but that didn’t stop the Texans from finding their way to the hills of Tennessee, specifically, Music City, where they began touring with various country artists and writing songs for Nashville’s largest publishing company, Sony Tree. The Purple Hulls are no stranger to road life and are now blazing the trail as a dynamic sister duo, showcasing their unique sibling harmonies while ripping the strings off any instrument they can get their hands on! If you’re looking for authentic acoustic driven music delivered at its best, your search is over.
DEL McCOURY BAND
Even among the pantheon of music’s finest artists, Del McCoury stands alone. From the nascent sound of bluegrass that charmed hardscrabble hillbilly honkytonks, rural schoolhouse stages, and the crowning glory of the Grand Ole Opry to the present-day culture-buzz of viral videos and digital streams, Del is the living link. With sons Ronnie and Rob, the Del McCoury Band continues to represent in a larger, growing musical community a peerless torchbearer for the entire sweep and scope of bluegrass history...a history that he’s still shaping daily.
APPALACHIAN ROAD SHOW
The Kruger Brothers occupy a unique position in the overlapping worlds of folk, acoustic, bluegrass, and Americana music. Jens Kruger (banjo, vocals), Uwe Kruger (guitar, lead vocals), and Joel Landsberg (bass, vocals) personify the spirit of exploration and innovation that forms the core of the American musical tradition. Originally from Switzerland, where the trio first formed, Jens Krüger and Uwe Krüger later moved to North Carolina. The brothers began playing North American folk music at an early age and were inspired by the music of Bill Monroe, Doc Watson, and Flatt & Scruggs.
A Grammy award-winning artist and nine-time winner of the IBMA’s Vocal Group of the Year, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver infuse traditional bluegrass with Southern gospel to create a unique and inspirational sound. An accomplished mandolinist, Dawson formed Quicksilver in 1979 and soon released the critically acclaimed Rock My Soul, an album that would become a landmark bluegrass gospel project. The band would undergo multiple lineup changes through the years, with Dawson integrating each member’s special talents into the group but never sacrificing the Quicksilver “sound.” A litany of industry awards would follow, including a 2012 induction into the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame, and today the band tours internationally and enjoys a loyal fan base that turns out for the Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Festival held annually in Denton, N.C.
THE TRAVELIN' McCOURYS
The McCoury brothers- Ronnie (mandolin) and Rob (banjo) - were born into the bluegrass tradition. Talk about a source abundant and pure: their father, Del, is among the most influential and successful musicians in the history of the genre. Years on the road with Dad in the Del McCoury Band honed their knife-edge chops, and encouraged the duo to imagine how traditional bluegrass could cut innovative pathways into 21st century music. With fiddler Jason Carter, bassist Alan Bartram, and latest recruit Cody Kilby on guitar, they assembled a group that could take what they had in their DNA, take what traditions they learned and heard, and push the music forward.
RICKY SKAGGS & KENTUCKY THUNDER
From teen fiddle champion to groundbreaking mandolinist to the “King of Telluride,” there is only one Sam Bush. The son of Kentucky reared on Bill Monroe’s bluegrass came of age in the late ‘60s. In the genre’s outsiders like the Osborne Brothers and The Dillards, Bush heard the future, and by the dawn of the 1970s was leading his own New Grass Revival. Bush and his hippie co-conspirators changed the bluegrass landscape. At the group’s peak, Bush walked away. Stints with Emmylou Harris and Bela Fleck brought him well-deserved recognition, awards, and the respect of a new generation. The once rebellious apprentice had become the genre’s gold-standard master.