Johnny Williams is an award winning singer, songwriter and an excellent guitarist. He has been named Virginia State Champion Male Vocalist, PICABO Male Vocalist (twice), and PICABO Songwriter of the year; he also was the bluegrass division winner of the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest in 1998 and 1999. He penned four songs for “Bell Witch, The Movie” soundtrack, three of which were recorded by The Jeanette Williams Band; Rambler’s Choice, New Classic Grass, Larry Stephenson, Special Consensus and Mark Newton have also recorded his songs. He has also co-written with notable writers, such as Tom T. Hall and Dixie Hall. Johnny is one of the finest bluegrass musicians and songwriters in bluegrass today.
The VW Boys' show is a unique blend of talent consisting of music, magic and comedy, a complete variety show. Audiences of all ages enjoy the VW Boys show; the VW Boys perform a wide range of shows from Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN to openings for comedic greats such as Jerry Clower and Don Knotts. The VW Boys blend several different aspects of entertainment in their show. As banjo picker and singer Tim White says, " We entertain folks for an hour or so and help them forget their problems for a little while". A good portion of the VW Boys show is audience participation and the VW Boys have a way of going beyond the edge of the stage to really get an audience involved in the show. The VW Boys came together when musician Tim White and magician Dave Vaught worked together on a few shows. Dave would do a magic show and Tim's band would follow Dave's show with a Bluegrass concert and this worked very well. Both immediately came up with the idea to combine the two shows and the VW Boys was formed.
The VW Boys show fits any situation from conventions, fairs, festivals, clubs and private parties. The show is good clean humor and music; the VW Boys pride themselves on keeping a very professional show in front of every audience. As Dave Vaught says, "The VW Boys have over 75 years of combined experience in showmanship between the three of us." Music, Magic and Comedy, a great combination.
"Rich in Tradition" came to be in the spring of 2006. A product of one of the most fertile grounds of traditional bluegrass, gospel and old-time music in the world; the Mt. Airy - Galax areas of Northwest North Carolina and Southwest Virginia, these guys cut their musical teeth playing with some of the music's best that the area had to offer. "Rich in Tradition" combines a century of rich bluegrass and gospel music experience to make available some of the best picking and singing around. From pure gospel, to traditional and contemporary bluegrass, to their own original songs, "Rich in Tradition" covers the bases with precision picking, great harmonies and a professional presentation. Band members include: Jay Adams on banjo and vocals; Mickey Galyean, guitar and vocals; Brad Hiatt, acoustic bass and vocals; Greg Jones, mandolin & vocals; & Tim Martin on fiddle.
Jerry Correll, Tom Mylet, and Kyle Dean Smith make up the Grayson County Daredevils. Joined by friends and family they create a unique sound that originates in the Galax Region of Southwest Virginia. To round out the project, we called on family members: Kyle Dean, his father Snake – banjo and guitar; Jerry, his wife Donna – bass; and my daughter Chloe – bowed bass. While we play here as a band, we are foremost friends & family.
When Bud and Laine Snyder started their young kids in classical music lessons, they didn't expect to find them on
stage other than a recital here and there. Now music is a big part of life for this North Carolina family as
Samantha, age eleven, and Zeb, age fifteen, have excelled in their individual instruments and the art of
entertaining. As the two youngsters began to perform more often as a duo, their music interest turned toward
Bluegrass. While Samantha plays fiddle and Zeb the guitar, there seemed to be something missing. So, Dad was
surprised by an upright bass on his birthday and it was only a matter of time before Bud would join them on stage.
The Snyder's show includes instrumentals as well as vocal numbers by Samantha and Zeb, with Mom, Laine, joining
in occasionally to add three part harmony. Now the family enjoys evenings "circled around" the living room
working on upcoming performances and simply making music together. They all look forward to the time when little
brother, Owen, now four years old, will make his musical contribution to the Snyder Family Band
The duo consists of Edwin Lacy on clawhammer banjo and vocals; and Scott Freeman on mandolin, fiddle, and vocals. Both have more than twenty years of shared musical collaboration with the popular “break-out” group, Skeeter and the Skidmarks. The two have also appeared (together and separately) as guests in various venues and on many recordings through the years. Their musical rapport is intricate yet playful, harmonizing so tightly that, at times, it sounds as if their two instruments blend into one. Whether Siamese Cousins are rollicking through an old-time fiddle tune, interpreting a newer alternative acoustic offering, or painting tonal canvases with one of their original songs, it doesn’t take long to realize the magic of their combined musicianship. Both Edwin and Scott were featured artists for the highly acclaimed Mountain Roads Recordings project, Close Kin, A Reunion of Bluegrass & Old-Time Music. Their music blends so well that they consider themselves ‘joined at the frets’, hence Siamese Cousins.
Freeman & Williams, a new fresh sound from award-winning veteran performers, Jeanette Williams, Johnny Williams and Scott Freeman. This trio comes together with an arsenal of talent... all are accomplished musicians, vocalists and songwriters and bring these talents together to create magical sounds that move from old-time straight through to old-time country music. Each artist brings tremendous talent to the table but when combined, the result is incredible. The group is completing their first recording for Mountain Roads Recordings that is expected to be released in early 2012.
Jim Lloyd & The Skyliners represent the newest member of the Mountain Roads Recordings’ family. Continuing the offering of the very best in bluegrass and old time music, this group brings still yet another style of Appalachian Highlands music to the Mountain Roads Recordings lineup. Jim Lloyd’s musical roots extend back to at least four generations of fiddlers, guitar players, dancers, and singers from the Appalachian mountains of Virginia and West Virginia. While accomplished on many instruments, he is known especially for his skills on guitar and banjo. Jim is the proprietor of Lloyd’s Barber Shop, a Rural Retreat institution, and the shop is often lively with the sounds of friends and visitors who have dropped by to pick instruments and swap stories. Mark Rose has developed his style of bass playing with many area old time bands. First inspired by Janice Birchfield of the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers he took up the wash-tub bass. He honed his skills on the upright bass by playing with the Konnarock Critters and Nick and Chester McMillan Born and raised in Lexington, KY, Mark has lived in Mouth of Wilson for 32 years. He works at home in an old log cabin with his wife Lenora, who he met at the Galax fiddler's convention in 1977. Growing up just outside of Rural Retreat, Virginia, Trevor McKenzie began studying traditional Appalachian Music at Lloyd’s Barbershop in 1998. Beginning with guitar at the age of nine he eventually became interested in picking up several other instruments associated with southern mountain music including clawhammer banjo and the musical saw. As a member of the Skyliners, McKenzie adds his vocal talents as well as his skills on guitar, banjo, and mandolin into the musical mix.
Whitetop Mountain Band features vocals with wonderful, close harmonies and tight, lively instrumentals that only family and good friends can achieve. No surprise since the band members are Thornton Spencer on fiddle; his wife, Emily Spencer on banjo and vocals; and their daughter, Martha Spencer, a multi-instrumentalist who can handle the guitar, banjo, fiddle, bass, vocals and dance. Rounding out the band is Jackson Cunningham who performs on mandolin, guitar and vocals; and, Debbie Bramer, who plays bass and also dances. Albert Hash started the Whitetop Mountain Band in the 1940's. Today members of the Whitetop Mountain Band continue to preserve the Virginia region's style of old time fiddling and banjo picking by performing and teaching. They're in demand at festivals and concerts around the world but remain based in Whitetop, Virginia where they teach authentic old time music to students at Mt. Rogers School, a small K-12 public school.
Pathway, a bluegrass and gospel band originates from Mount Airy North Carolina, also known as Mayberry, birthplace of Andy Griffith and Snappy Lunch. Pathway consists of three brothers, Mitchell Freeman, Mark Freeman & Scott Freeman; Mark’s son, Justin Freeman; and two good friends of the family, Jake Long and Cayce Byrd. Mitchell and Mark started playing in 1977 and after a few years and stints with other bluegrass bands, the brothers took time off to raise families. In 2007, with families grown, Mitchell and Mark started playing again and were joined by brother Scott, Justin, then Jake and Casey. The group writes many of the songs that they perform and their shows include both traditional bluegrass, old time songs and bluegrass gospel; they are both exciting and inspirational.
From Wilkes County, NC Elkville String Band plays genuine American rural music. They go back to a day when musicians didn't care whether what they were playing was called old-time, bluegrass, gospel, or country; it was just music. The members of Elkville String Band powerfully convey the pure joy of playing music together.