On The Radio

Band of Ruhks, Claire Lynch Band, Bumper Jacksons, Otis Gibbs and The ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band on Mountain Stage

Week after May 05, 2017

Band of Ruhks
Claire Lynch Band
Bumper Jacksons
Otis Gibbs
ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band

Press Release

Band of Ruhks -Some things have a magic all their own.  The musical collaboration between Ronnie Bowman, Don Rigsby and Kenny Smith is one of these things.  These three men made music together in the 1990’s as members of The Lonesome River Band.  Their work there was critically acclaimed and during the apex of the group’s popularity.  In 2001, each of them embarked on their own personal musical journeys that led to new heights and influences. Ronnie Bowman has long been regarded as one of Bluegrass music’s finest singers and songwriters.  With a string of awards (IBMA and SPGBMA Male Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, etc.) and numerous nominations and accolades, his resume is outstanding to say the least.  He has written #1 hits for country artists and led his own band The Committee for years.  In addition to this, he performs regularly with The Likely Culprits in Nashville and tours with Lee Ann Womack as well as his old singing partner Dan Tyminski.  Considered a formidable music producer, he can often be found behind the mixing console in the studio at the helm of various recording sessions.  Busy?  Yes. Don Rigsby became the first full-time director of the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music in 2001.  He remained in that position for 8 years.  During that time he formed his own band Midnight Call and toured the US and overseas too.  As a charter member of the super group Longview he always has kept his strong love for old school Bluegrass music in the front of his musical conscience too.  Rigsby is also an acclaimed music producer, session musician and teacher.  He is a sought after session vocalist and has provided harmony vocals on such projects as Alan Jackson’s “Bluegrass Album” (Along with Ronnie Bowman), James King’s “Three Chords and the Truth” and Peter Rowan’s “Old School”, to name some recent examples.  Busy?  Oh yes. Kenny Smith formed a band with his wife Amanda Smith and immediately found success.  The duo captured the IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year award their first year of existence.  Since that time, they have embarked on a remarkable journey of love and music that has led them all over the world.  Smith is regarded as being a true original guitar stylist.  Kenny is a two-time winner of IBMA Guitar Player of the Year and has been nominated multiple times.  He combines elements from many of his musical mentors, but is completely unique.  He is called for his expertise in the studio and as a guitar instructor and has various instructional materials that showcase his unique style and mastery of his instrument. He teaches regularly at scores of camps.  His recent project “The Return” was a follow-up to his classic solo project “Studebaker”.  He continues to perform with Amanda as a duet in concerts and at festivals all across America.  Awarded? Yes.  Busy?  You bet. Flash forward to 2010.  Following a Lonesome River Band reunion performance, these gentlemen began to explore the possibility of making music together again.  They too realized the significance of their past works, but were itching to make new music together.  Out of this desire and their longstanding friendship and mutual admiration, Band of Ruhks was born.  Bowman, Rigsby and Smith are excited for what the future has in store for this new band. Their debut album, Bowman, Rigsby & Smith, released by 101 Ranch Records, features songs from the pens of such writers as Mark Collie, Chris Stapleton, Harley Allen, and of course Ronnie Bowman himself.  The first single, “Coal Mining Man”, is a writing collaboration of Bowman and Mark Collie.  It features a cameo from the iconic Dr. Ralph Stanley.  Rigsby says,” I have known Ralph since I was a child and he is a life-long friend.  I am thrilled to have him here with us and as always, he nailed it.  Nobody else sounds like him.”   The project offers something for everyone from the most prolific Bluegrass aficionado to country music fans to adult contemporary listeners and all points in between. ​

Claire Lynch Band - Long recognized and praised as a creative force in acoustic music, Claire Lynch is a pioneer who continually pushes the boundaries of the bluegrass genre. Her career has been decorated with many accolades including two GRAMMY nominations, six IBMA awards and the prestigious United States Artists Walker Fellowship. Dolly Parton credits Claire with "one of the sweetest, purest and best lead voices in the music business today." Her harmonies have graced the recordings of many stellar musicians. Equally gifted as a writer, her songs have been recorded by The Seldom Scene, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea, Cherryholmes, The Whites and others. Blazing her own trail in the mid 70's when there were few role models for young women in the genre, Claire Lynch made history when she led the Front Porch String Band which evolved in the 80’s and 90’s into “one of the sharpest and most exciting post-modern bluegrass bands on the circuit.” She formed her own Claire Lynch Band in 2005 and has since consistently been a top pick of prestigious publications, critics and audiences across the U.S. and beyond​.

Bumper Jacksons - The Bumper Jacksons are on a roll. Folding sounds of jazz, early blues, old-time music, and country swing into an exhilarating repertoire of modern American roots music, the DC-based band has brought a hard-driving party energy to countless dance floors. With three recent Washington Area Music Awards and many dozens of jubilant live shows under their collective belt, they’ve produced their second album, Too Big World, a sweetly balanced collection of hot swing numbers, heartbreak ballads, and late-night moonshine foot- stompers. Frontwoman and Florida native Jess Eliot Myhre (clarinet, vocals, washboard) honed her musical chops in jam sessions in the streets and clubs of New Orleans, immersed in the music that fuels the city’s humid, carnivalesque all-night parties. In 2012, she met Maryland-born fellow song-crafter Chris Ousley (guitar, vocals) in Washington, DC, and the two joined forces to form the Bumper Jacksons’ core. Chris’ background in old-time banjo and bluegrass music harmonized perfectly with Jess’s vintage jazz credentials. The songs the duo collects, arranges, and creates weave the high lonesome echoes of old rural America into the galvanizing sounds of the cities and artists that have defined American jazz, blues and swing.​​

Otis Gibbs- Otis Gibbs is a Songwriter, storyteller, painter, photographer and planter of 7,176 trees. He once wrestled a bear, and lost. He has been described as “The best unknown songwriter in music today.” If you ask him, he’ll simply say he’s a Folk Singer. He also hosts a podcast called Thanks For Giving Damn which features your favorite musicians, journalists and historians sharing memories, backstage stories and history lessons. His podcast quickly became a cult favorite and lead to him hosting Country Built on Pandora (USA) where Otis tells stories about the history of country music to his 2 million+ subscribers. He grew up in Wanamaker, Indiana, but now lives in East Nashville with his long time partner, Amy Lashley.

ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band- Directed by Daniel Boner, the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass Pride Band is comprised of virtuosic student performers with many years of professional experience accounted to each member. Over the course of the program's history, this acclaimed band has performed at prestigious venues across the United States and onstage with artists that include bluegrass and country music luminaires such as Alison Krauss, Del McCoury, Dan Tyminski, Ralph Stanley, Ricky Skaggs, and the late Porter Wagoner. These students maintain busy academic schedules while still making the majority of the program’s 80-100 annual show dates, which sometimes includes foreign tours to countries including Germany, Japan, Belgium, Scotland, England, and Canada, among others. ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band students are not only from the Southeast but also from other areas of the country, and that wide separation creates a vast difference of influence among the members. These many influences are brought together to create a fluid, yet solid, traditional bluegrass sound​.