the bands... 

special consensus

Special ConsensusIt's been quite a run for Chicago's Special Consensus since their last visit with us four years ago-- a Grammy nomination, three IBMA awards, the release of their 18th CD, and a European tour! For the past 41 years, this band has been a regular fixture on the bluegrass circuit and featured in the pages of every bluegrass magazine. This will be their 5th appearance with us and they never fail to provide a great show of both traditional and contemporary bluegrass music.

Greg Cahill (banjo, harmony vocals) is the group's founder and his banjo playing can also be found on many national TV and radio commercials. In addition, Greg has produced four highly rated banjo instruction DVDs. In 2006, Greg was elected President / Board Chair of the International Bluegrass Music Association. Dan Eubanks (bass, lead & harmony vocals) is a college music professor who has appeared several times on the "Nashville" TV show. Rick Farris (guitar, lead & harmony vocals) has his share of SPBGMA awards and is a talented guitar, mandolin and resonator guitar luthier. Newest member Nick Dumas (mandolin, lead & harmony vocals) has toured with several northwestern bands and has recently relocated to Nashville.

the kody norris show

Kody NorrisAlways maintaining a sharp professional appearance, complete with colorful rhinestone suits and cowboy hats, The Kody Norris Show gives bluegrass fans a solid, entertaining and animated performance. The performances  are reminiscent of traditional bluegrass artists, yet Kody brings his own special, distinctive flair to the music. The band performs regularly on the Cumberland Highlanders Show, a weekly bluegrass television program on the nationally acclaimed RFD-TV network.

Joining Kody are bandmates Mary Rachel Nalley (fiddle), a recent member of Larry Sparks' band, and Josiah Tyree (banjo and harmony vocals), winner of several banjo contests.

the travelers

TravelersBased in the Washington, DC area, The Travelers have been traveling the bluegrass highway for the better part of 20 years now. With four lead vocalists in a band of award-winning instrumentalists, they are currently working on a new, highly anticipated album due to be released later this year on the Patuxent label.

The band was founded by Kevin Church (banjo) and Norman Wright (mandolin), both former members of the highly acclaimed Country Gentlemen. They are joined by the IBMA award-winning Tom Adams (guitar) and Marshall Wilborn (bass) who are both alumni of such notable bands as the Johnson Mountain Boys, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, and the Lynn Morris Band. This will be their Keystone State debut for 2017.

colebrook road

Colebrook RoadBased in central Pennsylvania, in a few short years Colebrook Road has become one of the powerhouse bands in the Mid-Atlantic region. They've won band contests in Virginia, Connecticut, West Virginia, and Washington, DC, and individual members have won in Colorado, Virginia and Maryland on their respective instruments.

The band includes Jesse Eisenbise (lead vocals & guitar),
Wade Yankey (mandolin), Joe McAnulty (fiddle & baritone vocals), Mark Rast (banjo, dobro & bass vocals), and Jeff Campbell (up right bass & tenor vocals). This is their first appearance at Laurel Highlands and we're eager to hear them.

the allegheny drifters

Allegheny DriftersPittsburgh's Allegheny Drifters is one of the strongest vocal bands on the traditional bluegrass scene. Seasoned entertainers, they breathe new life and excitement into many songs and styles yet undiscovered by a large part of today's audience. They've been a part of our festival many times -- 'cause we really like these folks!

Bob Artis (mandolin) and Bernie Cunningham (guitar) are the most recognizable names to western Pennsylvania bluegrass fans due to their individual tenures with the Dog Run Boys, the Dixie Travelers, Second Wind, and Beaver Creek. They've performed together for over 30 years, developing a tight vocal blend. Bob's wife Karen Artis (bass) has over 20 years of musical experience and sings both lead and harmony. Newest members Michele Birkby-Vance (fiddle) and Radford Vance (banjo) are no strangers to our festival stage, having appeared with Northwest Territory and Rachel Burge & Blue Dawning. They bring a fresh new dimension to the band's sound.

lonesome meadow

Lonesome MeadowFamily bands are a big part of the bluegrass tradition and Lonesome Meadow is a fine example of that tradition. Based in Westerville, OH, the Jackson family has traveled far and wide over the past few years, winning fans and awards in the process. They have recorded five CD's, their latest produced by Don Rigsby and recorded at Tom T. and Miss Dixie Hall's studio. They have also won the South Carolina State Bluegrass Band contest and placed third in the National Single Mic Championship in Branson, MO.

Siblings Anne Marie (fiddle and mandolin), John (guitar), and Gary Jackson (banjo) all sing lead and harmony and have all won awards on their respective instruments. They are ably supported by dad Mark Jackson who provides a solid foundation, both on the bass and for the family. They were a big hit at our festival two years ago and it's a treat to have them back again.

border ride

Border RideBorder Ride has certainly made a big splash on the eastern Ohio - Western Pennsylvania bluegrass scene in a short amount of time. Featuring solid vocals and award-winning picking, the band won the Oil Country Bluegrass Festival band competition and performed in the SPBGMA band competion in Nashville. From traditonal sounds to more progressive bluegrass to original material. these folks have all the bases covered. You loved this band before, so we just had to bring them back!

Between the two of them, the husband-and-wife team of Scott and Cathy Pearson (mandolin and fiddle, respectively) have a mantel full of fiddle, mandolin, and guitar trophys, including honors from Galax, Winfield, Merlefest and numerous state contests. Jimmy Metz (banjo, dobro, vocals) has toured with the Country Gentlemen and is a former Ohio state banjo champion. You'll remember Darla Evans' great voice and bass playing from her previous appearances here with Northwest Territory. Formerly with the popular band Church Street Blues, Nelson Boosel (guitar and vocals) has his share of band contest wins and is a fine songwriter.

hidden drive

Hidden DriveFans of the northwestern Pennsylvania / northeastern Ohio bluegrass scene are well acquainted with the Hidden Drive band. This solid group has been together for the past 30 years. Needless to say, their skills and sound are well honed as they carry on the bluegrass tradition of tight family pickin' and singin'.

Brothers Jim and Ron Dick (guitar and mandolin, respectively) are the nucleus of the band, having grown up in a musical family with deep bluegrass roots. They're joined by Steve Thompson (bass), who has been with the band for over 20 years and provides additional vocals. (He's considered an honorary brother.) Jim's son Adam Dick is the newest member (banjo) and is helping carry on the family tradition. They've got some fine music to offer and we're glad they're back to join us.

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