the bands...

the highland travelers

The Highland TravelersBluegrass fans mourned the recent disbanding of the award-winning and Grammy-nominated band The Boxcars. Not to worry though, as three members of that iconic band have now joined forces with two former members of Junior Sisk's Ramblers Choice to create this new "super group" in the making -- The Highland Travelers! Their first CD on Mountain Fever Records is due for release shortly and our festival will be their debut in Pennsylvania! Don't miss 'em!

Adam Steffey (mandolin, vocals) is one of the most recorded mandolinists over the last 20 years. He has traveled and recorded with notables such as Alison Krauss & Union Station, Mountain Heart, The Dan Tyminski Band, and The Boxcars, in addition to being an in-demand session player. Fellow Boxcar alum Keith Garrett (guitar, vocals) was a founding member of the popular band Blue Moon Rising and provides incredible vocal and songwriting skills. Jason Davis (banjo) started playing professionally at age 14 and has performed with Kenny & Amanda Smith Band, Blueridge and Grassrowne. He has spent the last eight years playing with Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice and has released two solo CDs. Kameron Keller (bass, vocals) played bass with Alan Bibey & Grasstowne, the Darrell Webb Band, and Ramblers Choice. Gary Hultman (dobro, vocals) is the third Boxcar in the mix, providing his considerable dobro chops and tenor vocals for the last four years with them. Needless to say, we're excited to have this new band with us!

darrell webb band

darrell webb bandThe Darrell Webb Band brings energy and excitement to the concert stage reaching beyond traditional boundaries. Their brand of entertainment has earned them multiple nominations at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards. After a successful career as a multi-
instrumentalist and vocalist in bands such as Wildfire, Rhonda Vincent and The Rage, and Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, Darrell Webb emerged as the leader of his self-titled band in 2009. In recent months the band has had not one, but two singles from their latest recording on Bluegrass Unlimited's Top 30 chart!

More band info coming soon.

circa blue

Circa Blue"Circa" is Latin for "about" and this fine band Circa Blue is all about bluegrass -- some traditional, some contemporary, some originals, some standards -- all with their own stamp on it. Formed in 2010 and based in West Virgina, the band has performed at many of the major bluegrass festivals on the East Coast and their CDs have garnered strong, positive reviews. They are also the host band for the Circa Blue Fest in Martinsburg, WV. We figured it was time to bring them out our way and showcase what all the hoopla is about.

Steve Harris (guitar, vocals) formed the band after years of playing guitar, banjo, and dobro with his family's gospel-
bluegrass band The Harris Family Band. Ryan Mullins (mandolin, vocals) is not only a great player with this band, but is also a member of The United States Army Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps. Matt Hickman (banjo) followed in his grandfather's footsteps and learned to play banjo, both clawhammer and 3-finger style. He also composes banjo instrumentals. Jacob Bly (bass, vocals) brings his considerable musical background in a variety of styles to the band. All of the band members have extensive resumes with regional bands.

remington ryde

Remington RydeEntertainment is what Remington Ryde is all about, with their fine music and showmanship garnering them a boatload of SPBGMA award nominations over the years -- including four more for 2018! Their past performances at Laurel Highlands have always brought positive reviews from fans, so it's good to have them back again. In addition to performing, they are also the host band for the hugely-popular Remington Ryde Bluegrass Festival in Centre Hall, PA in July.

Ryan Frankhouser (guitar, vocals) is the founder and front-man for the group which he started at age 18, 12 years ago. Ryan also runs a bluegrass booking agency. Billy Lee Cox (banjo) is a former National Banjo Champion who has appeared with the Country Gentlemen, Charlie Moore and Chief Powhattan. He adds plenty of humor to the RR show, too. Jim Treat (bass) has performed with regional bands most of his life, including 13 years with central New York's Delaney Brothers. You may have seen mandolin whiz Stanley Efaw (mandolin, vocals) at our festival in the past, doing an incredible job with Larry Efaw & The Bluegrass Mountaineers. He now brings those same hot licks and great tenor voice to Remington Ryde.

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! And to top it off, they are now celebrating 15 years as a band! Congrats!

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.

hickory bottom band

Hickory Bottom BandThis relatively new band from Bedford, PA has been drawing rave reviews in the area as they bring their strong vocal harmonies and solid pickin' to the stage. Even though the members' diverse musical backgrounds draw material  from a variety of old and new sources and genres, it's "all bluegrass" from this talented bunch.

Chris Bollman (vocals, guitar) provides much of the signature HBB sound with her strong lead and harmony vocals. She is also a prolific songwriter. Mark Bollman (mandolin, guitar, vocals) has a diverse musical background which is evident in his playing and singing. He also handles the band's live sound. Roger Grimm's (guitar, vocals) traditional country music roots run deep and are reflected in his solid baritone vocal style and lead guitar playing. Dan Smith (bass) is the only "classically trained" member of the band. His solid rhythm anchors the band's "hickory bottom end." Newest member Tim Custer (banjo, vocals) is an award-winning banjo player and co-organizer of the popular Coleman Station Bluegrass Festival. He previously performed with local favorite bands Brush Creek, Mac Martin & The Dixie Travelers, and Mountain Therapy.

open highway

Open HighwayOpen Highway has been a fixture on the Ohio bluegrass scene, providing solid traditional music for over 20 years. Based in Columbus, the band has ventured out of state to perform at Dollywood and Silver Dollar City, in addition to numerous fairs and festivals throughtout the region. They offer a strong mixture of standards and original material and have four recording projects, including an all-gospel CD. This is their first appearance with us and we're looking forward to their fine music.

Jim Duty (bass, vocals) carries on his father's legacy as the leader of the band. Max Mobley (guitar, vocals), John Obora (fiddle, mandolin, guitar, vocals), Matt Inboden (banjo), and Scott Adkins (mandolin, vocals) all have extensive experience playing with numerous regional bands.

south 79

South 79Created by a traditional dobro player and contest-winning banjo whiz in 2012, South 79 has been a popular mainstay on the Pennsylvania - New York - Ohio bluegrass circuit. Despite living apart geographically, the band has gelled into a solid unit, providing top-notch music throughout the tri-state area. They are making their debut with us.

Gregg Welty (banjo) has a mantle full of contest trophies from numerous states and has placed in the top five in the National Banjo Championship for the past four years. He also has extensive stage experience with several regional and national bands. Hershel Blevins (dobro, vocals) is the front-man for the band and has performed with Jimmy Martin. John McNaughton (bass, vocals) is an awarded bluegrass radio DJ and has been named "Best Male Vocalist" in the Toronto music scene. Toby Hammond (guitar, vocals) has performed and recorded with several regional bands. Doug Young (mandolin) provides additional strong instrumental skills.

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