The Lonesome River Band

LRB-leadEscaping Floods, Working On Buses, And Keeping The Downbeat In Bluegrass Music
The Lonesome River Band
Celebrates 35 Years

By Derek Halsey

RudyFest has become one of the more popular bluegrass festivals in America, known for treating both the artists and the fans in a positive way. Held every year at the Carter County Fairgrounds on U.S. 60 in Grayson, Ky., it’s a go-to destination for lovers of bluegrass music in June. This year, however, the normally hardy fans were faced with a dangerous emergency created by Mother Nature.

It was June 23rd and heavy rains were pounding the festival grounds as well as points upstream and throughout eastern Kentucky. The Lonesome River Band have been headliners at RudyFest for a long time, to the point where they were named the festival’s official host band a few years ago. On that Friday evening at the onset of summer, the flood waters were quickly intensifying and the band had a hard decision to make. The authorities let everyone at the festival know that the rain was causing big problems upstream at Barrett Creek, a tributary of the Little Sandy River. Sammy Shelor and the LRB had a booth set up out on the festival grounds filled with CDs, t-shirts and more, all of which were a part of their scheduled CD release party for their new album Mayhayley’s House. The conditions, however, were changing rapidly. The band was faced with the choice of trying to get their gear out of the field or save the very expensive tour bus that carries them all over the country. The idea of doing both entered their minds, yet the water was rising fast.

“We had all of our CDs, t-shirts, and everything set up and we had a choice of taking 30 to 40 minutes to get all of that back to the bus, or get out,” said Shelor. “We chose to get out and we lost a bunch of stuff. We lost about 400 CDs. They got washed away. All of our merchandise for the release party was out on the ground all of the way across the park from where the bus was sitting. When they came in and began the evacuations, the water had already started rising on the road. So, I had the choice of waiting 30 minutes to get loaded up or get the bus out. I had a choice between the bus and the merchandise, and we lost the merchandise.” Read entire article »

Escaping Floods, Working On Buses, And Keeping The Downbeat In Bluegrass Music —
Lonesome River Band Celebrates 35 Years
By Derek Halsey

Mickey Galyean —He Found His Daddy’s Grass And He’s Growing His Own
By Michael K. Brantley

Valerie Smith And Liberty Pike—The Human Condition And Small Town Heroes
By Bill Foster

Darrell Webb — Coal Miner’s Son
By Vicki Dean

Open Road — Mid-Ohio Valley Bluegrass
By Ivan Tribe and Jacob Bapst

General Store
Notes & Queries
National Bluegrass Survey
Personal Appearance Calendar
Classified Ads
Advertiser Index

Subscribe today!


Bluegrass Survey

Top Album for November

Rounder 00173

Top Song for November


November 2017 Reviews


CANE MILL ROAD FIVE SPEED No Label No Number It’s a good sign that there are so many fresh faces coming into bluegrass these days. They don’t get much fresher or younger looking than Cane Mill Road. The band, already making a name for itself, has released its first album, Five Speed. The group from […]

Read full review »

KIM ROBINS RAINING IN BALTIMORE Pinecastle Records PRC 1205 It was beginning to look like another forty years wait for Kim Robins’ second release. Her first, titled 40 Years Late, was self-released in 2013. Then came another gap. Now this new one finally arrives, and it seems to have been worth the delay. Not only […]

Read full review »

GALAX BOGTROTTERS OLD TIME JUBILATIONS Dittyville No Number    The Galax Bogtrotters are Eddie Bond on fiddle, banjo, guitar, and vocals, Erynn Marshall on fiddle, banjo, and vocals, Carl Jones on mandolin, guitar, banjo, and vocals, Eric Hill on guitar and banjo, and Bonnie Bond on bass and vocals. Joe Dejarnette plays bass on “Pretty Little […]

Read full review »

THE FARM HANDS COLORS Pinecastle Records PRC 1208 The Farm Hands continue down the same furrow with their latest recording. What has worked in the past, works here. Their previous releases have all been characterized by direct, unflashy but highly appropriate instrumental work, and by warm lead vocals and very smooth harmonies. Song choices have […]

Read full review »

HAMMERTOWNE HILLBILLY HEROES Mountain Fever MFR 170602 This is the third release from the Kentucky-based band Hammertowne. It’s the same five guys returning. Bandmembers David Carroll, Bryan Russell, and Brent Pack had a hand in writing eight of the twelve songs, drawing on Bill Castle, Del McCoury, Jerry Dill, and Evan Maynard for the rest. […]

Read full review »

LONESOME RIVER BAND MAYHAYLEY’S HOUSE Mountain Home MH16852 The number of former members who’ve cycled through the Lonesome River Band since its founding 35 years ago is in the dozens. Through it all, it’s been banjo master Sammy Shelor, who’s kept a sure and steady hand on the tiller. Nearly 20 albums into the game, […]

Read full review »

OLD SALT UNION Compass Records 7 4693 2 By signing with Compass Records, Old Salt Union brings their edgy and rootsy style to a major label. Yes, they have all the elements of bluegrass, but they also bring in their other influences of rock, classical, hip-hop, and Americana. The band consists of John Brighton (fiddle, […]

Read full review »

PAUL KOVAC OHIO BLUEGRASS: FROM THE APPALACHIAN PLATEAU, VOL. 1 Yodel-Ay-Hee 093 There is plenty of good new music coming down the pipe in a bluegrass world that is constantly flexing its muscles and frequently crossing genres. Then along comes Paul Kovac with a new, old, traditional, big sound. Yes, it’s hard to describe. Kovac […]

Read full review »

THE GRASCALS BEFORE BREAKFAST Mountain Home MH16872 One of the many charms and attributes that have won The Grascals a multitude of fans in recent years is the band’s capacity to convey everything from heart-stopping earnestness to lighthearted, even goofy humor. On the one hand, there are heart palpitators: The mournful “Demons” (written by Bill […]

Read full review »

RHONDA VINCENT & DARYLE SINGLETARY AMERICAN GRANDSTAND Upper Mgmt. Music UM011 If you’re a fan of traditional country duos like George Jones/Tammy Wynette and Conway Twitty/Loretta Lynn, then this CD is a perfect match. As always, Rhonda Vincent’s vocals are spot-on. This time, she has the added benefit of recording with a true country traditionalist, […]

Read full review »

THE BLUEGRASS UNIT SETLIST VOL.1 No Label TBU-1 This Canadian band has a great vocal trio and lots of hot licks to back it up. Everyone is a fine singer, and they sing their parts with lots of drive in a powerful delivery. Their picking is just as solid, with Justin Nauss on banjo, Kenny […]

Read full review »

CAROLINA BLUE SOUNDS OF KENTUCKY GRASS Poor Mountain Records PMR-0004    This album’s attention-grabbing set of hard bluegrass songs presents a genuine breakout for Carolina Blue. That backstory of a western N.C. band named Carolina Blue releasing an album called Sounds Of Kentucky Grass further distinguishes the album in a crowded marketplace. Although noted for their […]

Read full review »

DOUG FLOWERS FAVORITES No Label No Number The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Will The Circle Be Unbroken album served as the inspirational concept for Doug Flowers latest CD. Flowers, who has performed with the Little Roy & Lizzy Show and Clinton Gregory, gathered together some of his favorite singers, songwriters, and pickers for a jam […]

Read full review »

FIDDLER’S DREAM: OLD-TIME, SWING, AND BLUEGRASS FIDDLING IN TWENTIETH CENTURY MISSOURI BY HOWARD WIGHT MARSHALL Univ. Of Missouri Press 9780826221216. CD included, 448 pp., 111 photos, $29.95. (Chicago Distribution Ctr., 11030 S. Langley Ave., Chicago, IL 60628, This second volume by Marshall on the fiddling in Missouri brings the reader up to the twentieth […]

Read full review »

THE SOWELL FAMILY PICKERS TRUST IN THE LORD No Label No Number As with many family bands, the Sowells are, at their core, a gospel bluegrass band. That does not necessarily mean that all of their material is gospel bluegrass. They follow what seems to be a rising trend in bluegrass, one in which bands […]

Read full review »

EDDY RAVEN WITH CAROLINA ROAD ALL GRASSED UP Pinecastle Records PRC 1207 Eddy Raven’s foray into bluegrass can be traced to his appearance on Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road’s bluegrass tribute to country music of the ’70s. He was one of ten or so stars of the period who put their lead voices to bluegrass/country-hybrid […]

Read full review »

DICK KIMMEL AND PAMELA LONGTINE FIDDLE AND MANDOLIN Dick Kimmel Music CD 2017-01 You certainly can’t say that Dick Kimmel and Pamela Longtine haven’t diversified the music on their first recording together. With the exception of bluegrass, which gets only a slight nod in that both “Rain And Snow” and “Pretty Little Miss Out In […]

Read full review »

FIRESIDE COLLECTIVE LIFE BETWEEN THE LINES No Label No Number Write what you know. Musicians know the road and that’s the stated inspiration behind the 12 original songs on the second album from Fireside Collective. Truth be told, with one or two possible exceptions, it’s hard to hear why these songs couldn’t have been written […]

Read full review »