A Cut Above named 2017 VFMA Band champions

A Cut Above from Bedford, Virginia was awarded top honors on October 15 in the Virginia Folk Music Association’s Virginia State Bluegrass Contest. Nine bands competed from across the state at the Chesterfield Fairgrounds outside of Richmond for the $1000 top prize.

Band members include Daniel Creasy on banjo, Mike Walker on mandolin, Bob Brooke on guitar, Don Bartlett on reso-guitar, and Glen Davis on bass.Only recently formed, the guys focus on both Gospel on secular grass.

Here’s video of them earlier this month at the Wildwood Farms General Store in Floyd, VA.

The State Championships are held in conjunction with the VFMA’s annual Jumpin’ Bluegrass Festival, and has been held since the 1950s when the Governor granted them authority to name the bluegrass champs each year. Individual instrument contests are also hosted, with a special prize for the best young performer.

2017 winners include:


  1. A Cut Above
  2. The Hendersons
  3. Blue Connection

Male Vocalist

  1. Art Crawley
  2. Gerald Runion
  3. Matt Spence

Female Vocalist

  1. Hannah Roper
  2. Andrea Valderama
  3. Dorothy Hager


  1. Daniel Creasy
  2. Matthew Henderson
  3. Steve Waddell


  1. Matthew Henderson
  2. Mike Walker
  3. Emily Roper


  1. Mike McCoib
  2. Gaylon Ryan
  3. Hannah Roper


  1. Jessica Zilinsky
  2. Roger Gray
  3. Mike McCoib


  1. Ronnie Burroughs
  2. Rebecca Bryant
  3. Gaylon Ryan

Junior Entertainer

  1. Denver Smith
  2. Sarah Rose Wilkerson
  3. Octavia Simmons

Congratulations to all the winners!

For more information about the Virginia Folk Music Association, visit them online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.