South Carolina’s Tugalo Holler announced a new member to their touring group this week with Cape Guthrie coming aboard on banjo. Long time banjo player Michael Hill has stepped away to spend more time with family and to pursue other career opportunities.
Guthrie was born and raised in Flowery Branch, GA and comes with a reputation as a first rate banjo and resophonic guitar player, but he is also quite adept as a guitarist and mandolinist, and as a vocalist. He got his start on stage at only 13 years old with the Vickers Family, a bluegrass Gospel group in the Flowery Branch area. Cape cites Russ Carson of Kentucky Thunder and his dear friend Patton Wages of Volume Five fame as his primary influences.
Stephen Hudson, lead singer and fiddler said of Guthrie, “We’re quickly realizing that we’ve just scratched the surface of this young gun’s enormous potential. We can’t wait to see how he continues to grow.”
Cape joins new bandmates Jessica Hudson (vocals), Dennis James (mandolin), Bradley Webb (guitar), and Michael “Porkchop” Branch (bass) along with Hudson on fiddle in Tugalo Holler. They are a hard-driving bluegrass group based around Clemson, SC with a wide range of influences from Ralph Stanley to Alison Krauss, and a broad repertoire of traditional, progressive, and original tunes.
The band also wanted to honor the contributions of Michael Hill, who spent nine years with the group, touring and recording, playing banjo, bass, and singing. Branch says, “It’s been an honor to play with Michael for almost a decade. Not only is he a phenomenal musician, he’s a great friend, and we all wish him the best in this next chapter of life.”
Tugalo Holler, named for the Tugalo River near their home, are touring this summer in support of their latest album, Any Fair Number. Here’s a video of them performing one of the tracks, Go Sin No More, last month at the Moosic in the Pens Festival in Cowpens, SC.
You can learn more about the band by visiting them online.