Changes in Avery County

Travers Chandler has announced two new members of his touring band, Avery County.

Tony Mabe is the new banjo player, stepping in for Adam Poindexter who departed owing to other work commitments. Mabe had worked previously with James King and Jeanette Williams, and had also toured with his wife, Heather Berry.

Chandler is exuberant about bringing Tony into the band.

“I have known Tony for almost 10 years and he is one of my closest friends and we are very fortunate to have him in the band. He understands what we are trying to do and has even contributed two originals for our next album. We will definitely miss the spark and energy Adam brought to the band and i cherish his friendship, but we are looking forward to what lies ahead.

Tony’s first shows were in January and it clicked immediately. We are excited because we can still maintain our ability to put four or five different vocal arrangements out there to the folks and that’s something special and unique.”

Also new for 2011 is Merl Johnson, joining the group on fiddle. His prior work includes a stint with Dave Evans, and Travers is also pleased to be able to add a fiddle to the band.

“I have known Merl for a long time and have always respected his abilities. It takes a certain kind of fiddler to really try and accomplish what we are and Merl is it.

He’s a gentle soul with huge talent.”

The band also features Jessica Smith on bass, and Eddie Gill on guitar, with Chandler playing mandolin. They performed on the Wheeling Jamboree on January 29, and you can watch the show below (performance starts at 5:00).

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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.