Claybank tears it up at RenoFest ’16

Claybank performs in the Band Contest at RenoFest 2016Last weekend at RenoFest 2016 served as a coming out party of sorts for Claybank, a youthful North Carolina bluegrass group we first told you about last spring.

The band took first place in the band contest, and its $1500 prize, with members placing in the banjo and guitar competitions as well. Tyler Thompson came in 4th in the banjo contest, and Jacob Greer 3rd in guitar. Mandolinist Zack Arnold also entered the guitar battle, and picked up 5th place.

Claybank had won third place in this year’s International Bluegrass Band Championship at SPBGMA and have tuned up their game since then, based on the RenoFest results.

In addition to Tyler, Jacob and Zack – two still in their teens – Gary Trivette is on bass.

Here’s a pair of videos from the competition. First up is their version of I Can’t Stop Calling Your Name, previously recorded by Lou Reid & Carolina…


…followed by a heart wrenching cover of the John Conlee classic, Rose Colored Glasses.


Had there been a singing competition, Zack would surely have won that as well. Well done, Claybank!

Here are the full results from the 2016 RenoFest competitions:

Band Contest

  • 1st Place – ClayBank, NC
  • 2nd Place – Arrowood Sisters, NC
  • 3rd place – Flatland Express, SC

Banjo Contest

  • 1st Place – Greg Welt, Pittsburg, PA
  • 2nd Place – Billy Cockman, Sherrills Ford, NC
  • 3rd Place – Jason Bales, Gatlinburg, TN
  • 4th Place – Tyler Thompson, Hampton, TN
  • 5th Place – James McDowell, Hendersonville, TN

Guitar Contest

  • 1st Place – Scott Fore, Radford, VA
  • 2nd Place – Allen Shadd, Fort Mill, SC
  • 3rd Place- Jacob Greer, Jefferson, NC
  • 4th Place- Tyler Thompson, Hampton, TN
  • 5th place- Zack Arnold, West Jefferson, NC

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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.