The Coachmen at the Huron Valley Eagles – photo © Bill Warren
This past Saturday the Huron Valley Eagles in Flat Rock, Michigan opened the 31st season of bluegrass music in this storied venue. The season opened with Roy Cobb and the Coachmen. Roy was a little under the weather so Jim LaPrad filled in for him. At 92 years young, Roy is one of Southeast Michigan’s bluegrass pioneers.
The Coachmen features well known musicians from the area. Dana Cupp is on banjo. He was Bill Monroe’s last banjo player, andBobby Osboprne & the Rocky Top Express’ first banjo player. Rusty Rhoads is a well known pedal steel player, and he was on Dobro. Jeff Branch, a local luthier, played bass, and Jim LaPrad played guitar and fronted the band in Roy’s absence. Jesse Manns is the youngster in the group on mandolin. He learned his craft from his father, the late Mitch Manns. Craig Pryce filled in on banjo for one set.
The Huron Valley Eagles have hosted many of the great names in bluegrass from Bill Monroe, The Country Gentlemen, and The Osborne Brothers, to Rhonda Vincent and the Rage.