Kevin Prater has announced a new member of his touring band. Jacob Northern has joined the band on bass, and will assist Prater in pursuing the group’s mission of recording and performing straight ahead traditional bluegrass.
19 year old Jacob hails from Sandstone, WV and has been on bass since he was nine, when he started playing with his church worship group. Several of his siblings also took an interest in bluegrass, and they won first place in a local talent show, Hinton’s Got Talent, before he ever looked at being a professional musician. They performed regionally for some time, and were honored to open for Dr. Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys before his passing in 2016.
Northern recalls exactly when he decided to focus his energies on learning to play well. He was working with Streamliner Bluegrass, his first pro gig, and got to play on the hallowed stage at the Hills of Home Bluegrass Festival in Coeburn, VA. There he was able to meet The Alex Leach Band, Ralph Stanley II, Kevin Prater, and The Po’ Ramlin’ Boys, whose bassist, Jasper Lorentzen, was his favorite. That experience cemented in his mind a desire to work harder and become a better bass player.
Since that weekend in 2019, Jacob has been able to play The World Famous Station Inn in Nashville with The Alex Leach Band, and with Seth Mulder & Midnight Run at Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery in east Tennessee.
Prater tells us that he feels like he’s hired an old hand.
Northern says that feels blessed to be welcomed as the new bass player for The Kevin Prater Band. There he joins Kevin on mandolin, Jake Burrows on banjo, Mallory Hindman on fiddle, and Gary Isenhour on guitar.
Kevin and the guys have a busy 2022 lining up, with shows starting at the end of January, including the SPBGMA convention in Nashville, the Winter Blast Off in Wapakoneta, OH, and the Chicago Folk Festival.
You can see all their tour dates online.