Les Deaton introduces new group, Dusty River Band

Veteran North Carolina bluegrasser, Lester Deaton, has formed a new group, The Dusty River Band.

Deaton says of his new band, “Our music genre is primarily bluegrass with a little country and gospel sprinkled in. We have five seasoned musicians with vast experience, and I’m excited to introduce you to each of them.”

Deaton is the leader of the band, as well as lead singer and guitarist. He has played with A.L. Wood & The Smokey Ridge Boys, recording several albums with Rebel Records, and with The Bluegrass Cardinals, Lou Reid & Carolina, The Country Gentlemen, Jimmy Martin, The Bobby Hicks Band, and Larry Sparks. Over a long career he has also appeared on stage with legendary musicians such as Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Marty Stuart, Mac Wiseman, and others.

David Pendley, formerly with Kristy Cox, plays mandolin and sings baritone. He has spent the last ten years traveling nationally and internationally. David has also performed with notable musicians/vocalists like Kathy Mattea, Clinton Gregory, Stella Parton, and guitar great, Tommy Emmanuel. His accomplishments have been recognized by the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

Tom Hyatt picks banjo and sings whatever is needed. He has played with some well-known North Carolina bands including NuHiWay, Second Chance Bluegrass, New Southern Ground, New High Country Boys, and New Country Grass.

The two other members were in a previous band (Grass Strings) with Deaton. Ronnie Elwood plays bass and sings tenor, who played with Dewey Farmer & Powder Creek, then David Leatherman & Stone Country. He played throughout the mid-west as part of the RFD-TV’s Cumberland Highlanders series. Grace Bemus saws the fiddle and sings harmony and lead. At 18, she is the youngest member of the band, and has been playing fiddle since she was five.

“I’m excited for what lies ahead for the Dusty River Band and this talented group of musicians,” Deaton concluded.

Dusty River Band will make their debut on Friday, February 2, at 7:00 p.m. at The Swanee Theatre in Kannapolis, NC. They will be the opening act for Authentic Unlimited who just received two awards at SPBGMA, Gospel and Vocal Group of the Year. 

Les says, “It will be a great show, so please get your tickets now and come on out and see us.”

The $15 tickets can be purchased in advance online.

Share this:

About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.