The Larry Stephenson Band has a new look for 2018 as they start the season. Of course, Larry is still at the helm performing his signature high lonesome bluegrass music, but with a new band in tow.
Long time fans will notice that banjo icon Kenny Ingram is no longer with the group. Health concerns have forced Kenny off the road, after a long career in bluegrass. He had been with Larry since 2009, and had worked previously with some of the biggest names in the business. As a young man he toured with Jimmy Martin and Lester Flatt, and spent several years with Rhonda Vincent before coming into Larry’ band. Everyone in bluegrass will miss seeing Big K out at the festivals.
Stepping into that spot is Derek Vaden from Asheville, NC. He comes to the group after playing the past two years with Rebekah Long.
Nick Dauphinais is now on guitar, also from western, NC. Bluegrass fans will recognize his face from his time with Summer Brooke & the Mountain Faith Band. Actually, Nick will continue with Mountain Faith until the end of April, but as a newlywed with a baby on the way, Nick wants to be closer to home this summer.
He says that he hates leaving Summer and the band, but that family comes first.
“I love those guys and gal and they’ve been my southern family for a couple years now, but with Maegan and my baby girl on the way, I’m going to spend more time teaching and working in a couple Asheville schools so I’m near the family. Larry’s band schedule this year worked out perfectly, and being that he is a childhood hero of mine I’m very excited to be playing these great songs with him and the guys this year!”
Matt Wright remains on bass.
Larry and his wife/manager, Dreama, are both sorry to see Kenny go. Larry says that, “They do not come much better than him. Great, easy traveler, and a good bus driver on top of his legendary banjo playing.”
We join them and all the bluegrass world is hoping that Kenny is back in good shape soon!
You can keep up with their touring schedule online.