New face with Mountain Heart

Mountain Heart has announced that Jake Stargel has joined the band on guitar, filling the spot just vacated by Clay Jones.

Jake is a fiery flatpicker from Georgia who at 19 years of age has already developed quite a reputation in the acoustic music world. Already a Georgia flatpick champ as a young teen, he toured with The Lovell Sisters when he was 15, and has more recently worked with The Greencards and Bearfoot.

Jake is viewed as a protegé of the great Bryan Sutton, who sings the praises of the hot guitar phenom:

“Jake is great! He can do pretty much anything on the guitar. He seems to have a good character, too. He’s going to be a monster addition to Mountain Heart.”

As Mountain Heart moves to a more-and-more crossover approach, Jake’s multi-instrumental talents will also prove to be a benefit. He plays mandolin, piano and electric guitar in addition to acoustic, which will be his primary role.

Look for Jake with Mountain Heart on their co-bill with Tony Rice this Thursday (7/1) at the Red, White & Bluegrass Festival in Morganton, NC.

Jones had announced his intention to leave the group some time ago, but the band had held off the announcement until his replacement could be found. Mountain Heart asked us to express their gratitude to Clay for his long-term association with the band, and their best wishes to him in all his future endeavors.

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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.