Sammy Shelor with The Zac Brown Band

This past Sunday (June 22, 2014), Sammy Shelor performed with the The Zac Brown Band in Bristow, VA. Brown and his eclectic country band have been known to favor bluegrass music and acoustic artists, and his former bass player and current guitarist, John Driskell Hopkins, has a bluegrass album, Daylight, recorded with Balsam Range in 2012.

Sammy says that he met Hopkins at MerleFest in April 2014.

“We got to talking and he is a super nice guy, very laid back… my kind of people. He’s gotten interested in banjo, and we connected over Huber Banjos and

He thought was in Nashville, but when he found out it was about 15 minutes away from where he lives in Georgia, he started going down there and hanging out, trying out banjos.

He ended up getting a Huber banjo – a Roanoke model with the neck specs like mine.”

That discussion ended with plans to stay in touch, and Sammy told us that shortly after he returned from an 11-day Lonesome River Band run, he found a message from Hopkins.

“He sent me a text asking if I wanted to come do a show with the band. So I drove up Sunday and did a couple of songs with them, had fun, hung around for a while, and then headed back home to Patrick County.

I respect these guys for all they do. They’ve worked it up from the clubs. Country music abandoned them, but they had 23,000 in the hall on Sunday.”

Here’s a few more photos from the show.


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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.