LRB has quite a history in bluegrass, starting in the early 1980s, and with 25 albums available online. Current leader, banjo man Sammy Shelor, has been involved since 1990, and performed alongside illustrious alumni Ronnie Bowman, Dan Tyminski, Tim Austin, Jeff Parker, Shannon Slaughter, and several others. Their landmark recording, Carry The Tradition, even featured a teenaged Alison Krauss on fiddle in 1990. Since Sammy came aboard, their signature sound has been propelled by his dynamic and driving banjo, no matter who else was in the group.
In fact Sammy has been honored as the IBMA’s Banjo Player of the Year five times, and was chosen to receive the 2nd annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass in 2011.
Today’s Lonesome River Band includes longtime fiddler Mike Hartgrove, guitarist Jesse Smathers, Kameron Keller on bass, and newest member Adam Miller on mandolin.
Adam sings the lead on Heyday, a salute to the iconic little towns that once dotted the rural landscape of America, but have been in decline for decades as manufacturing has been moved offshore seeking less costly workers. Most of us recall visiting or driving through such as is described here, or even come from one ourselves.
Sammy said he recognized the imagery of the song right away, and planned this video as soon as they recorded it.
“When we received this song from Barry and Will Hutchens, the visual aspect of the story jumped right out at me. When it became the title cut of our album, we started searching for the perfect town that had all the right places. Cherryville, North Carolina was that place, and we had a blast visiting with the locals and seeing their beautiful town. We don’t like what has happened to our small towns, and maybe this is our little contribution to helping the renovation, and bringing light to these forgotten places. We love Small Town America!”
Have a look/listen…
Audio CDs can be purchased directly from the band.