Kenny & Amanda Smith

Winners of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s prestigious Emerging Artist of the Year award in 2003, (not to mention Amanda's recent IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year award!) the Kenny and Amanda Smith Band combines gutsy, heartfelt vocals, brilliant instrumental talents and a powerful, contemporary sense of song choice and arrangement into one of the most compelling new sounds in bluegrass today.

A creation of the intensely personal musical and romantic connection between Kenny and Amanda, the band shares an all-too-rare sense of intimacy and cohesion where each musician feels an almost telepathic connection. Musicians call it being in the groove, where the group collectively accents each beat in precisely the same way. With Kenny leading the way on guitar, this band never has trouble finding the groove. To learn more about America's Bluegrass Sweethearts, click here...

Adam Schlenker

Adam Schlenker is a flat pick guitarist from southern West Virginia who is currently based in Columbus Ohio. In addition to teaching full time he works as a guitar and mandolin player for regional touring acts as well as doing session work.

Desiring to expand on his teaching, Adam founded 5th Fret Productions in 2009. The idea was to combine online, video based lessons with one on one lessons. He has been featured in Flatpicking Guitar Magazine and is working with an ever expanding number of flat pick students around the world. Thanks to the Skype technology, Adam's private student base stretches across the US, Europe and all the way to Australia, allowing him to lend a hand to anyone wishing to work on their flat pick skills.

Tim May

Flatpicker Tim May has been working in the Nashville area for over 20 years as a sideman, session player, band member and performer. Higher profile projects have included touring with Patty Loveless and John Cowan, and working as a regular on the Grand Ole Opry with Mike Snider. Tim was the solo guitarist on Charlie Daniels’ recording of I’ll Fly Away, which was nominated for the Best Country Instrumental Performance Grammy in 2005, the same year he was session leader on the critically acclaimed Moody Bluegrass album (he later played on Moody Bluegrass II as well). The Nashville Scene selected Tim in the Best Instrumentalist category in their 2012 Reader's Choice Poll.

PK Thompson Guitars, Collings Mandolins, Shubb Capos, Elixir Strings, Hoffee Cases, Benedetto Guitars , L.R. Baggs Pickups and Pre-amps and Breedlove Guitars all have presented professional endorsements to Tim, a serious nod to his talents.

Tim is co-author of the eight volume course 'Flatpicking Essentials', The Guitar Player's Practical Guide to Scales and Arpeggios, The Mandolin Player's Practical Guide to Scales and Arpeggios, The Flatpicker's Guide to Old Time Music, and the Flatpicker's Guide to Irish Music. He has taught regularly at Camp Bluegrass, Kaufman Kamp, Colorado Roots Music Camp, Nashcamp, and the Swannanoa Gathering.

Billy Strings

Whether sharing stages with acoustic music royalty, crisscrossing the nation playing as a solo artist or performing high-energy, jaw-dropping sets at festivals, the reaction to Billy Strings tends to come in two varieties: “Who is this guy?” and “That kid can play!”

Raised in Michigan and based in Nashville, Strings — real name William Apostol — learned music from his father, who had learned it from his father, and his father before him. Maybe that’s why at 24, Strings’ songs, his articulation, his entire approach, sounds so authentic and steeped in tradition. Consider him the next in line of an Americana thread, not some upstart or bandwagon jumper. While Strings’ profile as a guitarist and singer in the acoustic/bluegrass scene continues to grow, he has already earned some landmark achievements. He has performed with Del McCoury, David Grisman and Larry Keel. He’s landed coveted slots at festivals like Pickathon, and he’s shared bills with popular touring acts Yonder Mountain Stringband, Leftover Salmon and Cabinet. And the industry has taken notice: He just won IBMA 2016 Momentum Awards Instrumentalist of the Year (for guitar, banjo and mandolin) and was voted #1 in The Bluegrass Situation’s Top 16 of 16.

While the Billy Strings phenomenon is best experienced live and in person — if you’re in Nashville, check him out during his weekly residency at The 5 Spot — if he’s not coming to your town anytime soon, there’s a self-titled EP he released in June of 2016 to dig into, a full-length debut on the way, and a slew of sessions for taste-making outlets like KEXP, The Bluegrass Situation and Second Story Garage available online.

What’s next for Billy Strings? 2017 has him in the studio working on his first full length LP, a slew of festival and tour dates including support slots for Railroad Earth and The Infamous Stringdusters, a handful of dates as part of David Grisman Bluegrass Experience and much, much more. Keep an eye and an ear out as Billy will be coming to a town near you real soon.

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