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 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.
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 Bluegrassalbum (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. And in 2017, Tim performed on the stage of the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York.
Born in Washington, D.C. in 1961, a family move to Nashville at age 3 fully immersed David Grier into the bluegrass music world, and at age 6, he began playing the guitar. Today, he is regarded as one of the premier acoustic guitarists in the world, along with his early influences, Doc Watson, Tony Rice, and family friend Clarence White. Recognized by Acoustic Guitar Magazine in 2000 as one of the Artists of the Decade, and named Guitar Player of the Year three times by the International Bluegrass Music Association, Grier has played on four Grammy Award-winning albums (True Life Blues: A Tribute to Bill Monroe; The Great Dobro Sessions; Alison Brown’s Fairweather; and Amazing Grace 2: A Country Salute to Gospel).
Having released four albums on Rounder, beginning in 1988 with Freewheeling, Grier launched his own label, Dreadnought Recordings, with the 1998 debut release, Hootenanny, with Dirk Powell and Tim O’Brien (“endlessly inventive and tasteful” - All Music Guide). Evocative (Dreadnought 2009), featuring 10 original tunes and a rich complement of collaborators (Victor Wooten, Paul Franklin, Stuart Duncan and more), has been hailed for its “deep musical introspection” as well as its “unmatchable mastery of the guitar” (Martin Mull). Other Dreadnought releases include the highly-acclaimed Live at the Linda (2007) and I’ve Got
the House to Myself (2002) (“unfettered explosive invention” - Tim O’Brien). His most recent release is Fly On The Wall (2014).
Fans of acoustic guitar music should be well acquainted with the name of Wyatt Rice. Wyatt was first spotlighted as an original member of the Tony Rice Unit where he played primarily rhythm guitar, although he had many opportunities for soloing as well. Wyatt has been featured on numerous recordings, videos, and has played countless gigs with the the Tony Rice Unit. He played lead and rhythm guitar with his own band “Wyatt Rice &Santa Cruz” and with The Ronnie Bowman Committee. Wyatt has recorded or performed with players such as David Grisman, JD Crowe, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Dan Tyminski, Alison Krauss, Bela Fleck, Rickie Simpkins, Ronnie Bowman, Lee Ann Womack, The Lonesome River Band, Sierra Hull, Ricky Skaggs, as well as his brothers Larry, Tony and Ronnie. Wyatt has recorded “Advanced Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar” (DVD) with Flatpicking Guitar Magazine and been featured on several of their special compilation CD’s.