Kenny and Amanda Smith (#912)

Soulful bluegrass from a pair of emerging stars.

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Kenny and Amanda Smith, winners of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s 2003 Emerging Artists of the Year award, bring their soulful bluegrass sound to this edition of Jubilee. The program features their performance from the 2003 Kentucky Lake Bluegrass Festival as well as interviews with the band.

Long regarded as a top flatpicking guitarist, Kenny Smith received the prestigious IBMA Guitar Player of the Year award two years in a row as guitarist for the Lonesome River Band. He met wife Amanda, whose singing style has been compared to those of Rhonda Vincent and Valerie Smith, at an LRB concert in her native West Virginia.

Their backing band formed in the recording studio during sessions for the couple’s 2001 debut, Slowly But Surely. Well received by both critics and bluegrass radio, that album stayed on the Bluegrass Unlimited chart for several months.

The band includes singer and mandolin player Ronald Inscore; bassist Greg Martin; and banjo player Steve Huber, who builds the Huber line of banjos in Nashville. Their second album, House Down the Block, was released in 2004.