Gary Brewer and the Kentucky Ramblers (#1017)

Fast guitar runs, a ringing banjo, and the twang of mountain vocals.


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Gary Brewer and the Kentucky Ramblers are living proof that for some traditionally minded performers, fast guitar runs, a ringing banjo, and the twang of mountain vocals never go out of style.

Brewer has been called one of the finest lead singers in bluegrass music today, and his guitar picking is creative and powerful, switching easily between rock-solid rhythms and smooth, tasteful, yet powerful solos. He comes by that talent naturally: His grandfather Finley J. Brewer Sr., a current member of the Ramblers, was part of the original Carter Family troupe in the late 1920s.

The band also features Gary Brewer’s son Wayne on mandolin. At 8, Wayne holds the title of youngest artist ever to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. When he, his dad, and his great-grandfather join the rest of the Ramblers on stage, the audience can almost hear the whole history of bluegrass music—especially when the three generations harmonize over a classic ballad.

Since 1988, the Ramblers have performed more than 300 shows a year. Their spirited performances have taken them on tours of Europe and the United Kingdom, and the group’s numerous recordings have received a great deal of acclaim throughout international bluegrass and traditional music circles.