Wildfire (#1024)

Virtuoso guitar picking and hot banjo runs energize classic bluegrass and country.


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Wildfire mixes an energized performing style with a love for classic bluegrass and country music. Resonator guitarist and vocalist Phil Leadbetter, guitarist and vocalist Robert Hale, mandolin player and vocalist Darrell Webb, bassist Curt Chapman, and banjo player Barry Crabtree make up the band.

Leadbetter, Hale, Webb, and Chapman had previously performed together in numerous bluegrass and country bands, including J.D. Crowe and the New South. Both Leadbetter and Chapman earned Grammy nominations for their participation on the Crowe album Flashback, and they cite their association with that legendary bluegrass group as one of the major influences on their sound.

After performing at Dollywood for the 2000 and 2001 seasons as the house bluegrass band, the quartet entered the studio with banjo ace Scott Vestal and recorded its own debut album, Uncontained. Since the addition of Crabtree on banjo, the group has recorded three discs and has performed for audiences around the world.

Well known for its exciting brand of live performance, Wildfire consistently displays a unique appreciation for the fine musicianship, stellar harmonies, heartfelt lead vocals, and traditional arrangements that encompass classic bluegrass music. Although the band’s set list easily shifts from Flatt & Scruggs or Delbert McClinton songs to James Taylor covers and more country-sounding fare, the players’ dedication to virtuoso guitar picking, white-hot banjo runs, and melodic vocal harmonies will satisfy any fan of bluegrass or country music.

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