Lonesome River Band

In 2007, Lonesome River Band celebrates 25 years as one of the most popular and influential acts in the bluegrass music community. Having withstood numerous personnel changes, the band remains rooted in the traditional sounds of Flatt & Scruggs and Bill Monroe while continuing to set standards of their own. The group has gained praise for fusing ultra-tight vocal harmonies with virtuosic musicianship and well-conceived song arrangements. The group’s current lineup consists of banjo ace and band leader Sammy Shelor, Matt Leadbetter on dobro, Brandon Rickman on lead guitar and vocals, Andy Ball on mandolin and lead vocals, and Mike Anglin on bass. These outstanding players bring a wealth of talent and energy to the band’s quarter century history.

Through changes in vocalists and rhythm sections, the constant in the band’s wildly popular sound has been Shelor’s insistent, driving banjo style. The IBMA has voted him Banjo Player of the Year on four separate occasions, and banjo pickers all over the world have studied his tab books and instructional DVDs. Shelor, who inherited his love of the banjo from his grandfathers, began to play the five-stringed instrument at age five. Although he learned his early technique from old-timey clawhammer banjo player Carp Ayers, the playing of Earl Scruggs, J.D. Crowe, and Béla Fleck has also influenced Shelor’s approach to the instrument.

Along with ten well-received albums, The Lonesome River Band was also featured on John Fogerty’s 1997 album “Blue Moon Swamp.” The group tours constantly, bringing a wealth of experience and bluegrass talent to audiences across the country.

This artist appears in Jubilee #716: Lonesome River Band.