The Lonesome River Band (#126)

The award-winning bluegrass of the Lonesome River Band appeals to fans of the traditional as well as the contemporary.


The award-winning Lonesome River Band brings high energy, tight harmonies, and exceptional instrumental skills to the Jubilee stage. Its brand of music appeals to fans of traditional bluegrass as well as to those who like a more contemporary sound.

The band—Ronnie Bowman on lead vocals and bass, Sammy Shelor on banjo, Don Rigsby on mandolin, and Kenny Smith on guitar—holds several International Bluegrass Music Association awards, including Album of the Year (1992), Male Vocalist of the Year (Bowman, 1995, 1998, and 1999), and Instrumentalist of the Year (Shelor, 1995-1998). Smith has been a National Flatpicking Guitar Champion and was twice chosen IBMA Guitarist of the Year (1998 and 1999).

The Lonesome River Band’s Jubilee appearance, taped at the 1997 Carter County Shrine Bluegrass Festival in Olive Hill, KY, displays flawless renditions of “Money in the Bank” and “Fireball Mail” from Carrying the Tradition (1991), “Long Gone” and “Highway Paved with Pain” from Old Country Town (1994), and “When You Go Walking” and “Carolyn the Teenage Queen” from One Step Forward (1996).