Personalities | Lonesome River Band | Alt. Country & The Bluegrass Revival

(Vocal/instrumental group, 1983–present)

The Lonesome River Band changed the direction of bluegrass when the quartet’s 1991 album, Carrying The Tradition, turned away from the jazzy solos and folkie songwriting of new-grass to focus the hard-driving rhythms of Bill Monroe and Jimmy Martin with a rock’n’roll precision and energy. That album’s line-up was mandolinist Dan Tyminski, guitarist Tim Austin, bassist Ronnie Bowman and banjoist Sammy Shelor, but the band’s sound didn’t change all that much when Tyminski was replaced by Don Rigsby and Austin by Kenny Smith. All but Shelor left in 2001, but the banjoist carried on with new pickers. Smith joined his wife Amanda in a new duo; Bowman pursued a pop-bluegrass solo career, and Rigsby emerged as one of the strongest bluegrass vocalists of the new decade.

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Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music, consultant editor Bob Allen


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