Originally from Switzerland, brothers Uwe and Jens Kruger began playing North American folk music at an early age and were particularly inspired by recordings of Doc Watson, Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, and other progenitors of country, bluegrass and folk music. Their first public performances were as a duo, busking on the streets of cities throughout eastern and western Europe. After gaining a recording contract as well as a radio show on SRG SSR, the Swiss public broadcaster, they teamed up with bass player Joel Landsberg, inaugurating a trio that has been playing professionally together since 1995. Landsberg is an American citizen from New York, NY. The first recording project to include Landsberg was Behind the Barn, Vol. 2, released in 1997. The Kruger Brothers moved to the United States in 2002, and are based in Wilkesboro, NC. The group is highly regarded within the world of acoustic music in North America, in particular by those within the industry. They have also gained the attention of some of the musicians, including Bill Monroe, Doc Watson, Tut Taylor, and Bobby Hicks, that once served as models. Watson has said, "The Kruger Brothers are just about as fine a band as I've ever played with. I love to play music with them."
The Sons of Ralph (featuring Ralph) is a band that plays music ranging from bluegrass to country, to rock and back! The Band's frontman, Ralph Lewis (mandolin, guitar, vocals) started out playing "mountain music" in the 1940's. From there he has had many groups including, The Lewis Brothers, The Carolina Pals, and The Piney Mountain Boys. In 1974 he got a call to join Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, where he stayed for two years. Seeing his own "boys" wish to play music, he quit Monroe's group to pick with his sons. Marty (guitar, dobro, keyboard, vocals) and Don (fiddle, banjer, guitar, harmonica, and vocals).
Sons of Ralph now include "Cousin" Steve Moseley (vocals, harmony vocals, bass, acoustic, and electric guitars), and "Brother Oz" Ozzie Orengo Jr. (percussion) to round out the "Best Band in Western NC". (Sons of Ralph has been awarded this honor eight of the last ten years, including 2007 and 2008!)
Whether they are playing authentic bluegrass, the way Ralph did when on stage with Bill Monroe, or taking requests from the crowd, the Sons Of Ralph have one thing in mind - give the people what they want!
You might hear a Johnny Cash song, then Brown Eyed Girl. When shaggers want to shag, maybe you will hear Stand By Me, or Under the Boardwalk. No matter what they are playing, Sons of Ralph will play it well and have fun! Ralph's motto: "IT'S A PARTY EVERY TIME!"
Traditionally untraditional is how Sanctum Sully has described themselves since the release of their first album. With a new studio effort in hand, Trade Winds, these Asheville stringers are ready to show audiences just what that means.
By creating their own niche in the acoustic world, Sanctum Sully has gone from raw bluegrass jammers to a polished, five piece outfit that not only churns out rich, original mountain sounds during their energetic live performances, but has also been recognized as one of Western North Carolina's best bluegrass bands. (Mountain Xpress, 2010 & 2011)
After spending most of Fall 2011 in the studio with bluegrass veteran, Bill McDonald (who has recorded and engineered for Doc Watson, Balsam Range, IIIrd Time Out and more), The group cultivated a refined sound that remains rooted within the confines of acoustic bluegrass, while branching out into a pure mixing bowl of influences that puts the group into a category of their own.
"Working with Bill was a great experience for all of us. He's been playing and recording bluegrass for over 25 years and has a tremendous ear for vocals" said mandolin player and vocalist, Jay Franck.
Their experience in the studio showed deep growth in their playing, but specifically the vocal harmonies that the group had been trying to achieve since day one. Franck added, "Through Bill's guidance, we were really able to shape our 3-part harmonies and gain a better understanding of our individual rolesboth vocally and instrumentally."
Trade Winds is a strong testament of how Sanctum Sully has matured as a band with one thing on their mind; creating a colorful canvas that captures their true love for playing. "We're listening to each other more, on-stage and off, which has led to a more focused effort and our best material yet."
Lead singer and bass player Tom Godleski along with former banjo player Tim Adams, began Buncombe Turnpike in the fall of 1997. Buncombe Turnpike plays a variety of heartfelt tunes ranging from traditional and contemporary bluegrass to gospel and hand crafted Buncombe Turnpike originals. With their crowd pleasing demeanor, seasoned musicianship, and powerful vocals, the band has made a name for themselves among traditional and contemporary listeners alike.
In July of 2002, the band released their first album titled 'The Ballad of Baldy John and Jake' featuring seven Buncombe Turnpike originals and three traditional pieces which was voted the #10 Bluegrass Album of the year by devout WNCW listeners.
It is no surprise that their 2004 sophomore release 'Blackwater Bottom' made waves on the air and on the stage proving yet again that one of the premier bluegrass bands from the musical hotbed of Asheville NC. 'Blackwater Bottom' was voted #10 Bluegrass Album of The Year by WNCW listeners and was the #54 album in the top 100, and received a "Highlight" review in the August 2005 edition of Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine.
B. T.'s third c. d. "Picker's Paradise," released in the summer of 2006, was the number nine pick in the bluegrass category by WNCW listeners for 2006. Picker's Paradise also received a great review in Bluegrass Unlimited.
Ditch Diggin' Blues was released in 2009. It was the number 17 bluegrass ablum on WNCW's top 50 albums for 2009. Ditch Diggin' Blues also recieved a great review in Blugrass Unlimited. Track 1, Where The Hills Are Blue, was also made into a music video by Legacy Films Ltd.