Brian Aldridge, known nationally for his spectacular mandolin work, his expertise regarding bluegrass instruments in general, his playing and singing in Dry Branch Fire Squad, and his ability to present bluegrass music in its original and powerful form like the founding fathers (and mothers) of the genre did, will bring his southern Ohio bluegrass group, DAYTON, to HMHF this July. Everyone in the group presents the exceedingly traditional music as if they were born to it—which they were. Much of their music may resemble the songs of the Vintage Bluegrass Band that Brian presented here several years ago. If you ever wondered how bluegrass music seemed to jump into the world fully formed, listen and watch DAYTON—that’s how. See below for more info about the band members.
Jeff Byrd of Fairborn, Ohio. A musician with 40 years under his belt takes
musicianship to a new level. His demeanor on and off stage is professional
and inspiring. Having stents with bands like The Kings Journeymen, Higher
Ground, and Jetts Creek. You can catch Jeff and his bass and his many
fans, all over the country with Dry Branch Fire Squad. Jeff also brings
Bass, Baritone, and Lead Vocals to round out his accompaniment.
Wayne Haddix of Lebanon, Ohio (son of Herchel Haddix a staple in the Dayton
Bluegrass/Gospel community), playing music since his early childhood, brings ajJ
rhythm and vocal combination to Blackwater that is pleasing to the crowd. He has
stood on many stages with New Mountain Heritage, and with The Haddix Family,
Wayne has travelled the States playing Bluegrass and Gospel music for over 50
Evan Lanier of Carlisle, Ohio (grandson of well-known bass player Noel Bolen),
was surrounded at a young age by the greatest musicians of the Dayton/Cincinnati
area. Evan was steeped in the tradition and artistry of Bluegrass. From travelling
the Midwest with Evan Lanier and The Bluegrass Express, to travelling the US and
Canada with The Kody Norris Show, as well as with Larry Sparks and The
Lonesome Ramblers, Evan has over 20 years of experience in music. His driving
banjo and exceptional guitar picking is foundational to Blackwater.
Tony Hale of Monroe, Ohio (nephew of accomplished guitar player Ernie Sexton),
has 20 years of musical experience. Early beginnings found him learning to play
bass with his afore mentioned uncle in Paul Blevins’ band of Middletown, Ohio. He
continued with Bluegrass but found inspiration while singing in a southern gospel
quartet. His passion of songwriting has taken him back to his early memories on
Blackwater Creek in Morgan County, Kentucky where generations of his family
made their home. Tonys drive to unite old time gospel and bluegrass complements
his clear and precise vocal ability.
Brian Aldridge of Springfield, Ohio (son of Howard Aldridge, banjo player for Bill
Monroe in the 1960s), has 50 years of experience in Bluegrass. From his earlier
days with Timely Arrival to present day with Dry Branch Fire Squad, Brian has
travelled from the east to the west coast playing all of the major venues and
festivals, bringing his own style of mandolin playing and harmony to the Bluegrass
community, as well as to Blackwater.