2018 Artists

 

BILLY RADER

Emcee 

 

Billy Rader is a highly skilled musician and multi-talented singer, songwriter, entertainer and master of impersonations is respected greatly by his peers in the Country, Bluegrass and Gospel Music industry. He has been a major component in providing clean family entertainment at Panama City Beach, Florida and the entire Gulf Coast region since 1978.  Audiences are mesmerized by his range of talent on the guitar, fiddle, 5 string banjo and many other instruments. Billy is a master at impersonating various country music stars on stage. On the civic side of life, Billy Rader is very humbled to serve with the City of Panama City through that of being the City Commissioner of Ward 3. And Billy is also serving as the current Mayor Pro-Tempore with the city of PC. In addition to that, Billy is the president of the Bay County League of Cities, and recently served on the ‘Resolutions Committee’ with the Florida League of Cities. Rader is thrilled to be a part of this great family event benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bay County. 

 

TWIN KENNEDY 

Bluegrass & Country Music  

 

Twin Kennedy, comprised of  West Coast sisters Carli and Julie Kennedy, have been making music together since they could talk. Born and raised in the small town of Powell River, Canada, Twin Kennedy grew up perfecting their harmonies and performances, while making their name known in their community as a family band. Growing up in  a musically infused family, it's no surprise Twin Kennedy crafted their sound through a unique fusion of their background in country, folk, and jazz. After  years of classical training, including attaining their Bachelors Degrees in Music Performance from the University of Victoria, they have found their home in country music. 

With Carli on vocals & guitar, and Julie on vocals & violin, these sisters made a splash in the Canadian music scene with their 2015 debut as Twin Kennedy.  Since then, they have performed at Canadian Music Week, Canada Place, Sunfest, Rockin’ River Music Festival, Vancouver Island Exhibition, the Vancouver Olympics, and the Live at Heart Festival in Sweden.  Twin Kennedy has received 10 BCCMA Award nominations since 2012 and dozens of other awards, and most recently, Twin Kennedy was nominated for Roots/Canadiana Group of the Year at the 2016 BCCMAs. They currently split their time between their home in Victoria, BC and Nashville, TN.  With an album launch and two cross-country tours in the books, the past two years have seen a transformation for the Kennedy sisters. Country music has found its newest sweethearts in Twin Kennedy!

 

TRINITY RIVER BAND 

Bluegrass Music  

 

                              

Hailing from northeast Florida, Trinity River Band is made up of Dad Michael (Guitar, Vocals), Mom Lisa (Bass, Vocals), Daughter Sarah (Mandolin, Lead Vocals), Son Joshua (Banjo, Dobro, Vocals), and Daughter Brianna (Fiddle, Vocals).  Since 2007, they have been honing their craft and building a regional following.  They have released 3 studio albums: Better Than Blue (2014), Heartstrings (2015), and Things We Do For Dreams (2016).  In addition to multiple awards and widespread recognition, Trinity River Band has given many notable performances including headlining the very first Willie’s Duck Jam for Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame, performing for charity events and organizations such as Rodeheaver Boys Ranch and the Justice Coalition, along with numerous performances and interviews on SiriusXM Radio’s Bluegrass Junction and WSM 650am – the Country Music Radio Station of the 20th Century and home of the Grand Ole Opry.

 

JEFF BROWN & STILL LONESOME 

Bluegrass Music  

 

Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome consists of Jeff Brown, Austin Brown, Nick Goad, and Mitch Walker. Jeff began playing music at the age of 9 and hasn't slowed down since. He & his brother formed the Richlands Bluegrass Boys, where he played alongside Blue Highway's Wayne Taylor. In 1993, Jeff went to work for the legendary Larry Sparks as bass player and tenor singer, where he was a Lonesome Rambler until 1996. Jeff has performed on many famous stages including the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN, and performed on the television shows Austin City Limits in Austin, TX and Song of the Mountains on PBS.  While performing with Sparks in Hiltons, VA, Jeff was ask to play bass for Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter Cash. He continued playing various dates and helping out on multiple recording projects before stepping out to front his current band, Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome. Jeff also toured with The Charlie Sizemore Band, and has filled in with Blue Highway, Dr. Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, and Jesse McReynolds. Jeff Brown is very well known in the bluegrass circuit & he continues to be very active in furthering bluegrass music. 


Austin Brown, 19, has been playing guitar and bass since age 3, and his many music influences include Ralph Stanley and Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out. Nick Goad is a native of Stuart, VA and began playing guitar at the age of 9 and mandolin at 12. He has been recognized as Best All Around Performer and 1st Place Mandolin at the Galax Old Time Fiddler's Convention in Galax, VA.  Mitch Walker, from Raleigh, N. C. graduated from ETSU with two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Bluegrass and Economics. He has been playing banjo since age 13, and has toured with The James King Band and most recently with Audie Blaylock and Redline. 

 

KRISTI STANLEY & RUNNING BLIND

Bluegrass Music  

 

 

Born & raised in Pikeville, KY, Kristi Ison Stanley was brought up among a rich history of bluegrass and country music, immortalized along the famous Country Music Highway.  At 15, Kristi performed on the live radio show Home Spun Country. DJ Tim Michaels was quite impressed with her talent, and it wasn't long before Tim and Kristi formed the band Sandy River, opening for major acts like Kenny Chesney, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Ricochet. Kristi continued to perform with her band throughout high school at music festivals, weddings, talent shows and radio stations, as well as the VA/KY Opry and The Mountain Arts Center.  The highlight of Kristi's career came when she was asked by Dr. Ralph Stanley to be a part of the Grammy-nominated album "Clinch Mountain Sweethearts".  She joined not only her hero Dolly Parton, but many other stars including Pam Tillis, Sara Evans and Chely Wright on the project.  Kristi met her husband, Ralph Stanley II, in Nashville, TN at a taping of Prime Time Country.  Two years later, the couple were married and they now have two beautiful children.  While staying home full-time with her family has been a blessing, Kristi feels it's time to start performing again and has already entered the studio to start working on an exciting new album. 

 

JUDGE TALFORD BAND
 Bluegrass Music

 

 

Judge Talford Band is comprised of  Daniel Mason, Lucy Cochran, Shane Norman, Michael Williams, and Jesse Turner.  JTB's music genre is a fresh new sound that appeals to a younger audience, while taking the mature audience for a walk down memory lane.    The band has been featured at such venues as Dollywood, Silver Dollar City, Texas Troubador Theatre, Nashville Palace, Orange Blossom Opry and many more.  Daniel Mason is on banjo, Lucy Cochran plays fiddle, Shane Norman does mandolin and vocals, Michael Williams does bass and vocals, and Jesse Turner is lead guitarist.   JTB uses 3 part harmonies, bluegrass instrumentation and a song selection that spans several genres, including originals, bluegrass, rock, pop, and country to appeal to audiences from all walks of life.  

 

FRANCES MOONEY & FONTANNA SUNSET
Bluegrass Music  

 

 

Frances Mooney of Georgia is an Atlanta Country Music Hall of Famer who has performed with many distinguished bluegrass artists for over 40 years. She first reached acclaim performing with The Bluegrass Generation, and in 1978 formed the band Cherokee Rose, one of the first all-female bands to join the bluegrass circuit. She put together another band, Indian Summer, in 1981 and won multiple awards throughout the several years they performed. Frances’s current band, Fontanna Sunset, was formed in 1998 with band leader Mooney on vocals and bass. Band members Joe Kimsey plays banjo, Rickey Rakestraw does guitar & vocals, and Brian Morgan rounds out the group with mandolin & vocals. Their sound can be described as a blend of traditional and creative, and influences of rock & roll and gospel can be found in their music’s driving rhythms and powerful vocals.
 

BLUE HOLLER BAND 

Bluegrass Music

 

 

Blue Holler got its start at Whigham School near Cairo, Georgia, in the fall of 2004 and is the Southeast's award winning premier acoustic band, performing modern, contemporary, jazz-influenced, traditional gospel bluegrass music. Since 2004, these multi-talented young men have honed their musical skills performing at many venues in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. Blue Holler’s instrumental perfection, combined with impressive family-style harmonies, is unforgettable. Entertaining audiences with a mixture of original and cover material, the band always maintains interest by performing a variety of musical styles. Utilizing their impressive song writing skills, the band composes and performs original tunes loved by fans. Blue Holler consists of Brandon Taylor on guitar/mandolin & vocals, Skylar Gandy on fiddle/guitar & vocals, Brandon Gandy playing banjo/guitar & vocals, and multi-instrumentalist Seabie Ewer on bass & vocals.
 

THE WISEMAN BROTHERS 

Traditional Bluegrass 

 

 

Growing up in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Donovan & Devon Wiseman were exposed to traditional Bluegrass, Country, and Gospel Music early in life. These up-and-coming musicians hope to preserve the sound of traditional bluegrass music.  Donovan’s smooth vocals & strong guitar solos, coupled with the Scruggs style banjo playing and tenor singing of his older brother Devon, make for a nostalgic, traditional sound. The Wiseman Brothers are joined by mandolin virtuoso Matthew Mundy, who adds flare with his hot licks and baritone vocals. Jeff Wright rounds out the music with his upright bass skills. The Wiseman Brothers hope to give listeners a taste of traditional Bluegrass Music and allow this music to live on for future generations to enjoy! 

 

SwiftWater Band

Bluegrass Music

 

 

 

Swiftwater is made up of husband and wife team Al and Wretha Webb, from Blountstown, FL, along with Larry Stricklandfrom Bristol, FL, who plays bass. Carlon Dillmore from Dellwood, FL, joins the group with a hard hittin' mandolin. Swiftwater's music is a fusion of bluegrass, country, and gospel... the beautiful voices and harmonies are what stand out in this group, as well as the music they choose to sing and play.

 

MELANIE A. DAVIS 

Folk Music 

 

 

Emanating from the low hills of western Kentucky are the unmistakable songs of  Melanie Davis.  She was born in Ohio, raised in Indiana (attending the award winning Mt.  Vernon Fine Arts Academy), and just finished obtaining a BA in Music Business from Murray  State University. A thespian at heart with an inimitable voice and a terrific sense of unique rhythms on guitar, she  has created a truly original sound.  Her choice of a mellow jazz style  stems from musical influences  ranging from Lana Del Rey to  Ella Fitzgerald to members of  the 1960s folk revival.  Praised for her smooth, sultry  vocals paired with dreamy,  jazz-influenced guitar, Melanie  Davis never fails to cultivate a  serene musical atmosphere  whenever she graces the stage.  

 

TOMMY JACKSON & ROCKY TOP REVUE
Square Dance Team

 

 

The Rocky Top Revue Square Dance Team from Nashville, TN has been wowing audiences in the southeast for over three decades. The team has earned countless honors including 12 state championships, appearances at the Grand Ole Opry, a lifetime invitation to the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, and performing at the 1998 Sugar Bowl half time show. Known for their energy and versatility, their performances can include country line, hip hop, and ballroom dance. While they love to entertain, the true passion of the Rocky Top Revue is preserving and sharing their traditional form of dance. 

 

Dates

September 28-29, 2018

Location

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