Lonesome River Band
September 2011 marks the 30th Anniversary of the Lonesome River Band as they continue their reputation as one of the most respected names in bluegrass music. Longtime band member and multi-award winning banjo picker, Sammy Shelor has put together a wealth of talent that includes: Brandon Rickman (lead vocals and rhythm guitar); Mike Hartgrove (fiddle); Barry Reed (bass); and newest member, Randy Jones (mandolin and vocals) all performing the distinctive LRB sound fans love.
Rural Rhythm Records released the band’s current album June 13, 2010 titled STILL LEARNING. The album has hit numerous album charts including Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine’s (BU) Top 15, Bluegrass Music Profiles (BMP) Top 10, Cashbox Magazine’s Top 20, plus many more. The first single, “Record Time Machine” along with “Jack Up the Jail” and other tracks appear on numerous single charts including Bluegrass Unlimited’s Top 30 Song chart.
Lonesome River Band’s 2008 #1 chart album, NO TURNING BACK (the first CD on the Rural Rhythm label and their 12th career album) received rave reviews and multiple #1 chart singles. The album made its debut at #11 on Billboard’s™ Top 50 Bluegrass Album Chart; hit #1 on Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine’s Top 15 Album Chart where it remained for an impressive three months (May, June and July 2009); and the single, “Them Blues” reached number #1 on both the Bluegrass Unlimited Top 30 Singles chart (July and August 2009) and the Bluegrass Music Profiles Top 30 Singles (July 2009). Just those two publications alone – LRB garnered SEVEN #1s in 2009! The album also hit #1 spot on numerous other charts including Cashbox Magazine’s Top 25 Albums.
Lonesome River Band’s long career is obviously filled with a multitude of Awards and Recognitions including the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) honoring the group with numerous awards for Album of the Year and topping it off with an amazing four-time award wins for Shelor as IBMA Banjo Performer of the Year. The group has also received recognition by SPBGMA for numerous Bluegrass Band of Year wins, Vocal Group of the Year, Song of the Year and Shelor as Banjo Player of the Year.
In 2010, Shelor was again nominated the IBMA Banjo Performer of the Year award. The previous year, the band received numerous recognitions including: nomination for the 2009 Instrumental Performance of the Year (Struttin to Ferrum); 2009 nomination for Gospel Performance of the Year (Darkness Wept); and Sammy Shelor’s 2009 nomination for Banjo Performer of the Year. LRB opened the 2009 IBMA Awards Show at the Ryman Auditorium with a tremendous and extremely well received performance. In 2008, they were chosen as an IBMA Showcase Artist and the band regularly performs at the popular IBMA Fan Fest at the yearly convention.
Members of the Lonesome River Band have five 2011 IBMA nominations, including Album of the Year for their participation on The All-Star Jam: Live At Graves Mountain on the Rural Rhythm label (released in 2010). They received two nods for Instrumental Recorded performance of the Year for “Pretty Little Girl,” on the album, Still Learning (Rural Rhythm), and also for band members Sammy Shelor, Brandon Rickman and Mike Hartgrove’s work on “Ground Speed,” by The Rural Rhythm All-Stars (Rural Rhythm). LRB has a Recorded Event of the Year nomination for the song, “Graves Mountain Memories,” recorded by the Rural Rhythm All-Stars (including Sammy Shelor and Mike Hartgrove) on The All-Star Jam: Live at Graves Mountain album; and band leader Sammy Shelor is nominated for Banjo Player of the Year, an award he received four consecutive years from 1995-1998,” International Bluegrass Association.
THE ALL-STAR JAM – LIVE AT GRAVES MOUNTAIN album was recorded June 2010 during the Graves Mountain Festival of Music in celebration of Rural Rhythm’s 55th Anniversary. Also included in the album were fellow label-mates, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Audie Blaylock & Redline, Lou Reid and Carolina, Carrie Hassler, Crowe Brothers, and Brand New Strings. Two songs from that album have hit the radio charts including “Graves Mountain Memories” (Carl Jackson, Sammy Shelor, Mark Newton, Russell Moore, Lou Reid, Audie Blaylock, Carrie Hassler, Mike Hargrove) and “Head Over Heels” (Carrie Hassler, Brandon Rickman, and Brand New Strings).