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Reflections Of Bluegrass
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Darlene & ''Reflections of Bluegrass''
DARLENE CHAMPAGNE: Moved to South Carolina from Connecticut, where she grew up around in a musical family and musical surroundings. In her childhood a typical weekend consisted of local, as well as, professional Bluegrass musicians dropping by and jamming in the living room. She has fond memories of a father who taught her and encouraged her to sing and play.
Darlene starting singing at age 6, and made her first record at age 15, with Fred, & Earl Pike ("The Pike Brothers and the Pine Hill Ranchers") who were with Rebel Records at that time. She has performed throughout the New England states, Western Pennsylvania, and the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, as well as the tri-state area here in SC. She has also appeared on TV and Radio. She moved to Aiken, South Carolina in 1989, and began raising a family and playing Christian and Gospel music which eventually led her back to her bluegrass roots.
JOHNNY FENLAYSON: BANJO & Guitar is a 3 time South-Eastern and 2 time South Carolina State Champion. He probably knows as much about the fret board of a 5-string banjo as any man who has ever chosen to take on the challenge of the twelve-pound instrument. A gifted musician, he started playing in 1966 at age thirteen. When he was fourteen he joined his first organized band, Joe Wise and The Carolina Boys. Following that, he then played for several years with Red Hutto and The Sand Mountain Boys. His distinctive playing incorporates both melodic and Scruggs style. He was influenced by Scruggs, JD Crowe, Don Reno, Bill Emerson and his mentor, the legendary "Snuffy" Jenkins. Johnny is one of the few to have ever had his tutelage. Johnny said, "Snuffy showed me the basic rolls and then I listened to all the Earl Scruggs albums. ''In fact, the first time I ever played on a stage I played Snuffy's banjo at the 1967 Gilbert Peach Festival because he handed it to me and pushed me out there". Johnny has been heard for over forty years at a variety of venues throughout the Southeast. He has played in a movie ain 1973 starring Bob Hope and Gloria Loring, filmed for SCETV. He has also played radio, T V, churches, charities, political parties and festival appearances as credits. His work with Mac Wiseman, Southern Expedition, The Sand Mountain Boys, Southern Tradition, Area Code 803, The Dalton Gang, Bill Wells and The Blue Ridge Mountain Grass, and Darlene & the Amicks is well known. Johnny formed the group about 3 years ago. He brought with him his expertise in backup phrasing, powerful drive, baritone vocals and song arranging skill. He is a multi-instrumentalist, but banjo is his “main weapon”.
DOBRO PLAYER RICHARD HOLLIS : DOBRO
Richard Hollis has twice held the title of South Carolina State Dobro Champion. He is a very talented musician and a real John Graves clone. Richard has played with the Jones Brothers for a number of years before joining with Darlene and ''Reflections of Bluegrass''. He is from Chester, South Carolina.
BOB DOCKERY - Acustic Bass: Bob is a very talented musician and has been playing Bass for quite some time. He has played with the likes of the great Loretta Lynn, Stonewall Jackson, and the Charlie Spivack orchestra. Bob and his wife Dottie live in Lexington, South Carolina.
RUSSELL FRANKLIN - Guitar & vocals- Russell rounds out the group with his wonderfully traditional bluegrass sound. He is a welcome member and hails from Newberry, South Carolina.
BARRY KRATZER - Mandolin: Barry is from Savannah, Ga. and plays mandolin and sings harmony with the group. He and his wife Sabine own and operate Bulldog Instruments. Barry and Sabine make some nice hand made instruments.
Your influences?
Earl Scruggs, JD Crowe, Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, Connie Smith, Ricky Skaggs, The Whites, The Isaacs, Lonesome River Band, Blue Highway and more. banjo, guitar, bass, dobro, mandolin, fiddle, bluegrass, country music
Equipment used:
Banjo - Gibson Earl Scruggs ''Special'' Guitar - Martin guitars, Blueridge guitars Dobro - resophonic guitar Wolf Dobro Bulldog mandolins 1936 Kay bass 4033 microphone
Anything else...?
www.ReflectionsOfBluegrass (main site) www.youtube.com/banjovi1953 www.youtube.com/starladi106 myspace.com/reflectionsofbluegrass
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