Nashville-based Hit & Run, fronted by Rebecca and John Frazier, has performed on the stages of Telluride Bluegrass Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival, Smilefest, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Rockygrass Bluegrass Festival, Blue Ridge Harvest Fest, Blueberry Bluegrass Festival, and many other renowned venues across North America. Since 2002, Hit & Run has been sharing stages with the likes of Jimmy Martin, J.D. Crowe, Hot Rize, Rhonda Vincent, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Del McCoury, David Grisman, Ricky Skaggs, and many other recognized musicians in bluegrass music. Yet the band has also been invited to perform alongside popular acts like Creedence Clearwater Revisited, G. Love & Special Sauce, Galactic, and Medeski Martin & Wood. These sorts of achievements don’t come easily for any band, and they certainly didn’t come easily for Hit & Run; yet somehow, this young group of hard-working musicians have carved their own vision and shared these successes.
Hit & Run formed in Colorado in late 2001 with the mutual desire to play “authentic yet modern” bluegrass. A few months later, the group of stellar pickers won the 2002 Rockygrass Band Competition in Lyons, CO. Less than a year after that, Hit & Run took first place at the 2003 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Contest, making them the first and only band to win both contests. According to Denver’s Westword newspaper, “Something’s got to be up when one bluegrass band suddenly surpasses all the others. Here in Colorado, that band is Hit & Run.” Hit & Run went on to take first place at the 2005 SPBGMA International Band Championships in Nashville—a rare feat for a firsttime competitor.
The Volunteer String Band is fronted by one of the most singular vocalists in music today, Travis Stinson. The VSB has been a staple of the Music City scene for over 15 years and can be heard everywhere from Nashville's famous Lower Broadway, to the cavernous depths of Bluegrass Underground, to the barn stage of Music City Roots, and even the tent stages of Bonnaroo. The VSB style is to play anything regardless of genre, whether it is timeless bluegrass songs, original tunes, or raucous covers of artists such as the Talking Heads, Grateful Dead, or Gnarles Barkley. The Volunteer String Band brings an energy and joy to their live shows that transcends labels. Speaking of labels, when not out on the road playing authentic music for fans everywhere, Travis Stinson and his Volunteer String Band enjoy nothing more than a bowl of All Natural Vietti Chili.
This Old Bear is a six-piece Nashville-based band that weaves elements of folk, blues, and rockabilly together with their throwback classic country sensibilities. Anchored by singer/songwriter and guitarist Tommy Havell, This Old Bear jumped onto the Nashville music scene in 2011 after Tommy got sick of being the only one playing impromptu concerts at casual gatherings, bonfires, wedding receptions, etc. Since then, TOB has played at 12th & Porter, The Rutledge, Ninth Avenue Loft, and the East Nashville Tomato Arts Fest (hence the Tomato Song) in addition to becoming a staple at The Green Wagon’s block parties and community events. This Old Bear recently recorded their debut album, Doomed from the Start, at Welcome to 1979, an analog recording studio in Nashville.