Born and raised in Wythe County, Virginia, Sam Gleaves performs innovative mountain music with a sense of history. Sam carries on the ballads, dance music and storytelling he learned from numerous mentors in the Appalachian tradition and writes poignant new songs that tell the region’s contemporary stories. Sam’s debut record of original songs, titled AIN’T WE BROTHERS, is produced by Cathy Fink and has been featured on National Public Radio, No Depression, and The Bluegrass Situation. In the U.S., Sam has performed extensively in the Appalachian region and beyond, playing venues such as Mountain Stage and the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour, and he has toured in Ireland, Japan, England and Canada. When not on the road, Sam works at the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center at Berea College. Appalachian novelist Lee Smith has heralded Sam as “the best young songwriter around . . . courageous as hell and country to the bone.”
Tyler Hughes has been representing old time Appalachian music and culture on stages all across the east coast since age twelve. Hailing from Big Stone Gap, Virginia, his music is closely associated with that of the Carter Family, Dock Boggs, and Kate Peters Sturgill, among many others from the region. Tyler earned degrees in Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies and Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University and during his time there, Tyler performed as a mainstay of the ETSU Old Time Pride Band. Tyler continues to perform as a solo artist and with the Johnson City based Empty Bottle String Band. His recordings include a solo album, WISE COUNTY JAIL, TRAVELIN’ MAN with the Empty Bottle Stringband, and a feature on THE NEW APPALACHIANS, produced by Dave Eggar. Tyler teaches banjo at Mountain Empire Community College and regularly teaches at MECC’s annual Mountain Music School summer program. Tyler has performed at numerous regional venues, including the Carter Family Fold, Bristol Rhythm and Roots, and Heartwood, and programs such as Mountain Stage and Music City Roots.
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