David Culler - Lead Vocals/ Guitar
David plays guitar and sings lead. A musical novice, David manages the â€œoperationalâ€ side of the band. David received his formative guitar training from Uwe Kruger of The Kruger Brothers and Uwe remains his mentor and most importantly his friend today. David currently is employed in health care and loves to play music every free second.
Tony Joines - Banjo/Dobro-Bass Vocals
A man of many talents is the phrase used to describe Tony and his musical abilities. As the Bass player and also singing harmonies with BPBG, Tony willingly shares the ability to play most any instrument and the invaluable experience of playing in other bands. Tony's pure joy in playing music is evidenced by sharing his musical creativity with BPBG but he also spreads that joy by teaching others to play and by encouraging and mentoring his son Jacob, an up and coming Dobro virtuoso himself. When not playing with BPBG, Tony enjoys playing music with his many friends he has met and played with over the years and who share his love for music. He also enjoys hunting and following Jacob's music and soccer careers.
Jim Matthews - Upright Bass/ Baritone Vocals
Jim joined the group as a very accomplished musician who also plays guitar, mandolin, fiddle and Banjo. Never be surprised what you might see Jim or any body for that matter playing on stage. Jim is also a member of the Reel Shady Band, a contra dance band, from Winston-Salem, NC and brings another dimension of multi-indtrumentalists to BackPorch Bluegrass but his Baritone vocals is where Jim really shines and BPBG is very excited to have him as Jim is another key player in bringing that balance of great instrumentalist and great vocalist to the mix.
Wes Tuttle - Mandolin/Fiddle-Lead and Tenor Vocals
Wes Tuttle- One of the best musicians anywhere, Like Jim and Tony, he can hold his own on any instrument so again don't be surprised what you might see. Vocally, If not the best, in the top 5 tenor singers anywhere in this region and also sings a mighty fine Lead, not to mention a vituoso on Mandolin and fiddle. Wes has brought great structure and vision to BPBG and has the expertise and know how to execute. Wes has an extensive Bluegrass Background and has played with many other top bands and we are excited having Wes on board!
A Special Thanks - BPBG Former Members
A special thanks for their talent and contributions;
Billy Ray Summerlin needs no introduction from BackPorch Bluegrass. He plays one of the meanest banjos ever heard, and also brings a strong singing voice to the group. Long time friend Rodney Reavis introduced Billy Ray to the Band, and things just â€œclickedâ€ from there. Billy Ray is steeped in tradition, and his playing abilities pretty much speak for themselves. Billy Ray continues to impress everyone with his gift of song writing that has already brought a few originals to the band.
Jerry Bobbitt joined the group after filling in on madolin over the last 2-3 months. Most recently he played with BPBG at Carolina in the Fall and his reception from the fans and other musicians was, as from the beginning, overwhelming so the decision to join forces was just a no brainer.
Jerry brings a 25 year history of playing music to BPBG. HIs first musical influence was his father Jerry Bobbitt Sr. who taught him to play guitar at age 12. With the influence of Tony Rice on guitar and later on, Doyle Lawson on mandolin, Jerry was able to teach himself to play the electrifying style that makes him famous.
Jerry began playing in his first band, Shades of Blue, that included his father and his sister Alicia and where he credits his mother and father for teaching him to sing. Jerry has also played with The Misty River Band, Harvest Wind and most recently led his own band, Silver Creek.Jerry also brings his songwriting skills to the band.
Jerry's lovely wife Linda, the other half of the Bobbitt duo has recntly come onboard to play Bass and add another singing voice to the group.Linda was also was a member of Harvest Wind and Silver Creek with Jerry. Linda gives all the credit to Jerry for teaching her to play because she grew up playing sports not music. She always loved music but didn't know how to play. When she met Jerry he taught her to play, starting out on the electric bass and she discovered it was a heck of a lot of fun. She later moved to the upright bass which she says "I like the upright a lot better even though its a little harder to carry around". Describing her style, Linda says "I am not a fancy bass player, just plain and simple but I get what I feel is my job done". "My proudest accomplishment is getting my children raised to be good decent people. A job thats not to easy these days. I put everything I have into everything I do.. I feel life is too short not to do that. I play music because it makes me happy and I hope it makes the people I play for and with happy too". Jerry and Linda have 4 children and 1 grandchild.
Rodney Reavis-Rodney is the mild mannered fiddle player who sings backup vocals when called upon. Rodney is very talented also playing banjo and builds his own fiddles. Every show he plays is always with a â€œReavis originalâ€. Rodney is also very involved with his church, Mountain Valley Baptist Church playing the fiddle during services whenever he is called upon. When heâ€™s not playing or building instruments, he is employed at Lowes Companies.
Josh Wintersâ€“ The youngest, but most experienced member of the group, Josh brought the ability to play any instrument and sing wonderful harmonies to the group. He honed his skills playing with his family group â€œThe Winters Familyâ€ and played the piano for his church (Old Fashion Baptist Church). Currently, Josh focused his talents on playing mandolin and singing tenor for the group and when not playing he is employed as an IT specialist and is enjoying married life and is expecting his first child in early '09
Allen "Dink" Lambert - A group is only as good as the person in charge of the sound and Dink was that person. Always smiling and ready to go, Dink's contributions to the group were immeasurable. His dedication to quality always made BPBG sound great and maked Dink an intergral part of the band!
Richard Knightâ€“ The elder statesman of the group, Richard played guitar and sang some bass harmony and some lead for the group. Having played guitar for many years and singing with other groups Richard also leads the choir and serves as a Deacon at Hilltop Baptist Church, demonstrating his dedication to music and serving others. While he may be the elder statesman Richard brought a child's energy and enthusiasm to playing music and to the group. After retiring from Holly Farms/Tyson, Richard is currently employed at Wilkes Regional Medical Center and still sings ocassionally with BPBG.
Rick Dameronâ€“ Rick was the original bass player for BackPorch Bluegrass and continues to play when called upon to fill in. Rick also plays some banjo and received some instruction from Eric Ellis. Rick serves as a Deacon and assists with sound at Pleasant Home Baptist Church. Rick enjoys riding his Gold Wing and spending as much time as possible with his grandson and is employed with Wilkes Telephone.
Randall Couch â€“ Randall is one of the nicest guys/best bass players you will ever meet. He is originally from Wilkes County and came to us from Jonesville NC. Randall brought a long history of experience playing with many local and regional bands. With BPBG he played a rock steady bass, and when called upon, ignited the audience with an electrifying break on the acoustic dog house. Randall also added the 3rd part baritone harmony to the mix doing whatever necessary to help BPBG. We were all sad to see him go and wish him much success.
Tommy Livingstonâ€“ Tommy was the original banjo player for BackPorch Bluegrass. He also played some guitar and is involved in numerous civic organizations. Tommy also serves as the chairman of the Deacons at Little Rock Baptist Church. Tommy has only been playing the banjo for three years being mentored by the one and only Eric Ellis. Tommy continues to serve as a Department director for Wilkes County.
Kager Brewerâ€“ Kager played guitar and sang mutiple harmony parts as well as some lead with BPBG. With his vocal background in a capella gospel music and the son of a musician, Kager was sometimes delegated the unofficial position of vocal coach for the group. Kagers' talents also included playing some banjo and mandolin and singing in his church, Bethel Branch Church of Christ.