The Great Smoky Mountain Bluegrass Band plays music grounded in the great traditions of bluegrass music, featuring tunes by Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, as well as performing their own traditional-based tunes and Gospel quartets. They are experts on the history of the music, and they like to fill-in audiences on the stories and histories behind the tunes and styles they play. Their shows are always informative, exciting, and entertaining. Come and spend an evening steeped in bluegrass tradition!
Richard Hood (banjo and vocal) currently teaches performance and history courses in the Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies program at East Tennessee State University. Richard has been performing for decades, appearing on national television (including the Nashville Network’s Fire on the Mountain series and Public television’s Soundstage), at dozens of major festivals, and on many recordings, and shared the stage with most of the greats of bluegrass. He counts among former students such musicians as Greg Cahill (Special Consensus) and Muriel Anderson (national finger-picking champion), and his original songs have been recorded by Jim Eanes and other pioneers of bluegrass. He has lectured and demonstrated American music and culture at dozens of schools and colleges.
Jeff Elkins (bass and vocal) was playing jazz bass in Europe before he finished high school. He has since played bluegrass and other genres in a dozen states, on both coasts, and in several foreign countries. After fifteen years playing blues and country in Nashville, Jeff returned to his Eastern Kentucky roots and has been playing bluegrass bass and singing high, lonesome tenor throughout the Appalachian region.
Greg Fields (guitar and vocal) grew up in Sullivan County, Tennessee and has deep family roots throughout the area. There he was exposed to traditional music, which he has been playing since childhood. He has performed in bluegrass and old-time bands in Tennessee for decades, and now lives in Greene County. Greg is a popular instructor of guitar, bass, and banjo in the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies program.
Jason Wood (mandolin and vocal) began playing fiddle tunes at age seven, and by the time he was thirteen, was performing regularly with renowned banjoist and band leader, A.L. Wood. In the ensuing years, Jason taped a Song of the Mountains episode with the legendary Curly Seckler, and toured with Constant Change, Audie Blaylock and Redline, Tim White, The James King Band, and The Wood Family Tradition. In 2011, Jason recorded a live tribute to Bill Monroe at the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival for Rural Rhythm Records. He makes his home in Statesville, North Carolina.