About the Band
Willie Wells, the son of the late Bill Wells has always been on the music scene. Since the early 70’s Willie has played drums, sang lead and harmony vocals. Willie and another musician friend organized a country music group called “CHOYCE’ that ran for more than twenty years. Having early country music and bluegrass influence from his father, Willie continued to develop and expand his musical direction toward recording studio production.
In the past ten to twelve years is when the Bluegrass influence kicked back in which prompted Willie to dedicate his musical direction to continue the Bluegrass legacy that his father started. Being inspired by his father to play guitar and to be at the helm of the “Blue Ridge Mtn. Grass” band (BRMG) that his father started some forty years ago, Willie is keeping his father’s wishes to preserve Bluegrass music in South Carolina.
Today the band is a mix of Traditional and Contemporary Bluegrass with some new arrangements of old songs as well as a mix of original songs makes for a great time. Their high energy stage show and stage presence keeps the audience engaged and into the music.
Currently with the Sun Sound recording label with 4 albums to their credit Willie and BRMG are quickly growing in popularity and demand.
Just as Willie Wells & The Blue Ridge Mtn. Grass first album title says “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”, tomorrow’s direction for the BRMG’s second album project is original songs, good music, and continue to promote Bluegrass Music throughout the community and Bill’s Music Shop & Picking’ Parlor.
Patrick Russell developed his love for bluegrass music growing up in East Tennessee. While in the military, he pursued bluegrass wherever he could, sometimes form bands in unlikely places. A bluegrass band formed in South Korea, “Just Grass”, won the All Army Battle of the Bands in 2000, competing against bands from all for genres of music from around the world. After retiring from the Army, he moved back to the southeast and its bluegrass nest bed. Patrick wrote 4 originals here, including the title song “Gravel in my Shoe “that spins a wistful tale of the wanderlust residing in many of us. He pays homage to the Father of Bluegrass Bill Monroe in “Hear That Mandolin Ring.” Our two spiritual offerings also came from Patrick, “Walk a Mile” and “The Guiding Light.”
Born and raised in Columbia, SC, fiddle player Don Ashley heard the fiddle from early recordings of Flatt and Scruggs hearing fiddlers like Benny Sims, Benny Martin, and his personal favorite Paul Warren he soon began learning how play in the late 1970’s. Don took lessons from Bill Haney, one of the original “Tennessee Cut-Ups”. A founding member of The Carolina Rebels, a band that has been performing together over thirty five years. Has performed before Presidents, Dictators and Royalty.
Born and raised in Columbia, SC, banjo player David Prosser began learning how play in the late 1970’s. After hearing Earl Scruggs playing the original Foggy Mountain Breakdown David gave up playing rock guitar to focus on banjo, One of the original founding members of Carolina Rebels, a group that has performed together for over 40 years now. playing mix of styles from scruggs to Reno to Melodic, He loves to play and have a good time on stage. While he is well versed on Guitar and plays some Dobro the banjo is still his first love. Having performed before Presidents, Dictators and Royalty.
Influenced by his father’s bluegrass style, Boyd began playing guitar at the age of 8 and fiddle soon followed at the age of 9. At age 10 he was playing in his father’s band.
In 1982, Boyd joined Skyline Bluegrass Express, a bluegrass band out of Greenville, South Carolina touring the southeast as well as a few events in the Midwest, averaging around 110 shows a year. During his 10 years with SBE, Boyd met Mr. Bill Monroe and the group was soon invited to play with Bill on the Grand Ole Opry with him. This was one of four times Boyd played on the Opry. One of those show included accompanying Mr. Mac Wiseman.
In 1994, Jeff Silvey called up Boyd to move to Nashville and play fiddle in a Christian County band. Touring with Jeff and opening for Rebecca St. James for three years and playing at the CCMA Awards show at the Ryman Auditorium is something that Boyd is thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of. During his time in Nashville, he developed his songwriting skills and managed to get in some studio sessions.
Back in South Carolina in 1999, Boyd began touring with Alamo until 2004. Shortly after, he left the music scene for family reasons, as family is huge on Boyd’s priority list. Thankfully, he has moved back to Lexington and now is a standing member of Blue Ridge Mountain Grass and we couldn’t be happier!