Artists 2024

Many folks remember the great bluegrass records from the 1950s and ‘60s. The power and soul of that music has won the hearts of people across the globe. High Fidelity draws much of their inspiration from bands like Don Reno & Red Smiley, The Stanley Brothers, The Louvin Brothers, Jim & Jesse, and a host of lesser known regional artists from the same era. Many have described them as the new Johnson Mountain Boys, interpreting classic era bluegrass through the fresh, young perspective of today’s generation.


The band consists of five outstanding musicians and singers who are steeped in the sounds of tradition. Jeremy Stephens, guitarist and lead vocalist for the group, has worked for the world famous gospel group The Chuck Wagon Gang, on the television show Ray Stevens’ Nashville, and most recently with Jesse McReynolds & the Virginia Boys. Corrina Rose Logston Stephens, fiddler and harmony vocalist, has worked with a who’s who of today’s traditional-based bluegrass performers, most notably Jesse McReynolds & the Virginia Boys and Jim Lauderdale. For their tour in 2024 they are joined by James McDowell on guitar and banjo, and Ross Sermons from Tasmania on double bass.

High Fidelity (USA)

Wide Island are Pete Denahy, fiddle and guitar, Montz Matsumoto on banjo, Hiroki Maeta on mandolin, Aaron McLean on bass with special guest Daniel Watkins on guitar. With a swag of their original tunes plus some old classics, they will bring the songs of Australia, Kentucky and Japan to Mountaingrass in their own high lonesome way.

Wide Island is a testament to Pete's strong connection to Japan and their bluegrass music. The band's name comes from a literal translation of Hiroshima, hometown of both Hiroki and Pete's mum. 


Those who saw Wide Island at Mountaingrass in 2015 or 2017 or who have travelled to Japan with Pete's music travel business know that they are in for a special treat this year with Hiroki Maeta coming back to Australia. 

Pete Denahy and Wide Island (AU/Japan)

Connoisseurs of contemporary old-time music will recognize Nokosee Fields, Reed Stutz, and Ryan Nickerson for their individual styles and powerful performance on their respective instruments. The collaboration between these three has led to an exciting wall of driving melody paired with rock solid back up rhythm. Each has devoted many years listening to and absorbing the old time musical traditions of North America, inspired particularly by the sounds and rhythms of the music’s earliest recordings. With a love for the old ways of playing and an inescapable desire to push the boundaries of the music, they deliver a fierce take on what makes the music groove.

Nokosee Fields Trio

From the crucible of infamous Brisbane West End music venue The Burrow comes The Borough, four bluegrass obsessives ready to bend your brain with blisteringly fast precision picking, blended harmonies and a serious helping of fun. 

The band are: Innes Campbell on vocals and mandolin (Innes and Present Company, Zumpa), Marcus Church on guitar (The Inadequates, Haystack Mountain Hermits, The Shining Hour), Markus Karlsen on double bass (The Company, C02), and Paul Henderson on banjo (Estampa, The Shining Hour). 

Welcome to The Borough. The Borough Of Bluegrass.

The Borough

The High Street Drifters,  based in both South Australia and Victoria, are leaving an indelible mark on the music scene. Drifting around the country since 2021 they are fast making a name for themselves combining their commitment to the traditional bluegrass sound with their love for the Australian bush and what it means to play bluegrass music in the southern hemisphere.


Featuring Mae Traeger on fiddle, Daniel Watkins on guitar, Justin Vilchez on mandolin, and Gage Stead on bass, this dynamic ensemble weave through intricate melodies and showcase their instrumental and vocal prowess pushing the boundaries of the genre.


The High Street Drifters have just released their debut single, 'Back to the Hills'.

The High Street Drifters

Fiddle We Must' from Adelaide, SA, grew out of a pandemic bubble when Ashley Turner and John Yerxa continue to meet up to explore fiddle/banjo duets. They were joined later by fiddler Geoffrey Bridgland, and more recently Stephen Loss. 

Fiddler Ashley Turner is one of the most in-demand side musicians in South Australia, performing and recording with Western Swing, Old-time, Jazz, Rock, and Folk performers.
Geoffrey Bridgland has been a stalwart of South Australia’s (indeed, Australia’s) Bluegrass scene for 50 years, playing banjo and fiddle with the long-running band Bluegrass Junction.
Stephen Loss got his first guitar at age 13, and soon discovered Bluegrass. He plays bass with Bluegrass Junction.
John Yerxa grew up musically in the old-time revival scene on the US West Coast in the 70’s, playing guitar, banjo and bass in a variety of Old-time performing and square dance bands.

Fiddle We Must

Cat & Clint (Cat Moser and Clint O’Gradey) have joined forces with Dave Patterson and Wendy Phypers from The Cartwheels  to form The Watershed Stringband. 


This all-star lineup will entertain you with the sweet sounds of Old Time, Bluegrass, Vintage Country and Western Swing, including original songs.

Between them they play double bass, fiddle, guitar, banjo and delicious four-part harmonies.

The Watershed Stringband

Meridian traces a line back to the old time country blues and brother duos of the twenties, thirties and forties. Their rich vocal harmonies and warm acoustic tones on mandolin, banjo, guitar and fiddle weave together to create music that is both intimate and timeless. Like some long lost radio broadcast their music echoes the spirit the Louvin Brothers, Hank Williams, The Delmore Brothers and even the father of Bluegrass Bill Monroe.

Meridian is Steve Vassallo - Mandolin, Mark Ballesi - banjo and guitar, Wen Tjen Lim - fiddle,

Quentin Fraser - Bass

Meridian

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Video

Classic country duets found deep in the dusty grooves of the almost unplayable scratched vinyl records from your grandparents’ radiogram cupboard. Rhiannon McArthur (Rhiz) and Pete Daffy revive 1940’s/50’s/60’s country hits by blending acoustic guitars, tight-knit harmonies and good old fashioned entertainment.  

Rhiz & Pete are joined by The Taggin’ Along Band, featuring Ross Sermons (double bass), Pete Fidler (dobro, mandolin) and Donal Baylor (fiddle) for an unforgettable show from the golden era of country.



Video and Facebook links coming soon. 

Rhiz, Pete & The Taggin' Along Band

Marcus Church (guitar) and Paul Henderson (banjo) are known for their roles in bands like The Inadequates and The Borough. Influenced by artists such as Punch Brothers and Hawktail, they push traditional duo boundaries with their progressive sound. Having studied with masters like Bryan Sutton and Bela Fleck, they offer captivating performances.

We play bluegrass mixed with progressive acoustic music from bands such as Punch Brothers and Hawktail.

Marcus and Paul

The Dempsey Brothers are a progressive string band powered by the vocals and guitar of Jim Dempsey with Bruce Fumini (banjo), Wen-Tjen Lim (fiddle) and Paul Abrahams (double bass).

The group members come together as a meeting of the old guard and the new breed in the form of young mandolin prodigy George Teasdell, who is a fine singer in his own right.

The Dempsey brothers combine classic Bluegrass instrumentation and harmonies with masterful playing to deliver classics from artists like Hot Rize, Country Gentlemen, Blue Highway, Seldom Scene, etc together with contemporary material and some surprise original material.

The Dempsey Brothers

Gary Crockett plays old-time banjo and sings original and traditional folk songs to shed light on uncomfortable truths and unlock hidden pasts. Using his banjo as a time-travelling cipher Gary journey’s from early colonial Sydney to American Civil War camps, steamboats and the antebellum south, through to the present day.


Gary Crockett

John's involvement with old-time country music and bluegrass began in Melbourne in the late 1960's when the folk music revival was in full swing. Since then, he has remained true to the spirit of old-time music as a performer and teacher. John plays clawhammer banjo and guitar. Apart from performing in Australia, he has performed in both England and the USA. He has been greatly influenced by Clarence 'Tom' Ashley, The New Lost City Ramblers, The Carter Family and The Delmore Brothers.

John Boothroyd

Ross Smithard along with Grace (Jessica) Bigby and Jas Bell are a dynamic string band specializing in original tunes crafted for both listening and dancing. Driven by twin fiddles, featuring guitar, a banjo here and a mandolin there, they skillfully fuse traditional Appalachian melodies with innovative compositions, captivating audiences with their energetic sound and infectious rhythms. Grace and Jas will be familiar faces to those that have seen them in The Double Dole Stringband.  

Ross Smithard & The Big Island String Band

The My-T-Fine Trio are Rod and Judy Jones with Lindsay Mar.  The name My-T-Fine is known to all who attend the Sydney Bluegrass & Old Time Music Get-Together nights and to regular attendees at the old Harrietville Conventions.  They all travel to the United States regularly and are well-versed in the traditional sounds, tunes and playing styles of Appalachian string band music.  

Rod and Judy started the Sydney Bluegrass and Traditional Country Music get-togethers over 40 years ago, inspiring many to play old time music.  They were half of the Harrietville Convention organising committee, delivering that convention for 24 years. 

Lindsay Mar has played with Rod & Judy for over 2 decades.  His Bluegrass News Column in Trad & Now has been spreading the Bluegrass and Old-Time news as long as Trad & Now has been in existence. In 2024 the My-T-Fine sound will be part of Gary Crockett’s curated Sunday acoustic concert: “The Bright Sessions - An acoustic takeover of the Old Bright Courthouse”.

My-T-Fine Trio

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