Alan Bibey & Grasstowne is a band comprised of some of the most diversely talented and highly respected musicians in bluegrass and acoustic music. This makes Alan Bibey & Grasstowne one of the hottest and most energetic bands touring today! DJs and fans everywhere and of all ages love the unique sound of Alan Bibey & Grasstowne as they combine tradition with hard driving, progressive bluegrass. The band’s first two projects “The Road Headin’ Home” and “The Other Side of Towne” went to #1 and #2 respectively on the National Bluegrass Charts. The Road Headin’ home remained at #1 for three months and also won the 2008 “Album of the Year” award. Their project “Kickin’ Up Dust” hit in the top 5 on the singles and CD chart. The bands latest album on Mountain Fever Records, “Alan Bibey & Grasstowne 4″ has already yielded 3 huge chart hits, ” This Old Guitar and Me” “Cold Dark Ground,” and “I’m Country” and has had all 12 songs from the project charting on the Bluegrass Today Airplay charts. Bluegrass Today reviews the album saying, “Anyone who appreciates contemporary bluegrass played with precision, soul, and authority will want this one in their library”
Alan Bibey: Mandolin / Vocals
Since first hitting the scene in the early 1980’S, Alan Bibey has made a name for himself as one of the most creative and technically gifted mandolin players in bluegrass and acoustic music. A stylist who turned heads as an original member of The New Quicksilver, IIIrd Tyme Out, BlueRidge and now Alan Bibey & Grasstowne, his tasteful innovations and pristine execution earned him inclusion in The Young Mando Monsters project, Mel Bay’s Mandolin book “The Greatest Mandolin Players Of The Twentieth Century” as well as The Bluegrass All-Stars Sugar Hill Records project. Alan has been awarded “Mandolin Performer of the Year” for 2007, 2009 and 2010. His contributions to The Acutab Sessions: Knee Deep In Bluegrass helped the compilation to earn IBMA’s “Instrumental Recording of the Year”. He has instruction books and videos/dvd’s available through AcuTab and Mel Bay. The solo recording “In The Blue Room” was voted top Instrumental recording by County Sales. In 2004 Alan was nominatedffor a Grammy for the BlueRidge project “Side By Side”. Last but not least, in early 2004 the Gibson Company put into production the Alan Bibey Signature Series line of mandolins, reaffirming his status as one of the most influential mandolin players in bluegrass and acoustic music history.
Gena Britt: Banjo / Vocals
Gena Britt grew up in a small town in NC where she fell in love with the sounds of bluegrass music at a very early age. She is well known for her dynamic and powerful banjo playing, solid acoustic bass playing & heartfelt vocals with spot-on harmonies and vocal phrasing. She is very versatile & accomplished on several instruments, respectively. Gena has been a member of three critically acclaimed bands including Petticoat Junction, New Vintage, and Lou Reid & Carolina and also did a four-year stint with her own band. Gena went on to be a founding partner of The Daughters of Bluegrass & has been a featured artist on all of the recording projects to date. Gena has free-lanced with several notable groups including, but not limited to, The Lonesome River Band, Carolina Road, Sally Jones & The Sidewinders, & The Skip Cherryholmes Quintet. She has received three IBMA awards which include Recorded Event of The Year in 2001, for her work on “Follow Me Back To the Fold” by Mark Newton; Recorded Event of the Year in 2006 for “Back to the Well” by the Daughters of Bluegrass and Album of the Year in 2006 for her contribution to “Celebration of Life”, Musicians Against Childhood Cancer.
Zak McLamb: Bass
He started playing music at the age of 7, when his father, a banjo player, bought a bass for his mother. Soon Zak fell in love with the bass and his father taught him a few notes and encouraged him to play. Zak studied under a classical bassist once a week for three years and learned the fundamentals of playing, then took the formal knowledge that he gained and applied it to his true musical love, Bluegrass.
Zak started playing music with his parents in a local group, The Tony McLamb Band, in 1988, and continues to play with them today. He joined the Raleigh-based New Vintage Bluegrass Band in 1992 and played with them for two of his high school years. It was during this time that New Vintage won both the SPBGMA International Band Championship and the Pizza Hut International Bluegrass Showdown. Zak has recorded with many different artist in recent years and is considered one of the top bass players in the industry. We are happy to have Zak as a partner in Alan Bibey and Grasstowne!
Laura Orshaw: Fiddle/Vocals
Power-house fiddler and vocalist, Laura Orshaw, has toured throughout the United States and Canada with Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass, the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, Jenni Lyn – mandolinist of Della Mae, and now with Alan Bibey and Grasstowne. Laura has also performed with Del McCoury, Ricky Skaggs, John Scofield, Sarah Jarosz,Tony Trischka, and Darol Anger among others. Additionally, she fronts her own band, Laura Orshaw and the New Velvet Band, based in Boston, MA. Her music has been featured on Del McCoury‘s SiriusXM radio broadcast, Hand Picked with Del, and in Bluegrass Today, Vintage Guitar Magazine, Sing Out!, and Dirty Linen. According to Bluegrass Unlimited, “Laura Orshaw has firmly established herself as a significant emerging artist in the arena of traditional American music… [she is] an extremely talented musician with unlimited potential.” Laura is also a highly sought-after instructor who has taught numerous camps, workshops, and kids academies. Laura will be a phenomenal new addition to the Grasstowne band and we look forward to seeing how her superb fiddle playing and vocals complement the sound of the band.
Mike Bentley: Guitar/Vocals
Vocalist/Guitarist, MIKE BENTLEY is from the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, and was exposed to music and singing early on in life. He began singing at a very young age, and like many folks in the mountains, learned a lot from singing in church. Being raised in a hollow in Pike County, learning to sing and play bluegrass music seems only fitting. Mike is quick to tell anyone that his favorite singer is Keith Whitley, but he is also partial to singers such as Larry Sparks, Marty Raybon, George Jones, and so many others. His musical resume includes being a member of bands such as Dismal Pike, Allen Amburgey and the Kentucky Mountain Grass, and Ernie Thacker & Route 23, just to name a few. Mike writes a lot of original tunes and takes great pride in his songwriting, as well as his vocal and instrumental parts with the band. His songs have been recorded by some very familiar names in bluegrass, such as Grasstowne and Lou Reid and Carolina and in 2017 he took second place in the MerleFest Songwriting competition. Most recently, Mike has been leading Cumberland Gap Connection and the band has released several albums with chart topping hits stemming from them. From the beginning with Cumberland Gap Connection, Mike continued to help define the band’s sound with his vocal work and songwriting. In 2017, Mike released his first solo project, a dream come true for a lifelong musician to record a project with his musical heroes. With the help of album producer and good friend, Alan Bibey, the project was recorded and released with names like Ronnie Bowman, Wyatt Rice, Rob Ickes, Shawn Lane, and many more. Now, with being added to the Grasstowne family, Mike couldn’t be more excited about his future in bluegrass music. Mike will undoubtedly be an impressive addition to the band and enhance the sound with his smooth vocals.