From the banks of the beautiful Withlacoochee River backwater…culminating 25-years of musical friendship comes an exciting band….Backwater! Having jammed around the campfire together for years at local festivals, Backwater has taken four friends to a new musical level! While respecting the traditional bluegrass style, the band plays contemporary bluegrass performing songs from other musical genres while presenting them in a bluegrass format. By including songs from other musical styles the band feels it gives everyone in the audience a chance to ‘identify with something and sing along’. The group’s traditional bluegrass instrumentation includes the 5-String Banjo, Mandolin, Acoustic Guitar the Acoustic/Electric 5-String Bass! The Bands repertoire includes vocal as well as instrumental numbers. Band members include David Dean on the 5-String Banjo, Fiddle and Vocals, Johnny Mason on Acoustic/Electric 5-String Bass and Vocals, Chuck Rickolt on Guitar and Lead Vocals and Billy Taylor on Mandolin and Vocals.
From a hard driving traditional bluegrass tune like “Think Of What You’ve Done” (Traditional), to a moving song telling the story of a Confederate soldier heading home after the Civil War, “He Walked All The Way Home” (Blue Highway), or even an old Everly Brothers tune (“Bye, Bye Love”) to an old rock or blues tune like “Stormy Monday”, Backwater’s goal on stage is to entertain, sharing their love of making music with the audience through a little down home humor and great music!
In 1987 the band brought “Bluegrass to Silver Springs Boulevard” (also known as State Road 40) in Ocala (FL), where for over 23-years the band has played on Monday nights at such local landmarks as the former Peter Dinkel’s restaurant, the Ritz Historic Inn, The Tin Cups Tavern and currently Lillian’s Music Store located on the square in downtown Ocala.
Playing various local community events and numerous private parties since they’ve been together, over the last few years BACKWATER has been part of the Silver Springs Concert Series in Ocala (FL) at the Silver Springs Attraction. Opening for such national acts as Ray Stevens, Wayne Newton, Bobby Goldsboro, Marty Stewart, The Gatlin Brothers and most recently The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
''Mean Mary' James, a Florida native now based in Nashville, began life as a musical prodigy—could read music before she could read words and co-wrote songs at age five. By age seven she was proficient on the guitar, banjo, & violin, and entertained audiences across the US with her vocal and instrumental skills.
Her life has been one long road show interspersed with TV, radio, and film. She has performed more than 500 live TV shows and over 4,000 road shows—including national festivals, fairs, cruises, colleges, theatres, clubs and house concerts.
Mean Mary, master of 11 instruments, is not really so mean—even Hank Williams Jr. called her a "sweetheart." But she IS infamous for her alluring story songs, incredible instrumental speed, & rich voice that can travel from deep emotion to sparkling trills. She is also a book author, Sparrow Alone on the Housetop (Novel) & The Sparrow and the Hawk (Banjo tablature book), and the fun loving star of Nashville TV show, Never-Ending Street.
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