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 nominated for a Grammy for the BlueRidge project “Side By Side”. Also 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. In 2018 and 2019, Alan Bibey was named Mandolin Player of the Year by SPBGMA (Society for Preservation of Bluegrass Music Association), and last but certainly not least, Alan was awarded Mandolin Player of the Year in 2019 by the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association).
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!
Zak McLamb - Bass
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.
Award-winning flatpicking guitarist Tony Watt has performed throughout the United States and Europe, on the Grand Ole Opry, and beyond. He has been featured in Bluegrass Unlimited, Bluegrass Now, and four separate times in Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, but is perhaps best known for his version of Cherokee Shuffle on YouTube with Noam Pikelny and Andy Falco, which has been viewed roughly 200,000 times.
Tony has toured with Rounder Recording artist Alecia Nugent, with Leigh Gibson, guitarist for The Gibson Brothers, and with Jenni Lyn Gardner, mandolinist for Della Mae. He is a graduate of Leadership Bluegrass, has served on the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Education Committee and the IBMA Board Selection Committee, and is currently the Vice President and Education Co-Director of the Boston Bluegrass Union (BBU).
Tony has taught bluegrass for over 20 years and is a visiting artist at the Berklee College of Music's prestigious American Roots Music Program. He is also the Camp Coordinator for Ashokan's Bluegrass Camp (Ashokan.org/Bluegrass-Camp), and Ashokan's First-Ever Flatpicking Camp. Tony is also the director of The Bluegrass University, which has offered classes for adult beginners at many of the largest bluegrass festivals in the Northeast. The Bluegrass University also presents JamVember, a weekend-long bluegrass jamming "non-festival" held the weekend before Thanksgiving at the Sheraton in Framingham, MA (JamVember.com). Tony currently teaches lessons, classes, workshops, and jam sessions throughout the Boston area and anywhere in the world online via Skype video conferencing (further details at TonyWattBluegrass.com)