Alan Bibey - Mandolin
Since first hitting the scene in the early 1980’s, Alan has made a name for himself as one of the most technically gifted mandolinist in bluegrass and acoustic music. He was an original member of such ground-breaking bands as The New Quicksilver, IIIrd Time Out, BlueRidge and, for the last 12 years, Alan Bibey & Grasstowne. He has been voted Mandolin Performer Of The Year by SPBGMA six times, including 2018, 2019 and just recently the 2020 title. Alan also won 2019 and 2020 IBMA Mandolin Player Of The Year as well as “Gospel Song Of The Year” for “Gonna Rise & Shine”. He had won previously for Instrumental Album Of The Year, Album Of The Year and Recorded Event Of The Year, just to name a few.
Alan Bibey & Grasstowne’s latest single “Hitchhiking To California”, on Billy Blue Records, has already been a #1 hit. Their new album titled “Hitchhiking To California” will be released January 29, 2021. Alan was included in the Mel Bay book, “Greatest Mandolin Players Of The Twentieth Century”, and in 2004, the Gibson Company put into production the Alan Bibey Signature line of mandolins, reaffirming his status as one of the most influential mandolin players in Bluegrass and acoustic music history.
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
Jeff Huffman - Guitar
Jeff Huffman is a guitarist/vocalist from Smithfield, North Carolina. He began his musical journey as a youngster playing guitar with his dad who led the group Roby Huffman and The Bluegrass Cut-ups, a successful traditional band touring throughout the mid-Atlantic and southeastern United States. Today his musical interests range from the early days of bluegrass to new acoustic music. He counts Bill Monroe, J.D. Crowe & The New South, and the David Grisman Quintet as some of his biggest influences.
Touring with his dad exposed Jeff to some of the best musicians in the bluegrass genre. As he got older, he joined local bands and worked as a session musician. Over the years, Jeff would fill-in with different bands, including the popular Al Batten and the Bluegrass Reunion and eventually joining the band Constant Change.
Through mutual friends Jeff met Alan, and in time that led to joining Alan Bibey and Grasstowne.
Jeff also has a 30+ year career in the pharmaceutical industry and enjoys building custom acoustic guitars and doing instrument repair. He has built over one hundred instruments and the demand for his fine dreadnoughts is increasing.
Justin Jenkins has been playing banjo since the age of 8. He was introduced to the banjo when a man he went to church with played in a small gospel band. The man just so happened to live just a short distance from Justin and he began taking lessons. At the age of 12 he was invited to become a regular member of the Renfro Valley barn dance where he performed every Friday and Saturday night until he graduated from high school. While he was at Renfro Valley he became friends with Bobby Slone who was also a regular member of the barn dance and played with J.D. Crowe for 20 years. He also became good friends with Steve Gulley who performed there prior to Justin. Through Steve, he got his first travelling job with a band from east Tennessee, Blue Moon Rising. He spent 5 years with the band and recorded on 2 albums. From there Justin joined Grasstowne where he has been for the better part of 9 years now. Justin spent a short time with the band American Drive, and also has toured some with Kenny and Amanda Smith, as well as doing a few select shows with Blue Moon Rising. But he has always considered Grasstowne his home and is honored to be apart of such a great band with great people.