Please mark your calendars and join us on Thursday, SEPTEMBER 30, Friday, OCTOBER 1st and Saturday, OCTOBER 2nd, 2021 for OIBF! We’ve missed you and can’t wait to see you!
OKLAHOMA’S INTERNATIONAL BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL 2020 has been CANCELLED. To All our OIBF Fans & Friends: After much discussion and consideration we regretfully have determined we must CANCEL OIBF 2020 due to the challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and concern for our entertainers, volunteers, service providers and attendees. It was a difficult decision but we believe it was one we had to make. We hope you will all stay safe and healthy until we meet again next year in Guthrie at OIBF 2021! If you have already purchased tickets online your refund is already in progress.
We are in the process of booking our 2021 Entertainers and will announce them as soon as we can!
Our 2020 OIBF Entertainers: THE DILLARDS! CALIFORNIA REUNION (Berline, Crary, Spurgin & Moore – with guest Jonathan Hunt on banjo, honoring his inspiration and mentor John Hickman by playing in John’s own inimitable style)! Plus solo sets by Dan Crary and Steve Spurgin. BEPPE GAMBETTA (Italy), BARBEQUE BLUEGRASS (Czech Republic), BLUESIDE OF LONESOME (Japan), STEEL WIND, BYRON BERLINE BAND, HUNT FAMILY BLUEGRASS, BRET GRAHAM, JIM GARLING, RED DIRT RANGERS, THE BONHAMS, MOUNTAIN SMOKE, TIM McDONALD. BARRY “Bones” PATTON.
Details, Links & Artists Schedule will be posted later.
Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper: Michael Cleveland’s blistering prowess and technical ﬂuency have since marked him as a sought-after musician, leading to performances with Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Tim O’Brien, J.D. Crowe and the New South, Andy Statman, and The Kruger Brothers in recent years. However, it wasn’t until 2006, when Michael formed his own band Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, that he found the right vehicle for his musical vision, and he hasn’t rested since, constantly looking for new ways to push himself and his music forward. “He plays fearless and it’s intoxicating to play with him because he makes you play fearless,” says Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill. “He takes no prisoners but he plays with a restraint and a soul. He plays without abandon.” Clearly, the IBMA agrees as he’s their most awarded Fiddle Player of the Year with 11 wins, has won Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year six times, and fronts their 5-Time Instrumental Group of the Year. Together with Flamekeeper members Josh Richards (guitar), Nathan Livers (mandolin), Jasiah Shrode (banjo) and Tyler Grifﬁth (bass), Cleveland makes his way around the country performing festivals, clubs, and performing arts centers, delighting audiences, leaving them with jaws dropped in complete amazement.“It’s wicked to see how much music he pulls out of a bow,” continues Vince. “He’s untouchable.”
Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley: Based on a mutual love of bluegrass, country, blues, western swing, and other string band music of all kinds, the partnership of dobro player Rob Ickes (who also plays superlative lap steel guitar in the duo on occasion) and acoustic/electric guitarist Trey Hensley continues to delight and astound audiences of traditional American music around the globe.
Dave Adkins Band: There is no mistaking the raw and powerful vocals by singer, songwriter and guitarist Dave Adkins. His significant chart success, coupled with his stellar live performances, have made him one of most talked about male vocalist in acoustic music. Dave Adkins Band performs Adkins’ award-winning originals and chart topping songs along with country and rock classics that have fans jumping to their feet. Adkin’s powerful and impressive lead vocals along with the top tier energy of the band results in a highly entertaining performance.
Blueside of Lonesome (Japan): Formed in 2009. The original members are Masuo Sasabe (Vocals, Guitar), Akihide Teshima (Bass), Yasuhisa katoh (Mandolin), Ryukichi Hayakawa (Banjo) and Hiromu Teshima (Fiddle). In 2011 Country singer Yoshie Sakamoto (Vocals) joined the group. As a collective of Tokyo’s finest Bluegrass artist they play weekly shows all over Japan. They play traditional and classic bluegrass and country music.
Kenny & Amanda Smith: How to describe the feeling you get when you learn of something new from Kenny & Amanda Smith? You know it’s going to be a fine song, tastefully arranged and expertly performed, before you even hear the first note. That’s the reputation this husband-and-wife team have built over the past 18 years, recording top flight material and touring all over North America. From the time they were a young married couple, to the present day traveling with their young daughter in tow, Kenny’s distinctive guitar playing and Amanda’s ethereal voice have left an indelible mark on bluegrass music.
The Cherokee Maidens: They croon. They scat. They swing and sing like Bing. Think Bob Wills meets the Andrews Sisters. The melodic braid of these three maidens is time-tested. One was a Dixie Chick. Two have appeared on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. Two have sung at the Grand Ole Opry. And all three share Native American heritage – hence their name, inspired by Cindy Walker’s 1941 country hit. Guitar-slinger Kentucky White leads Sycamore Swing, a troupe of crackerjack musicians featuring some of the fabled Tulsa Playboys – notably the Eichers and Steve Bagsby. Their latest recording, My Dixie Darling, is nominated for three Academy of Western Artists’ Awards including Group, Album and Best Song, an original composition “Longing for Tulsa and You.” “Straight as an arrow flies,” as their signature song goes, The Cherokee Maidens deliver a charming, unabashedly throwback sound with their swinging self-titled debut. ~ The Daily Oklahoman
Byron Berline Band: Byron Berline’s professional career reads like Who’s Who in the music business as he has performed with or recorded with so many notables. He has led or been a member of the following bands : Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, 1966 – 67; Dillard & Clark, 1969-1970; Dillard Expedition, 1970-71; Country Gazette, 1971-75; Sundance, 1975-85; Berline, Crary & Hickman, 1978-90; L. A. Fiddle Band, 1978-93; California, 1990-96; Byron Berline Band, 1996- Present.
Byron is one of the most sought after session fiddlers and his long list of recording credits are proof; The Band / The Byrds / The Eagles / The Rolling Stones / Manhattan Transfer / Bob Dylan / John Denver / Elton John / Olivia Newton-John / Burt Reynolds / Linda Ronstadt / Rod Stewart / Kay Starr / Hoyt Axton / Alabama / Susie Bogus / Mary Chapin Carpenter / Joe Diffy / Vince Gill / Arlo Guthrie / Mickey Gilley / Emmylou Harris / Kirs Kirstofferson / Johnny Lee / Willie Nelson / Red Stegall / Doug Stone / Tammy Wynette / Jethro Burns / The Dillards / John Hartford / Bill Monroe / Nitty Gritty Dirt Band / Don Reno / Earl Scruggs / Mason Williams and numerous symphony orchestras. Byron’s current band is dynamic, lively, fun and always a treat, with Byron on fiddle & mandolin, Thomas Trapp on guitar, Greg Burgess on fiddle & guitar, Richard Sharp on upright bass, Billy Perry on banjo & resonator guitar and Steve Short on drums.
Bret Graham He sits on stage on a hand made stool with just a guitar, a harmonica, his voice and great songs (including originals and covers you’ll recognize and love.) That’s all Bret Graham needs to entertain an audience. One reviewer who saw Bret perform at Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, Texas (where Bret performs regularly) said, “After over 20 years of seeing literally THOUSANDS of concerts in the great state of Texas, Bret is still my favorite performer… after all of these shows [including Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Tina Turner, the Eagles and more] and hundreds of others I haven’t mentioned, Bret Graham is still my favorite performer.” He’s appeared at OIBF on numerous occasions and the crowd here loves him too.
Steelwind This Oklahoma band just keeps getting better and better every time we see them! Steelwind brings high energy and great musicianship … and they’re just plain fun to watch! They started out a kids who came to OIBF with their families, camped, learned to pick and spent many an hour jamming with other pickers young & old. Bluegrass is in their blood and part of their hearts. Steelwind is a hit wherever they apear and OIBF is delighted to welcome them back to our festival. Be sure to check out their new CD “Steelwind Blue”.
Jacob Tovar Jacob is an Oklahoma-grown musician bringing country music back to its roots! His distinctive crooning honkytonk vocals weave Americana, Folk, and Old School Country styles together to enchant and haunt, all within the same verse, in this “Roots Country” style of his own. Jacob sings impactful country classics and writes and performs his own sincere songs, with which everyone can relate. He is Tulsa-based today, but Jacob grew up in Western Oklahoma working with his family’s business and appreciating many walks of life through a wide-open country lens. Since his debut album entitled “Jacob Tovar and the Saddle Tramps”, he has been spreading the Roots Country genre around sharing bills with the likes of: Chris Stapleton, Junior Brown, Sturgill Simpson, Wayne the Train Hancock, Corb Lund, Hot Club of Cowtown, Paul Benjaman, John Fullbright, and many other Tulsa icons and legends!
Hunt Family Band Formed in 2004, The Hunt Family Band is a product of one family pooling their individual efforts and love of music to create a four piece Bluegrass band with a fresh, tight sound and building a successful independent career in the music industry. Each member – Terry, Leanne, Andrew, and Jonathan – plays a different and vital role both on and off stage to make The Hunt Family Band a reality. HFB’s music could be described as being grounded in tradition (with a tip of the hat to the forefathers of the music) while including a strong dose of west coast Bluegrass sensibility, the influence of contemporary talent in the genre, and of course their own creative energy. For HFB there is no distinction between fan and friend and you are sure to come away from an HFB performance inspired by their solid picking, harmonious and persuasive singing and interactive spark that have become their trademarks. All of the members of HFB currently make their home in Holden, Missouri.
The Bonhams Glen and Virgil have worked with Bill Grant, Delia Bell and the Kiamichi Mountain Boys, Signal Mountain, The Bonham Brothers and The Bonham Revue. They have traveled to Germany, Canada and over the east coast and have recorded multiple records between them. David worked with the legendary Bluegrass Revue, a band that included Vince Gill. Previously, Tina and David worked together in a variety of gospel groups with Tina playing the bass. Tina has one of the purest and strongest vocals in bluegrass music. Mickey Flatt is one of the finest of the traditional banjo players, showing influence from Scruggs and Osborne, two of the greatest. He has worked with many groups over the years. It is a new endeavor for these 5 musicians to work together in the same band and they hope you enjoy it!
Tim McDonald As a child Tim embarked on a musical journey that has granted him countless opportunities to recognize and perfect his talent. Starting formal piano lessons at five, by age NINE he was a member of the distinguished Classical Guild Society and he continued classical training throughout his teen years. While studying music theory at college he taught himself other genres of music including Jazz, Blues, Funk and Alternative. He enlisted in the Army, joined the Army Band and later was assigned to teach piano at the Armed Forces School of Music in Virginia Beach, VA. After 10 years of military service he left the U.S. Army and headed for Nashville, where he continued to further his music career as a session artist, writer and playing with local bands. Tim has performed with major acts as diverse as Larry Gatlin, Blake Shelton, County Basie Band Leader Douglas Miller, the Virginia Symphony, Mark Chestnutt, the 3 Tenors, Olivia Newton-John, Byron Berline and guitar legend Larry Carlton and many others, as well as on Broadway shows. Tim will soon be seen on the ABC series “Nashville” as keyboardist for Luke Wheeler. OIBF loves it when Tim joins the Byron Berline Band onstage and cuts loose on his keyboard!
Mountain Smoke: Forty-five years of music, spanning four decades, and the sound is as fresh now as when they began. Mountain Smoke is original, unpredictable, and their audiences are as varied as the music they will encounter. Built with elements of country and folk, the power of newgrass, and the sweet flow of mountain ballads, the music is timeless. As songwriters and musicians, they remain on the leading edge of acoustic music. In 2019, Mountain Smoke will be included in Ken Burns new documentary series “Country Music”. The band has been twice selected “Oklahoma’s Favorite Band” by the reader’s poll in the ‘Daily Oklahoman’, and “Oklahoma’s Best Country Band” by the ‘Oklahoma Gazette’ Music Awards. Playing a mixture of their original songs, and music they have adapted to their unique style, Mountain Smoke will take you on a musical journey. With a smile, they will tell you, “We have played at the White House in Washington D.C., in the Round Barn in Arcadia Oklahoma and most everywhere in between.” In addition to performing at The White House and for Presidents Gerald Ford, George Bush, Jimmy Carter, and every Oklahoma Governor since 1973, the band’s list of performance credits reads like a who’s who in bluegrass and country music. Appearing with Alabama, Asleep At The Wheel, Hoyt Axton, Blood Sweat & Tears, Jimmy Buffett, Roy Clark, Vassar Clements, Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen, Charlie Daniels, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Arlo Guthrie, Merle Haggard, Emmy Lou Harris, John Hartford, Richie Havens, Chris Hillman, Willie Nelson, New Grass Revival, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Pure Prairie League, Leon Redbone, Ricky Skaggs, Ralph Stanley, George Strait, Shoji Tabuchi, Three Dog Night, Mel Tillis, Jerry Jeff Walker, Hank Williams, Jr., and of course, the history making “KISS” concert.
Good Friends Bluegrass Band: Doris Tresemer, Mike Perry, Gary Howe, and Ron Mashore are The Good Friends Bluegrass Band. They are long- time friends and very experienced musicians. They concentrate on playing entertaining music that they really enjoy performing. Doris Tresemer grew up in southeastern Oklahoma and started developing her incredible vocal skills as a youngster singing with her Daddy, a fiddler. She got her Bluegrass start in an all-girl group appropriately called Angel Band. She loves the music and the audiences love her performances. Mike Perry grew up in the Oklahoma Bluegrass scene with his family producing those great Little River and Cement Bluegrass Festivals. He began his musical career early in one of those kid “super bands” called the Blue Grass Revue. His bass playing is solid and is always a crowd pleaser. Gary Howe has been playing the fiddle all over the U.S. and abroad with many different bands and has done countless recordings with different artists. Music is his passion and he realizes that it is a precious gift from above. Ron Mashore started playing bluegrass in southern Oklahoma. Moving to France, he joined a local acoustic group and found some “interesting opportunities” to broaden his repertoire. While living in South Carolina, he concentrated on traditional Bluegrass. The GFBB members are known for playing in long-term and such well-known bands as Cimarron Station, Mountain Smoke, and High Ground Bluegrass Band.
Cowboy Jim Garling: With his guitar strap on his shoulder, pick in hand and a bushy mustache bordering that genuine smile, Jim brings some cowboy-era music, classics from Saturday matinee silver screen heroes, and some favorite tunes from contemporary artists who reflect on the cowboy life. Boots tap, hands clap and grins grow like new spring grass when the native Oklahoman begins to play. Jim loves reaching into the past. Not to imitate Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, The Sons of the Pioneers or Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys, but to combine their sounds for just the right mix of old-style, acoustic western cowboy music and western swing, with some cowboy gospel to uplift you. He mixes in little doses of short histories and interesting anecdotes about the songs he sings. He’s appeared at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Tom Mix Festival, Chisolm Trail Museum, Cheyenne Cowboy Symposium and Gene Autry Oklahoma Film & Music Festival among many others. Jim has recorded 3 CD’s reflecting each of those styles in addition to a cowboy gospel CD.
Red Dirt Rangers : Sitting right in the middle of the country, with music from the rest of the USA swirling through it from all sides, Oklahoma has understandably been the source of several influential pop-music movements. Invariably, those styles can be traced not just to a city, but to a specific place within that city, as well as to an act that sums up what it’s all about. You can begin in the 1920s with the Oklahoma City Blue Devils, who’d become a huge force in the creation of Kansas City jazz, coming out of the downtown OKC area known as Deep Deuce. Not long afterwards, Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys popularized the music now known as western swing from the Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa; several decades later that same town’s Leon Russell turned a church into a studio, introducing the Tulsa Sound to the whole doggone rock ‘n’ roll world. Like the others, Red Dirt music grew up in a specific place in a specific town. The town is Stillwater, home of Oklahoma State University. The place was a two-story, five-bedroom, funky old place called the Farm – for two decades the epicenter of what would come to be called the Red Dirt scene. The act that represents Red Dirt? You couldn’t do any better than the Red Dirt Rangers, who’ve been carrying the banner for Red Dirt music since the late 1980s. And years before the band existed, Ben Han, John Cooper, and Brad Piccolo became an integral part of the Farm’s musical brotherhood, trading songs and licks with the likes of Jimmy LaFave, Tom Skinner, and Bob Childers-and, later, with such white-hot acts as Cross Canadian Ragweed, Jason Boland and the Stragglers and Stoney LaRue. “The Rangers have a sound that combines the legacy of Woody Guthrie and Bob Wills with the spirit of everyone from Merle Haggard to the Grateful Dead and all manner of American music in between.” — Greg Johnson, No Depression magazine. “The Red Dirt Rangers draw from a lot of influences, throw them all in the pot, and mix well. What comes out is a sometimes wild, but always an outstanding and enjoyable ride, all over the map of roots music.” — AnnMarie Harrington, Take Country Back. “Writers with dirt under their fingernails, beat up snakeskin boots on their feet, whiskey and jalapenos in their bellies, and Kerouac on their minds.” – Real Groove, Auckland, New Zealand.
Barry “Bones” Patton: Barry “Bones” Patton is a native of Winfield, KS but has traveled the world with his musical abilities. Barry began playing the bones as a small child having received his first set from long time family friend Cecil Hiatt. Coming from a family steeped in music, Barry found his own place in the Bluegrass scene playing this rhythm instrument that dates back to 1600 bc. Predominately used in Celtic music, Barry has introduced a new generation to bones as a current age rhythm instrument. Barry has mastered the unique style of playing with both hands known as “double fisted” and is one of only a few in the world to take bones playing to this level. In May of 2019, Barry competed in the International Bones Playing Competition in Abbeyfeale, Ireland. He won first place. His talent has brought him to play with many artists such as Mason Williams, Vince Gill, Jana Jae, Beppe Gambetta, Tommy Emmanuel, Ricky Skaggs, Mumford and Sons, Riders in the Sky, Byron Berline, Dan Crary, Larry Gatlin and many other notable stars. He has appeared on the National TV show Nashville Now, the Meagan Mullally Show and in the second season of the HBO series Deadwood.
The Neverly Hillbillies: Now in their twenty-eighth year, the Neverly Hillbillies are as entertaining as ever. Originally formed as “Free Wheel Drive” in Nashville, Tennessee, the band now is based out of Oklahoma. Original members Steve Thomas and Jim Paul Blair are now joined by legendary Oklahoma bluegrass icon Virgil Bonham and former Arbuckle Mountain Boy Russell Thomas to round out the current lineup along with Dana Hazzard. Still influenced by many of the traditional bluegrass legends such as Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, and The Osborne Brothers, The Neverly Hillbillies have accumulated a number of original tunes combined with original arrangements of classics from all genres of music that have influenced other artists, including The Grascals grammy- nominated “Viva Las Vegas”.
Steve Thomas spent many years playing guitar and singing lead with his father Don Thomas and brother Russell in the Arbuckle Mountain Boys during the 1970’s and 80’s. A move to Nashville in the mid 1980’s eventually led to a regular gig at The Station Inn with “Free Wheel Drive” with Gregg Lee and Jim Blair and a revolving cast of sidemen including Bobby Clark (Williams & Clark Expedition), David Crow (The Osborne Brothers), Steve Story (Louise Mandrell), Chris Joslin (Crucial Smith/Pat Flynn), Justin Clark (Dierks Bentley), Pat Severs (Pirates of the Mississippi), Levi Dennis (Gary Allen), Bill Baldock (The Wood Brothers) and the other Steve Thomas (Barbara Mandrell). Jim joined up with Steve in Nashville in 1990 after spending the 1980’s in Stillwater and Oklahoma City working with The Red Valley Barnstormers, Garth Brooks, and Hickory Wind. Now based out of Muskogee, Oklahoma, Jim also can be seen playing with numerous bands in the area. Virgil Bonham began his bluegrass career at an early age with Bill Grant, Delia Bell and the Kiamichi Mountain Boys as a standup bass player in the early 1970’s. After spending a number of years playing mandolin and singing with Signal Mountain Bluegrass, Virgil and his brother Glen formed “The Bonham Brothers” and “City Moon” in the late 1980’s. Today, Virgil still fronts “City Moon” and “The Bonham Revue”. Russell Thomas is the youngest of the Russell family and started his bass career in the Arbuckles in the 1970’s. After a long absence from bluegrass, Russell is back supporting his brother with The Neverlies. Dana Hazzard is a former fiddle player for Jason Boland’s Stragglers and fronted his own band, Hazzard for a number of years. He has worked with Jim in Hankerin’ 4 Hank and The Bluegrass Bullies for the past 10 years and sports the best mustache of the group.
2018 OIBF presented a FANTASTIC weekend of music with 20 acts!
Our American entertainers are: Bluegrass Martins, Starkey & Clark, The Byron Berline Band, Choctaw Line, Barry “Bones” Patton, The Neverly Hillbillies, Steelwind, Cowboy Jim Garling, The Red Dirt Rangers, Bret Graham, Hunt Family Band, Mountain Smoke, RussellClan, The Baker Family, The Foust Family and The Bonhams.
And, in the Youth Tent only, 1 More Rd. and several of our other bands will entertain school kids and festival attendees. On Saturday only, we’re happy to welcome Lucas Ross, one of the popular hosts of KAUT TV’s Rise & Shine and a tireless supporter of the American Banjo Museum in Oklahoma City, as a judge for the Youth Instrument Contest (Banjo). Visit our Youth Tent and Competitions pages for more info. For an early look at the 2018 OIBF Program click here.
Click on their name above, or below their photo to visit the artist’s webpage or facebook page and sample some of their music. Click on their photo for a larger photo.
A little history: Just to give you an idea of what type of entertainment to expect, read below for the lineup from 2017 & 2016, and a chance to flip through the 2016 and 2015 programs. Click on the band names for their websites or facebook pages.
2017 AMERICAN BANDS:
THE WESTERN FLYERS
WIL MARING & ROBERT BOWLIN
BYRON BERLINE BAND.
HUNT FAMILY BLUEGRASS
BARRY “BONES” PATTON
COWBOY JIM GARLING
JIM PAUL BLAIR BAND
THE FOUST FAMILY
2016 INTERNATIONAL BANDS:
BlueSide of Lonesome (Japan) (Fri/Sat)
Calvin Vollrath (Canada) (Fri/Sat)
Steve n Seagulls (Finland) (Fri ONLY)
2016 AMERICAN BANDS:
Hot Club of Cowtown (Fri/Sat)
The Cleverlys (Fri/Sat)
The Turnpike Troubadours (Fri Late Night Show ONLY)
Rushad Eggleston (Fri/Sat)
Burgan & Chan (from We 5) (Fri/Sat)
Chris Henry & The Hardcore Grass (with Brad Benge)(Fri/Sat)
Choctaw Line (Thurs)
The Byron Berline Band (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
Barry Patton (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
Cowboy Jim Garling (Thurs + emcee)
The Russell Clan (Thurs, Land Run Stage / Fri, Kid’s Tent)
The Bonham Revue with Kyle Dillingham (Thurs)
Hunt Family Bluegrass Band (Thurs & Sat)
Bret Graham (Thurs/Fri)
Red Dirt Rangers (Thurs)
Mountain Smoke (Thurs)
Hankerin’ 4 Bluegrass (Thurs)
Want to know more about what to expect at OIBF? Here’s the 2016 OIBF Program!
Want more fond memories? Click here to flip through the 2015 OIBF Progra