We're an upbeat four piece American Roots band out of Austin, featuring fine pickin', male and female vocals, with interests ranging from Monroe to Leadbelly, Hank Williams to Hot Rize, Bob Wills to Blue Highway, and Scruggs to Johnny Rodriguez.
Shawn Spiars has been playing the 5-string banjo and performing for audiences for over 30 years. Since earning an Associate-of-Arts degree in Bluegrass Music from South Plain College in 1982, he has performed with numerous bands throughout Central Texas including Hard to Make a Living, Sabine River Bend Bluegrass, and Blue Country Grass. His driving banjo style borrows elements from banjo legends Earl Scruggs, Don Reno, and Alan Munde.
Max is a graduate of Berklee College of Music with majors in guitar and mandolin performance. He started at 8 on classical guitar, but got hooked on Bluegrass a couple years later after seeing Bill Monroe on Austin City Limits. He's been playing in venues in Central Texas and beyond since his early teens. Max currently plays with One Eye Open, Hot Pickin 57s, and as a duo with Eddie Collins. Max finished 3rd in the 2017 Texas Flatpicking Guitar Championship. Here's a video of the three winners playing a tune for the audience.
Lenny Nichols has been playing bass since he was 13 years old. He's played many genres of music including pop, rock, blues, country, folk, jazz, classical and bluegrass. “It's About Time,” the blues album he recorded with Erbie Bowser and T.D. Bell, was nominated for a national W.C. Handy award. Lenny plays in a number of groups, and serves on the Board of the Central Texas Bluegrass Association.
Fiddle/Lead & Harmony Vocals
Rachael started playing fiddle/violin at age 11, competing in fiddle contests in Wyoming/Colorado/Nebraska at age 12 & formed a family bluegrass band at 13. She earned the Wyoming Junior State Fiddle Champion title a few times in her teens. She has played country, bluegrass and Texas music with several great Austin musicians/bands including the High Stakes Rollers, Michael Myers Band, Johnny Gimble and members of the George Strait band.