The Rarely Herd is known around the globe as one of the premier groups in Bluegrass music. In addition to receiving over 120 National, International and Regional awards and nominations, The Herd was named one of Europe's 'Top 3 Best New Bands' and have been featured on CMT, TNN and Japan's network giant NHK-TV. In 2003, The Rarely Herd received the Grand Masters Gold Award at the National Bluegrass Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee. This was given to The Herd in honor of their 10 consecutive wins as 'Entertaining Band of the Year' ' a feat unequaled in the history of these awards.
Among their long list of accolades are also a Gospel Music Association 'Dove' Award nomination and an IBMA 'Gospel Recording of the Year' nomination.
Beginning in 1992 with 'Midnight Loneliness', the first of seven internationally released albums, The Rarely Herd has consistently appeared on National and International music charts. Recently, a single from their CD, 'Return Journey' has charted in the Top Ten Bluegrass charts.
The Herd's stellar musicianship and vocals are equaled only by their captivating stage performances. Uproarious comedy and top-notch music make a Rarely Herd performance a must-see event for the entire family!
Albany, OH...handles the guitar and lead vocals. Jim is among the finest and most unique vocalists working today. As proof, at the 1993 and 1995 SPBGMA Midwest Awards, Jim was voted "Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year". He also provides solid, powerful, acoustic rhythm quitar for the band, as evidenced by his 1994 and 1995 SPBGMA Midwest "Guitar Player of the Year".
With a vocal range of 3 octaves Jim has the reputation of being one of the 'Best Vocalists in Bluegrass'...even stated so by his peers.
Athens, OH... creates a solid foundation on the Bass. As front man, he has just the right approach to gain the audience's support and keep them on the edge of their seat. Being named National "Entertainer of the Year" at the 1997 and 2000 National SPBGMA Awards, and the same at the 1992, 1993, and 1994 Midwest Awards Convention confirms his abilities.
Jeff is also a fine songwriter and widely recognized as such. Although he also posesses a vocal range of over 3 octaves, Jeff is most recognized for his distinctive tenor voice that adds to the uniqueness of The Rarely Herd's vocals.
Shade, OH... considered an original member of The Herd, Todd not only 'performed the first several shows (1987), but he has sat in on many tours when other members could not make it. Todd is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, very talented on the banjo, mandolin and guitar.
Todd adds the Banjo, mandolin and guitar to The Herd's current stage. His guitar work is both passionate and strong as discovered on the Gospel works.
Playing Mandolin, Brandon Shuping makes his home in Williamson, West Virginia. Born in Florida and raised in North Carolina, Brandon was born into a musical family that was dedicated to bluegrass tradition. His father, the late Garland Shuping was a well respected banjo player who played in the late 70's with Jim and Jesse among others.
By the age of 12, Brandon was playing upright bass with his mother and father and well on his way to becoming the well respected musician he is today. Brandon has been working full time towards a degree in Social Studies Education at West Virginia State University.
As Resophonic Guitarist, Chris considers himself very blessed to have been around music his entire life. Growing up in the West Virginia mountains, Chris started singing at an early age. Advancing to percussion at 12, then receiving his first guitar at 15. Chris' interest in the Dobro came in 2002, and instrument that he states... "pretty much changed my life". Chris has had the opportunity to play with some of the best Musicians, People and Venues in this country.
Before traveling with The Rarely Herd, Chris was a member of the Johnny Staats Project and Honi Deaton and Dream. Recording or Performing on stage with such artists as Lou Reid And Carolina, Doug and Shelley Harper, Pinmonkey, Ron Sowell, The Mountain Stage Band, Step into the Blue, Drew Emmitt Band, South Ridge, Rush Hour, Shawvers Crossing, 3rd String, Chet Lowther, Matt Walker, Bobby Maynard, The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Randy Kohrs, Ernie Thacker, Midnight Ramblers, The Dillards, Barry Scott and Second Wind, Tim O'Brien, Whiskey and Grass, Peggy Ratusz, Joshua Singleton and many others.
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