Dry Branch Fire Squad
|Tags:||bluegrass folk americana banjo trad|
|Decades:||1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
Formed in 1976 by Ron Thomason, Dry Branch Fire Squad started out as a bluegrass band featuring strong hints of gospel music. Thomason, who is a virtuoso mandolin player and has a rough-edged yet tuneful singing voice, brought into the band John Baker (guitar), Robert Leach (banjo), and John Carpenter (bass). The quartet made a succession of well-received albums during the late 70s, along the way adding singer Mary Jo Leet to the line-up. Over the years the bands personnel shifted and among those who contributed to its ranks are Mary Jos husband, Charlie Leet (bass), Adam McIntosh (guitar), Dan Russell (banjo), Suzanne Thomas and Hazel Dickens (vocals).
From the start, the band attracted a devoted following, mainly through their traditional repertoire. They maintained this albeit moving away from being solely a bluegrass group as they increasingly performed a wide range of mountain music. Thomason and his colleagues are clearly...