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Buy Now-Friends CD, $12

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A Little about the Friends Project.

This CD includes some great songs from a variety of musical styles. In these songs you will hear bluegrass, country, gospel, old-time, blues and even classical influences.

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Danny is a South Georgia based musician. He is a multi-instrumentalist playing guitar, mandolin and bass primarily, but also enjoys playing banjo and fiddle on occasion. He enjoys listening to and playing all kinds of music. His musical experiences have ranged from playing with local Southern Rock bands in his teenage years to Country Music and Southern Gospel in his early twenties. In the early-90s, while playing lead guitar for the Southern Gospel group 'Gospel Sunshine', Danny stumbled on a bluegrass gospel recording by Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver and fell in love with the drive and melodies of Contemporary Bluegrass. Largely influenced by Doyle Lawson and Alan Bibey (playing with IIIrd Tyme Out at the time), Danny started playing mandolin. During the 1990s, Danny played mandolin and guitar with several local groups at festivals and churches in the South Georgia and North Florida area.

Danny moved away from South Georgia for a few years to pursue his non-music career and finish his education. After completing an MBA at Auburn University and a successful career in the computer industry, Danny returned to South Georgia and immediately got back into music joining Gentle River out of Jacksonville, FL and the Gainesville, FL based Scott Anderson Band on mandolin in 2007.  Danny continues to play regularly with Gentle River and with Scott Anderson every chance he gets. In addition to bluegrass mandolin and guitar, Danny also plays lead guitar in the Contemporary Christian praise band at the First Assembly of God in Baxley, Ga. Since 2009 Danny has been a guitar and mandolin instructor and accompanist at the Suwannee Banjo Camp in Florida. Through this experience Danny has been blessed to meet and play music with several bluegrass legends including Bill Keith, Tony Trischka and Alan Munde.

2011 was an exciting year for Danny. He entered his first guitar competition placing 4th at Renofest (the South Carolina State Flatpicking Championship). Danny looks forward to returning to Renofest and entering more contests in the future. In 2011, Danny also released his debut CD Crosspicking with the help of several of his long-time musical friends.

Danny is a Gulf War veteran having served as an infantryman with the 101st Airborne Division as a Recon Scout and RTO. To keep the bills paid, Danny is a computer analyst at a nuclear power plant. He lives on his childhood homeplace in South Georgia with his wife of 22 years, 3 children and way too many animals to mention.

Stephen is the 17 year old son of Danny and Shari Smith. He is in the 12th grade, where he is an honors student and is on the varsity football team. He grew up listening to his daddy play music and, from a young age, learned to hear and sing harmonies. Stephen enjoys all kinds of music ranging from Classic and Southern Rock, to Country and Bluegrass. He has no formal vocal training, but sings frequently with the praise band at First Assembly of God in Baxley.

 

 

Hi, my name is Tadd Sharpe and I have lived in Baxley, Georgia all of my life.  I began playing the drums when I was thirteen years old in a small country church playing southern gospel.  After marrying and becoming a father of two my family and I began attending church at First Assembly of God.  Here I began to pick up the bass guitar.  In a few months I taught myself enough to begin playing with the Praise Team.  Danny Smith was a big part of my learning process as he taught me a lot about playing the bass guitar.  He also introduced me to Bluegrass music which I enjoy playing. The bass is very much a part of my life.  I enjoy playing with the Praise Team at church.  After eight years I still play the bass at the First Assembly of God with the Praise Team.

 Darren Wainright was born in Jacksonville, Florida on December 10, 1967. An outstanding multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter, Darren plays guitar and sings lead and baritone vocals. Darren started playing banjo and guitar at age 13 and in only 2 years was playing banjo for Hubert Cox and the Southern Grass. He later spent 3 years with the Army before returning home to Jacksonville to earn a degree in political science from the University of North Florida. He has performed with several well-known bands in North Florida including National Flatpicking Champion Allen Shadd, Chubby Wise, Endless Highway, Gentle River, String Fever, and Oak Grove Bluegrass in addition to periodic gigs at Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando. He has written some great bluegrass and gospel songs, including “Surrounded by the Blues” which he sang on Shadd's solo recording and "Satilla, So Deep" which he sang on Scott Anderson's "Rivers".

Scott Anderson has been a fixture on the Southeastern bluegrass and gospel circuit for almost three decades, singing and playing banjo with the Bluegrass Parlor Band, Endless Highway , The Jim Hurst Band, The Scott Anderson Band, and Keith Sewell among others. He has produced his own critically-acclaimed projects including “Rivers”, Amanda and Scott Anderson’s “Another Day,” and now “Tales from the Swamp” which have all received airplay worldwide. Scott has also performed or recorded with Claire Lynch, Sam Bush, Vassar Clements, Larry Rice, Byron Berline, Adam Steffey, Sierra Hull, Clay Hess, Chubby Wise, Allen Shadd, Chief Jim Billie, and the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra (yes, with a banjo!) among others. Scott has been featured in Banjo Newsletter, and writes articles and reviews for the magazine as well, including interviews with Tony Trischka, Scott Vestal, Cory Walker, Ron Block and Béla Fleck.

Clint is a 21 year old college junior at Valdosta State University, majoring in Mass Media and is making a major commitment to growing himself as a musician and songwriter. Clint’s voice continues to improve almost as fast as his very fine musicianship. Five years ago Clint was a budding banjo picker. Now, he has achieved a high level of performance on it, but also plays mandolin and guitar on stage. He plays bass very well. His work as emcee during the family’s performances has become sure handed and amusing. Clint has found a new passion for songwriting. He has developed this craft into a well honed skill. – Ted Lehmann