Jeff Scroggins & Fresh Horses

Jeff Scroggins & Fresh Horses

BandFolkAcoustic

Jeff Scroggins & Fresh Horses is a bluegrass band with a uniquely Southwestern flavor. Built around the award winning banjo playing of Jeff Scroggins and featuring some of the Southwest's finest musicians, the band wows audiences with virtuoso instrumenal work, strong vocals & heady arrangements.

Biography

Built around the musical vision of Jeff Scroggins, band that would incorporate the sounds and spirit of his adopted southwestern home with all of the with the drive and excitement of his unique approach to bluegrass music and the five string banjo. While discussing possible names for the newly formed project Mark suggested “Fresh Horses”, and Jeff immediately loved it, as he felt that it captured the essence of his desire to use a “stable” of the hottest pickers and singers rotating around the musical core to help him fulfill his musical vision. It also had a distinctly Western connotation that fit well with both Mark and Jeff’s love of New Mexico, and their desire to incorporate elements of it into the band. Fresh Horses immediately engenders strong visual elements that are quintessentially western and represent the power and freedom of the band’s music. New Mexico is the perfect home for this band, as this is music too strong for fences or boundaries, music with a few rough edges, running wild across the mountains and plains and all the while emitting radioactive banjo licks! Jeff Scroggins (banjo) is a former winner (1989) of the prestigious National Bluegrass Banjo Championship (he also placed 2nd there in 2006). He has won many contests and awards in his career, the most recent of which include the 2007 Texas and Arizona State Banjo Championships. In his 27 years of playing the five-string banjo, Jeff has become nationally and internationally known as an exciting performer who has developed a unique style that incorporates and seamlessly combines the styles of his banjo heroes (Scruggs, Crowe, Reno, etc) with those of rock guitar gods at whose altar he worshipped in his youth. Mark Bennett (rhythm guitar and vocals) has been a fixture in the Central US bluegrass scene (Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas) for 25 years. He has performed with some of the best-known bands and musicians in the region, including the Wichita based Kansas Heart, and some of the most influential members of the Texas bluegrass scene. He has performed numerous times at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, where he has achieved legendary status as a jam master. He knows the words to hundreds of songs and he loves to jam until the wee hours. His driving rhythm guitar style and heart felt vocals do a lot to define the “Fresh Horses” sound and concept. Dr. Ruth Bennett (harmony vocals) is a somewhat unlikely candidate to be involved in a bluegrass band. Ruth is an Emergency room physician, and her colleagues and co-workers claim that wants to be a bluegrass musician when she grows up! When Jeff started looking for someone to provide harmony for Mark’s ballads, he kept overlooking the obvious. However, when so many people began to comment about how wonderfully Mark and Ruth sang together the choice began to come into focus. Mark says that there is no one that he would rather sing with than his wife, and the sweet harmonies that she provides are the perfect thing to help extract all of the beauty and emotion from the songs that they sing together. Kelly Lancaster (guitar and mandolin) grew up surrounded by music, in Nacogdoches, Texas. His musical abilities are almost indescribable, and must be seen and heard to be fully appreciated. Kelly has won many contests, including placing 2nd on guitar at the National Flat-picking Guitar Championship in 1988, and placing 2nd THREE TIMES on the mandolin at Winfield, and he is the current 2007 Texas Mandolin Champion. Kelly has also recorded an instructional video on the gypsy jazz guitar style for Mel Bay. Kelly’s playing is characterized by dazzling technical wizardry, light-speed invention, and sheer exuberance, but the breadth and depth of his ability are revealed just as much when the fireworks are set aside and he develops meditative, sensitive arrangements in which each note is rich in meaning and deeply felt. In 1986, Jeff heard an 18-year-old Kelly playing the guitar unlike anyone or anything he had ever heard before. That night began a musical and personal friendship that lasts to this day.

Wayne Moore plays the bass and sings baritone and occasionally lead. Wayne's amazing career reads like a who's who of American music. Wayne has played bass with many top names in country, pop, and bluegrass music, including three years playing with Clarence White in the well known banc "Nashville West".

Discography

Our first CD, tentatively entitled "Five Strings, Four Corners" is due to be released June 2008.

Set List

Our typical set list would be about 75% covers and 25% original material. The covers are mostly popular folk and rock songs, especially those with Southwestern content/origins. A typical set might include:

Birdland Breakdown
Reach Out
Say So Much
Senor
Jalapeno Flashback
Georgia On A Fast Train
Soldier's Joy
Glendale Train
Rhythm Of The Road
Temperance Reel
Twenty-One
Soldier's Joy