Creative Writing, All Levels: Kirk Judd, Creative Writing instructor and Director of Allegheny Echoes Writing Programs, has taught workshops and presented material across the state in many venues. Editor of the acclaimed anhology “Wild, Sweet Notes” and the author of three collections of poetry, “Field Of Vision”, “TaoBilly”, and “My People Was Music”, he is internationally known for his performance work combining poetry and old time music. A founding member and former president of West Virginia Writers, Inc., he has appeared at most of WV’s regular fairs, concerts, and festivals, and performed with Allegheny Echoes and other musicians in Ireland and in many settings across West Virginia.
Dobro: Chris Stockwell grew up in the West Virginia mountains, and started singing at an early age. 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,Ron Sowell, The Mountain Stage Band, Step into the Blue, Chet Lowther, Matt Walker, Bobby Maynard, The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Ernie Thacker, Midnight Ramblers, The Dillards, Barry Scott and Second Wind, Tim O'Brien, Peggy Ratusz, Joshua Singleton and many others.
Bluegrass Banjo: Todd Sams has lived in Athens Ohio most of his life. He has been playing banjo and guitar for the past 36 years. He is a past Bluegrass Banjo Vandalia winner and was a 2 time Ohio State champion and 2 time Indiana State banjo champion in the late 80'/early 90's. Todd won the coveted Bob Evans Band contest with four different bands in that same time period. He has played the past 8 years with the Rarely Herd. Prior to that, he played with Jordan Run, Retro Grass and many short-lived bands. Todd has played banjo with Tony, Larry and Wyatt Rice and with the Tim O'Brien Band, and has recorded with The Rarely Herd, Clay Hess, Wyatt Rice, Johnny Staats, James Price, Randy Thomas, and Retro Grass .
Bluegrass 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. His amazing picking on mandolin, guitar, banjo and bass can be sampled throughout the week.
Bluegrass Fiddle: Charlie Walden began playing fiddle at age 11 when inspired by players in a fiddler’s contest at the Boone County Fair in his native Missouri. Since then he has won dozens of local fiddle contests as well as major championships in Missouri, Illinois and West Virginia. He has taught fiddling privately to dozens of players and has served as an instructor at the Festival of Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington. Charlie has toured with Josh Graves, of Flatt and Scruggs fame, and played festivals with the Bing Brothers in Ireland and Australia. In addition, he is an avid performer of traditional Bluegrass and “Hot” fiddle styles.
Bluegrass Guitar: Kenny Smith is from Nine Mile, Indiana, and is widely considered one of the most important and influentialflatpicking-style guitarists of his generation. A two-time IBMA Guitarist of the Year award winner, his professional credits include six years with the popular Lonesome River Band andan exceptional solo CD, Studebaker, released on Sugar Hill Records in 1997. Kenny is in great demand at guitar workshops and master classes, teaching at guitar workshops at major events such as IBMA and the Nashville Flatpick Camp. He has released a two-DVD instruction set on AcuTab Publications.