Bluegrass is an original American art form, and the Plowboys are among its foremost practitioners in the New England states. Their vast repertoire includes traditional fiddle and banjo tunes, standard bluegrass songs, folk and country ballads, and spirituals. They are known especially for their well-crafted original songs, many of which depict life in Vermont and the northeast. Although they draw material from a variety of sources, Banjo Dan and the group hold fast to the basic tenets of bluegrass: strong rhythm, sparkling instrumental solos, soulful vocals and tight harmonies.
The Plowboys have toured throughout the Northeast, playing concerts, fairs, festivals, colleges and conventions. They have traveled internationally on several occasions, bringing their music to England, Italy and Canada and, in 1988, becoming the first American bluegrass band to tour the Soviet Union. In 2001 they returned to Russia for a two-week tour centered around a world folk music festival in Karelia, and extending to concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as Helskinki, Finland.
Banjo Dan and the Mid-nite Plowboys launched their recording career with the acclaimed ?Snowfall? album in 1974. Numerous subsequent recordings have continued to feature original material along with bluegrass interpretations of songs from a variety of sources. The 2002 CD, ?Like a River,? traces the Plowboys? career through a collection of 17 most-requested songs from previous recordings and includes a booklet full of old band photos and posters. The third of Banjo Dan?s collections of original Vermont songs, ?Mystery and Memories,? was selected by the Times-Argus newspaper as ?2006 top album of the year.? The Plowboys continue to enjoy airplay on bluegrass and folk programs around the country and overseas.
The band is fronted by guitarist Alan ?Big Al? Davis, an engaging vocalist, a fine songwriter, and an entertaining emcee. Mandolinist Willy Lindner also provides lead and harmony vocals, contributes some excellent original songs and tunes, and thrills audiences with his fiery instrumental work. The third original band member, ?Banjo Dan? Lindner, provides drive and excitement with his dynamic work on the five-string, and contributes heavily to the repertoire with his compelling originals.
Acoustic string-bass player Jon Henry Drake, a North Dakota transplant, provides the clear tenor vocals and ?high lonesome? harmonies so important to traditional bluegrass music. The newest Plowboy, Brattleboro?s Phil Bloch, has brought an exciting new sound to the band over the past three years with his tasteful, innovative, and unpredictable stylings on the fiddle.
After three decades of touring, performing and recording, this band retains the freshness, spirit and enthusiasm of musicians who love what they?re doing. We invite you to enjoy an evening of ?New England Bluegrass at Its Best? with Banjo Dan and the Mid-nite Plowboys.