Lonesome River Band members Sammy Shelor and Mike Hartgrove performed last night with actor Martin Short when Steve Martin was honored with the 43rd American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award – the highest honor for a career in film. The award was presented to Steve Martin during the gala tribute in Los Angeles, Calif. and will air June 13th on TBS at 10:00 p.m. The star-studded event included: Tiny Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Conan O’Brien, Dan Aykroyd, Jack Black, Kevin Nealon, Steve Carell, and many more.
While Steve Martin was made aware of the guests that would be appearing on stage during the event, Sammy Shelor was his one surprise guest. Martin had previously awarded Shelor with the 2nd Annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. In honor of that award, the Lonesome River Band performed with Steve Martin on the Late Night with David Letterman and they also sat down with the talk show host for an entertaining interview.
Sammy Shelor is undoubtedly one of the most influential and most in-demand banjo players of our time. His extraordinary talents and magnetic personality are certainly key to his success as he leads the multi-award winning Lonesome River Band. Shelor is a member of the Virginia Music Hall of Fame, a 5-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association Banjo Player of the Year Award, and 3-time winner of the SPBGMA Banjo Performer of the Year Award. Shelor recorded and performed with country super star Alan Jackson and returned to the Late Show with David Letterman to perform “Blacktop” from Jackson’s The Bluegrass Album. In between Lonesome River Band’s busy tour dates, Shelor is in high demand as a guest artist and has performed on stage with Zac Brown, and more high profile artists.
Mike “Grove” Hartgrove is among the most experienced fiddlers in bluegrass music, having performed with the likes of George Jones, Moe Bandy, The Bluegrass Cardinals, and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. He was a founding IIIrd Tyme Out with whom he toured and recorded with for 11 years before joining Lonesome River Band.
Earlier this week, Lonesome River Band made several announcements including the addition of a new band member, Jesse Smathers, their #1 Bluegrass Unlimited Top 30 Song Chart hit single, “Her Love Won’t Turn On A Dime” from their Billboard Bluegrass Top 10 Album, Turn On A Dime (Mountain Home Music Company), and the TV debut of their music video “Lila Mae.”
Lonesome River Band’s full line-up includes Sammy Shelor on Banjo & Vocals, Brandon Rickman on Guitar, Lead & Harmony Vocals; Mike Hartgrove on fiddle, Barry Reed on bass, and Jesse Smathers on Mandolin and Lead & Harmony Vocals.