Electronic Press Kit

Biography

In the summer of 2014, a group of young musicians joined together at local fiddler’s conventions in Southwestern Virginia and Western North Carolina and formed a group that has become one of the most exciting young bands in bluegrass today. Since that time, they have won awards and played all over the United States sharing their love of music.

ShadowGrass can trace its roots to the forefathers of bluegrass. While fully embracing the traditions of the past, ShadowGrass is moving forward in the genre by incorporating each member’s varied influences. This is a band that is comfortable stepping outside the bounds of traditional music while maintaining traditional instrumentation.

Although they have their own style, ShadowGrass is honored to be playing in the shadow of great bluegrass legends. Holding to their bluegrass roots, fast picking, and fresh arrangements have earned the band numerous awards in youth and adult competitions across the region. ShadowGrass has had the privilege of playing at exciting venues, including  The Blue Ridge Music Center, The  Lincoln Theatre, The Historic Earle Theatre, Dollywood, and Silver Dollar City, and at festivals such as the National Folk Festival, MerleFest, Pickin in Parsons, the Berryville Bluegrass Series, HoustonFest, the Richmond Folk Festival, the National Youth Workers Convention, SPGBMA, the Lowell Folk Festival, the Montana Folk Festival and the IBMA World of Bluegrass StreetFest. They were honored to be chosen as a featured youth band for the IBMA World of Bluegrass Festival in 2016, 2018, and 2019.

Listeners can expect to hear Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs with modern refinements, appealing to both traditionalists and progressives alike. Audiences are amazed by the fact that these young men can play with a level of precision usually reserved for a much older generation.

Their foot-tapping music and charming personalities continue to draw a crowd and gain encouraging fans with each new place they visit. ShadowGrass is looking forward to contributing to the heritage of bluegrass music for years to come.

The band includes Kyser George, guitar; Luke Morris, mandolin and Clay Russell, banjo. All of the members are award-winning youth musicians. ShadowGrass is striving to be the next torchbearers to carry on bluegrass music to future generations.

ShadowGrass has been called “one of the most thrilling bluegrass bands to emerge from the musically-rich Crooked Road area in recent memory” ShadowGrass has also appeared on the Today Show with Al Roker during the 2016 IBMA World of Bluegrass Week in Raleigh, and Kyser has also appeared on Little Big Shots on NBC. We would love to play for your future festivals, venue or gatherings.

Please contact Jennifer Morris at 276-233-2567 or [email protected] for booking information


Growing up in Galax, Virginia, 20 year old Luke Morris has always been surrounded by bluegrass music. When Luke was 12,  he got his hands on a mandolin while taking a guitar class and quickly fell in love with the instrument. He enjoys playing and singing anytime he is given the opportunity individually and with the band ShadowGrass. Luke is also passionate about teaching our regions traditional music to other students. He was an instructor with the Galax JAM program at Chestnut Creek School of the Arts in Galax. Luke is now studying at East Tennessee State University and majoring in their Traditional and Bluegrass Music Program. Musical influences that have shaped Luke’s mandolin style are Sam Bush, Chris Thile, Mike Marshall and his music teacher, Scott Freeman.  As an individual and as a part of the band he has gained a collection of prize winning youth and adult titles around the area. When he is not playing bluegrass, Luke enjoys running, biking, swimming and playing and singing with the worship team at his church.  In 2018, Luke released his first solo Album, Further Down the Line. You can visit Luke’s website to learn more about his CD at lukemorrismusic.com. His latest song, Take Me Back to the Blue Ridge is available on on streaming platforms. Luke is now at East Tennessee State Univesity majoring in Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies.

Clay is nineteen years old and has lived in Grayson County, Virginia his entire life. He received his first banjo when he was four years old and learned to pick out song melodies using his thumb. At around age ten, he began using the three finger method. A few years later he started entering local competitions and collaborated to help form the band ShadowGrass. Clay will be the first to admit his favorite part of any festival or competition is getting to meet and pick with other musicians, many of which have become great friends. Clay’s musical influences include Earl Scruggs, Jim Mills, J.D Crowe, Sammy Shelor and Ron Stewart as well as his instructor Eric Hardin. Clay has had the opportunity to play venues including the IBMA Convention, SPBGMA, Richmond Folk Festival, MerleFest, Woodsongs, Song of the Mountains, Blue Ridge Music Center, Star Theatre, Rex Theatre, Heartwood Center, WPAQ’s Merry-Go-Round, WBRF’s Blue Ridge Backroads Show, live TV performances on WSLS, WKYT and WCYB, WAMU’s Katy Daley Show, Blue Ridge Acoustic Uprising, HoustonFest, RockyFest and WVTF’s Back to the Blue Ridge Show. Clay is a member of IBMA’s Kid’s On Bluegrass and Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars. He is also a member of Brookside Baptist Church and enjoys hunting, camping and riding his four-wheeler in his spare time. Howbeit there are no immediate plans for the future, there’s no question that playing bluegrass music will in one aspect or another, always play a part in Clay’s life.

From sitting in on his father’s band practice the week his parents brought him home from the hospital, Kyser George, age 15, of Westfield, North Carolina, grew up steeped in the rich musical heritage of Stokes County.  Kyser received his first instrument, a mandolin, at age 6. At age 9 (in 2014), he took up the bass and served as the bass player for ShadowGrass until 2020, when he transitioned to guitar. Kyser is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist who enjoys playing essentially anything with strings, and even some without, as he also plays tuba with his high school concert band.   He draws influences from the many genres of music he enjoys, from bluegrass to funk and everything in between. Some of his favorite artists include Mountain Heart, Lonesome River Band, Cadillac Sky, Newfound Road, Punch Brothers, John Mayer, Boyz II Men, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Dave Matthews Band, Otis Redding and Vulfpeck. In 2016 and 2017, Kyser was selected to participate in the International Bluegrass Music Association Kids on Bluegrass program.  In 2017, Kyser appeared with The Salty Dogs, a youth bluegrass “supergroup” compiled by the IBMA, on NBC’s Little Big Shots with Steve Harvey.   In late 2019, Kyser released his first solo album, Taking the Lead.  In between music and school, Kyser enjoys fishing, camping and the occasional video game.

 

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