The Suggins Brothers

 

Click here to get a pdf. file of the band promo

 

Band History

The beginnings of The Suggins Brothers happened as an intentional accident when two teenagers who loved to play and sing wide open, hard driving bluegrass music met for the first time at a bluegrass festival in the late 1970's. A bluegrass friendship was formed and grew through the years into a family like bond.

In 1982 at a Bluegrass Festival in Marietta, Georgia another bond was made when a hard driving bluegrass banjo picker and a Mohawk headed guitar picker straight out of the Marine Corps ended up in a late night jam session with the legendary ELWOOD P. SUGGINS.

Bluegrass festivals and jam sessions came and went until 1985 when the Suggins Brothers took to the stage for the first time at Hamby Mountain Music Park in Baldwin, Georgia. The show was high energy to the max and the the band received a double encore for their first effort.

Since then many miles have been traveled, shows played, children born, priorities and careers have changed, but one thing has never changed and that is the tight harmony and driving bluegrass sound they produce.

The band has had the pleasure of sharing the bill with top national acts such as, Doyle Lawson, Jim & Jesse, Ralph Stanley, Earl Scruggs, IIIrd Tyme Out, Rhonda Vincent and The Country Gentleman just to name a few.

The Suggins Brothers travel through out the Southeast playing hard driving bluegrass to receptive audiences. We believe every show deserves our best effort and that each audience member might be out next biggest fan.

One of the greatest compliments ever paid the band came from the late Chubby Wise at a South Georgia Bluegrass Festival. The band was warming up for a show when the legend stopped by to listen and replied, "Now boys, that's how Bluegrass Music is supposed to sound. "

The Suggins Brothers are looking forward to 2013 and beyond.

We think you will agree when you her em' play, "It don't get no better than that."

 

Meet theBand

Mike Gibbs - lead vocals/guitar: I have quite a collection of guitars but my instrument of choice is a 2001 Martin HD-28 Vintage Series. This guitar incidentally is the only brand new guitar that I have ever desired or purchased brand new. I had never met one in a store before that I wanted to take home until I met her and I can honestly say, she'll never leave, voluntarily. I do most of the lead singing in the band, but from time to time we will switch vocal parts around for a few songs. I do most of the show prep and song selection as well as the bus driving and repair's. I was born in Piedmont, Alabama but moved to Georgia at an early age. I started playing guitar when I was about 12 years old and from the beginning it was a God given talent. None of my immediate family members (siblings) are musically inclined and frankly some have problems playing a radio. I am proud to say that both of my boys are coming right along in the musical talent department. Blayne has actually set in with us on Bass at few show dates when R.D had a conflict. Early on I realized I had a desire to perform and from the very first guitar I owned (which I still have) it literally went with me everywhere I went for a long, long time. If an opportunity presented itself for me to play, I did. Through the years I have had the opportunity and pleasure to play and sing with some of the finest and most talented groups, musicians and singers in the world. Ken Clark and I met when we were young teenagers, a friendship and brotherhood developed as a result of that meeting a long time ago and what you are hearing from this group today is the results of our meeting. I prefer the 1950's style of Bluegrass Music when it was built with a hard driving rhythm beat of the Acoustic Doghouse Bass and Guitar and the other instruments were building a wall of sound around that beat which was topped off with clear and clean lead instrumentation along tight vocal harmonies. I could not begin to estimate how many songs are embedded in my head and sometime they come out at the most inopportune times. That being said, these are some of the best guys you could ever work with because every show becomes an evening of trivia. In most cases I have no idea what song will come up next and until I can see and or hear the audience response and then they come from the inner emotion and memory from there. I don't think I could play with a set list if I had too and over the years the song introduction has become a list of clues and hints to my brothers as to the next selection. I have never enjoyed playing with, socializing and just generally spending time with a group of people doing something that we all truly love and enjoy doing as I do this lineup of my talented musical brothers. In November 2006 I had the honor of being inducted in the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame, but I can honestly say that the biggest honor I ever get is when a music fan comes up to me after a show with kind words of appreciation for the performance they just saw.

Ken Clark - tenor vocals/banjo: My love of music began at an early age. My mother and uncle played bluegrass at every family get together and holiday. I was exposed to good bluegrass music and my traditional banjo playing style was influenced by Earl Scruggs and Bill Emerson. I started my music career playing cello in a elementary school orchestra. I quickly lost the bow and began playing stand up bass. I got my first upright Kay bass when I was twelve from a local school band department. For the next 3 years my mother and father carried me to one bluegrass festival after another to parking lot pick all night. Coney Grove, Lavonia, Marietta, and Alpharetta were some of the more memorable locations. At 15, I started picking my uncle's 5-string banjo, but very soon after that I got one of my own. In 1977 I begain playing bass for a local Douglas GA group called Flatland Bluegrass. Two years later in 1978 I bought a used Gibson RB-250 Bow Tie that I still play today. That same year I auditioned to play banjo with a regional band based out of Waycross GA called Hubert Cox and The Southern Grass. I toured all over Florida for a couple of years with them. It was a great experience and I made some lifelong friends during that time. Soon I was attending college in Atlanta and the commute to Florida every weekend was becoming impossible. I continued going to the local North GA area festivals and that's where Mike and I started spending more and more time playing music together. He had strong vocals and complemented my hard driven style of banjo picking. Mike and I had known Elwood for many years but one night up at the Alpharetta Festival we began jamming with Elwood, and after a few songs we knew we had something. My first official visit to the stage was in 1985 at Hamby Mountain. Doodle and the Golden River Grass invited us up on stage to do a couple of songs and the rest is history. The Suggins Brothers knew we had something special and we never looked back. It has been over 28 years and I love it as much today as I did the first time we played together on stage.

Jim Major baritone vocals/mandolin: I am originally from Manchester, Tennessee and moved to Georgia in 1998. I played in a band with Ronnie many years ago and was thrilled that he thought of me when the need for a mandolin player arose. Growing up, music was (and still is) always part of our family gatherings. My mom plays piano and is a church organist. At age 17, after a family Christmas dinner, I went home with a mandolin my uncle loaned me. Within a year I was on stage with a band and have been ever since. I have been blessed to play with many great players over the years, but with the Suggins Brothers my highest musical goals have been reached. I play a 1985 Flatiron F5 Artist mandolin that I believe fate placed in my hands. I have two young children and want to thank my wife Beth for supporting my musical endeavors and the time it takes me away from them. I also want to thank God for the many blessings in my life including the opportunity to share what talent I have with our audiences. Bluegrass people are the best!

Ronnie Davis - bass vocals/bass I have had the pleasure of knowing The Suggins Brothers since 2000, when we met at a pig pickin' of a mutual friend in Brooklet, Ga. I did fill in work for them until 2004, when I accepted the fulltime role. I am originally from Jasper, Ga. My first bluegrass band experience came in the late 60's, playing bass with the North Georgia Ramblers, from Cumming, Ga. In the early 70's, I married and moved to Aiken, SC., where I have raised a family and called home for 35 years. During that time I have played a variety of music from country to rock-n-roll, to beach music. Then in the late 80's & early 90's groups like Quicksilver , IIIrd Tyme Out and recordings by The Bluegass Album Band, made me realize that bluegrass is truly my first musical love.

 

 

 

Message From Elwood

 

 

 

 

Our group, The Suggins Brothers, has been selected to appear on a new nationwide talent program. The show, called “America Sings”, airs on GMC (formerly The Gospel Music Channel) and can be seen on Wednesday nights at 9:00 and 10:00 pm Eastern time. DIRECTV on channel 338. Check out the website for details: http://www.watchgmctv.com/sing

The show will feature videos from a broad variety of performers. We are honored to have been chosen for the show and particularly honored to be representing Bluegrass Music. We need everybody’s support in order to make a good showing for Bluegrass Music.

Our episode will air on Wednesday night July 13th. Please help us with your vote. If you can’t pickup GMC in your area, you can still go to the website and vote after the show airs.

Thanks and Best Regards,

Mike Gibbs, Ken Clark, Jim Major, and Ronnie Davis

The Suggins Brothers

Click here for more information on our DVD "Live From The Mountain Music Show" featured on GMC's America Sings.

 

Bluegrass Unlimited reviews our latest CD release"Number Seven"in their May issue.

 

 

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Suggins Brothers ©1985-2014