The Sapling Grove Band originated in 1990. The name, “Sapling Grove”, was selected by the original band members because of its historical significance. Sapling Grove was the original name of the settlement, which evolved to be Bristol. Bristol now has the unique honor of being the “Birthplace Of Country Music”
Original members of the band were Mack Blevins, Ray Dearstone, Dan Carty, and Sam Witcher. Bobby Lester joined the band to play fiddle soon after it was formed and played until his death in 1996. Current members are: Ray Dearstone on bass, Randy Blevens on guitar, Randy Singleton on banjo, Gary Booher on dobro and John Malayter on mandolin.
SAPLING GROVE—TIMELESS—Heartland Recordings HR-CD-550. “Timeless” is the latest release from Sapling Grove. The group includes Randy Singleton (banjo, resonator guitar, and vocals), Gary Moore (mandolin, guitar, and vocals), Sam Witcher (guitar and vocals), and Ray Dearstone (bass and vocals). The project is dedicated to the late Bobby Lester who was the band’s fiddler. Included among the dozen selections are performances of “Poet With Wings,” “Friend Of The Devil,” combined with band originals “Just Wait And See” and “Fiddlin’ Man.” Sapling Grove has created an effective compilation of bluegrass music that should create future opportunities for the band. (Heartland Recordings, 337 Dearstone Pvt. Dr., Bristol, TN 37620, www.saplinggrove.us.) By Les McIntyre Bluegrass Unlimited
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