Saturday, August 31 & Sunday, September 1
Highly regarded, as one of Bluegrass music’s most recognizable and finest high lead and tenor vocalist, Larry Stephenson has been headlining festivals and concerts for 30 years. He formed The Larry Stephenson Band in 1989 while living in his home state of Virginia. We are thrilled to have him celebrating 30 years while we celebrate 40! He has played an important role in the TPB Festival Family for many years!
Larry’s crystal clear tenor voice has provided a musical home for some of the finest sidemen in contemporary bluegrass history. Many appearances on the Grand Ole Opry and RFD-TV has made The Larry Stephenson Band a fan favorite all across the US and Canada.
Born in Harrisonburg, VA and raised in King George, VA, Larry’s Dad put a mandolin in his hand at the age of 5 and by the age of 11, Larry cut his first record. Graduating high school in 1976, Larry and his Dad had a very popular regional band for 3 years, performing at festivals, concerts and regulars at The Wheeling Jamboree in Wheeling, WV. From there, he worked with Cliff Waldron, Leon Morris while soaking up the Washington, DC rich musical scene. In 1979, Larry went to work with Bill Harrell and The Virginians for 4 ½ years and then in June of 1983 went to work with The Bluegrass Cardinals and stayed for 5-½ year. That band configuration is often referred to as one of the “classic lineups of the Bluegrass Cardinals”. Larry also credits the rich music scene of Virginia and Washington, DC for much of his musical success, having seen and heard the first generation bluegrass performers in person and on radio. Throughout his 30 years of fronting his own band, and over 40 years as a major touring performer, Larry Stephenson has been well-recognized and awarded by fans and his peers in the bluegrass industry. With a move to Nashville, TN in 1992, the band became fast regulars on the Grand Ole Opry. In 1996, the Virginia Folk Music Association inducted Stephenson into The Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame. Since that time, he has garnered numerous IBMA and SPBGMA nominations and awards. In 2018, The Society for The Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA) inducted Larry in their Hall of Greats.
While Larry Stephenson is best know as a touring musician whose voice sets a standard of melody, clarity and storytelling, he has had an active and well-awarded recording career. Starting his recording career for Webco Records of Virginia and then 18 years with Pinecastle Records, releasing 18 albums during that period. Signature songs in Larry Stephenson’s vast catalog in that period include “Patches”, “Yes, I See God”, “Clinch Mountain Mystery”, “Many Hills Of Time”, “The Knoxville Girl”, “The Knoxville Boy”, “The Pretty Blue Dress”, “ I Should’ve Called” and “The Violet And The Rose”.