Meet the Band

 

Danny Triplett - Lead Guitar, lead and harmony vocals.

Danny Triplett, the youngest of seven, was born and raised in Bassett, Virginia nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Raised in a strong Christian home, music was a huge part of his childhood. At the ripe old age of 7, he received his first guitar from a church member wanting to encourage him in music. He remembers fondly that Harmony Monterey Arch Top and the time his father took to show him the first chords he would learn. Being self-taught, it only took him about a week before he was playing Wildwood Flower. "I think that's everybody's first song to learn," Triplett says, laughing.

He gravitated towards rock music, as most kids of his generation did, and it wasn't until 2003, after the passing of his father, that a friend invited him to a bluegrass jam session. It was then that lonesome, high mournful sound of bluegrass music took hold of him. Today, his playing style is borrowed from some of his heroes, Tony Rice, a close and dear friend of Danny's, Dan Tyminski and Ron Block.

After that fateful jam session, he went on to form a band with friends Ron and Belinda Wright called "Skyline Drive," with Danny playing guitar and singing lead and harmony vocals until 2006. His music resume also includes playing time with Gold Heart, Dale Perry of David Parmley and the Continental Divide, well-known local fiddle player, Buddy Pendleton, and The Jeanette Williams Band, as well as opening shows for Third Time Out, just to name a few.

Danny's musical ability does not end with the guitar; he also plays banjo, piano and mandolin and has for several years now focused his talents on the upright bass.

Danny lives in Walnut Cove, NC with this wife Mona. He has two children, Christopher and Brandon, and two step children, Kelsie and Rusty.

Sarah Johnson - Bass.

Sarah resides in King, NC. She has a son, a daughter and five wonderful grandchildren. Sarah was introduced to bluegrass music by her brother - who insisted she not only hear it - but listen to it! She's been doing just that ever since!

Many people were instrumental in teaching Sarah to play. They include: Walt Bullins, John Bolding, Larry Dumas, Ralph and Rex McGee and the entire McGee family. A special thanks to Bert Bohnson who told her if she made a mistake to play louder!

Sarah began her musical career playing with the original Driving Five with Jimmy Dorsett. She is proud to play with the accomplished members of Driving Five and considers them family.

Sarah's bluegrass quick facts:

Most memorable moment: Seeing the Johnson Mountain Boys play with Hazel Dickens. Hazel Dickens' amazing ability to portray the stark reality of life through lyrics was unforgettable. She also admires the writing abilities of John Prine.

Favorite song: Body and Soul and My Better Years

Biggest regret: Not starting sooner!

Greatest joy: The friendships made along the way and watching small children move to the music for the first time.

Mark Felts - Guitar, lead and harmony vocals.

Mark was introduced to the wonderful sounds of bluegrass music at a tender age. One of the biggest influences to the sound was his father, Troy Felts, who resides in the town Galax, VA, home to the world renowned Galax Fiddlers Convention, the longest running fiddlers convention in bluegrass music today. The convention is held at Felts Park with family ties to the name.

Mark states that "bluegrass is bred into me". He began playing guitar in the early seventies when his Dad taught him the basic chords. This, in turn, struck a chord within Mark and the love of playing music was born, as Mark says, "It was on then". His stage presence is noted by his unique and powerful vocal expression as an artist, as he lays down a powerful rhythm guitar style to back it up.

Mark resides in Greensboro, NC with his wife Brenda and their two children, Zack and Corey. He works as a firefighter, as well as, a successful carpenter. When he finds himself with spare time, he enjoys playing hockey and softball.

Dwight Shelton - Banjo.

Dwight Shelton began playing bluegrass music in 1978 when his brother introduced
him to the "twang" of the banjo. He first played with The Germanton Bluegrass
Boys and started playing with Driving Five when Frank Tucker called him and asked
if he'd fill in for an appearance.

Crediting Earl Scruggs with his picking style, Dwight also continues to play the
bass and guitar. He enjoys the music of IIIrd Tyme Out and his favorite song is Julie Ann.

Dwight lives in Germanton, NC with his wife, Debbie. He has a daughter, Misty, and
a son, Jody. He is also the proud "Paw-paw" of two granddaughters, Megan and Taylor.

 

Larry Williams - Mandolin, harmony vocals.

As a long time fan of bluegrass, Larry Williams felt that, as a lefty, he was destined to just listen. He began learning to play in 1986 and after losing interest for a few
years in the early 90s, began again in 1996, when he got his Henderson F-5 left-handed custom built mandolin.

Larry decided that playing would be his new hobby, since he was "really bad at golf." He was a member of the original Driving Five with Jimmy Dorsett and also played
with the Cedar Creek Boys. He lists Bill Monroe, Doyle Lawson and Herschel Sizemore as his musical influences.

Larry lives in Siloam, NC with his wife, Susan. Larry and Susan lost their daughter,Sara, in a car accident on June 12th, 2005. Sara was instrumental in the design of the
first Driving Five CD, and at the young age of 16, produced professional quality graphics
for the project. She will be forever loved and missed.

 

 

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