On the brink of releasing her debut album with Union House Records, Kristi Stanley is proud to introduce the new band, RUNNING BLIND, that will be backing her on tour. Compiled from years of experience, high skill levels, and polished stage presence, there is no doubt that this group will do a fine job supporting Kristi’s powerful vocals.
Guitarist, as well as Kristi’s band-leader, Randy Blevins of Kingsport, TN is a self- taught musician, coming from a musical family learning to play bass and guitar at an early age, he performed with his family in church and with several local bands. Randy is no stranger to the bluegrass circle, he has received awards in NC, VA, and TN, individually as a guitarist and in band competitions.
Mandolinist, Tommy Austin, played guitar and sang with his mother in church growing up in Fall Branch, TN. Tommy has played and recorded with several bands including; The Horsecreek Mountain Boys, Clear Creek, The Rising Wind, Limited Edition, Tennessee Skyline, and The Hopsons. The past several years, Tommy has played with his wife, Vickie, in Appalachian Trail. Tommy has traveled across the United States, as well as done tours in Ireland, Scotland, and England playing bluegrass. Also, contributing songwriting talents, Tommy has had songs recorded by artists such as Mark Newton, Josh Williams, and the Daughters of Bluegrass. Tommy’s song, “A Christmas Tear” was chosen in the top three in the Chris Austin songwriting competition at Merlefest.
Bass Player, Vickie Austin began singing at an early age with her dad in church. At age 13, her parents bought her an upright piano for her birthday. She sang and recorded two gospel music projects with her sister and won several talent competitions throughout her teenage years, including Kingsport Idol, where she continued to help judge for many years following her first place win. In time, Vickie joined and recorded a bluegrass album with the Twin Springs Bluegrass Band, singing lead and playing upright bass. She and her husband, Tommy, have performed and recorded with the band Appalachian Trail for the past twelve years. Vickie has also recorded vocals and bass on some commercials, and has been a musical extra in the upcoming biographical movie about the original 1927 Carter Family recordings, “Born in Bristol”. Along with vocals and bass, Vickie is also an accomplished songwriter and has had one of her songs reach the top ten in the International Bluegrass Music Awards songwriting competition.
Fiddle player, Ashley Davis is originally from Fayetteville, NC. Her parents encouraged her to pursue music, teaching her piano and guitar as a small child. Ashley enjoyed listening to Bluegrass on WQDR FM every Sunday night where she first heard Alison Krauss and Rhonda Vincent. At age 13, Ashley taught herself fiddle and was mentored by Mr. Leslie Sandy, a former member of Bill Monroe’s band, The Bluegrass Boys. By the time Ashley was 15 she was performing with the local bluegrass band in Fayetteville, Bill Jordan and Southern Bluegrass. Ashley has been a member of The Parsons band, Sweet Potato Pie, and the Tyler Williams Band. In 2007, Ashley recorded her first solo album, “Fiddlin’ with Les,” which is titled in honor of her musical mentor. She is currently studying for her Marketing degree at East Tennessee State University.
Resonator guitar player, Travis Houck began his musical journey as a young teenager in Chilhowie, Virginia when he first started performing with his family’s gospel band. He attended East Tennessee State University to join their Bluegrass program where he toured with the ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Advertising. He also began touring with Barry Scott and Second Wind prior to graduating. In 2010, Travis was nominated for a Grammy Award for his work on the band’s debut record, In God’s Time. Travis was founding member of Monroeville for which he received the Horizon Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association. Travis currently resides in Sevierville Tennessee with his wife Amanda.
Banjo player, Chad Love is a third generation musician from East Tennessee and like many, he grew up playing music with his family. Chad is no stranger to holding down the banjo duties in a band having shared the stage with The Holston Mountain Boys, Darrell Webb, Wildfire, Broke Mountain Bluegrass, Hit & Run, Long Road Home, and The Duty Free Band.
The band, in it’s entirety, can be enjoyed for the first time out tomorrow at the Bristol Spring Bluegrass Festival in Bristol VA. You don’t want to miss this event! Promoters can reach out to Melanie Wilson at Wilson Pickins Promotions to book this amazing up and coming band.