2021 marks the 75th Anniversary of The Clinch Mountain Boys, we are excited and pleased to carry on the Clinch Mountain style of music. Ralph II began working professionally for his father in the year of 1995 and has carried The Clinch Mountain Boys on since. As well as fronting the first Clinch Mountain Boys group after the passing of his father Ralph Edmond Stanley.
Grammy Award winning artist Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys are currently touring in support of their 2019 Stanley Family Records release, the Billboard chart topping ‘Lord Help Me Find The Way.’ This is their second release after dropping a self-titled album in 2017 that was the first release for the group since Ralph II took over the Clinch Mountain Boys band name per the wishes of his late father Dr. Ralph Stanley.
With three #1 singles in his career; including, the 2019 hit “Beautiful Hills of Home,” R2 is in heavy radio rotation across the country and on Bluegrass Junction, World Wide Bluegrass, iHeart Radio and Sirius XM.
The band includes Stanley Efaw on fiddle, mandolin and vocals; Landon Fitzpatrick on banjo and vocals; Randall Hibbitts on the upright bass and vocals; Caleb Shifflett on guitar and vocals; and Ralph Stanley II on the guitar and lead vocals. This band configuration brings a lot of talent, energy and humor to the stage as they perform old-time favorites, bluegrass hits and new original material.
Ralph II has had two Grammy nominations on previous albums he recorded with Rebel Records. In 2002 he earned his first Grammy along with his father Dr. Ralph Stanley for their collaboration with Jim Lauderdale on ‘Lost in the Lonesome Pines.’ Ralph II has proven to be an accomplished songwriter and has 6 solo albums under his belt, along with the highly acclaimed duet album with his father titled ‘Side by Side.’
Playing more than 200 shows a year, Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys are an audience favorite at festivals, clubs, arenas, amphitheaters, country fairs and wherever the blue bus might take ‘em!
If you were to gather together an average cross-section of people and ask them if they thought it would be an advantage for a performer to be the child of a legend, most would probably conclude that it would have to be a definite plus. After all, the doors of opportunity would be quicker to open, and the spotlight of public attention that so many artists spend years trying to cultivate would be yours because...well...just because. Famous by default, so to speak and doubtless those are real, tangible advantages. But then there's the downside- pressure. The learning curve, the whole growth process with all its potential missteps and pitfalls, is a public document. Most artists get to take those perilous first steps of their careers in relative anonymity, a nameless face in the crowd.
As one might expect for the son of a renowned banjo player, the first instrument Ralph II ever held was a banjo. At the ripe old age of three, Ralph (or simply "Two" as he is called by his family and friends), had his first lesson from the elder Stanley, learning a simple finger roll. It turned out, however, that he would not be following in his father’s footsteps, when it came to choice of instrument. He soon fell under the spell of the undisputed king of boyhood musical desires, the guitar. He spotted one under his sister’s bed, and according to Ralph, "I wanted to play it. When I was five years old, I started with the guitar and I've been playing it ever since".
But despite his interest in the guitar, and the fact that he was occasionally traveling with the Clinch Mountain Boys on the road, he had not yet developed an ambition to play professionally. It took until age twelve and an old 1977 video of the late Keith Whitley during his tenure as lead singer for the Clinch Mountain Boys, to inspire him to become a professional musician. After seeing Whitley with the elder Stanley, he was hooked and spent hours in the family basement honing his skills, and weathering the comparisons to his late Uncle Carter. His persistence paid off, and he took the stage as lead singer with Ralph Sr. and the Clinch Mountain Boys in June of 1995. Since then, he has earned the respect of Stanley fans everywhere, and has garnered praise as a strong new artist in his own right.
On May 26, 2017, Stanley Family Records released the self-titled album by Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys. This is the first recording released since Ralph II honored his father's wishes by taking over the Clinch Mountain boys name. These big shoes are being filled by the talents of previous Clinch Mountain Boy John Rigsby on fiddle and mandolin, Alex Leach on banjo, Randall Hibbits on the upright bass, and Ralph II on guitar.
Ralph II has had 2 Grammy nominations on previous albums he recorded with Rebel Records. In 2002 he earned his first Grammy along with his father. Dr. Ralph Stanley for their collaboration with Jim Lauderdale on "Lost in the Lonesome Pines." Ralph II has proven to be an accomplished songwriter and has 6 solo albums under his belt, along with the highly acclaimed duet album with his father titled "Side by Side." When not traveling, Ralph II enjoys his time at home with his wife Kristi and their children Taylor and Ralph III.
Landon Fitzpatrick is a 22 year old native of northwest Georgia who started playing banjo at age 11 and was lucky enough to learn the basics from Dr Ralph Stanley himself. At age 14 Landon won the Georgia state banjo competition followed by the Horizon Award from the Georgia society of entertainers. In the last 12 years Landon has played with Charlie Louvin, James King, and for the last 3 years Larry Efaw and The Bluegrass Mountaineers. "A Clinch Mountain boy is something I've always dreamed of being" says Landon as he joins his musical heroes on stage.
Randall Hibbitts grew up in the mountains of Southwest Virginia in the little coal mining town of Grundy, Virginia about an hour from one of his musical heroes, Dr Ralph Stanley, never dreaming that he would become one of his Clinch Mountain Boys one day. But that dream did come true in 2012, as he came on board as their new Bass player.
Randall had previously worked a short stint with Dave Evans and River Bend and a couple years with Ralph Stanley II before getting the opportunity to work for Dr. Stanley. Now back working for Ralph Stanley II and the Clinch Mountain Boys, he is really enjoying his time on the road with them.
Originally from Akron, Ohio and now living in Kentucky, Stanley Efaw is no stranger to bluegrass. At two years old he was presented his first banjo, a 40th Anniversary Stanley tone, by Dr. Ralph Stanley. Stanley’s grandfather started a band, The Bluegrass Mountaineers, in 1962, and eventually handed the leadership of the band to Stanley’s dad, Larry. Stanley joined the Bluegrass Mountaineers playing mandolin at the age of seven. Since then, Stanley has been privileged to play with many bands and share the stage with many musicians including, the Remington Ryde, Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road, Larry Sparks, and many more.
Stanley is honored to be the newest fiddle player for the Clinch Mountain Boys. Growing up, he studied the Stanley style of Bluegrass Music and says while he has enjoyed the music that he has played over the years, he is very excited to be playing the Stanley style again!
A man who needs no bio.
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