.....the tradition continues.
Russell Johnson of Four Oaks brings over twenty years of performing and recording experience to the stage as a singer, songwriter, producer and entertainer. He was the driving force behind New Vintage's 90's success and instrumental in launching the career of The Grass Cats in 1997. His "rock-solid and exquisitely high-lonesome vocals" and humorous stage presence are hard to forget. Russell’s success as a songwriter and singer is well documented with eleven of his original songs reaching the Bluegrass Unlimited National Bluegrass Survey - including two #1 hits. As a producer his credits include five Top 10 CD's. He was also nominated for SPBGMA's Songwriter of the Year in 2004 and 2010. A "confident, versatile and compelling vocal stylist" Russell always delivers a first rate job on any song he sings.
Alice Zincone was born in Greenville, NC. Her parents are life long, self taught musicians who still play and sing today. Growing up immersed in bluegrass and acoustic music, meeting musicians when they came to their house for picking parties and listening to the first and second generation bluegrass pioneers set the course for Alice's musical journey. By 13 she had learned a few chords on the guitar and mandolin and was already developing into a confident lead and harmony vocalist. During the years 1992 – 2000 Alice went to many bluegrass festivals where she met countless numbers of pickers and fell in love with the bass. Besides developing into a solid bass player and singer Alice's songwriting with Rick Lafleur is gaining nationwide recognition and has vaulted them in to what Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine noted as "the top ranks of bluegrass musicians".
From Callander, Ontario, Canada banjoist Rick Lafleur provides the five string instrumental firepower to the New Vintage shows. He was exposed to the sounds of Flatt and Scruggs at an early age and fell in love with Earl’s playing, the banjo, and bluegrass. His parents are avid bluegrass music lovers and supported Rick’s endeavors to meet other players, go to festivals, and develop his musical talent. Rick received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry in 1997 and found his way to NC by way of his post-doctoral studies at UNC-Chapel Hill. He loves the warm weather and friendly folks here in the home state of Earl Scruggs.
Clifton Preddy: Born in 1973 and raised in Wilton, NC, Clifton Preddy has been playing the fiddle as long as he can remember. From age three until sixteen, he took private classical violin lessons and performed at various regional fiddler’s conventions, festivals, state fairs, and churches. He further honed his skills playing at regular weekly jam sessions with family members and friends, including the late Gene Wooten, who went on to perform with Wilma Lee Cooper, The Osborne Brothers, and many others. Over his musical career, Clifton has performed and recorded with many different country and bluegrass bands. He is a founding member of the traditional bluegrass band Constant Change, based out of North Carolina, and still performs regularly with them. His greatest influences are Chubby Wise, Mark O’Connor, the Lonesome River Band, and his great-uncle, old-time fiddler Emil "Dunk" Preddy. Clifton is a welcomed addition to New Vintage. He brings with him a strong fiddle that accommodates the New Vintage style as well as baritone harmony vocals. You may even catch him in an occasional lead vocal and supplying the group with an original song or two. Clifton and Alan Mullen have been good friends for years and often perform together as a duet. Their similar musical tastes combine to help form a tight fit with New Vintage.
Alan Mullen: Coming Soon!
Played first show August 12 1989 poolside at a Durham Apartment community as The Uncut Grass. Personnel: Russ Johnson-Bass, Earl Lewellyn-guitar, Don Wright-banjo, Joni Holliday-Guitar.
Summer 1990: Mark Roshelli joins the band on guitar, Kim Gardner starts playing some on dobro, Joni switches to bass and Russell switches to mandolin.
Summer 1991: Recorded first cassette tape titled The Uncut Grass at Doobie Shea studios in Ferrum Virginia. Personnel: Russ Johnson-mandolin, Earl Lewellyn-Banjo, Joni Holliday-Bass, Mark Roshelli-guitar, Kim Gardner-Dobro.
July 1991: Changed name to The New Vintage Bluegrass Band or New Vintage for short.
September 1991: Showcased at the International Bluegrass Music World of Bluegrass in Owensboro KY. (same personnel as above)
January 1992: Greg Corbett and Jan Johansson joined the band on banjo and fiddle.
April 1992: Played Merlefest. Personnel: Russ Johnson-mandolin, Earl Lewellyn-guitar, Greg Corbett-banjo, Joni Holliday-bass, Jan Johansson-fiddle.
August 1992: Gena Britt and Zack Mclamb join the band on banjo and bass.
Jan 31st 1993: New Vintage wins the Bluegrass Music Band Contest at the 19th annual SPBGMA (Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America) Music Awards in Nashville Tennessee.
February 1993: NVB Wins the Pizza Hut Regional Band contest in Fredrick Maryland.
May 1993: Releases first CD "Timeless".
September 20th 1993: NVB wins the Pizza Hut International Bluegrass Music Showdown in Owensboro KY, Over 125 bands from across the US and Canada competed in a tournament style talent search. Signs recording contract with Pinecastle Records.
November 1993: Feature article on New Vintage in Bluegrass Now magazine.
January 1994: Carl Caldwell joins the band on bass.
February 1994: Feature article on New Vintage in Bluegrass Unlimited magazine.
September 1994: Showcases at the International Bluegrass Music World of Bluegrass Tradeshow in Owensboro KY
September 1994: New Vintage nominated for Emerging Artist at the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards.
March 1995: Julie Elkins joins band on banjo.
Spring 1995: Releases "No Time For The Blues" on Pinecastle Records. Recorded in Asheville, NC and produced by Butch Baldessari.
July 1995: Richard Ham joins the band on bass.
September 1995: Band plays "Fanfest" at the International Bluegrass Music "World ofBluegrass" in Owensboro KY.
Oct -Dec 1995: "No Answer Blues" and "Gravestone" chart on the Bluegrass Unlimited National Bluegrass Survey reaching #8 and #15 respectively. The CD "No Time For The Blues" climbs to #6 on the national CD chart for 2 months in August and September 1995.
December 1995: Russell releases "A Picture from the Past" on New Time Records.
September 1996: "What Have I Got To Lose" from Russell's "A Picture From The Past" reaches #15 on the BU Survey and the CD is #12.
Summer/Fall 1996: Band records "Sands of Time" at Doobie Shea studios in Ferrum Virginia. The disc is produced by David Parmley and engineered by Tim Austin.
January 1997: Releases "Sands of Time" on Pinecastle Records.
August 1997: Jody King-banjo, James Doncsecz-bass, and Kim Gardner-dobro join New Vintage.
Summer/Fall 1997: "Footprints" and "LA County" from Sands of Time hit the BU National Chart.
February 1998: "LA County" from Sands of Time is #2 and the CD is #9 on the BU National Survey.
Summer 1998: New Vintage records "Changing Times" for Pinecastle Records, Produced by Loneosme River band's Sammy Shelor.
Summer/Fall 1999: "Next to Nothing" from Changing Times reaches #8 on the BU National Survey and the CD peaks at #6.
September 1999: New Vintage showcases at the IBMA World of Bluegrass in Louisville KY.
May 2000: Gena Britt and Greg Martin join the band on banjo and bass.
October 2000: New Vintage plays last show at the IBMA World of Bluegrass Fanfest.
During the initial 11 year run New Vintage played in 24 US states, did 2 Canadian tours, released 5 recorded projects, was nominated for IBMA Emerging Artist in 1994, had 6 songs on the National Charts, 4 Top 10 CD's and won both the Pizza Hut International Bluegrass Showdown and the SPBGMA National Band Contest (in the same year).
January 2007: Reformed with Russell, Alice Zincone, Rick Lafleur and Jon Stickley.
February 2010: Current band, Russell, Alice, Rick, Clifton Preddy and Alan Mullen