G.E. Smith is returning for his second Berks Country Fest. Last year, he performed his History of the Electric Guitar show to rave reviews.
One of the most in demand blues/rock guitarists in the world is a mysterious character who goes by the name of G.E. Smith. Millions of TV viewers know his face-and the shock of unruly blond ponytail that was always falling across it-from his tenure stint of fronting the Saturday Night Live Band.
He was the lead guitarist in the band Hall & Oates and the musical director of Saturday Night Live. Smith was lead guitarist of Bob Dylan’s touring band from June 1988, to October 1990.
As a session player, Smith has performed and recorded with an exceptionally wide spectrum of influential artists. His own albums include In The World (1981), Get A Little (with the Saturday Night Live Band, 1993) and Incense, Herbs and Oils (1998). Smith was the lead guitarist for the band Moonalice until December 2009.
Wyatt Rice is also a member of the Crooked Road Guitar Masters and was first spotlighted as an original member of the Tony Rice Unit, where he was featured on numerous recordings, videos, and performances. Wyatt has recorded or performed with players such as David Grisman, JD Crowe, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Dan Tyminski, Alison Krauss, Bela Fleck, Rickie Simpkins, Ronnie Bowman, Lee Ann Womack, The Lonesome River Band, Sierra Hull, Ricky Skaggs, as well as his brothers Larry, Tony and Ronnie.
Claiborne Woodall is a member of the prestigious Crooked Road Guitar Masters and performs bluegrass and Americana material with equal facility as well as being an excellent singer. He brings a knack for nice arrangements and tasteful solos that comes as much from knowing what notes to leave out as what notes to put in. He has performed at The Smithsonian Institution, Floydfest, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, The Down Home, and acoustic venues throughout the East.
What began as a professional campfire jam experience between Lefty Wilson (Scruggs banjo) and Brown Bird “Coontail” Gunther James (6-string banjo), quickly recruited the expertise of Stove “The Iron Swan” Moose (primal banjo) and Klabe Dunn (mandolin banjo) for an ultimate open-mic and late-night festival jug-less Jug-Grass adventure. Blazing an unrivaled path through the local Pennsylvania bar and festival scene, the Gang had soon snatched up the honorary services of Hamburg native Sir Brandon “Re-bar” The First (washboard percussion banjo extraordinaire) and those of Reading’s Zak Auchenbach (bass; variety: upright banjo) to complete their current, touring, name-droppin’, finger poppin’ line-up of Uncle Jake & the 18 Wheel Gang.
The Gang can be seen performing songs that have traditionally been originals, alongside some more tunes that are originally traditionals that can be heard reverberating out of the heart of most town and city folk alike, from any mountain tavern, campfire, or late night stage across this side of the continent.