The four young men who comprise the Rye Holler Boys, all in their teens, are deeply influenced by the bluegrass music of their grandparents’ generation. Though they cite younger bluegrass artists as influences-fellow Bryson City native Cody Shuler in particular, and his band, Pine Mountain Railroad-it is the music of the founding fathers of bluegrass that most inspires them. Their favorites include Jimmy Martin, Ralph Stanley, and Flatt and Scruggs.
The Rye Holler Boys are Will Howell, Adam King, Alan King, and Will Phillips. Brothers Adam and Alan, who play mandolin and banjo, respectively, have played bluegrass since they were in elementary school. Will Phillips, rhythm guitarist, started playing guitar in his church, and after a period spent learning drums, returned to guitar and began to play bluegrass with Adam and Alan. Will Howell, lead singer and guitarist, learned the guitar as a very young child, and has been singing country and bluegrass for some time. In September, 2007, he won first place in both guitar and senior vocal at the Railfest Heritage Alive! Mountain Youth Talent Contest. Like so many bluegrass musicians, each of the Rye Holler Boys is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist.
In their young career, the band has already had some prestigious bookings. They have been featured guests at a Cody Shuler and Pine Mountain Railroad performance, and in early 2008 appeared at Bluegrass First Class in Asheville. They have also appeared at the North Carolina Mountain State Fair in Asheville, the Morganton Red, White, and Bluegrass Festival, and other events. The Rye Holler Boys have released their first album, entitled 1st Ever.
The Rye Holler Boys are available for performances in concert, at festivals, and for weddings, family reunions, and birthdays.