The Neighbors have been evolving as a performing group for more than ten years. Originally, band members met for informal picking sessions in their own homes. What began as a means to express a passion for acoustic music has become a dynamic, energetic performing group.
The group performs at a wide variety of functions including wedding celebrations, festivals, benefits for associations and individuals involved with cancer research, hospice, fiddlers’ conventions, contra dances, Habitat for Humanity, and private parties. The group has performed on the King Pup Radio Show and on Live at Leatherwoods syndicated radio shows. The King Pup Radio show is archived and can still be heard on the Internet at www.radioyur.com. The group has made local television appearances and participated in the 2004 Caldwell County Traditional Musicians’ Showcase entitled “Playin Hooky.” This band stands out not only in its musicianship but also in the sense of community responsibility it shows. The Neighbors have performed for many hospice patients and for the elderly, both at home and in nursing facilities.
Bob Henson grew up in Canton, North Carolina, where he started learning banjo at the age of sixteen, and has since learned guitar, mandolin, Dobro, and other slide guitar styles. Bob plays guitar and sings with the group.
Rick Everhardt plays mandolin and fiddle with the group. Rick grew up in Caldwell County, listening to many kinds of music. He started playing when he was grown, and he is driven toward perfecting his own sound.
Gary Saunders from Whitnel, North Carolina, plays most stringed instruments, which he learned first from his father and two sisters. Gary plays banjo and bass with the group, and he also sings high tenor.
Rick Conway grew up in Hudson, North Carolina, learning music in high school band and college. He was a member of the Green Mountain Cloggers, and he played music professionally in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and in southern California for a number of years. Rick plays resophonic guitar and bass with the group.
Tony Deal grew up in Rowan County listening to his family play and sing old time and bluegrass music. As a teenager, he was interested in rock music, but he returned to string band music in the 1970s, focusing on hammered dulcimer, old time banjo, and the bass. He plays bass, clawhammer banjo, and harmonica with the Neighbors.
Bob Kogut has been fiddling and making fiddles in western North Carolina since 1998. Bob is accomplished in bluegrass, old-time, jazz, swing, and Italian folk music, and he plays fiddle, mandolin, bass, banjo, and guitar. Bob plays fiddle with the group.
The Neighbors are available for a variety of performances.