The Hamilton County Ramblers are a Chattanooga, Tennessee based bluegrass band who play mostly tunes not from this decade.

Meet the Ramblers!

The Hamilton County Ramblers are a Chattanooga, Tennessee based bluegrass group who enjoys playing for anyone who will listen. The group features excellent musicianship, at least average singing and hopefully some tunes you've never heard before. 

John Boulware

John Boulware’s musical heritage stretches back for generations. His great-great-grandfather Will McWatters played fiddle, as did his grandfather Brice Bagley.

James Kee

Born in Signal Mountain, Tennessee, James Kee grew up in a hot bed of great local musicians. At an early age, James expressed a special interest in music, singing in school and church choirs as well as the Chattanooga Boys Choir. It was here that James had his first experiences on stage.

Josh Hixson

Josh grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee and in the foothills of Lookout Mountain, Georgia. He was introduced to bluegrass music by his grandfather Fred Hixson as a child but didn't take up the genre until age thirteen when he began playing the guitar. Mandolin soon followed along with the banjo and finally bass. Josh has played in a plethora of different local bands throughout the region including as well as notable groups like the Crowe Brothers and Shannon Slaughter.

Now Josh turns his attention over to the bass where his impeccable timing,tone and taste will be featured in the all-star band that is the Hamilton County Ramblers.

Roy Curry

"...a preternaturally gifted guitar player." - Alan St. John, Clapton's Guitar

Roy Curry began playing guitar at the age of 11. His smooth, seemingly effortless flat picking skills and musical knowledge are a treat to observe. Roy makes his listeners forget the complexity that’s put into producing such amazing sounds on guitar and lets them be drawn in to the pleasing experience of his performances. Known internationally as one of the finest flat pickers in existence, he’s also highly respected locally and enjoys freelancing as well as playing electric guitar. His talent has won him 21 guitars so far, and he’s not done yet.

His accolades include having won the Winfield/Walnut Valley Festival’s National Flat Pick Guitar Contest three times; the New England Flat Picking Championship contest twice; Merlefest; Renofest; and the Wayne Henderson Guitar Contest. He is also the 2010 and 2014 Minnesota State Flat Picking Champion and the 2005 Tennessee State Flat Picking Champion. Roy has toured nationally with the Forester Sisters, and regionally with Danny Shirley (of Confederate Railroad fame), and was featured as the cover story in the Nov/Dec 2004 edition of Flat Picking Guitar Magazine.

Jim Pankey

"...jaw-dropping mastery of both the bluegrass and clawhammer styles." - Dave Higgs, Bluegrass Now

Jim Pankey hails from Chatsworth, Georgia. His banjo style arsenal is unlimited as he blends his knowledge of clawhammer and Scruggs style picking. Jim is also a fierce competitor, having won past Georgia and Tennessee state championships on the 5-string banjo.

His column “The Workshop” was a feature in the well known Banjo Newsletter and you can find interviews with Jim in the July 2011 edition of the Banjo Newsletter and the Winter 2006 edition of Banjovia.

You can also find him among other valued faculty alumni for highly esteemed acoustic music and banjo camps such as Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Camp, Maryville TN; Banjo Newsletter Workshops; and The Maryland Banjo Academy, Buckeyestown MD. Jim currently teaches at the Folk School of Chattanooga as well as offering private lessons.

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