Pat Flynn, John Cowan, Stuart Duncan & Scott Vestal

Years at Winfield: 

What can one say about these Bluegrass masters other than that they are truly masters of bluegrass music. They have been involved in this type of music since the 1980s and are still performing their type of music, namely bluegrass. They have recorded with artists ranging from Garth Brooks to George Strait and Reba McEntyre to Kathy Mattea and from Dolly Parton to the Dixie Chicks. So are they good; they are Bluegrass Masters!

Pat Flynn developed his guitar style in the fertile fields of Southern California where he was born and raised. He began his recording career while still in high school. He joined the group New Grass Revival in 1981 and spent the next ten years as the group’s lead guitarist and main songwriter. Pat was voted Best Acoustic Guitarist five consecutive years in Frets Magazine’s national readers poll and ultimately was inducted in the Gallery of Greats (along with Chet Atkins, Doc Watson, and others) in 1989. After his ten-year stint with New Grass Revival, Pat completed a degree in Psychology and a Masters in Biblical Studies from Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. As a studio musician in Nashville, Pat has participated in hundreds of recording projects including 26 gold/platinum releases and 29 number one records. Garth Brooks recently invited Pat to help record one of Pat’s songs, “Do What You Gotta Do.”

Like Pat Flynn, John Cowan’s history is inextricably bound up with the legendary group New Grass Revival. A professional music maker since age 14, he was a veteran of Louisville rock bands such as Everyday People and Louisville Sound Department by age 20. He auditioned for New Grass Revival in 1974. After several personnel shifts, Pat Flynn and Bela Fleck joined bandmates John Cowan and Sam Bush in the early 1980s. Then New Grass Revival took the acoustic music world by storm with a string of sizzling albums and concert appearances. John spent the next sixteen years as a part of this group until the band broke up in the early 1989. He possesses arguably one of the most powerful and emotive tenor voices in today’s music world. John says he feels both blessed and humble. “God have me the gift of singing from the moment I was born and I don’t know what I would have done in life if I weren’t a singer/musician,” states Cowan. He went on to say, “maybe it’s just that some of us figure out what our gifts are and some of us don’t. I was just lucky.” No John, you have a God given talent and we’re glad you’re using it as He meant you to.

Stuart Duncan plays fiddle, mandolin, guitar and banjo in a style fully realized and does it to sublime perfection. Tone, taste and timing are his trademark and he has the amazing ability to play perfectly in tune. Stuart is a red-hot fiddler, mandolinist and songwriter. His playing shows that he loves what he does. There seems to be no end to this man’s talents. Stuart currently plays with the Nashville Bluegrass Band and is one of the busiest studio musicians in Nashville, appearing on hundreds of albums by dozens of artists. Born and raised in Southern California, Duncan played with many of the Los Angeles local bands on his way to bluegrass fame. He is a multi-instrumentalist who has garnered respect and awards from both country and bluegrass institutions. He is a two-time Grammy Award winner as a member of the Nashville Bluegrass Band, a 1999 Academy of Country Music award winner for “Fiddle Player of the Year,” and winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s “Fiddle Player of the Year” award for 7 consecutive years.

Scott Vestal was born May 8, 1962 in Duncan, OK. The older of two children, music was a constant from Scott's early age. His grandfather, Famon Self, an old time country fiddler with lots of patience, showed Scott his first chords on the guitar. Scott and his brother, Curtis, would play and sing with their grandfather at various events ranging from parades to nursing homes to bluegrass festivals. At age 13 Scott got his first 5-string banjo and began learning from the records his father had around the house, ranging from Flatt and Scruggs to New Grass Revival. After a few years, and many hours of practice, he was playing in contests and touring with local bands across the U.S. His professional career began at the age of 18 when he began to work with Larry Sparks. In 1985, Scott joined Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver. Four years later, he once again struck out to broaden his musical knowledge with his own group, Livewire. Today, Scott does a lot of session work around Nashville,TN, has his own recording studio where he engineers and produces various projects including an award winning series of instrumental recordings for Pinecastle Records, and has worked with the likes of Bill Monroe, Sam Bush, Tim O'Brien, Jim Lauderdale, Ralph Stanley, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas, John Cowan, and Tony Rice. Scott is truly recognized as one of the premier banjo players in the industry today.

Other Walnut Valley artists: