ToneBlazers are based in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. Their repertoire is an Americana mix of their own original material. The ToneBlazer's 2011 performances included MerleFest, Riverhawk Music Festival, Songs of the Mountain (PBS series), King Pup Syndicated Radio, Red White and Bluegrass Festival, Albino Skunk Festival, Plum Hollow Festival, Chomp & Stomp Festival, and winning the Charlotte Music Awards in Americana/Bluegrass category. Their debut album, Red Clay Roots, was released in 2011 on Little King Records and their second release, Grass Roots was released in 2012.
Individually throughout their careers, they have shared the stage or studio with Doc Watson, Kenny Rogers, Loretta Lynn, George Shuffler, Marty Raybon, Alison Krauss, Mark O’Connor, Doug Jernigan, Wayne Henderson, Roy Huskey Jr., Charlie Waller and Tony Rice, to name a few.
Jack Lawrence was born in Charlotte, NC and grew up in a home filled with music. His father was the sound technician at a local music hall. There, young Jack was exposed to the finest professional country and bluegrass musicians in the land. His influences from that experience included Flatt and Scruggs, Ernest Tubb and the Texas Troubadours, The Country Gentlemen, Marty Robbins, Bill Monroe, Jerry Lee Lewis and a host of others.
Jack is a guitar powerhouse. Jack has played with Carl Story, '70s "Newgrass" movement bands - New Deal String Band & Bluegrass Alliance, and in 1983 Jack accepted a job with Doc Watson, touring and recording with the master for over 25 years.
Electric and acoustic bass, vocals
Born in LaPlata, MD, Billy Gee grew up in a house filled with music and has been playing music for 50 years. He says playing music “gives me a thrill and I think it’s something I was born to do.”
In April 2004, he began touring as a bassist for international bluegrass legend Charlie Waller and his band, The Country Gentlemen. When Charlie died later that year, Billy became one of the founding members of The Circuit Riders.
Billy has recorded on several album projects, including Darin Aldridge’s “Call It a Day” and the Circuit Rider’s “Let The Ride Begin” on Pinecastle Records. In addition to having played shows with well known musical figures such as Bo Diddley, Doc Watson, Wayne Henderson, Jim Lauderdale, and Charlie Waller, he also performed with The Country Gentlemen at the 2005 Presidential Inaugural Celebration in Washington, D.C.
When not performing, Billy runs his own guitar repair business, Guitar Specialist, and is a respected warranty station for several brands including Martin, Taylor and Fender. One of his many clients was the legendary Doc Watson.
Guitar, resonator guitar, vocals
Born in Alexandria, VA, Dale Meyer has been playing music for over 40 years.
Over the course of his career he has been a session musician and played in numerous bands around Morganton, NC that play everything from bluegrass to top 40 country and pop to original rhythm and blues. The bands include Whiskey River, Stetson Band, Younger Brothers, KeenFish, George Shuffler Band and Straight Drive.
Dale has performed on stage with George Shuffler, Marty Raybon, Jack Lawrence, Danny Flowers, Alan Johnson, David Johnson, Etta Baker, Ricky Matlock and John Boy & Billy. He’s also on CDs made by Michael Reno Harrell, Brother Dave Band, Blalock & Lunsford, Tom Eure, 2nd Time Around, KeenFish and more.
Pedal Steel Guitar, Banjo
Jim Ashton is the ultimate utility-man among the songwriting circuit. Jim’s silk-sound pedal steel guitar, fusion-brained banjo and original compositions are all stout.
By personality not a front-man, Jim has been working his craft at the back of the stage performing with singer songwriters such as Jonathan Birchfield, Michael Reno Harrell, Robin Rogers, Lacy Green and Chris Cook and as a touring member of The Carter Brothers Band and the infamous bluegrass jam band, Cast Iron Filter.
Jody Call brings over 20 years of percussion experience to the ToneBlazers. Initially a self-taught percussionist who later pursued formal training, he has performed in various groups and genres including soul, R&B, reggae, rock, big band, jazz, bluegrass, Americana, blues and funk.
His latest musical involvement, prior to joining the ToneBlazers, saw him as percussionist with The Kruger Brothers.
Guitar, mandolin, vocals
Originally from Jefferson, NC, Randy Gambill has been playing music for over 35 years.
While in England, Randy helped to form bluegrass band Southern Exposure with the Jeff Beck of bluegrass banjo, Leon Hunt, as well as Mike Prior and Steve Mazillius. Southern Exposure successfully recorded, produced, toured and promoted its CD,Small Town, for which Randy wrote five of the eleven tracks. While living in Nashville in 1996, Randy released an independently produced Country CD, which included six of his original songs.
Randy has shared the stage/studio with Alison Krauss, Tim O’Brien, Mark O’Connor, Laurie Lewis, June Tabor, Jerry Donahue, Doc Watson, Wayne Henderson, The Kruger Brothers, Johnny Bellar, Jim Lauderdale, Doug Jernigan, Roy Huskey Jr. and Tony Furtado.