Small Town Band with a Big Time Sound. . . .
Distinctive, Modern yet Traditionally Rooted Bluegrass Music
Singer, songwriter and mandolinist Russell Johnson brings twenty-seven years of performing and recording experience to Diamond Creek. A featured artist on eighteen CDs and a guest on many more, his bluesy high-lonesome tenor makes him one of the most recognizable singers in bluegrass. As a songwriter he has been nominated for SPBGMA's Songwriter of the Year three times and has charted over thirty original songs on numerous charts including four number one singles. He was recently appointed the Director of the Carolina Bluegrass Band at his alma mater, UNC-Chapel Hill.
Kandis has been a fan of bluegrass music for 25 years and got her first taste of playing an electric bass at a bluegrass jam 15 years ago. She was immediately hooked and quickly switched to learning the upright bass taking lessons from Zachary McLamb. She has filled in with several different bands and played a year stint with The String Machine.
Guitarist and vocalist, Spencer Mobley, comes from Raleigh, North Carolina. Throughout the last decade, Spencer has performed as a member or fill-in musician with a variety of local, regional, and national bands. He brings a passion and deep respect for bluegrass music and its history to Diamond Creek.
Julie Elkins has been a professional musician for most of her life, performing long stints with North Carolina’s renowned bluegrass band, New Vintage and with trailblazing Bluegrass/Americana band, Kane’s River. Currently residing in Raleigh, NC, Elkins teaches banjo, guitar and vocals while touring internationally and appearing on dozens of acclaimed recordings with musicians of multiple genres.
Emily Kirsch has been performing since the age of six; beginning her career in church, then on the stage of local dinner theaters, and also with the Lost Colony chorus at the North Carolina Symphony. After studying piano for seven years, Emily began taking guitar lessons from Russell Johnson in 2009, fell in love with bluegrass music and released her solo CD, Just Another Memory, in January of 2013. Jon Weisberger, chairman of IBMA’s board of directors, describes Emily as “a singer who’s going to make an awful lot of listeners sit up and take notice.”