Singer, songwriter and guitarist Russell Johnson brings thirty 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 six 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.
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.”
Small Town Band with a Big Time Sound. . . .
Distinctive, Modern yet Traditionally Rooted Bluegrass Music
Wake Co. native Barney Rogers rounds out the Diamond Creek Band with his forceful syncopated banjo playing. Inspired by the Flatt and Scruggs tv shows and parlor picking with Bascam Lamar Lunsford, he has developed a feel for the banjo’s place in a band. He also plays finger-style guitar, clawhammer banjo and occasionally sings with Diamond Creek. Barney has played for years in local bands and until recently, he held the banjo slot with Blue Grass artist Travers Chandler & Avery Co. . With Chandler Barney performed on the RFD -TV’s, “Blue Grass Trail” tv show produced on Nashville’s Music Row. Barney has had songwriting success, penning songs for several Blue Grass artists. His song “Gonna Rise and Shine” was a major Gospel hit for Alan Bibey and Grasstowne, charting almost 40 weeks, with 15 being in the # 1 slot. In 2019 Barney was a finalist for SPBGMAS’s Songwriter of the Year in Nashville.