“We make it as simple and real and honest as possible,” said Cunningham.
The band’s members include Roger Hammett, Jess Ford, Roger Ledford, Ryan Robertson, Bryan Carter, Tonya Nelson and Cunningham. The musicians have many years of combined experience in the music business.
Hammett learned how to play the banjo from legendary artist Grandpa Jones. He has played with Jones, Jerry Reed and Confederate Railroad. Ford has picked with Charlie Daniels, and Cunningham worked alongside Vern Gosdin for 20 years.
Lard Bucket’s members have known each other for many years, close to 25, according to Cunningham, and have played with one another in various bands in the past.
Other pickers who sometimes join Lard Bucket onstage include Grammy-winning artists, Randy Kohrs and Don Rigsby. Rigsby is also the first cousin of legendary bluegrass and country artist, Ricky Skaggs.
Last March, the friends decided they would give bluegrass music a try. After playing a little while, they thought it sounded, and felt, good.
“Let’s roll with it,” said Cunningham.
After deciding to go ahead with the new project, the band realized they needed a name.
As they sat on Hammett’s back porch in Wedowee, Cunningham stated, “We sound pretty good for a bunch of lard buckets.” The name stuck and Lard Bucket Bluegrass Band was born.
Soon after, the band headed to Retrac Studio in Lineville to record nine songs. Cunningham said that they band decided on which songs they would record as they entered the studio, and that all nine songs were recorded in one take each. Songs include “I Know He Holds my Hand,” “Light at the River,” “Mountain Railroad” and the instrumental “Dinner on the Ground.”
“Back in the day, you sat around the microphone and recorded in one take,” said Cunningham. “That is kind of what we are doing here. We want it to be good, solid music.”
Cunningham says that since the recording session that day, everything associated with the band has “gone gangbusters.”
Lard Bucket has played for large crowds across the Southeast, including a sold-out show last October at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn.
“It’s honest music,” said Cunningham. “Pure honesty in music.”
The next goal the band hopes to achieve is to record an album of all original songs. They also plan to have several big stars play alongside them on the project.
“Mainly, we just want to enjoy the day,” said Cunningham. “Spreading the Lard, having fun along the way.”
Cunningham says fans of the band have come to be known as “Bucketheads.” He defines a Buckethead as a wonderful human being who loves the music of Lard Bucket Bluegrass.
Concerning what the Homestead Hollow crowd can expect when Lard Bucket hits the stage, Cunningham said, “Whatever we feel from the crowd, we turn it back around on them.”
“We’re not in it for the money or fame, but for the fellowship and the love of music,” said Cunningham.
To preview the music of Lard Bucket Bluegrass, visit www.reverbnation.com/lardbucketbluegrassband.
Contact Kenny Farmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.