Junior Sisk is one of bluegrass’s most talented vocalists today. His expertise started at age fourteen, when he first learned to play guitar. Sisk was influenced by The Stanley Brothers, Dave Evans, and Larry Sparks, with the Johnson Mountain Boys inspiring him to pursue bluegrass professionally. For most of his life, he has lived in Blue Ridge, Virginia. His father wrote songs and played guitar, while his mother sang. He made his first move into the industry in the 1990s with “Game (I Can’t Win)” and “Tears are Blinding Me.” He was a member of Wyatt Rice & Santa Cruz and Blueridge, which set a path for modern traditionalized bluegrass.
After four IBMA Awards and two SPBGMA Awards, Junior Sisk joined with Mountain Fever Records. He recently finished his third project, Load the Wagon, Load the Wagon. The album spent six months at the top of the National Survey Chart in 2020 and has become Sisk’s most successful album yet. His single “Long Hard Road” was released with the label in July of 2023.
Sisk has won IBMA Album of the Year in 2012, IBMA Song of the Year in 2012, all from his album, Heart of a Song. He was named IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year in 2013, and in 2016 he received the award for IBMA Recorded Event of the Year with “Longneck Blues” that was performed alongside Ronnie Bowman. His band received the 2014 SPBGMA Bluegrass Band of the Year Award, and the 2017 Male Vocalist of the Year award from SPBGMA.
Johnathan Dillon began playing mandolin at age seven, and grew up in Wirtz, Virginia. He later learned banjo, guitar, and bass. For five years, he played local shows with his group, Johnathan Dillon Band. Following that, he was a member of Michelle Nixon & Drive for three years, and recorded one album, A Place I Belong. He joined Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice in August of 2013 and has been playing with them for ten years. His greatest influences were Dempsey Young, Adam Steffey, Doyle Lawson, Herschel Sizemore, and Dan Tyminski.
Heather Berry Mabe
Heather Berry-Mabe grew up singing bluegrass, folk, country, and gospel music in Sherando, Virginia. She has recorded several albums, including two for Tom T. and the late Miss Dixie Hall’s label, Blue Circle Records. She toured the country and sang at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Heather worked with the Daughters of Bluegrass, earning her two IBMA awards and two SPGMA female vocalist of the year nominations.
The late Miss Dixie Hall said about Heather’s voice, “Tom T. and I have had Heather pegged for some time now as being as awesome as Allison, of the caliber of Emmylou, and unassumingly sharing the legendary quality of Maybelle.”
Tony is married to Heather, guitar and vocals of the band, and they live in his hometown of Walnut Cove, North Carolina. He started playing the piano without instruction at age six, and since then has learned every instrument he has had the opportunity to play. Tony has played with The Jeanette Williams Band, The James King Band, Danny Paisley & The Southern Grass, Travers Chandler & Avery County, Bobby Atkins & The Countrymen. He won the second place prize at the Alleghen Fiddlers Convention in the clawhammer category in 2010, and third place at the Galax Fiddlers Convention with banjo in 2011.
Curt Love went to his first bluegrass concert when he was three years old, seeing IIIrd Tyme Out. He tried the mandolin, but said he was never very good at playing it. A Bill Monroe former banjo player, Bill Simpson, taught Curt much on the banjo. Curt began going to local jam sessions and playing with other musicians, eventually meeting Sandy and Gary Hatley. They remained close, and the couple eventually brought Curt to his first bluegrass festival; the Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Bluegrass Festival in Denton, North Carolina. Curt started playing with The Hatley Family band, eventually mastering the bass and guitar, making him a talented multi-instrument addition to Sisk’s group. His first full-time bass gig, though, is with Junior Sisk.
Junior Sisk News
Congratulations to Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice for their debut on the Top Selling Bluegrass Albums Chart this week with “Poor Boy’s Pleasure!”
Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice will celebrate the official release of Poor Boy’s Pleasure at the Chantilly Farm Bluegrass & BBQ Festival this weekend, May 27th and 28th. Founded in 2011, Chantilly Farm has evolved into one […]
Mountain Fever Records is proud to announce they have signed one of traditional bluegrass music’s torch-bearers, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice to their label. Sisk will begin work on a new album to be released March, 2016. There […]