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The Band

Current Members
Mugshot - Jim
Jim Faddis
 
 
Mugshot - Andre
Andre Vachon
 
 
Mugshot - Andre
Jason Stewart
 
 
Mugshot - Dave
Dave Hackwith
 
 
Mugshot - Steve
Steve Blanchard
 
 
Former Members
Mugshot - Ru
Ru Searson
 
 
  Mugshot - Nikki
Nikki Clevenger
 
 
  Mugshot - Richard
Richard Doble
 
 
What Is Prairie Flyer?
Prairie Flyer is the name of an old-time American train, a diesel-powered machine on a transcontinental route from the past to the present, most often found flying across the prairie under a full moon.
 
So Prairie Flyer's a train?
Yes, indeed. But it's also an eclectic collection of high-powered musicians who like to travel nonstop across the boundaries of bluegrass, folk and Americana - all on the same trip.
 
So Prairie Flyer's a band, too?
Yep. Prairie Flyer started its run in eastern Washington a number of years ago. They believe that honest music and tight harmony will transport us just about anywhere.
 
Who's on board?
  Jim Faddis: Light years ago, Jim learned music from his mom, who played fiddle, taught him about hard work in the California cotton fields, and made sure he knew that music is the one thing a person can't get along without. He's been playing guitar and singing ever since. Jim sings lead vocals in the band with a soulful and honest voice that people say they could listen to all day. Now a songwriter as well as a singer, he was a finalist in both 2003 and 2004 at the Sisters Folk Festival Songwriting Contest. And when we're lucky... he plays the harmonica, too.

  Andre Vachon: Andre's the guy that makes the strings sing--ALL the strings--mandolin, fiddle, resophonic guitar and banjo. His playing has been known to make grown men weep and women faint. Originally from Texas, Andre played guitar, fiddle, and steel guitar with Reba McEntire for almost a year and with Gene Watson for two years. Crowds love to watch Andre play--he has a sheer enjoyment of making music that literally lights up his face...and the whole stage, too.

  Jason Stewart: Jason comes from Jimmy Martin country in East Tennessee where he started playing banjo at the age of eight. He moved to Nashville in 2001 and got his first professional break playing with James Monroe and the Midnight Ramblers. Most recently, he has performed with Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale. He also has played on the Grand Ol' Opry with Jim and alongside the legendary Ralph Stanley. But when he couldn't get along without the Pacific Northwest, he came back and was quick to reunite with Prairie Flyer, and folks have been thrilled ever since.

  Dave Hackwith: THE bass player (bass singer, too, by the way). He holds the train on the tracks. A native of Idaho, Dave's been playing bluegrass a long, long time. He played with Custer's Grass Band (I think they formed up when IKE was president) and likes to tell folks that he backed up Mark O'Connor when Mark was just a teenager. Dave's hidden in the back on stage--quiet, unassuming--but the train gets nowhere without Mr. Hackwith.

  Steve Blanchard: Steve has been playing guitar for nearly 40 years. He's been listening to bluegrass, country, folk and western music all his life. Steven became an accomplished bluegrass guitarist and is becoming a force in the Northwest. Blanchard is known for his driving rhythm (do I hear a train coming?) and tasteful solos. When not playing bluegrass, Steve travels around the West as a cowboy performer. He cites his major influences as Norman Blake, Jim Hurst, Tim Stafford, and Dale Adkins. Steve, who is also studying mandolin and teaches guitar, has performed with Steve Blanchard and the Open Range and with the Jake Henry and Bill Jolliff Band.
 
The Music?
Bluegrass standards (old ones and soon-to-be-new ones), folk, and rock and roll that won't hurt. In short, a wide variety of original songs, classics, freshly interpreted and reconstructed tunes. Above all, these guys love music and know how to have a good time.

What Do Folks Have to Say?
"If you've never seen Prairie Flyer before, head for (the next festival) and catch them. I've seen few bands who could move from a Stanley Brothers song to a Townes Van Zandt, from their own solid bluegrass instrumentals to Steve Earle to Fred Eaglesmith and back to traditional bluegrass with such ease and grace. I hope I never grow up, but if I have to, I want to be able to sing like Jim Faddis and play rhythm guitar like Steve Blanchard." Jim Kelly, Clatskanie Bluegrass Festival, Clatskanie, Oregon.

"(Jim Faddis) and his group are excellent entertainers/performers.... Both on and off stage, Prairie Flyer are quality family men who both enjoy working with promoters and the audience that they perform for. They are prompt; easy to do sound for...and have my highest recommendation." Ken Cartwright, President of The Oregon Bluegrass Association.

"Hi, Dwight and Betty, We were at a wonderful and intimate bluegrass festival at Schweitzer ski area yesterday. The best by far was this band called Prairie Flyer--excellent lead singer, incredible, tight harmonies, and right on with their pro instrumentation. They were so enjoyable to listen to, we all could have easily listened to them for hours. They have [five] CD's out and were working on their demo yesterday. They will give us one when they are finished. I am sure you are busy with the upcoming Summergrass. Take care, Kater" [Kater Bernius is referring to Summergrass, the major festival held in San Diego.]

"The real star of the festival was Prairie Flyer. Jason Stewart is back, the best banjo player I've heard lately. Steve Blanchard's rhythm guiar is the best in the NW, and Jim Faddis is the best singer/sonwriter in the West. This band just cooks." Clyde Clevenger--Huckleberry Jamm Festival, Davenport, WA

"Hi, Milton, I wanted to tell you about a group I heard at Mt. St. Helen's Festival in Toledo, WA, this weekend (I MC'd). They are Prairie Flyer. They were wonderful. I heard tremendous "buzz" after the concert and in the campground about this group. Would you mind if I gave your mailing address to their booking agent so she can send you a press kit? Sharon A. Sandgren/Permanente Journal" [Sharon (from Portland) emceed the afternoon sets at Toledo. She is recommending Prairie Flyer for a big winter festival in Asheville, NC]

 
All Aboard!
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