Band of Ruhks

Comprised of Ronnie Bowman (bass), Kenny Smith (guitar), Don Rigsby (mandolin)and Brian Fesler (banjo), the Band of Ruhks have made timeless music together and separately for decades. All of them are bluegrass veterans with proven track records, and each member has had a long standing relationship with Rebel Records. 

Award-winning vocalist and songwriter Ronnie Bowman rose to prominence through recordings he made for Rebel. He got his start with Allen Mills and the Lost & Found and was a member of the Lonesome River Band when they recorded their landmark album Carrying The Tradition (REB-1690). In 1995, he released his first solo project Cold Virginia Night (REB-1704), which won IBMA’s Album of the Year and Song of the Year (for the title track) that same year. 

Known for his dazzling guitar work, Kenny Smith put out four stellar albums on Rebel with his talented wife Amanda Smith during the first decade of the new century including three secular albums and a gospel release, Tell Someone (REB-1821).

Mandolinist Don Rigsby’s career has led him to cross paths with first-generation pioneers as well as the millennial generation as a singer, songwriter, producer, teacher and historian. Rigsby has enjoyed a fruitful association with Rebel dating back to when he fronted the band Rock County who released two albums for the label in the early 2000s. More recently, he has recorded three solo albums for Rebel including Doctor’s Orders (REB-1841), the very successful all-star tribute to his hero Ralph Stanley.

Rounding out the quartet is Brian Fesler, a hard driving, innovative banjoist. Fesler’s relationship with Rebel dates back the furthest having performed on the Lonesome River Band‘s second Rebel LP, 1988’s Saturday Night, Sunday Morning (REB-1660). 

Three of the band members (Bowman, Smith and Rigsby) worked together in the Lonesome River Band in the 1990’s before embarking on their individual journeys. In 2010, they were together and began a conversation about making music together once again. The Band of Ruhks formed and put out a self-titled album in 2012. They have since added Brian Fesler and their sophomore album was released on Rebel Records in 2019.