Lost & Found
For the last 40-plus years, the band Lost & Found has been an established and popular brand in the bluegrass world. The original members of the group, which formed in Virginia in the early 1970s, included Allen Mills on banjo, Dempsey Young on mandolin, Roger Handy on guitar and Gene Parker on banjo. The band became favorites on the concert and festival circuit due to their level-headed and talent-laden approach to traditional bluegrass music.
Over the years, as with most bands, Lost & Found went through a few lineup changes. Ronnie Bowman, Junior Sisk, Steve Thomas, and Ray Berrier are some of the more notable names to have passed through the group. The one constant throughout the years, however, has been Mills and his bluegrass vision.
In the 1980s, Lost & Found signed with Rebel Records and began to record a series of albums for the label. Some of those include Endless Highway, Sun’s Gonna Shine, Hymn Time, January Rain, A Ride Through The Country, It’s About Time and Love, Lost and Found. The song “Johnston’s Grocery Store” from the It’s About Time album climbed to Number 1 on the Bluegrass Unlimited magazine song chart.
For most of the band’s first three decades, mandolinist Dempsey Young was there alongside Mills. In 2006, however, Young’s untimely and tragic death began a hard time for the Lost & Found family. Eventually, a few years later, the group bounced back with the album Love, Lost and Found, a project that featured Young’s final recordings yet also showcased the band’s new lineup. The musician who was tapped to take over the mandolin chair after Young’s passing was Scott Napier. Napier, who plays on Love, Lost and Found, was a long-time alumnus with Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers. He also performed with Dale Ann Bradley and Marty Raybon and spent time in the house band for the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour program.
Ronald Smith, who also appears on the Lost, Love and Found, has performed professionally as a bluegrass musician since he was a teenager and has been a member of Lost & Found since 1999. The current version of the group features Mills, Smith, Napier and guitarist and songwriter Dan Wells, who penned three of the songs on Love, Lost and Found.
in 2010, Rebel Records released Down On Sawmill Road, a compilation of popular songs culled from the albums that Lost & Found recorded on the label. Some of the featured cuts include “Leaving You and Mobile Too,” “If Today Was the Last Day,” “Log Cabin in the Lane,” “The Rabbit Song,” “That’s What Country Folks Do” and the aforementioned “Johnston’s Grocery Store.” The Lost & Found alumnus featured on Down on Sawmill Road include Mills, Young, Smith, Parker, Napier, Scottie Sparks, Gene Parker, Steve Wilson, Barry Berrier, Steve Thomas and Lynwood Lunsford.