Russell Johnson

Tim Woodall

Chris Hill

Rick Lafleur

Bailey Coe
         
The GRASS CATS continue to entertain audiences with their exciting live performances and critically acclaimed recordings. Their shows feature lively foot-stomping fiddle and banjo music, bluegrass classics, tight vocal harmonies, acapella gospel quartets and chart-topping original songs. Though careful never to lose their traditional bluegrass footing, the CATS also perform cleverly arranged "covers" of songs from artists as diverse as Eric Clapton, Duke Ellington and Tim McGraw.

With a total of nine CD's, their recording career has been highly acclaimed with five of their CD's landing in the Top 10 on Bluegrass Unlimited's national chart. Their latest release, The Mountains My Baby And Me, produced their third #1 hit “The Mountains My Baby And Me” and the single was ranked by Bluegrass Today as #15 for all of 2013. In 2010, A Good Way To Get The Blues, produced their second #1 hit “A Good Way To Get The Blues”. Their 2002 release, The Blues Are Back In Town, received a highlight review in Bluegrass Unlimited magazine and garnered the CATS their first #1 single, "Bluegrass Man." and the CD was named to County Sales' Top 5 Traditional Bluegrass Recording list for 2002. Their 2007 release, Home To Carolina, garnered a #2 single, “Pill Or Potion”.
   
 
RUSSELL JOHNSON - Four Oaks, NC
mandolin, vocals
russell@grasscats.com


Russell brings twenty-seven years of performing and recording experience to the band. A featured artist on eighteen CDs and a guest on many more, his ”rock-solid and exquisitely high-lonesome vocals” makes him one of bluegrass music's most recognizable tenor voices. As a songwriter he has been nominated for SPBGMA's Songwriter of the Year three times and has charted over thirty original songs on numerous charts. Thirteen of these have appeared on the Bluegrass Unlimited National Bluegrass Survey, including four #1 singles for the Grass Cats. He was the driving force of the award winning Pinecastle Recording Artist “New Vintage” from 1989 to 2000. Known for his humorous stage presence, compelling songwriting and soaring tenor, Bluegrass Unlimited magazine places him in "the first ranks of contemporary bluegrass." He was recently appointed the Director of the Carolina Bluegrass Band at his alma mater, UNC-Chapel Hill.
   
 
TIM WOODALL - Cary, NC
bass, vocals
tim@grasscats.com

Having listened to and watched Earl Scruggs on TV since childhood, Tim has played banjo for 40 years or so, and was the banjo player for the first 13 1/2 years in the Grass Cats. Tim switched to bass about five years ago with the addition of Rick Lafleur to the band. Interested in many other types of music, he has recorded pedal steel, bass, and guitar in addition to banjo as a studio musician. Another interest since the age of 13 or 14 is radio broadcasting. That led to co-hosting the Pinecone Bluegrass Show on WQDR in Raleigh, NC since 1989. Tim sings all the harmony parts and is a featured lead singer in the band.
   
 
CHRIS HILL - Kinston, NC
fiddle, vocals
chris@grasscats.com

"Silky smooth fiddling" and "rich harmony" are among the adjectives that have been used to describe original Grass Cats member, Chris Hill. He's drawn from fiddle legends such as Stuart Duncan, Bobby Hicks, and Kenny Baker, while creating his own style. Whether it's on stage or behind the scenes, he has been an intrical part of the band's success over the years. His musical career has been highlighted by appearances with Ralph Stanley, Mac Wiseman, The Lewis Family, and was a member of regional favorite Al Batten & The Bluegrass Reunion for 6 years. Chris is a proud graduate of NC State University and enjoys spending his free time with his wife, Tiffannie, and three children, Coleman, Alex, and Lily.
   
 
RICK LAFLEUR - Durham, NC
banjo, vocals
rick@grasscats.com


Rick Lafleur is a banjoist, songwriter, and singer from Callander, Ontario Canada, now making his home in Durham, NC. Rick’s recording debut began in 2005 with the release of Moma’s Voice a joint collaboration with Alice Zincone featuring their original songs, harmony singing, and Rick’s explosive banjo playing. Jim Mills former banjoist with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder said: “Rick’s tasteful banjo playing throughout the recording is wonderful!” Opportunity struck in 2009 when Rhonda Vincent, Alice, and Rick came together in an effort that resulted in the song “Last Time Loving You.” The song was released on Vincent’s Grammy nominated album titled Destination Life and reached #7 on the Bluegrass Unlimited national chart. Rick joined the Grass Cats in 2010 and has been a co-writer with Russell on three recorded songs including the title cut of the CD The Mountains my Baby and Me, a number one single for three consecutive months on the Bluegrass Unlimited national chart. Rick has been a guest performer on numerous recordings and continues to have a busy performance schedule.
   
 
Bailey Coe - Four Oaks, NC
guitar, vocals
bailey@grasscats.com

Bailey stepped into bluegrass at the age of 12 when he started taking mandolin lessons from Russell. After two years of playing with a local bluegrass band, Supper Break, he joined his high schools Ensemble Choir and played electric bass and guitar in a Southern Rock band, GunSmoke, through his junior and senior years of high school. Over the past three years Bailey has played mandolin and sang lead vocals with Victoria Lee & NewGround and guitar and lead vocals with Bethesda Bluegrass. Bailey’s powerful vocals and precise rhythm on the guitar compliment the great talents of the group. A sophomore at UNC Greensboro and a member of the Lloyds International Honors College, Bailey is studying Community and Therapeutic Recreation for a career in Pediatric Occupational Therapy.