The Blue Canyon Boys, winners of the 2008 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Contest, have been picking and entertaining audiences with their unique style of bluegrass in the Colorado area for over four years. This high energy, bluegrass powerhouse consists of Gary Dark on mandolin, Jason Hicks on guitar, Drew Garrett on bass, and Jeff Scroggins on banjo. Blending incredible brother-duet-style vocals and hard-driving instrumental proficiency, this energetic band has quickly become a mainstay of the front range bluegrass scene. In 2006 the Blue Canyon Boys released their debut CD, Just An Ol* Dirt Road, consisting of well-crafted originals and great traditional songs.
Rooting themselves in tradition, The Blue Canyon Boys draw upon influences like the Stanley Brothers, Jim and Jesse, Jimmy Martin, Bill Monroe and others to entertain audiences with a thoughtful selection of traditional and original songs, fine musicianship and humorous stage presence. 2007 brought changes to the line up with the addition of Drew Garrett and Jeff Scroggins, turning what was a powerful trio into an even stronger quartet.
Originally from Kentucky, vocalist and mandolinist Gary Dark has been performing for more than 15 years. Carrying on a tradition of music handed down through his family of bluegrass and folk musicians, he started out on the guitar at the age of 11. Gary has performed music in a variety of bands throughout the western United States and has been immersed in bluegrass for well over a decade. A founding member of Colorado-based bluegrass bands Howlin’ Dog Moon and the Stanleytones, Gary was singled out by Bluegrass Unlimited in a review of the Stanleytones release Half A Dozen Heartaches: “It is the lead vocals of Gary Dark that gives the Stanleytones much of their musical personality.” Gary, along with Jason Hicks, founded The Blue Canyon Boys in 2003.
Guitarist and vocalist Jason Hicks, who hails from Labadie, Missouri, has been performing music for over 15 years. He earned his B.F.A. from Webster University in St. Louis, where he studied jazz theory, improvisation, and composition on the guitar. Jason moved to the Boulder, Colorado area in 1998 and began performing as a singer-songwriter and developing his unique style of bluegrass guitar. Now making his home in Lyons, Colorado, Jason has been featured in and is a contributing author to Flatpicking Guitar Magazine. It is
also Jason’s singing which contributes to the Blue Canyon Boys’ sound: “When he duets with Gary you would swear they are brothers.” They swear they are not.
Jeff Scroggins grew up in rural Oklahoma listening to his grandfather perform old time country music. As a teenager Jeff fell in love with rock and roll guitar and at nineteen bought his first banjo. Attending his first Walnut Valley Festival in 1983 in Winfield, Kansas, his life was changed forever after hearing performers such as The Newgrass Revival, The David Grisman Quintet, Hot Rize, and more. It was also there that Jeff met James McKinney, the cult-like banjo master, whom Jeff cites as the banjo player who influenced him most profoundly. Oklahoma banjo legend Alan Munde was another huge influence and Jeff’s first banjo teacher. Throughout the mid to late 1980s Jeff entered and won numerous banjo contests, the culmination of which was winning the prestigious National
Bluegrass Banjo Championship in Winfield, Kansas in September, 1989. He later became a founding member of the Andy Owens Project, the band performed throughout the United States, Russia, and Japan. Jeff has performed with many of the top names in bluegrass music, including David Peterson, Beppe Gambetta, Steve Kaufman, Tim O’Brien, Peter Rowan, Andy Owens, early incarnations of the Dixie Chicks, and Big Twang. Jeff has done extensive studio work in Dallas, Austin and Nashville, including numerous radio and TV commercials, music for movies, and projects with recording artists that include Sam Bush, Stuart Duncan, Mark Schatz, David Grier, Jerry Douglas, Sara Hickman, Patty Mitchell-Lege, Dave Peters, Randy Howard, Steve Kaufman, and even rock and roll legend Steve “Guitar” Miller. In 1996 Jeff was inducted into the Texas Tornadoes, an unofficial Texas music Hall of Fame, whose membership includes Texas music legends Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Winter, Billy Gibbons and more. He recently returned to the 2006 National Bluegrass Banjo
Championship in Winfield, Kansas, placing 2nd, and recently captured first place honors at the 2007 Texas State Banjo Championship in Montgomery, Texas.
Since his first recording session in Hollywood, California at the age of 9, Drew Garrett has been performing in a variety of country, rock, and bluegrass groups. Spending a majority of his time in Texas, where he studied music at Stephen F. Austin State University, playing first-chair bass in the symphony, founding the award winning bluegrass group The Fredonia Rebellion, and performing with the critically acclaimed and commercially successful country-rock group Melrose. In 1985, Drew, along with friend Andy Owens, formed Danger in the Air, an award winning and highly innovative bluegrass group. Rounding out this group were banjo wizard James McKinney, fiddle master Stephan Dudash, and future Dixie Chick Robin Macy. Drew later played with Domestic Science Club, recording two albums for Discovery/Elektra records. After moving to Colorado, Drew performed with the Stanleytones, Hank and the Hankstirs, and Orphan Boy. He currently owns and operates Sounds Right Recording studios.