Band Members

Curtis Eugene Burch

Born: January 24, 1945 in Montgomery , Alabama Primary Instrument: Guitar, Dobro

Charles Samuel “Sam” Bush

Born: April 13, 1952 in Bowling Green , Kentucky Primary Instrument: Mandolin, Fiddle

John Edward Cowan

Born: August 24, 1953 in Minerva , Ohio Primary Instrument: Electric Bass

Béla Anton Leoš Fleck

Born: July 10, 1958 in New York , New York Primary Instrument: Banjo

Patrick Harding “Pat” Flynn

Born: May 17, 1952 in Redondo Beach , California Primary Instrument: Guitar

Courtney Hall Johnson

Born: December 20, 1939 in Glasgow , Kentucky Death: June 7, 1996 in Glasgow , Kentucky Primary Instrument: Banjo

Joseph Calvin “Butch” Robins

Born: May 12, 1949 in Lebanon , Virginia Primary Instrument: Electric Bass, Banjo

Harry Lee Shelor, Jr. aka Ebo Walker

Born: October 19, 1941 in Louisville , Kentucky Primary Instrument: Bass


BMI’s database credits the various members of New Grass Revival with 678 published compositions, co-compositions, and arrangements, including:

  • “Big Foot”
  • “Do What You Gotta Do”
  • “Friday Night in America”
  • “Indian Hills”
  • “On the Boulevard”
  • “Sapporo”

Early Influences

  • Grand Ole Opry
  • Bill Monroe
  • Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs & the Foggy Mountain Boys
  • Stanley Brothers/Ralph Stanley
  • Tommy Jackson
  • Red Rector
  • Jim and Jesse
  • Shot Jackson / Brother Oswald / Josh Graves

From the Archives

“I think possibly what we’re reaching for is . . . if you take a rock band and a rock audience and look at the rapport that they establish between themselves, the feeling that rock audiences get from the music that’s being played on stage . . . it’s a different type of rapport that is established between a bluegrass band and a country band and its audience . . . A rock band goes on the stage . . . and their numbers may go on for a half an hour. But the people are into it and when that tune ends those people are ready for the next one, whereas a bluegrass audience would be snoring by the end of a half hour if it was one tune . . . What we would like to do is be able to establish that type of rapport with the bluegrass and whatever our audience is.”
Ebo Walker, quoted in Fred Bartenstein, “A Conversation with the New Grass Revival,” Muleskinner News, December 1972.
“There’s drawbacks and positive things to being in a band for a long time. Some of that initial burning excitement that happens the first two or three years a band is together fades away after playing 500 or more shows. There’s more of a going up and doing the job and doing your best kind of feeling. I try to surprise everybody every night with what I play. I really fight like crazy to keep from getting stale. I feel if I play something no one in the band has heard before for my solo parts, it will jolt everyone else into playing something they hadn’t thought about. I just try to kick the whole thing in the side every night.”
Béla Fleck, quoted by Don Rhodes in “In Performing, New Grass Revival Shows ‘Bluegrass Killer Mentality,’” The Augusta Chronicle, Augusta, Georgia, August 9, 1987.
“We do to bluegrass what the Allman Brothers did to blues. They did old blues songs. Our thing is to take roots music and make it contemporary. Electric bass, drums where they fit . . . we try not to limit ourselves musically. Our group’s been known as bluegrass outlaws for 10 years.”
John Cowan, quoted by Joycelyn Winnecke in “Evening of Rock to Benefit RPE,” Evansville Courier and Press, October 18, 1981.