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The Bonafides

ASHLEY MESSENGER was born into Ohio Bluegrass. His parents, Boyd and Kathleen Messenger, played bluegrass on the radio and at festivals. He's been in several bands, including the Allen Creek Coal Company, Kickin' Grass, the Jeff Roberts Band, and fronted his own, Cheap Strings. He was a member of Jesse McReynolds' renowned Virginia Boys for three years, and most recently was the Smiling portion of Retro and Smiling, a Reno and Smiley tribute project with Buddy Griffin, Jon Weisberger, Corrina Logston and Luke Shamblin.

PEGGY MESSENGER was raised on Bluegrass and Classic Country and was a solid three-chord guitar player. She tried the bass after she married Ashley, finding her true love and her musical instrument. Just watch her smile as she plays!


Ohioan BRAD OVIATT won the Pennsylvania State Old-Time, Great Lakes Regional Bluegrass and the West Virginia State Bluegrass Fiddle Championship twice. He has recorded and performed internationally, all the Canadian provinces and in 48 states and with Flatland Grass, Patent Pending, Beaver Creek, Maple Creek, and WheelHoss. His talent and love of music has put him on stage and in the studio with many first and second- generation Bluegrass greats, though his true passion is teaching fiddle, violin and vocal harmony.

JEFF LANGWORTHY grew up in a small village in rural western New York where family gatherings included singing and playing, so he got his first guitar at 10 and joined in. Jeff plays mandolin, fiddle, clawhammer banjo, tinwhistle, celtic harp, mountain dulcimer, bodhran, djembe and didgeridoo. After moving to Ohio, Jeff performed with South Forty Grass, New Liberty Grass, John Coomes and Union County Bluegrass, and JMJ Crescent.

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