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MEET SOUTH CAROLINA BLUEGRASS BAND FLATLAND EXPRESS
O'Neal Davis - Vocals and Guitar

O'Neal grew up playing bluegrass and country music as a kid in the 1960s with his Dad's band The Dixie Dewdrops. O'Neal was a member of Southern Land and Cattle Company in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and recorded an album with them. Since then he has been a member of High Prairie Cowboy and was a founding member of Flatland Express. O'Neal delights audiences with his down to earth vocals and solid guitar playing.
Marty Carrigg - Banjo, Dobro, and Vocals

Marty Carrigg plays banjo and dobro joins in on vocals throughout the shows. He has been involved in bluegrass music since his teens back in the late 1970s. Marty was a member of Southern Land and Cattle Company with Flatland Express band member O'Neal Davis in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and recorded an album with them. After that he was a member of High Prairie Cowboy before founding Flatland Express with O'Neal. In addition to Flatland Express, Marty also plays dobro with bluegrass band Palmetto Blue.
Otto Fanning - Vocals, Mandolin, Banjo, Guitar

Otto grew up playing bluegrass and country music with his dad and uncle in their band The Dixie Dewdrops in the 1970s. He has been involved in bluegrass music since his teens and is a founding member of Flatland Express, along with band members O'Neal Davis and Marty Carrigg. Otto does his share of lead singing with the group and is adept with multiple instruments. In addition to Flatland Express, Otto plays with the band The Pinehill Ramblers.
Katie Miller - Bass and Vocals

Katie joined Flatland Express in 2013 after she became interested in bluegrass music. She is a music educator and has played bass since her youth. She adds some nice vocals to the group, keeps a solid beat on the bass, and will do an exciting bass solo here and there throughout the shows. We are glad that she decided to pursue bluegrass music and are happy to have her as a band member!
Ed Dalton - Guitar and Vocals

Ed Dalton has been playing the guitar since his childhood growing up in the Winston-Salem, NC area, where his dad would take him to bluegrass jam sessions. Ed grew up surrounded by bluegrass and old time music, where his dad played in bands with the likes of Joe Greene. Ed's grandfather was also a fiddler. Ed contributes some fine flatpicking guitar and vocals to the group, and has won several guitar contests over the years. Since moving to South Carolina, he has been a fixture on the bluegrass scene and has played in several regional bands. Ed has been with us since 2019, and we are proud to have Ed as a member of the Flatland Express team!
Ella Thomas - Fiddle and Vocals

Ella began playing the violin at the age of four when she enrolled in the University of South Carolinaís Suzuki program and with a private teacher in 2007. She continues to thrive as a classical student in this program and the local Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. In 2013, however, her musical approach began to broaden when she attempted to learn an arrangement that employed fiddling technique, but she encountered some difficulties in mastering such a diverse style of playing. Fortuitously, an article in The State newspaper featured an award-winning fiddler named Ashley Carder, who frequented Billís Pickiní Parlor. At the next available opportunity, Ella visited the Pickiní Parlor and met a regular, Van Price, who taught her a few bars of a popular fiddle tune. Since then, Ella was able to meet Ashley Carder and has benefited greatly from his expertise and insight. She also takes weekly fiddle lessons with Kristen Harris, another state-champion and old-time musician, and continues to add folk and traditional melodies to her repertoire. In 2017, Ella won first place in the South Carolina Junior Fiddle Championship. In 2018 she won third place in the Youth Old Time Fiddle category at the prestigious Galax Fiddlers Convention in Galax, Virginia. In 2019 she placed first in the Youth Old Time Fiddle category and second in the Youth Folk Song category at the Mount Airy Fiddler's Convention in Mount Airy, North Carolina. Ella also is involved in many other regional groups, including her family's band, The Thomas Family, with her parents and her two brothers.
Ashley Carder - Fiddle

Ashley has been playing bluegrass and old-time music for over 40 years and has played in various SC bluegrass and old time bands including Palmetto Blue, Bill Wells and the Blue Ridge Mountain Grass, Borger Wiggle, High Lonesome, Anna & Shellie Davis & the Unnamed Bluegrass Band, Old Growth String Band, and The Blue Iguanas. Ashley's style of fiddling is rooted in the old time and early bluegrass traditions. Ashley is a 2012 recipient of South Carolina's Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which was also awarded to his fiddling mentors, Homer "Pappy" Sherrill in 1988 and Vernon Riddle in 1999. Ashley has been called upon to do presentations on traditional fiddling for college folklore classes, music clubs, public schools, youth groups, and college campuses in South Carolina and North Carolina.

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