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.
Chris Boutwell - Lead Vocals, Mandolin, and Guitar
Chris is the newest member of Flatland Express, joining us as a bass player and vocalist in December 2022.
He has been singing and playing bluegrass music since the 1960s and was a member
of the band "High Country" from 1970 to 1976, when Chris earned a living as a professional bluegrass musician.
High Country has been known as the premier bluegrass band on the
west coast of the U.S. from the early 1970s onward. During his tenure as High Country's lead vocalist, Chris
recorded two albums with the band on Warner Brothers Records. After moving
to South Carolina around 40 years ago, he has been a fixture on the bluegrass scene in the
Palmetto State. Chris has played in numerous bands over the years, including High Country, Palmetto Blue,
Amick Junction, High Lonesome, Anna and Shellie Davis and the
Unnamed Bluegrass Band, and the Claude Lucas Band. You're sure to enjoy Chris' smooth vocals.
He is a walking encyclopedia of bluegrass knowledge, and you will be challenged to find another
vocalist who knows the lyrics to as many songs as Chris does. Chris was selected as the 2014 Recipient of South
Carolina's Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award for his contributions to preserving traditional
bluegrass music. Although he is the bass player for Flatland Express, Chris is a multi-instrumentalist and is equally adept at playing the mandolin, guitar, and banjo.
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.