Mike Ramsey sings lead and harmony vocals, plays mandolin and contributed his original songs to the band. He wrote two tracks on the band's current NO STRINGS ATTACHED album Caught Up and The First Date. Mike toured more than 14 years with the gospel bluegrass band, New Road, along with fellow band-mate Stuart Wyrick.
Mike lives with this wife Jodee on in the mountains of East Tennessee on the family farm - most of which has never been owned by anyone outside of the Ramsey family. When Mike is not touring with BNS, he makes a living doing electric line work for the local electric Co-Op. Mike says, "I love the Lord and His word, you can’t separate them, I also dearly love my good mule John, and my beautiful wife, Jodee, maybe my wife should have been before my mule ,and I love music; gospel, old time and yes, bluegrass."
Preston Schmidt, a traditional fiddle player from Mandan, ND has been “Fiddlin’ Away” since the young age of three. Preston currently attends Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN working towards his Record Production & Technology degree with a minor in Electro-Acoustics.
Some major influences include: Ron Stewart, Stuart Duncan, Paul Warren, Benny Martin, Casey Driessen, Major Franklin, Orville Burns, and many other fiddle players he has encountered over the years.
While living in North Dakota, Preston traveled around the Midwest to many different fiddle competitions. Preston is a past North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Wyoming State Fiddle Champion. Preston was also a top five placer at the National Old-time Fiddler’s Contest in Weiser, ID.
He began playing when he was three years old studying classical music through the Suzuki method. When he was nine years old he began learning traditional fiddle music while still studying classical music. With the help from the ND Council on the Arts, Preston was able to study with two very skilled fiddle players from Montana, Dick and Lisa Barrett. It was there where Preston discovered new things about his talent and passion for the fiddle. While working with the Barrett’s, Preston began a Luthier apprenticeship with them in their Violin Shop. He repaired different instruments and built a fiddle/violin under the guidance of Lisa Barrett.
When Preston has time off, he loves going home to North Dakota to enjoy the great outdoor activities with his family. Preston has one brother and is the son of Mark and Charlotte Schmidt from Mandan, ND.
BRAND NEW STRINGS
(click individual photos for a
high res version )
Late 2008, a group of East Tennessee’s favorite bluegrass musicians, Randall Massengill, Mike Ramsey, and Stuart Wyrick came together to form a new group, BRAND NEW STRINGS. Since that time, they have added fiddler extraordinaire, Preston Schmidt. These bluegrass veterans, Mike, Stuart, and Randall had performed together in the past with the bluegrass gospel group, New Road.
Just after forming the band, they decided to enter a few band competitions and to their surprise immediately won the 2008 Band Championship by the Smoky Mountain Fiddler’s Convention, won the 2008 Band Championship by the Cumberland River Bluegrass Festival, and won the 2009 SPBGMA Band Competition.
During the 2009 International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass, Brand New Strings signed a recording contract with L.A. based, Rural Rhythm Records and their first album, NO STRINGS ATTACHED, was released in February 2010.
The album was recorded in Cumberland Gap, TN with studio owner and Producer, Steve Gulley. Two singles have been released from the album including the first, Merry Go Round, and the latest single release, Law of the Land. Numerous other tracks also receive tremendous support from radio stations around the world.
This year Brand New Strings is proud to be an official IBMA Showcase artist and will perform at the 2010 IBMA World of Bluegrass in September. The band has also been nominated as the 2010 Bluegrass Band of the Year by the French Country Music Awards.
Please visit our PRESS page for new quotes, reviews and other press.
2010 - Selected as a 2010 International Bluegrass Music Association Showcase Artist
2010 - Nominated for Bluegrass Band of the Year by the French Country Music Awards
2010 - First album release,
NO STRINGS ATTACHED
Rural Rhythm Records
WINNER of the
2009 International Band Championship by the
Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA)
WINNER of the
2008 Band Championship by the
Smoky Mountain Fiddler's Convention
WINNER of the
2008 Band Championship
by the Cumberland River Bluegrass Festival
Randall sings lead and harmony vocals, plays lead guitar and contributes numerous original songs to BNS. Four of his songs appear on the band's current Rural Rhythm Records album, NO STRINGS ATTACHED including: Law of the Land, The Blues Club, Who Am I, and Prayer from Home.
When Randall was 12 years old, his Dad taught him his first 3 chords on the guitar and since that time, he has been influenced by the music of Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Boone Creek, Lonesome River Band and The Seldom Scene.
Randall was a former member of One Way Track, New Road, and Blue Moon Rising - all very talented groups based out of East Tennessee. Randall contributed numerous gospel songs on the New Road albums, and also sang lead on a track from Blue Moon Rising's "On the Rise" album. Randall currently makes his home in Knoxville, TN.
Stuart has been playing bluegrass and bluegrass gospel music since he was 8 years old. He is a former member of the Better Way Quartet where he performed for 10 years, then toured with the respected bluegrass gospel band, New Road from 2005 to early 2008.
Stuart's musical influences have been his Dad (Theodore Wyrick), Earl Scruggs, J.D. Crowe, Sonny Osborne, Jimmy Millsapps, and many more.
Stuart enjoys going to Church and raising Registered Black Angus Cattle.