Jesse Smathers joins Lonesome River

by | 5 Jun, 2015

LRBLonesome River Band has announced its new band member – award-winning musician, Jesse Smathers on mandolin and lead & harmony vocals, replacing Randy Jones who has taken a full-time job outside the music business. Jesse lives in Eden, North Carolina and previously toured with the James King Band, High Voltage and most recently Nothin’ Fancy.

Last year, Jesse was inducted in Phi Alpha Mu, a music fraternity, as a Sinfonian, joining such greats as John Phillip Sousa, Count Bassie, Duke Ellington, and Andy Griffith. Jesse comes from a long line of musicians. His grandfather, Harold Smathers, and grand Uncle Luke Smathers, recorded for June Appal and were awarded the North Carolina Folk Heritage Award in 1993 for their contributions to North Carolina Folk Music.

Jesse’s first show with Lonesome River Band will be Thursday, June 25 at the Jenny Brook Family Bluegrass Festival in Tunbridge, Vermont. Lonesome River Band will again headline the popular Rudy Fest in Grayson, Kentucky June 26-27 with members Sammy Shelor, Brandon Rickman, Mike Hartgrove, Barry Reed, Jesse Smathers, along with Randy Jones’ last performance with the group.

Her Love Won’t Turn On A Dime, from Turn on a Dime album is #1 this month on Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine’s National Bluegrass Survey Top 30 Song Chart with the album at #8 on the Top 15 Album Chart. The song previously garnered the #1 position seven times on the Bluegrass Today Top 20 Chart and has appeared on SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction’s Most Played Tracks and the Roots Music Reports Top 50 Singles charts as well.

Lila Mae made its debut #5 on the Bluegrass Today Monthly Top 20 Song Chart for June and continues to chart on the publication’s Weekly Top 20.

The Lila Mae music video will make its TV debut when it airs in the U.S. the weeks of June 29 and July 20 on Bluegrass Ridge – a thirty-minute, weekly TV show featuring some of the best names in bluegrass music. The show airs on Heartland TV, The Family Channel, Angel Two / Dish TV, Blue Highways TV, and AMG TV. Each episode is hosted by an artist in the genre, and recent hosts include award-winning vocalist Carrie Hassler, Jamie Johnson of the Grascals, Doyle Lawson, and many more.

Join Lonesome River Band for these upcoming tour dates:

  • June 5 – Dinwiddie Music Fest at the Virginia Motorsports Park
  • June 6 – Sally Gap Bluegrass Music Festival in Williamsburg, Kentucky
  • June 11 – Festival of the Bluegrass at the Kentucky Horse Park
  • June 13 – Huck Finn Jubilee – Calfornia
  • June 14 – Laguna Beach Live Bluegrass & BBQ at the Ranch at Laguna Beach, CA
  • June 16 – Crooked Road Mountains of Music Homecoming in Bristol, TN

For more information and a complete tour schedule, please visit