The Oly Mountain Boys
The Oly Mountain Boys play bluegrass with high-energy drive and a Pacific Northwest bent, mixing traditional tunes with revolutionary original bluegrass compositions. By combining picking prowess with tight three-part vocal harmonies, the band aims to showcase the power and appeal of a truly American musical form.
With their latest album "White Horse" the Oly Mountain Boys have set out to do something unprecedented: a concept album that tells a life story from beginning to end through original bluegrass. The album honors tradition by centering its story in Washington's frontier past, while looking to the future of bluegrass music with fresh, original songwriting.
Tye Menser - Banjo & Lead Vocals
Tye was born in Southern California but likes to point out, for bluegrass credibility, that his parents and entire family are from Western Kentucky. Tye learned to play bluegrass in Fairbanks, Alaska starting in 2004, studying the bands of Carl Hoffman, the Father of Alaska Bluegrass, and the hard-driving style of his banjo disciples. Tye is a practicing "attorney at bluegrass," freeing citizens from the jails by day and bluegrass licks from the strings by night.
Chris Rutledge - Guitar, Vocals
Chris Rutledge was born and raised in Shelton, Washington. Chris grew up with his dad's country/rock band, Whatever's Fair, and learned to play guitar at a young age. He went on to play in several local bands, his style earning comparisons to Eric Clapton and Jimmie Page, only "nowhere near as good..." After a long love affair with a Les Paul and a big Fender amp, he was bitten by the bluegrass bug at the Northwest String Summit. The only cure was to unplug all that cumbersome gear and find a group of like-minded pickers bent on making great music. Chris does ask that you not tell the Les Paul, as he has yet to break the news.
Josh Grice - Fiddle
Josh Grice was raised near Milwaukee, Wisconsin and moved to Olympia to work and stare at the mountains. He stumbled into a bluegrass jam in early 2009 and soon wound up a member of the Oly Mountain Boys. His bluegrass inspirations begin with his dad's bluegrass treasury albums and extend to modern pickers like Bela Fleck and Chris Thile, and fiddlers like Jason Carter and Casey Driessen. He keeps his fingers limber by playing "violin" with the Olympia Symphony Orchestra.
Derek McSwain - Mandolin, Vocals
Phil Post - Bass, Dobro, Vocals
Phil is the only Oly Mountain Boy with bona fide Southern heritage, growing up in the Ozark Mountains in Missouri. Phil's musical journey began singing for a Springfield, MO church choir. He moved to the Pacific Northwest many years ago, studying jazz and composition, and has played a number of instruments in a variety of regional bands through the years, including Big Idea, Heliotroupe (jam band), Head For the Hills (bluegrass), Milroy Holler (psychedelic), Cabin Kind (newgrass), Tilted Stilts (alt-country), and the Erev Rav (klezmer). Currently he also plays pedal steel and dobro with Rooster Crow and The Pine Hearts.