Having marked nearly 30 years as a professional musician, Barry Bales is one of the most in-demand bassists in acoustic music. An integral member of Alison Krauss & Union Station since 1990, he is also a successful songwriter, session musician and producer. Barry’s awards include 15 Grammys, 23 International Bluegrass Music Association awards - including 4 Bass Player of the Year trophies - 1 Country Music Association award, and 2 Academy of Country Music awards, including Song of the Year for the Top 10 hit “Nobody To Blame”, written with and recorded by Chris Stapleton. He appeared in the movie “Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou”, as well as contributing heavily to the soundtrack, and has recorded and performed with such artists as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Kenny Chesney, Dwight Yoakam, and Vince Gill.
Drummer Jay Bellerose grew up the last of eight children near Portland, Maine. Inspired in equal measure by old TV clips of Gene Krupa and Lawrence Welk drummer Paul Humphries, Bellerose developed an approach to drumming that is as much informed by texture and melody as by groove. While a student at The Berklee School of Music in Boston, Bellerose had his drum kit stolen, and it is hard to over-estimate the significance of the event on his future artistry: working from a hodge-podge of drums donated by friends, Jay began to discover new sonic possibilities by assembling mismatched kit configurations that varied from song to song, setting battered marching drums and bits of arcane, vaudeville-era hand percussion devices along side more conventional modern drums. The ever-changing results revealed a signature sensibility that finds Jay compared to impressionist painters as often as to drum luminaries like Sonny Greer and Al Gavin. To date, Jay Bellerose has performed and recorded with a vast array of diverse artists, from Allen Toussaint and Mavis Staples to Robert Plant and Alison Krauss; from B.B. King to Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Salif Kieta.
Union Station’s banjoist/guitarist/vocalist RON BLOCK is something of a musical Huck Finn, a tireless adventurer exploring various styles yet rooted firmly in the bluegrass-country tradition. An in-demand session musician, he’s played on recordings by Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Little Big Town, Josh Turner, and many others. As a songwriter Ron has written 10 AKUS songs, including “In The Palm of Your Hand,” “A Living Prayer,” and “There is a Reason.” A solo artist as well, he has released seven recordings of his own since 2000.
Sidney Cox is a founding member of The Cox Family from Cotton Valley, Louisiana. The Cox Family is comprised of Willard Cox and his three children Sidney, Evelyn and Suzanne. They derive their sounds from combining country, bluegrass, and gospel styles and are renowned for their vocal harmonies. The Cox Family and Alison have been beloved companions and musical collaborators for the past 30 years, including on 1994’s Grammy Winning Gospel album, “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow". Also a distinguished songwriter, Sidney has written with Garth Brooks, Robert Lee Castleman, John Randal, John Penell and Debra Allen, among others. Sidney penned Alan Jackson’s ‘Had It Not Been You’ and has written several songs recorded by Alison including ‘I’ve Got That Old Feeling’, ‘Longest Highway’, ’New Fool’, ‘Wish I Still Had You’ ‘Tonight I’ll Be Lonely Too’, ‘Last Love Letter’ and 'Bonita and Bill Butler’ as well as ‘Borderline’ and “Broadway” which were co-written with sister, Suzanne.
Suzanne Cox is also a founding member of The Cox Family. The Cox Family have released numerous albums throughout their decades-long, illustrious career, including their most recent triumph, “Gone Like the Cotton” for which the title track was co-written by Suzanne and Sidney. The Cox Family's vocal contributions can be heard on albums from artists including Alison Krauss, Randy Travis, Alan Jackson, The Reno Brothers and Ron Block. In addition, the Cox Family appeared in the film ‘O’ Brother Where Art Thou?’ and recorded three songs for the multi-platinum selling soundtrack. Suzanne has also performed live with artists such as Alison Krauss, Charlie Daniels, and Dolly Parton.
James Mitchell is a studio guitarist in Nashville. He grew up in North Western Florida where he started playing guitar at the age of 4. He began his career as a working musician at age 13, in the local gospel scene. Aspiring to be a session guitar player, he moved to Nashville shortly after turning 21. James has played on Grammy nominated and #1 albums with artists ranging from Cole Swindell to Willie Nelson.
Matt Rollings is a multi-talented, award-winning piano player, producer and songwriter with over 35 years devoted to music. He has performed on well over 1000 recordings, his playing gracing iconic works by Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, and Mark Knopfler. In 2017 he won a Grammy as a Producer for Willie Nelson's Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin. For the love of it all, he innovates a music education forum at www.mattrollings.com called AskMattRollings.
Matt and Allison first worked together in 1999.