New Favorites: Bluegrass Cardinals, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Johnson Mountain Boys, Bluegrass Band

The 1980s saw many innovative, young bands expanding the boundaries of bluegrass, while simultaneously bringing it back to its roots. The Bluegrass Cardinals were a highly influential group, originally from California, built around father-son duo Don and David Parmley. Their smooth harmonies can be heard on “Shine Hallelujah Shine” (1981). Dry Branch Fire Squad merged traditional bluegrass with Ron Thomason’s unique brand of humor, which takes a back seat to guest Hazel Dickens on “Hide You In The Blood” (1980). Based in Washington D.C., the Johnson Mountain Boys were one of the hottest bluegrass bands of the 1980s, and their fresh, energetic take on traditional bluegrass is at the forefront on “Too Late To Say Goodbye” (1981). The Bluegrass Band was short-lived, but packed with talent, including bluegrass luminaries Butch Robins and Alan O’Bryant. They deliver a strong performance of the Flatt & Scruggs classic “On My Mind” (1983).

Shine Hallelujah Shine (by Bluegrass Cardinals), 1981

Hide You In The Blood (by Dry Branch Fire Squad), 1980

Too Late To Say Goodbye (by Johnson Mountain Boys), 1981

On My Mind (by Bluegrass Band), 1983

The Archives of Appalachia at East Tennessee State University provides access to the digitized recordings on this website for the purposes of research and education. Any commercial uses of the materials or any uses that exceed the limits of fair use and other relevant statutory exceptions require the permission of the Archives of Appalachia and the copyright holder(s). It is the user's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials. The Archives of Appalachia makes every effort to adhere to all known copyright and rights of privacy, publicity, or trademark of these materials. If you are a rights holder of material on this site and believe that inclusion of this material violates your rights, please contact

New Favorites: Bluegrass Cardinals, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Johnson Mountain Boys, Bluegrass Band