One band’s distinct sound and old-time flair can be attributed to the bluegrass-rich area of Pennsylvania from which it hails and borrows its name. Remington Ryde brings old-fashioned central Pennsylvania bluegrass to Centre County with the ninth annual Remington Ryde Bluegrass Festival at the Grange fairgrounds in Centre Hall.
Remington Ryde features bandleader, guitarist and lead vocalist Ryan Frankhouser; Billy Lee Cox on banjo and bass vocals; Greg “Spanky” Moore on fiddle and baritone vocals; and Richard Egolf on bass and tenor vocals.
As the founding member and leader of Remington Ryde, Frankhouser’s showmanship and chemistry with the audience turn fans into family. Add to that Cox’s humor, wit, and encouraging and uplifting approach to life; Moore and Egolf’s unending love of jamming with anyone and everyone, and their overall down-home good-time boys love of bluegrass and bluegrass fans everywhere and you have a combination that makes Remington Ryde one of the most popular bands among bluegrass fans today.
Frankhouser grew up in McClure and started Remington Ryde as a family band at the age of 18. He wanted to see the band expand and, through lots of hard work, they now perform about 100 dates throughout the United States and Canada each year. The band’s major influences in music include Ralph Stanley and Ricky Skaggs.
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“I love the old traditional bluegrass sound,” Frankhouser said. “I would say we have created our own unique traditional sound, as we incorporate a lot of our original material and gospel in our shows. Expect to hear a fresh new traditional sound when hearing Remington Ryde.”
At the Remington Ryde Bluegrass Festival, which Frankhouser started at the age of 22, the band plans to play original songs such as “Grandpa Was My Guide,” “You’ll Miss Me,” “The Bible Grandma Gave Me” and many more. They also will perform some traditional favorites from bluegrass legends Bill Monroe and Jimmy Martin.
Grammy-nominated Nashville, Tenn., band The Grascals will headline the festival, which also includes performances by Nothin’ Fancy, James King, Little Roy & Lizzy Show, The Spinney Brothers, Big Country Bluegrass, Bluegrass Brothers, Goldwing Express, Crowe Brothers, Danny Paisley & Southern Grass, Hillbilly Gypsies, Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, Mark Templeton & Pocket Change, Little Mountain Boys, Nitro Ride, Unusual Suspects, Canaan’s Land and Ernie Bradley & Grassy Ridge.
Remington Ryde is rooted in central Pennsylvania but performs at most of the biggest bluegrass festivals and events in the country.
Frankhouser and the band love traveling and seeing the world, and last year had the chance to perform in 18 states and with Carnival Cruise Lines for the Traditional Bluegrass Music Cruise.
“The advantage of traveling is a chance to meet so many nice people and see so many places that I have never seen before,” he said. “The disadvantage is that it wears you out. A lot of the times we are so tired and the road is tough and hard, but when we get a chance to see the smiles on people’s faces it makes everything worthwhile.”
For Frankhouser, there isn’t any other feeling like performing bluegrass — not only for the music but for the people it draws.
“Bluegrass music is so wholesome and pure and I wish more and more people would give bluegrass a chance,” he said. “My goal is to bless the people and touch them in some positive way and also to spread the Gospel all over the world.”