A note from Jerry...I began playing Bluegrass music at age 12. For as long as I’ve been playing I have had the desire to be in front of and entertain audiences. I grew up with many opportunities to play church and have always enjoyed playing gospel music.I have been very blessed to have met some wonderful people and seen some amazing things doing what I enjoy. This is the third year with my own band and I feel I can offer an entertaining program of bluegrass and bluegrass gospel music to your festival, convention or church congregation and I look forward to the opportunity.
Jerry Butler & The Blu-J's are an entertaining band whose repertoire consists of original and traditional bluegrass songs, familiar classic country songs and heartfelt gospel. Based in Knoxville, TN now in their third year, The Blu-Js have taken their music throughout the United States, Canada and the finest and largest cruiseships in the world. Fans will enjoy the energy and fresh sound this group brings to the stage. “We want the folks in attendance to have a good time with us, laugh, cry, sing along, whatever they’re feeling at the time. When we’re done we want them to be able to say ‘now that was fun’.”
Jerry Butler began playing and singing bluegrass music at the age of twelve 12. His first band The Knoxville Newgrass Boys, included classmate (bluegrass virtuoso) Phil Leadbetter on dobro. As child musicians they performed at high schools and at the top bluegrass festivals and country music shows in the south. They also performed at the White House in Washington, DC during the Nation's Bicentennial. Jerry solidified his bluegrass resume singing lead with Lynwood Lunsford & the Misty Valley Boys and The Joes Isaacs Band. To quote Ms. Dixie Hall, “Without a doubt, Jerry is among the most unacknowledged singers in the business. He has lent his flawless and peerless vocals to Pine Mountain Railroad and held the featured lead singer position in Carolina Road.”
Jerry was the featured lead vocalist on the single BEYOND THE RAIN by Pine Mountain Railroad, which won Front Porch Singing News Bluegrass Gospel Song of the Year at the National Quartet Convention in 2008. Jerry has an Associate of Music Degree from Cumberland College, Lebanon, TN. He is married to Tami Butler, the couple resides in Knoxville, TN with their daughter.
Jerry proudly endorses Mike Long Guitars.
Derek Vaden-banjo/guitar/vocal Derek began playing banjo at age 12, after playing the mandolin and guitar for a couple of years. He played for nearly five years with his family's band in south central Kansas before branching out and working with many regional groups, including two that he co-founded (and played guitar in). After graduating with his AA in Music, Derek attended Glenville State College and obtained a Bluegrass Music Certificate under the tutelage of Buddy Griffin. Aside from his regional Kansas work, he has appeared on stage as part of the "Mayberry Ochestra," with Ronnie Reno, Melvin Goins, and his hero, Mr. Earl Scruggs. He carries his picks everywhere, and is always looking for an excuse to play.
Derek proudly endorses Hatfield Banjo/BuckCreek Model
Lee Chapman-upright bass Lee began playing bass around the age of 9 with the encouragement of his late grandfather Pastor Artie Ray Chapman. In having never plucked a bass string before he was asked to play the electric bass during a Wednesday night church service. He recalls the music that night was not too good! This was the event that opened the door for music to play a main role in his life. While growing up playing gospel music predominately, he discovered his love for bluegrass music in the mid 90’s when he heard a live show of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver during Barry Abernathy’s stint there. About this same time he transitioned to the upright bass. Though being just a hardcore bluegrass music fan through much of his life actually playing on tour never became a reality until spring of 2012 when The Lord used mutual friends to connect him with Jerry Butler. Lee and his wife, Shasta, and daughter Alison currently reside in Kodak, TN.
Lee plays a 1949 Kay M1-B Upright Bass
Lee Proudly endorses NS Design CR4-M Double Bass
Barron Rogers-mandolin Barron first picked up the mandolin in 1998; however, His exposure to bluegrass and gospel music began in 1980 when the New Seldom Scene Album and The Country Gentlemen's "Calling My Children Home" could often be heard playing through his parents' cassette player. Since developing his work on the mandolin he has played with several bluegrass/gospel bands around the Western North Carolina area, including Hungry Creek, Ridgewood Drive, Iron Station, Reel Tyme, and Hazel Creek. In August of 2009, Barron joined the 2010 Dove Nominees The Far City Boys. Barron resides in Waynesville, N.C. with his wife Elizabeth, he is a teacher at Tuscola High School.
Barron proudly endorses Sim Daley Mandolins.