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Driving Rain is a traditional bluegrass band from the Georgetown/Lexington, KY area. Formed in early 2002, its current lineup produces a hard-driving sound based on the rich traditions of Bill Monroe, Reno & Smiley, Flatt and Scruggs, Larry Sparks, Ralph Stanley and Charlie Waller. The band also produces original tunes written by lead singer, Sean McCormick and its founding member, the late, Jim Willoughby. A four-piece group; music centers on solid harmony and rhythm, crisp banjo works, amazing flat-top picking guitar, fine licks on the mandolin, and solid bass timing. Driving Rain brings to mind the bands of the past with a sound that is distinctly its own.
~~ JAMES R. WILLOUGHBY (Founding Member of Driving Rain; passed away on May 3, 2013) ~~
"• After forty+ years playing traditional bluegrass, my goal is to keep the music alive and help others who wish to learn how to play. While growing up, I was influenced by musicians like Buddy Holly, Duane Eddy, Chet Atkins and, of course, the one and only Hank Williams."
CURRENT MEMBERS OF DRIVING RAIN:
~~ SEAN McCORMICK ~~
Sean was born and raised in the Ozarks, in Willow Springs, Missouri. He comes from a musical family; his father played banjo, guitar and sang, and his mother played bass. He also has one brother who plays mandolin, guitar and sings, and a sister who plays guitar and sings. At 9 years old, he was playing guitar and singing in Church. A multi-instrumentalist -- playing guitar, banjo, mandolin and bass, as well as a being a singer and songwriter, Sean has traveled with his job and has played with bluegrass groups in MO, AR, GA, TX, TN and FL. He and his wife, Pam, make their home in Lexington, KY. He states he is proud to be a member of Driving Rain, and we are fortunate to have him.
Jack was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and raised just outside of Baltimore in the Town of Sykesville. He has been around bluegrass music his whole life but did not start playing until he was 15 years old. That’s when his Dad took him to his first jam session, where he met up with four pickers around the same age. From there, it did not take long for them to start a little band. They played together for the next four years, until they graduated from High School and realized they needed real jobs to pay the bills. For Jack, that meant joining the Navy. In 1992, he put his bass up and enlisted in the most powerful Navy in the world. During that time he traveled to 15 different countries, served on 4 aircraft carriers, went on 5 deployments and have been a part of or supported every campaign this country has been in since his enlistment. Then, after 18 years of sailing the high seas, the opportunity to take shore duty orders came up and he picked Lexington, KY, and found himself playing the bass once again. Just like before, his Dad was the motivating factor in getting the old bass out and knocking off the rust that 18 years of salt water created. Jack says, "believe you me, I had a lot of rust to grind off." Driving Rain is so proud to have Jack playing with us.
~~ JOHN MATTINGLY ~~
John was born in Hazard, KY, at a very early age. He grew up with exposure to the Porter Wagoner Show, Flatt and Scruggs on the radio, and the Wheeling, West Virginia weekly Barn Dance. When he couldn't get that on the radio, he would listen to the Grand Ole Opry. Being strongly influenced by Flatt and Scruggs as well as early J. D. Crowe with Jimmy Martin, John developed his love for the banjo. In recent years, John has played with Howard's Creek, Pickintime and The Blue Dawg. After many years of wanting to be a Driving Rain Alumni, he joined the band in the winter of 2012. Always a "want-a-be," never a band member because he was always playing with another band and Driving Rain didn't seem to need another banjo player....the time just wasn't right. He has been happily married to his wife, Claudia, for 39 years. They reside in Lexington, KY with their six, four-legged, feline children. Driving Rain is FINALLY proud and fortunate to have John with us, and we look forward to many years down the road.
~~ Just after finishing fourth grade, his parents moved from Norwood, OH to Casey County, KY into a house that his grandfather had built. Dan started working part-time at the local radio station when he was a junior at Casey County High School and worked as a disc jockey for almost 10 years. Music was always there with talented family and the support of his Mom who had a beautiful alto voice. He learned harmony by sitting next to her in church. His first contact with bluegrass was on those Sunday afternoons that he worked at the radio station where there was a heavy influence of bluegrass gospel of which he is fondest of today. Dan is still working in broadcast but with television. He is married to Carolyn and blessed to live near his children and grandchildren. Dan says, "I'm thrilled to be with Driving Rain and look forward to some good bluegrass fun!" Driving Rain is pleased to have Dan with us as well.