The KSBC Show

About KSBC

Drawing inspiration from Country & Bluegrass music stars of the Golden age of Country Music,  Karl Shiflett  set out well over two decades ago to put together a band and a show that would echo the music that he learned as an inspiring young musician growing up in Texas in the 1960's.   " Old time fiddling, bluegrass, western swing, honk-tonk, we played it all back then. I wanted to take the music I loved and present it to folks in a way that they would love it as much as I did" 

His  vision became a reality in 1993 when he stepped from behind the scenes as a side man to the forefront as a band leader. At first the group billed themselves as Karl Shiflett & Big Country.  In 1995 the band taped a couple of 30 minute television shows for a local cable station.  The Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show  aired only a couple of times but the name had such a ring to it that it soon became the official band name.  The band travelled extensively, paying their dues, recording  albums (on cassette tapes) and perfecting their single microphone stage show.  By the time they hit Louisville, KY in the fall of 1998 they were a seasoned team of professionals with a polished show. The group took the IBMA World of Bluegrass by storm with a main stage showcase and landed a record deal with Rebel Records.

The bands first release on Rebel Records  in August of 2000 hit the genre like a breath of fresh air, gaining the group thousands of new fans and becoming one of the labels best sellers in recent years. The single Where the smoke goes up went to the top of the charts giving the band instant national recognition with a song and sound they could easily be identified with.

The group recorded two more albums with the label, In Full Color (2001) and Worries on my mind (2003). Both projects with chart topping songs, rave reviews and an industry wide buzz.  The 2001 release coincided with the group being the recipients of the  IBMA Emerging Artist of the year award  while the 2003 release brought the band their first number 1 song with the single Worries on my Mind.  The single brought further recognition to the band as it hit the number one spot  in the Americana Roots Music charts  as well as squeezing in at number 40 in the Top 40 Texas Music charts . The impact of this album was so great that it in 2011 Texas Music Magazine named Worries on my Mind as number two in the Top 10 Bluegrass albums of all time just behind the Dixie Chicks album Thank Heavens for Dale Evans.

Riding the coat tails of the success of Worries on my Mind the group took advantage of the ripple effect for as long as it would last. The group did not release another studio album for 9 years. In 2011 the group signed with Pinecastle Records  and the following year released the highly anticipated album Take me Back . The long awaited project was welcomed with open arms, receiving wide spread airplay, rave reviews and good sales. Although it did not see the charting success of their previous releases it did manage to rank number 8 in Bluegrass Music Profiles Top 10 albums of the year for 2012. The group's latest recording Sho Nuff Country on Patuxent Music Records was released in November of 2016 and was graciously embraced by Country/Alternative radio. It ended the month of November in the  #1 spot on APD's (Airplay Direct's) Top 50  Country/ Alt. Album charts.

In May of 2014 The Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show  made a trip across the big pond for their first International engagement as they traveled to Alberswill, Switzerland for the Willisau Bluegrass Festival. The band was received with overwhelming response and multiple encores. A major milestone for the band which has opened doors for future tours.

  The Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show  are one of the most popular acts on RFD-TV.  They have been periodically featured guest on The Cumberland Highlanders since 1999. The show , taped at the annual Bluegrass Celebration  held at Bill Monroe's Home place near Rosine, KY reaches millions of homes around the world each week.  The exposure gained from this program has made the band a household name among viewers.

 The group is also affiliated with Bill Monroe Music Park in Bean Blossom, Indiana  (Bill Monroe's home away from home) where Karl currently holds the distinct title of Ambassador  of Bean Blossom. The band performs twice each year at the park while promoting The Oldest and Longest running Bluegrass Festival in the World  throughout the year.

Many articles and items of interest have been written about the group over the years including featured articles in trade publications as Bluegrass Unlimited and No Depression magazine.  The bands contributions to the music industry have been documented in several books and publications most notably  The History of Early Bluegrass In Texas by Rod Moag, Home Grown Music by Stephanie P. Ledgin and Images of America Limestone County by William F. Reagan.

 In terms of success, a musician or anyone of an artistic nature is most often remembered for what they gave rather than what they received. The Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show  are no exception. They will no doubt go down in the pages of history for their efforts & contributions however their true reward comes from within.

 "For me it's always been about the music. I kinda felt like I had a responsibility to keep it going and pass it down for future generations to do the same. I love the sheer enjoyment it brings me to know we are playing good music and touching people's hearts. The camaraderie with band mates and the many friends we have made over the years. That's what it's all about for me. "    

                                                                                                         Karl Shiflett   2015

Karl Shiflett

Karl Shiflett was born in Longview, Texas September 16th ,1956. When he was 9 years old his family moved to Limestone County Texas where he grew up developing a  deep love and appreciation for Old Time Country Music.  He first became interested in music after attending an Old Time Fiddlers Contest held at the court house square in the mid 1960's.  Although his Father and Grandfather both played guitar he had never heard or seen music played so flawlessly on fiddles, guitars and banjos . It was a life changing experience.

Shortly after Karl made his first fiddle out of a wooden cigar box patterned after an instrument his Great Grandfather had made during the Great Depression. He didn't have to look far to find someone to learn from. The barber that cut his hair was a fiddle player and the neighbor across the road was a guitar player. He would go get a haircut every Saturday just so he could hear the fiddle played and then sit in on the Sunday afternoon jam sessions at the neighbors.

There was always a good fiddler around so Karl soon switched to guitar. It was at these Sunday afternoon jam sessions that he learned to play and sing.  "Old time fiddling, Bluegrass, Western Swing, Honky-tonk we played it all back then. The musicians were all very kind to me and gave me encouragement. Something I never forgot."

Bluegrass music seemed to be what came most naturally. He loved the sound of Flatt & Scruggs. When Karl was about 15  he had the opportunity to see Lester Flatt & the Nashville Grass at a high school auditorium in Corsicana, Texas. Marty Stuart was with the band and he was about 13.  Seeing this live show left a lasting impression and from that point on he knew what he wanted to do.

The  first band he was a part of was a local group based out of Waco, Texas known as the Brazos Grass starting about 1976.  They had a regular weekly radio show on AM radio station KMIL out of Cameron Texas until 1978.  After the group disbanded Karl went on to work with various Texas based groups including The Humbert Brothers, Joe Featherston and the Country Travelers, Jackson County , Sothern Heritage and The Coleman Brothers.

He met the Sullivan Family in 1985 and shortly after begin working with them on a part time basis when they would come to the area. During this time he also worked with Bill Grant & Delia Bell , Chubby Wise and Mack Wiseman in the same manner. In 1991 he joined the Sullivan Family fulltime and stayed with them until the end of 1992.  In 1993 he started The Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show and as famed radio newscaster Paul Harvey use to say "And now you know the rest of the story".

Kris Shiflett

Kris Shiflett, Karl's oldest son was born and raised in Texas. He joined the band in the spring of 1996 at the age of 16. Kris's Country flavored  bass playing style puts him in a class all his own providing a rock solid foundation for the band's rhythm section. In plain English he is one of the best bass players around.

He began playing music at the age of 12 in the school band playing Tuba, followed by string Bass a few years later. His musical taste covers a broad spectrum of music that includes just about everything from Classic Rock to Classic Country. He credits his Dad and former band members Jake Jenkins and Macy Graham as primary influences for his bass playing style.

He has played bass on all of the band's recordings since 1999 and has also contributed to the band as a songwriter. His composition  It's Fall Again  was featured on the bands 2001 Rebel Records CD In Full Color.

His Daughter Karina June also known as June Bug has been featured with the band on several of their RFD-TV appearances and even had a DVD named after her.

When not on the road playing music he has his own business as an Independent Contractor providing a multitude of professional services for the public. He and his family currently make their home near Groesbeck, Texas. 

Billy Hurt

 Billy Hurt joined the band in August of 2011. Billy plays fiddle in and "old school" style that fits the band perfectly. Born and raised in Boone' s Mill Virginia where he still makes his home he began playing fiddle in the late 1970's .  His Father was good friends with fiddle legend "Clark Kessinger" who was a major influence on Billy's style and approach to fiddling. Absorbing what he heard from his fiddling hero, Billy grew up with a love and appreciation for Old-time fiddling, Classic Country  and Bluegrass Music.  The type of music we all refer to as "Real Country Music" .

Billy has worked with many groups in the business including The Bluegrass Brothers and David Parmely & Continental Divide.  He recently recorded a Fiddle CD released on Patuxent Records called "Fiddlin' Billy Hurt". The project has received widespread airplay and rave reviews.

When not on the road with KSBC Billy plays music with a local group around home called Five Mile Mountain Road.  He also works as stage hand for large music concerts at the Roanoke Convention center. His hobbies include building Hot Rods ,working in his Blacksmith shop, raising a garden and hunting & fishing. Billy currently makes his home in Boone's Mill, Virginia with KSBC band mate Brennen Ernst.

Brennen Ernst

Brennen joined the band on banjo and vocals in January 2013 at the age of 18. He has been playing music most of his life having started at age 5 playing "Ragtime" piano. He soon developed an interest in 20's swing music learning to play guitar and eventually discovered Bluegrass and Old Time music around the age of 14.  He was most fascinated by the banjo and guitar playing  of Don Reno and credits him along with Earl Scruggs and Ralph Stanley as his top three major influences. He learned to play by listening to the recordings of first generation Bluegrass bands which included Don Reno & Red Smiley, Bill Monroe, The Stanley Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs and The Lonesome Pine Fiddlers.

Brennen was born in Chipeta Park, Colorado but has lived in Virginia since he was 2 years old. In addition to music his interest lies in just about anything old. He loves old cars, vintage clothes, antique radios, vintage recording equipment, the list goes on. One of his hobbies is "Ham Radio" operating under the call letters K14PRK. He also enjoys working around the farm when he is at home.

Brennen is a very versatile musician with an interest in many forms of old music. If it's old he likes it. His "swing" guitar and "Ragtime" piano playing are a regular feature on the KSBC program. A crowd pleaser for sure. He has two CD projects on the Patuxent Music label. One is a swing guitar solo project called Blue Skies the other a piano project called Brennen Ernst and his Hot Piano.

Brennen currently resides in Boones Mill, Virginia with KSBC band mate "Fiddlin' Billy Hurt".

Justin Harrison

Justin Harrison is the newest member of the KSBC show. He joined the band in April 2015 at the age of 21 on mandolin and harmony vocals.  Born and raise around a little place called Bear Grass, North Carolina he has been playing music since the age of 8. He first started on fiddle and later switched to mandolin. He had one of the best teachers around as his father Frankie Harrison is a powerful "old school" mandolin player influenced by Bill Monroe, Frank Wakefield and Buzz Busby.  Justin learned from his father as well as all he could from every mandolin player he came in contact with. Other than his Dad some of his other influences include Jessie McReynolds, Sam Bush and David Grisman.  By taking what he learned from each one he has developed a very tasteful and undeniably traditional mandolin playing style.

Justin is currently in his last year of college at Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky where has been enrolled in the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music, a program that gives a degree in Bluegrass Music. He will be graduating in the spring of 2016 with a Bachelor's degree in Traditional Music.

His interest outside of music include hiking and fishing. He loves to travel and see new places. In the spring of 2015 he made a trip to China with a group of musicians from the Traditional Music program for a very successful 10 day tour. During his first week with the KSBC show he made a trip from New York to California.

Justin currently lives in Morehead, Kentucky until he graduates MSE in the spring.

Dany Bureau

Dany  began working with the band playing scrub board around 2003 shortly after his first jam with the KSBC show at the “Thomas Point Beach” Bluegrass Festival in Maine.   Since that time Dany has performed with the band on stage on many occasions finally joining the group on a more regular basis in 2011. Dany has been featured on RFD-TV with the band on“The Cumberland Highlanders”  as well as the most recent recorded project “Take me back” on Pinecastle Records

Dany was born in Canada but grew up in and around Danbury Connecticut. He began playing drums around the age of 10 growing up playing just about everything but bluegrass music. He was first introduced to bluegrass music at the bluegrass festival known as “Strawberry Park” near Preston, CT.   It was here he first saw and heard the music live and felt there was a place for percussion in bluegrass music. He first started with a snare and brushes but felt it sometimes over powered most acoustic groups. It wasn’t long after he attended his first bluegrass festival that he went to Cajun festival and saw and heard the scrub board.  He knew then that was what would work and wound up buying a scrub board. Since that time Dany has modified and basically custom built his own scrub board for use in an acoustic bluegrass group. As far as we know he is the first and only scrub board player in bluegrass music. We proudly welcome him to the band. Dany currently makes his home in Jewett City, CT.