Acoustic Shock Bluegrass Band was founded by mandolin & guitar player Nigel Lever. It was in his early 20’s that he heard his first Bluegrass band and decided that was where he wanted to be. He has achieved two 2nd placings in the Mandolin section and a 2nd placing in the Guitar Section of the Australian National Bluegrass Championships; and also a 3rd placing in the Guitar section of the Telluride (USA) Bluegrass Guitar Championship. Jim Rush was introduced to traditional Country music via the radio, and grew up listening to such greats as Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzel. Later he was exposed to Folk, Blues and subsequently Bluegrass. He was particularly hooked on Bluegrass “flat-pick” style guitar – his playing strongly influenced by Clarence White, Dan Crary, Tony Rice and Hank Snow amongst others. Jim has been placed 2nd numerous times in the Guitar “Flat-picking” section of the Australian National Bluegrass Championships.
A chance meeting at the Sydney Bluegrass & Traditional Country Music Society facilitated their meeting with Banjo player, Martin Louis. Martin grew up listening to regular pop music but could never find a musical style that he was comfortable with. That was until he stumbled across some music from the “Hamilton County Bluegrass Band” – a New Zealand based band. He loved the sound of the banjo and figured it wasn’t too late to learn. His influences include Don Reno and Earl Scruggs. He’s an exceptionally clean and sensitive player with a true traditional feel and this shows with two wins and a number of 2nd and 3rd placings in the Banjo section of the Australian National Bluegrass Championships.
The Bass player role is currently filled by Quentin Fraser, who not only plays a great Bass, but is also a top class Guitarist & Dobro player along with a little banjo too. The Bass player role has been filled by Quentin Fraser, who not only plays a great Bass, but is also a top class Guitarist & Dobro player along with a little banjo too. Quentin has been playing semi-professionally for over 15 years, covering a variety of styles including Country Swing, Jazz, Folk, Blues and of course Bluegrass. Over the years he has been a part of bands such of Duwellon Bros Band (Country Rock & Western Swing), Deadsticks, Redwood Hill (both Bluegrass Bands), Shades Of Grey (Country), “MJB” & the Tony Evans Quartet (Jazz).
This format is a 4 piece (although a Fiddle player can be added where funds allow) and generally the price is based on $250 per player for festivals (+ nominal fee to cover travelling costs – air or vehicle) and $150 per player for local 4 hour gig
NOTE:- Since 2001 they have also been joined occasionally by Country/Folk & Bluegrass Singer Karen Lynne and Karen can be added to the line-up on request. The resulting combination has been so successful that it has led to the recent recording of a Bluegrass Album ”Blue Mountain Rain”. Released jointly with banjo player Martin Louis, the album primarily features the talents of “Acoustic Shock” and some other great Australian Bluegrass players (including Ian Simpson, Mick Albeck, Andrew Clermont, Kym Warner & Liz Frencham). Songs from this album have picked up a number of notable Award Nominations & wins. In 2003 it received two Top 10 Nominations in the National Australian “Golden Guitar” Awards, firstly in the Instrumental Section for Martin Louis & Ian Simpson for their Banjo Duet “Big Ben” and also for Karen Lynne in the “Female Vocal” section. Blue Mountain Rain also picked up four Award Nominations in the 2003 Victorian Country Music Awards – Top 5 for Karen Lynne in the “Female Vocal” section, for Acoustic Shock in both the “Group” and “Instrumental” sections and for the album itself in the “Best Independent Release” category. The album won the “Best Independent Release” category. Acoustic Shock have also picked up two Top 5 Award Nominations in the Tamworth Independent (TIARA) Awards in the “Instrumental” & “Group” Sections.