"By Artists, For Artists"
Mike Bentley & Cumberland Gap Connection
Mike Bentley & Cumberland Gap Connection have spent a lot of time honing and perfecting a sound all their own. From its inception, the group’s efforts have taken a unique, hard-driving style of bluegrass to a new level, combining clever instrumentation with a distinctive knack for vocal harmony. Comprised of Mike Bentley on lead vocals and guitar; Rod Smith on vocals and banjo; Matt Hiser on vocals and mandolin; Jeff Smith on vocals and bass; and Josh Brown on vocals and guitar, this five piece ensemble shares a fun sense of camaraderie within the band, making it easy to see how the group has won so many fans in a very short time. Mike Bentley & Cumberland Gap Connection enjoys playing songs in the traditional bluegrass style, while performing as much original material as possible, fulfilling what the band sees as its two part goal—enjoying what they do while making their fans happy.
MIKE BENTLEY (LEAD VOCALS/GUITAR)
Mike may very well be the most underrated vocalist in bluegrass today. A soulful singer with great range who seems to have that rare ability to put his stamp on almost any song he sings. He is from the mountains of Eastern Kentucky and was exposed to music and singing early on in life. He began singing at a very young age, and like many folks in the mountains, learned a lot from singing in church. Being raised in a hollow in Pike County, learning to sing and play bluegrass music seems only fitting. Mike is quick to tell anyone that his favorite singer is Keith Whitley, but he is also partial to singers such as Larry Sparks, Marty Raybon, George Jones, and so many others. His musical resume includes being a member of bands such as Dismal Pike, Allen Amburgey and Kentucky Mountain Grass, and Ernie Thacker & Route 23, just to name a few. Mike writes a lot of original tunes and takes great pride in his songwriting, as well as his vocal and instrumental parts with the band. His songs have been recorded by some very familiar names in bluegrass, such as Grasstowne and Lou Reid and Carolina. Mike has continued to help define the band's sound with his vocal work and songwriting.
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