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About Fall Creek Bluegrass

Nobody really knows exactly when Fall Creek Bluegrass was formed. Band members agree that Phillip Willard is probably it's longest remaining member. Phillip picks the banjo and sings lead and ocassionally bass. He is generally regarded as the founder of the band. Phillip is the owner and manager of Ace's Restaurant in Yadkinville, North Carolina which hosts a popular weekly bluegrass jam session on Thursday nights.

Phillip's youngest son, Randy Willard, is the band's mandolin player and sings lead. Randy has picked music since he was barely old enough to hold the mandolin.

R.L. Steelman has been a member of Fall Creek Bluegrass since the mid-1970's and plays guitar. R.L. does small repairs and setup on fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and bass and is highly accomplished in the art of rehairing fiddle bows.

Robert Steelman (R.L.'s son) is the group's bass player. He started out in the band playing guitar in the mid-1970's. In 1979, the band was in need of a bass player and it was decided that he should be the one to fill that slot. Robert also sings mostly baritone, ocassionally doing some lead and tenor vocals. Robert also dabbles a bit with songwriting - Listen

Fall Creek Bluegrass' long history had them playing many events - chicken stews, pig pickin's, wagon trains, street festivals, fiddlers' conventions, concerts, and private parties. Members have come and gone over the years - most through death.

Buford Jester, a champion fiddler from the old Union Grove schoolhouse fiddlers' convention was a mainstay in the band from the early years until poor health forced his retirement. Buford went to be with the Lord in 2003.

Eldon Moxley, a guitarist and vocalist, was a member of the band through the 1980's until his job with AT&T took him to Saudi Arabia. After returning to the states, he enjoyed a brief return to the band before declining health led to his retirement and ultimately to his death.

Another former member of the Fall Creek Bluegrass is Bud Patterson. Bud played guitar and sang tenor. He was known as a "horse trader" and also enjoyed "messing" with the fiddle. Bud is still kicking around in the Smithtown community of Yadkin County, NC.

After Buford Jester's retirement the band developed an association with champion fiddler Ralph Pennington from Gold Hill, North Carolina. Ralph was an accomplished musician who also sang and played mandolin. He was an accomplished instrument builder as well. Together with Ralph the band played events and conventions all across the Piedmont and the Foothills of North Carolina. Ralph's untimely death left the band without a full-time fiddler.