Rough Edges Band make their home in east Tennessee from an area rich in bluegrass, old time, and folk music heritage. The band was formed in 2006 with Travis Sutton and Chip McLain who were lucky enough to solicit the help of Jeff Webb and Clint Hurd. Travis and Chip have shared their love for music together off and on for over six years. The REB lineup brings to the stage bluegrass with a slight contemporary edge, tight harmony, an entertaining show, and a true love of the music they perform.
REB want to effectively establish themselves as “grass with an edge”. Hopefully the band's followers can cross all musical boundaries. They appeal to the traditional bluegrass fans as well as the non-traditional ones. The most avid country music lovers can enjoy their music and the younger generation, especially the college students, also can enjoy their style too. Their "grass with an edge" has been shaped into a skillfully executed, articulate musical presentation that hopefully will move your spirit with a high energy or intense show.
As the tune Rough Edges suggests, "You can chisel and mold...” the band makes each song they do theirs in every way. Thus each member of Rough Edges brings their own idea of bluegrass, and each has his own style. Together they create a progressive, contemporary sound reflecting a myriad of influences. Presently, the group is made up of singer songwriters Travis Sutton (bass) and Chip McLain (guitar). The innovative Jeff Webb (banjo), and Ryan Moyers (mandolin) complete the delivery of grass with an edge known as Rough Edges.
East Tennessee’s contemporary bluegrass band, Rough Edges, consists of Travis Sutton from Cumberland Gap on bass and lead vocal, Chip McLain from Rogersville on guitar and tenor vocal, Jeff Webb from Newport on banjo and baritone/bass vocal, and Ryan Moyers from Morristown on mandolin and baritone vocal.
The band performs progressive and traditional bluegrass, and the guys pride themselves on their ability to move seamlessly from Monroe covers to original material to grassed-up versions of Beatles and Rolling Stones tunes. As polished as this material may be, the band works hard to maintain a raw energy in their live shows, and according to McLain, “It’s a whole lot of fun to have rough edges!”
When asked what makes them distinct, the group always answers with references to their time spent working on harmonies. As driving as their instrumentation may be, the Rough Edges Band is first a vocal band. Special past performances for the band have been the Renfro Valley Barn Dance, the Tennessee Valley Fair, headlining with country group sensation Diamond Rio and their hour-long public television appearance on the Jamming at Hippie Jack’s show.
The band’s debut recording is Heyday, which includes four originals by Sutton and McLain. Bluegrass Unlimited magazine has described the Rough Edges Band as “firmly established within their Tennessee home base” and suggests that “the contents of Heyday clearly demonstrate the potential to reach out to far wider audiences.”