Situated in the hills of Eastern Kentucky, there is a small town of Belcher. Listen closely and you might hear what is first thought to be the angels singing. It is the sweet, crystal clear, high tenor voice of Belcher’s own multi-talented son of Bluegrass. Add in his powerful and precise Mandolin, a few licks of his Guitar, Banjo, Bass and Dobro, you have the complete package of Kevin Prater. Kevin began his musical voyage at the age of four. Encouraged and mentored by his Uncle and biggest fan, Boone Estep. At age 10, he formed his first band “Elkhorn Grass” . Elkhorn Grass enjoyed 11 years of touring together. Now, over thirty years later, Kevin has traveled millions of miles, played in 49 States and 23 countries. Kevin has moved from being one of the best sidemen in Bluegrass to leading his own talented and unique band, from the hills of Appalachia, creating that Pure Kentucky Sound of the The Kevin Prater Band.
The Kevin Prater Band grew from a long musical association between Kevin Prater and Tom Timberlake. Beginning with the Timmy Cline Band in 1994 and continuing with Redwing in later years. Years into Kevin's tenure with The James King Band, Tom began encouraging Kevin to do his own music, with his own band. Tom's persistence paid off. He put the fire under Kevin to pursue his dream of fronting his own band. Soon they were forming The Kevin Prater Band. They started picking together again and working on new music with a couple of local musicians, playing their first show as "The Kevin Prater Band" in 2007. Kevin has been blessed to showcase his many talents through out his amazing career. His solid rhythm and lead is a driving force of the KPB sound. His vocals are the backbone of the group, which the music is built around. Kevin has surrounded himself with veterans of Bluegrass Music, enabling them to create their unique style of Bluegrass and Gospel Music they are quickly becoming famous for.
Ryan Lester, has been playing bluegrass music since he could stand up and hold an instrument. In addition to playing Mandolin, Bass and Guitar, Ryan is a strong, respected vocalist. Influenced by his grandfather Dean Jackson, Tony Rice, Russell Moore, Wayne Benson, Dan Tyminski and Darrell Webb. Bands of influence to Ryan are The Bluegrass Album Band, The Osborne Brothers. Ryan joined The KPB playing Guitar, but recently turned the Guitar over to Kevin and Ryan has taken Mandolin responsibilities. Ryan has a wonderful singing voice and takes the lead in many of the bands tunes.
Jake Burrows, has a huge resume of Bluegrass knowledge and experience for his young age. Heavily influenced by Earl Scruggs style, Jake brings a firery Banjo to the KPB as well as an emotion filled Dobro. Jake has a vast knowledge of Bluegrass music, which is evident in his ability to sing any part. Jake has one of the strongest and highest Tenor voices in the business. In addition to playing and instrument and singing any part, Jake also teaches private lessons on various instruments.
Daniel Pugh, fills the Bass position at only 18 years old. He plays like a seasoned veteran of the Bluegrass highway. He first felt the Bluegrass bug bite him about age 14. His influence came from Flatt & Scruggs, Dr. Ralph Stanley and a love for the Louvin Brothers. Many local musicians saw Daniel's talent and started taking him to jam sessions and bluegrass festivals. He started on Banjo but then developed a passion for the Bass. Daniel never intended to be a vocalist, until during his fist day with The KPB, Kevin announced on stage he would be singing Bass, and a great job he did.
Joshua Green, is the newest member of The KPB. He is a former James Kings bandmate of Kevin's. Hailing from Monroe, North Carolina where he teaches private lessons in Mandolin, Fiddle, Banjo, Guitar and Bass. Other bands he has toured with, Larry Stevenson Band, Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road and Darrin & Brooke Aldridge. When not playing Bluegrass music, Josh stays busy with his five year old twins, a son and a daughter.
The Kevin Prater Band sound comes from a wide range of influences and musical heroes. The Original Seldom Scene, The Country Gentlemen, Osborne Brothers, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Red Allen, The Stanley Brothers, Boone Estep & The Ramblin Grass are among the different styles of music they have all admired and studied together throughout the years. Also steeped in the tradition of Gospel music, they pride themselves on the a capella hymns and great gospel songs that people have come to enjoy. The band also includes Classic Country and Vintage Rock in their repertoire, insuring no two shows of The Kevin Prater Band are the same.
Members of the band are great friends, enjoy making great music and look forward to a long future together. The band enjoys traveling, reconnecting with old friends, making new fans and hope their music will bring attention to the "Pure Kentucky Bluegrass & Gospel Music" they have become known for. Watch for Kevin Prater and The Kevin Prater Band at a show near you. Great things are happening and they want you to be a part of it.