Ryan Lester, Guitar, Lead & Harmony Vocals
Ryan Lester of Hurley, VA. was blessed to be born as the grandson of Dean Jackson, considered Bluegrass Royalty by many. A highly respected musician and vocalist, Dean saw many talents in Ryan. Dean started Ryan on stage at age three, keeping rhythm on Mandolin. They practiced heavily, played and jammed with others, developing Ryan's love to sing. By age eight Ryan was playing Lead Mandolin, Dog House Bass and beginning guitar. Ryan is always striving to learn and expand his musical abilities.
Dean Jackson also had a huge role and influence in the musical journey of Kevin Prater, as he started playing music with Dean at age 6. Kevin first met Ryan at a local jam session and was immediately impressed with Ryan's talents, often stating if the opportunity arose, he would like to have him in the band.
"In my youth, Dean Jackson was a highly respected musician in our area" Prater said. "Dean mentored me and taught me. Having his grandson Ryan in my band, I feel as if my musical journey has come full circle. "
In addition to playing with Dean Jackson & Bluegrass Autumn, Ryan has played with several regional bands including The Sandy Shortridge Band and Mike Bentley & Cumberland Gap Connection and Ebby Jewell & The Bluegrass Gentlemen.
Ryan's vocal talent will put to the test as he takes over some of the lead vocal responsibilities, allowing Kevin to resume some high tenor vocals he has become know for.