Meet the Band
Tom is a phenomenal guitarist, singer and songwriter, hailing from a rich musical background inspired by his Americana roots. At the young age of 6, Tom started his musical career paying tribute to his Celtic heritage by taking up the bagpipes, winning numerous regional bagpipe competitions and becoming one of the youngest pipers in his home state of Wyoming. When he was 14, Tom shifted gears and took to the guitar, following in the footsteps of his father, who put him through the school of bluegrass, forever changing his musical path. During adolescence, Tom competed in local competitions, and secured himself many titles while narrowing in on his unique performance technique and powerhouse vocals. As an adult, Tom spent 2 years as the lead guitarist and co-lead vocalist for Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition winners Wood Belly. Tom celebrated the release of Wood Belly’s most recent album Great Big Skies, contributing many songs to the album. In his free time, Tom shares his passion for music by enriching the lives of others at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Dan was born to fiddle. As a youngster growing up in DeKalb corn country, he fashioned his first fiddling fingers under the tutelage of Ann Montzka-Smelser. He started gigging after joining his first bluegrass group, The Corn Desert Ramblers, in Urbana, IL way back in 2006. Upon graduating bluegrass college, and actual college (Bachelor of Arts in Ethomusicology 2011), Dan made his way to the big city to start his tenure with the Chicago bluegrass powerhouse, The Henhouse Prowlers. Over the course of 4 years, he thrived in 2 American Music Abroad tours to 9 African nations, 2 Arts Envoy tours to Nigeria and Russia, and countless educational and performance engagements both domestic and international. After pursuing a Master of Science in Library and Information Sciences, he moved to Colorado to find life, love, and bluegrass music.
Sam was born to a musical family in a small town in Oklahoma and started playing the mandolin at the age of 13. The family played throughout the state during his high school years as The Parks Family Band. Then shortly after attending college at Oklahoma State University, Sam formed his own band, The Flatland Grass Band with his brother on fiddle and newfound college buddies. Realizing music was more than a hobby, Sam went on to study mandolin and guitar at South Plains College in West Texas studying with Joe Carr. After graduating with President’s Honor Roll and winning several performance awards, he moved to Boulder, Colorado to pursue music full time in 2010. Sam played mandolin with Head for the Hills from 2015-2018 and recorded one full length studio album with the band, while also helping form The Lonesome Days and recording their first full length album in 2017 and performing at Red Rocks in 2020 with the band. Post-pandemic, things have shaken up and allowed for new opportunities like performing with Jeremy Garrett’s (The Infamous Stringdusters) solo project band, performing with Yonder Mountain String Band, and co-founding The Fretliners.
Taylor Shuck is an accomplished musician and songwriter hailing from Colorado. He played electric bass from the age of 13 in a variety of bands of a plethora of genres including but not limited to jazz, rock, funk, Afrobeat, reggae, Americana, folk and eventually bluegrass. He converted to the double bass at the age of 20, becoming a highly sought-after bassist in the Colorado music scene. He spent 6 years playing and touring in the 2018 Telluride Bluegrass Band Comp winners - Wood Belly. While the double bass is his main instrument these days, he also plays guitar and banjo, using these instruments to write songs often found in The Fretliners repertoire. When not playing with The Fretliners he spends his time cooking, snowboarding, fly fishing, hiking with his dog and working at Grace Design building pro-audio gear.