Badger Mountain Dry Band – Progressive Bluegrass Music and More
For over 29 years the Badger Mountain Dry Band has brought their brand of progressive bluegrass music to the Pacific Northwest. Playing traditional bluegrass instrumentation, the group has presented a music ranging from traditional bluegrass standards, original Gospel material, 60’s rock and roll, swing tunes, big band tunes, old country standards, and more.
The group has been featured at many festivals, concerts, and community events such as:
- Featured Bluegrass Act at the ABC3 Festival at Ocean Shores, WA January 2016 and January 2020 (ABC3=Appalachian, Bluegrass, Celtic, Cowboy, and Cavalry)
- Invited concert performer at The GESA Powerhouse Theater in Walla Walla, WA in July, 2014
- Northwest Regional Folklife Festival for 8 years; featured on the Rainer Room KBCS radio stage in 2006; and the Bluegrass Feature concert at Bagley Wright Auditorium in 2008
- Featured act at the Sacajawea Bluegrass Festival in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2015, and 2016
- The Tumbleweed Music Festival for several years, featured as 2005 and 2015 headline act
- Monthly performer at Tri-Cities best music club, The Emerald of Siam
Other notable performances:
- The Yakima Folklife Festival for 3 years
- Hermiston, Oregon’s Arts Center dedication & Summer Concert series
- Boardman’s Rollin’ on the River Festival
- Muddy Frogwater Festival in Milton-Freewater
- Christ the King (Richland, Wa.) Sausage Festival featured act for 10 years
- Faith Assembly (Pasco) Community Concert Series
- Bethel (Richland) Friday Night Alive concert series
- Hillspring Church’s Hoedown Festival – two years
- Saint Joseph’s May Fest (Kennewick, Wa) – two years
- West Richland’s Summer Concert in the Park Series – three years
- Tri-City Water Follies Art in the Park for many years
- Whitman College
- Washington State University
- and many more
Concerts have been presented in all of the Tri-Cities; West Richland, Pendleton, Hermiston, Beverly, Walla Walla, Milton-Freewater, Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Yakima, Lind, Connell, and many, many more.
“… the Badger Mountain Dry Band is awesome…” Dan Maher, performer and emcee of Inland Folk, Washington State University Public Radio.
BMDB has produced 2 CDs; “Badger Mountain Dry Band” released in 2006, and “Stayin’ Dry” which was released in 2010. Both are available by contacting the band at firstname.lastname@example.org , and are available at band appearances. Live versions of BMDB songs are available on YouTube, and BMDB has a Facebook page as well.
The current Band lineup includes:
John April plays guitar, banjo, and dobro with the BMDB, and sings lead and harmony vocals. John is the other founding member of the BMDB and has sung and played guitar and banjo with Jim Honeyman since 1991. John grew up in the San Jose, CA area where his earliest musical experience was playing tambourine with the “Botanic Vision” band in middle school. John began playing guitar at age 12, picked up the banjo at age 20, the mandolin at age 36, and recently started playing dobro at age 59. John has played in a number of electric, acoustic, and new acoustic bands during his career. In addition to the two CDs John has recorded with the BMDB, he’s recorded two guitar solo albums, and two new acoustic music CDs with the Johnny Moodwick Trio. John moved to the Tri-Cities in 1990.
Jim Honeyman plays mandolin and sings lead and harmony vocals with the BMDB. Jim is one of the founding members of the BMDB, and has played with John April since 1991. Jim grew up in rural North Dakota and began playing guitar in the 7th grade. Jim’s dad was an accomplished dance fiddler who also played accordion, so Jim was surrounded with traditional music growing up. Jim played electric guitar in a high school band, and began learning the mandolin at age 24. Jim was a solo vocalist from an early age and also sang in church , elementary, and high school choirs; as well as a variety of adult community vocal groups. Jim has played occasional dates with Walla Walla’s Ryegrass String Band, and with the versatile folk performer and storyteller, Hank Cramer. Jim moved to the Tri-Cities in 1975 and resides in Pasco, WA. Jim is a chemical engineer, and is semi-retired, doing consulting for Jacobs Engineering, Inc.
Mike Zabel has played selected dates on bass with the BMDB since 2006 and began playing full time in 2013. Mike has played electric and stand-up bass in a wide range of musical groups and styles ranging from traditional bluegrass, jazz, rock, classical (esp. Bach)and pop. Mike grew up as an army brat and resided in several states over the years. He played bass in a jazz ensemble at the University of Deleware. Recently, Mike played with an eclectic group called “Highland Drive” here in the Tri-Cities and continues to play in his church’s worship team. Mike has been featured on numerous CD projects including a recent CD with Highland Drive. Mike moved to the Tri-Cities in 1986, and resides in Pasco, WA. Mike is an Industrial Hygiene and Safety professional for Washington River Protection Solutions in Richland, WA.
Shawn Hughes, a Tri-City native plays guitar, mandolin, and fiddle. Shawn is a young musician that has performed at many local and regional contest and festivals. Shawn is a musical instrument instructor for guitar, mandolin, and fiddle. He is in demand as a studio musician, and has recorded a number of projects with other musicians. Shawn started playing with the BMDB in March of 2015. Shawn has written several instrumental tunes.
Curt Fields, a resident of the Tri-Cities since 1967 first started playing banjo and guitar around 1974. He played guitar for over twenty years in his church orchestra and enjoys playing bluegrass/country versions of gospel hymns along with traditional bluegrass and country music. Curt has performed with several bluegrass bands in the Pacific Northwest (Rusty Hinges is one you will know) along with many years playing in local retirement homes with various local musicians. Now that he is retired, he travels the Northwest attending and playing at bluegrass festivals during the summer festival season. He has been a member of BMDB since January of 2016, playing rhythm and leads on the guitar.
Dennis Miller has played with the BMDB for a couple of stints, first in 2014-2016, then again starting in 2019. Dennis is active in the bluegrass music scene in eastern Washington, has been past president of the Mid-Columbia Traditional Arts and Music Association (which produces the Sacajewea Bluegrass Festival annually). Dennis plays guitar and sings lead and harmony vocals for BMDB.
Kay Humphrys is the newest member of BMDB, singing harmony vocals. After her retirement from the military, she had a career as an engineer and manager for a Hanford contractor. Kay is active in the Scottish music and dance community, and sews kilts and costumes for private and commercial customers in the Pacific Northwest.