SmokeRise members are all veterans of the Atlanta Bluegrass scene. They like to mix the old and the new as they all love the blues and grew up on Rock and Roll.
They are comfortable with classic bluegrass material as well as progressive covers of non-bluegrass genres.
Walter Stark grew up in rural North Carolina the son of an itinerate preacher. At the time this was a veritable Petri dish of bluegrass music. As a youth he played some of the music but life and career pursuits took precedence. After 40 years of musical inactivity, an accident and extended convalescence caused a rediscovery of a long neglected passion. Now Walter is blessed to be able to share this music with good friends and neighbors.
Mike Hughes is the "slidey/twangy guitar with the hubcap on it" guy. He discovered the Dobro in the early 70's listening to Mike Auldridge in Washington DC. He bought his current tuxedo MA-6 directly from Auldridge himself decades later.
When not working with SmokeRise, Mike produces songs in his studio loft with an assortment of real and imaginary friends he picked up during the Pandemic Lockdown of 2020.
Reuben Fair was born in Gene Autrey, Oklahoma, and began playing guitar in the late sixties. He played off and on while earning a living with his day job as an engineer. While attending a bluegrass concert in Armuchee Georgia in 2000 his love of music was rekindled and he decided to take up the mandolin while his wife Kim decided to pick the bass and son Trey opted for the Banjo. Reuben is a charter member of the infamous Tucker Station String Band. Reuben lives in Smokerise, Georgia with his wife, Kim and kitty cat, Blue.
Kim Fair hails from the little town of Lucedale in coastal Mississippi. She moved to Atlanta for school in the 70′s and never left. With a background in piano and a love of music, Kim became enamored of the sounds of bluegrass while attending a Festival in Armuchee, Georgia in 2000.
Since a piano is a little difficult to carry to a bluegrass jam, Kim opted for the bass which she plays with skill and finesse. Holding down the bottom of the bluegrass group, Kim keeps everybody in line with her solid timing. Since she is a high school math teacher, she has no trouble counting to I-IV-V. Kim is also a founding member of the Tucker Station String Band.