Tuesday, August 4, 2015


When you go to an Oak Ridge Boys show, you're going to see Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, Richard Sterban and William Lee Golden, right? Well of course you are, but have you ever taken the time to say hello to the guys that make up the Mighty Oaks Band? These guys are some of the finest and most talented musicians in the industry with many years of experience under their collars. They've played the stage with some of country's biggest names and stood on some of the world's largest stages in the most popular venues. I am continually impressed by these men that stand on that stage behind the Oak Ridge Boys, every city, every night, every song and travel alongside them mile for mile for over 150 shows a year.

These guys are always on the top of their game, the consummate professionals and the best musicians the business has to offer. These men always give 100%, even when they may not feel like it. They are always smiling and laughing, having a great time and that is a huge part of what makes an Oak Ridge Boys show such a fantastic show. I always look forward to attending these shows, not just because of the love I have for the music and the Oaks themselves, but because of the friendships I've established with the guys behind the scenes. They truly don't get any better. I thought I'd take a minute and introduce you to each of them and give you a little inside look into their background. The next time you're at an Oaks show, take the time to say hello to these outstanding musicians and wonderful people. They're friendly, down to earth and so much fun. They are an integral part of the Oak Ridge Boys experience and they make a show so much fun. I am blessed to call them friends.

Roger Eaton (Guitar)

Bio: You may recognize Roger as the guitarist for a number of great artists including Lorrie Morgan, Joe Diffie, and playing lead and rhythm guitar for songwriter and recording artist, Anthony Smith. Roger has also been seen on The Barbara Mandrell Show, The Tanya Tucker Show and The Vern Gosdin Show as well as All Access on CMT, Prime Time Country, The Grand Ole' Opry, Crook and Chase and many others. He's a high demand session player whose work includes guitar and vocals for Barbara Mandrell's "Acoustic Attitude" and "Get to the Heart."

Ron Fairchild (Keyboards)

Bio: Born in 1958 and raised in Music City, Ron has an “Oak Ridge” heritage. His father, Tommy, played piano for The Oak Ridge Boys from 1957 until 1972! Ron has a 20+ year personal history with the group. Ron engineered the digital keyboard system he plays on stage and has built his own recording studio. He's pretty much the "class clown" on stage and at any given time, if you look over at him, he's got a big grin on his face and cracking jokes. When he's not on the road or overseeing his studio, Ron enjoys sailing, photography, learning to fly airplanes, and playing with his HAM radio.

Rex Wiseman (Fiddle, Pedal Steel, Guitar, Mandolin)

Bio: Born and raised in Birdseye, Indiana, Rex grew up in a musical family. His father, four brothers, and sister were “back porch” pickers, playing mostly for their own enjoyment. Rex, who was the youngest, learned to play the mandolin at age five. Eventually he taught himself to play fiddle, guitar, pedal steel, electric bass, dobro, banjo, and mandolin (and God only know what else). When Rex was 11, he became a “professional,” earning money by playing in a local country band with his brother. At 16, he put together his own band. Then in 1980, he moved to Nashville to work with Little David Wilkins. He subsequently worked with John Conlee, Bill Anderson, Rhonda Vincent, Billy Yates, Phillip Claypool, and Clay Walker. Rex’s early dream was for a solo record deal. His timing was less than perfect, however, because Contemporary Country was in vogue in the early eighties, and he played and sang traditional style. He finally gave up on solo aspirations in May 1985, two months before Randy Travis became an “overnight” sensation! Timing is everything! He is married to his wondeful wife Kim, has two daughters, Mary Jo and Kady, as well as three granddaughters. Despite his obvious love for music, his love for family runs much deeper. They are the love of his life.

David Northrup (Drums, Percussion)

Bio: New York native David Northrup has been on the Nashville music scene since 1995. The talented drummer and percussionist has extensive touring experience, matched by a long list of recording credits and work he has done with a multitude of artists in various genres, from rock legend John Waite, the James Brown Horns, John Mellencamp, and guitarist Les Dudek, to jam band sensation the Disco Biscuits. David has also worked with an array of country artists, including Wynonna Judd, Travis Tritt, Joe Diffie, Doug Stone, Tanya Tucker, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Lila McCann, Jo De Messina, Jo-El Sonnier, Pam Tillis, Ty Herndon, Lee Greenwood, Louise Mandrell, Connie Smith, Gene Watson, Deborah Allen, and Anthony Smith. When not touring or recording, David also produces and works as an international clinician. For two consecutive years, he placed in the prestigious Modern Drummer Readers Poll, voted #3 Country Drummer and #2 Clinician of the year in 2008 and #2 Country Drummer and #2 Clinician in 2009. 

 His television and video appearances include the Tonight Show, the Today Show, the Jimmy Kimmel Show, the CMA Awards, the ACM Awards, CMT’s Flameworthy Video Awards, the 2005 Jammy Awards, GAC Grand Ole Opry Live, PBS Concert Special SoundStage, Farm Aid 2000, and many more. When he's not sitting behind the drums, you can find David at home enjoying time with his wife Sandy and their children.

Scotty Simpson (Bass Guitar)

Bio: Scotty Simpson was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He began playing guitar at age eleven and within a few years had formed a band with his older brother, Steve. It quickly became apparent there was a problem; everyone wanted to play lead so there was no bass player. Scotty decided to give bass a shot, and the love affair began. He spent every waking hour sitting in front of the stereo, moving a record needle back again and again, until he learned every lick on every album he had. By the time he was fourteen he was playing in clubs. Luckily, his brother, who was ten years older, made for the perfect guardian, so Scotty’s parents allowed him to do so. A week after he got out of high school he took off on the road with a traveling club band—and never stopped. He moved to Nashville in 1996 and within a few months landed gigs with Tanya Tucker, Pam Tillis, and finally settled in with Travis Tritt for about thirteen years. Known as the Long Tall Texan, you can always find Scotty with a smile on his face and getting into some kind of trouble onstage so you have to pay attention. He's even got his own fan page on Facebook - Scotty Simpson Fans. Go figure!

Jeff Douglas (Guitar, Dobro)

Bio: Jeff Douglas was born and raised in Kentucky, spending most of his early years in the small town of Paris. An only child, his dad worked for the Post Office and his mom worked for the local school system. While attending the University of Kentucky, Jeff began working at a music store repairing and building guitars. It was in the local music scene that he met longtime friend, Paul Martin. Through this friendship he met the Oaks. In 1995, Jeff moved to the Nashville area to take a job as the ORB Band Tech. He was later promoted to Stage Manager. Jeff has played the guitar since he was sixteen and in 1999, when the Oaks needed a bit of extra “fill” in the show, he started playing three or four songs on rhythm guitar. However, he played offstage while also attending to his production work! In 2004, the Oaks released their Bluegrass-flavored The Journey CD. Jeff immediately bought a dobro and learned to play it so he could contribute to an additional four or five songs on the show. However, when playing the dobro he walks onstage—no longer a ghost player! In his spare time Jeff enjoys woodworking, tennis, photography, and recording. He is single and has no children.

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