Family & Friends
We are a Bluegrass and acoustic group from East Tennessee, featuring the award-winning musicianship of Jessica (fiddle) and Cris (mandolin and guitar) Ball. Their father Randy plays guitar while John Skelton plays bass for the group. We began playing as a band in 1998, and have since played 50-60 shows each year in Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina. We have played at festivals and shows featuring Doc Watson, Rhonda Vincent, John Hartford, Mike Seeger, The Dan Tyminski Band and John Anderson. We do Bluegrass, old-time, gospel, originals, rock and roll, waltzes, and more! Jessica is now attending East Tennessee State University on a music scholarship, and participates in their famous Bluegrass and Country Music Program. Cris twice won the National Beginner's Flat Top Guitar Championship at Smithville, Tennessee. Randy has written several songs for the group, and has several signed with publishers. John is also an accomplished mandolin player. Family and Friends is our sixth recording. It features help from our friends Jim Bowman, Larry Bass, and Audey Ratliff (the luthier of the famous Ratliff Mandolins). Blue Highway's Tim Stafford contributed the liner notes. Family and Friends, along with our previous recordings, has been played on the radio in the United States, Holland, France, Italy, Ireland, England, Russia and Japan.