MIke Mitchell Band
The Mike Mitchell Band brings a high-energy show full of chart-topping bluegrass and fiddle tunes.
“Original Music with a Traditional Flavor”
– Tim White, Song Of The Mountains
Mike Mitchell - Fiddle
Jared Houseman - Bass
Jeff Daugherty - Mandolin
Ethan Ratliff - Guitar
Jacob Wright - Banjo
MEET THE BAND
The MMB is thrilled that Jared Houseman will be touring with us again this year. We’ve known him and his music since he started gigging, and having him with us for the third year on the road makes it feel like family!
Jared is an adept bassist on both upright and electric. At the age of 9, Jared began gigging in the Bluegrass rich region of Southwest Virginia, becoming a master of the style. His influences soon grew to include Jazz, Funk, Country, and everything in between making for a versatile player both on stage and in the studio.
Raised in a family of North Carolina bluegrass pickers and singers, Jeff Daugherty has come into the fold honestly. From a very young age he followed his uncle’s band, New River Gospel, from festival to festival around the southeast, US. Watching his family perform on the same bill as first and second generation bluegrass giants, he fell in love with the traditional bluegrass sound. On his twelfth birthday his grandfather handed him his first guitar and Jeff quickly began learning the ropes for himself.
In 2013, while in Wyoming and playing for BeatGrass, a group he co-founded, Jeff's best friend and bandmate, "Uncle Pete" Mergard, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. It was some time before Jeff could pick up an instrument or even listen to music, but when he finally did it was releasing lightning from a bottle! The first song he wrote, Dear John, won him the prestigious John Hartford Songwriting Award, and he hasn’t slowed down since!
As a solo artist, Jeff has had the great pleasure to perform with legends, pioneers & personal heroes of the bluegrass and Americana veins; sharing the bill with artists such as The Dillards, Sam Bush, Billy Strings & The Infamous Stringdusters. He has graced stages from Bill Monroe's Music Park at Bean Blossom and the world famous Station Inn to laid back festivals from coast to coast. Along this ride Jeff has had the pleasure to perform in a number of European locations as well, including sold-out concerts in Germany, France, & Luxembourg.
For the last four years Jeff has performed, recorded, & toured nationally with the Colorado-based, traditional bluegrass band Red Mountain Boys. Playing all-original bluegrass music, they have performed in a dozen states and at some of the biggest bluegrass festivals and venues in the country. The group has released over 25 songs on all streaming platforms under Spruce Creek Records.
Moving to the Nashville area in mid-2022, Jeff decided to dive into the world of songwriting for others. He quickly fostered relationships with some of the top writers in the bluegrass genre and has written nearly full time when not on the road. This change in direction has already given more accolades to his name as the winningest songwriter in the 2023 Winfield New Song Competition; with two first-place winning songs and another two songs chosen as alternates. A co-written song, Keep on Keepin’ On, with his writing partner Rick Lang was selected for the 2023 IBMA World of Bluegrass official Songwriter’s Showcase.
As one who never stops seeking out learning opportunities, Jeff has studied mandolin with the likes of Mike Marshall, David Grisman, Sierra Hull, and lastly, his friend and mentor, the late, Mr Bobby Osborne . He keeps his nose in a songwriting book and attends any workshop or seminar he can (including Louisa Branscomb’s Lyric Mountain). In the Spring of 2023 he also received two certifications from the Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music in Studio Recording and Bluegrass Fundamentals.
An avid traveler, Jeff has visited over 40 countries, usually with a guitar or mandolin, and has sang for his supper on many occasions. He spent time as a voting member of the European Bluegrass Music Association while living in Germany.
Ethan Ratliff is an exciting up-and-coming Bluegrass Guitarist. Just 21 years old, he began his musical journey when he first picked up a guitar only 5 years ago at age 16.
“I am tremendously blessed and humbled by the opportunity to join the Mike Mitchell Band. Mike is a true gentleman and professional in every sense of the word. I am a big fan of not only his musicianship but his songwriting as well. I’m looking forward to savoring every moment on stage alongside Mike and his incredibly talented band.”
Born and raised in the heart of Appalachia in Russell County Virginia to a musical family, his pedigree is not unlike so many others who have kept this form of music alive and thriving by receiving it from the generation before and expanding upon it, taking it to new heights.
Upon enrolling at Radford University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology, he quickly became a fixture at the rich local jam scenes of the surrounding area, where he has honed his skills alongside some of the best.
He has a direct list of guitar heroes that have influenced his playing. Among them are Tony Rice, John Mayer, Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Cody Kilby, Clay Jones, Billy Strings, and most importantly, his dad Michael Ratliff.
Jacob Wright, a resident of Blacksburg, Virginia, began playing the banjo at the age of fourteen using an old one his dad had bought years before. He attended East Tennessee State University, where he enrolled in their Bluegrass, Country, and Old Time Music Studies program. During his time as a student there, he toured for a year with the Kody Norris Show and played in the ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band. In 2018, he joined Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers, where he got the opportunity to perform on the Grand Ole Opry. Now, he is looking forward to joining forces with the Mike Mitchell Band.