Press Kit

Hailing from the mountain towns of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland, The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers draw freely from Old-Time, Bluegrass, Rockabilly, and Swing music to create their own brand of high energy, Appalachian Bluegrass. As an offshoot of a former project, The Weedrags, JFS was formed by Gary Antol (Songwriter/Guitar/Vocals) and Libby Eddy (Fiddle/Vocals) in 2014 with a very simple goal: write good songs, have fun, and take it to the road. In the times since, JFS has appeared a festivals from New England to Florida and played club dates from the eastern seaboard to the west coast.

In 2015, the band released their debut album, The Lane Change, a collection of both original and traditional songs focusing on journeys through personal relationships as well as life in the coal mining towns of central Appalachia. The album was well received by fans and critics alike. “Mannington #9,” a searing tale of lives lost in a 1968 mining disaster in Mannington, WW, was featured in the Relix Magazine 2015 Summer CD Sampler. Written by West Virginia storyteller and old time musician, Keith McManus, the song’s driving rhythm and haunting melody capture the loss suffered by 78 families in this tragic accident. The Lane Change also featured the powerhouse harmonies of Antol and Eddy on titles such as “No Ash Will Burn” and “Blue Diamond Mines.”

Summer of 2016 saw two major highlights for the band. In addition to playing The Emerging Artist Showcase at Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, the band released its sophomore effort, White Lightning Road. The title track, written by Fort Wayne, IN songwriter, Darren Hunt, follows the path of a moonshiner trying to survive in a dying coal town. The song’s soaring vocals showcase Libby Eddy’s uniquely Appalachian voice, steeped in the cultural traditions of her rural West Virginia upbringing, with the strength of a people ready to fight for survival. Hunt also contributed to Ray Steven’s inspired and instantly familiar, “Get Along Gone.” Appalachian Jamwhich called the album “flat out one of the best bluegrass albums released this year.” WYEP FM Pittsburgh listed White Lightning Road as one of the top ten bluegrass albums of 2016. WYEP has also featured two of Antol’s compositions on their “Local 913” program: “The Legend of Gandy Grey” (The Lane Change) and “Smokestacks” (White Lightning Road).

The Jakob's Ferry Stragglers are:

Gary Antol

Vocals/Guitar

Libby Eddy

Fiddle/Vocals

Ray Bruckman

Mandolin/Fiddle/Vocals

Evan Bell

Upright Bass

Robert Mabe

Banjo

Previous Performances

Major Festivals:

The Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Oak Hill, NY. (2016)

The Great Blue Heron Music Festival, Sherman, NY (2015-16)

The Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA (2015)

The Deep Roots Mountain Revival, Masontown, WV, (2016)

Sleepy Creek SpringDig (2015)

Sleepy Creek HarFest (2016)

Music for MS, Pittsburgh, PA

The Whiskey Rebellion Festival, Washington, PA. (2011 thru 2016)

Smoked Country Jam, Cross Fork, PA (2014, 15, 16)

The BayGrass Bluegrass Festival, Islamorada, FL (2015-2016)

Stony Creek Bluegrass Festival, Greenville, VA

Pickin in the Pasture, Vermont

Meeting of the Minds 8, Schullykill Haven, PA

Some Kind of Jam, Schullykill Haven, PA

The Modesto Unplugged Music Festival, Modesto, CA.

Windber Bluegrass in the Park, Windber PA.

Hickory Fest

The Downtown Edinboro Arts and Music Festival--Edinboro, PA

Have Opened For:

The Steep Canyon Rangers

Town Mountain

The Black Lillies

Pure Prairie League

Frank Solovan and The Dirty Kitchen

The Rumpke Mountain Boys

Larry Keel

Jeff Austin

Cabinet

Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellies

TV Appearances:

"Outsiders" WGN America

Live from Center Stage--Cape Cod, MA

Dirty Dog Live, Meadville PA.

Pittsburgh Today, KDKA, Pittsburgh PA.

Radio Performances:

The Blue Plate Special, WDVX Knoxville, TN--June 2015/January 2016

Live Music Showcase, WMNF, Tampa Jan 2016

Froggy FM, Pittsburgh PA

WBGU, Bowling Green University, Bowling Green OH. The Folk Show

Acoustisongs Live, WNJR Washington PA.

Radio Airplay:

WAMU, Bluegrass Country, Washington DC

WLUR Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA

WFDU--Bluegrass Express, Farleigh Dickson University, NJ.

KCBL--Fresno, CA

WDIY--Allentown, PA

KBOO--Music from the Vine, Portland OR

KCDN--Bluegrass, Etc.. Los Angeles, CA

WYEP--Pittsburgh, PA

WWOV--My Roots are Showing, Wheeling WV.