Tim Crouch

Tim Crouch: Tim is a fiddler, mandolin and guitar player from Strawberry Arkansas, but hangs his hat  mostly in Nashville. Tim has performed and or recorded with such artists as George Jones, Billy Bob Thornton, Dolly Parton, Glen Campbell, Andy Williams, Marty Stuart, Oak Ridge boys, Charley Pride, Dierks Bentley, Jerry Reed, Tommy Shaw of "STYX", Mare Winningham, Mike Snider, Grand Ole Opry Staff Band, Jonathon Edwards, along with others. He has performed on television shows such as The David Letterman show, The Conan O'Brien show, CBS Early Morning show, Grand Ole Opry Live, Austin City Limits, Hee Haw, Country Music Awards Show, History of the Grand Ole Opry, Christian Country Music Awards Show, Classic Country, Inspirational Music Awards Show, and others. We are delighted to have Tim's stellar contribution on Favorite Blue!

Irl Hees

On December 11th, 1976, at 16 years of age, Irl Hees began playing the upright bass.  It was a very important day in his life.  Up to that day, he had been playing a washtub bass; one quarter-inch strand of nylon clothesline cord on a number 3 galvanized washtub.  After that day, he never looked back.

He began working with Oklahoma banjo player Kenny Cantrell the following year, and took several more regional band gigs over the next 10 years. Irl was the original bassist in the Midwest group “Radio Flyer”, and in the late 80’s, Irl began a group called “Down The Road”.  The band lasted about 6 years.  It was during this time that he joined with several others to produce and record “The Missouri Session”, a CD devoted to showcasing several Midwest bluegrass bands and musicians in a studio setting.

Irl began playing professionally in 1995 when he joined Rhonda Vincent’s country band.  In 1996, he was part of the original RAJ’E band, which later became Rhonda Vincent and the Rage.  Irl then joined Chris Jones and the Night Drivers, and eventually did two stints with Chris, appearing on Chris’s “Just A Town” album.  In 2002, Irl joined the Lonesome River Band, and recorded “Window Of Time” with LRB.

The Grand Ole Opry, The Jerry Lewis Telethon, Music City Roots, Larry’s Country Diner, are just a few of the venues Irl has appeared on over the years.  He has performed with actress Mare Winningham and her ‘Jewgrass Boys’ . Irl has also worked with Roy Rogers Jr. as a Highrider for two years.

Irl's contribution of upright bass to Favorite Blue provides a rich grounding that definitely lifts the composition to another level of sophistication!

Rick Hayes

Rick attributes his musical beginnings to his father -- starting in bluegrass he journeyed into the world of rock, and then found his way back home to bluegrass. His transition from rock guitar to bluegrass mandolin created a style very unique and all his own. If you listen close you can hear anything from Bill Monroe to Randy Rhoads. Rick started playing around the Cincinnati, Ohio area at a young age and was  always in the center of the best musicians. When he fell in love with the bluegrass scene it was not enough to just play. He combined his talents and knowledge of recording and graphic arts and started his own record label. He also took a turn as a promoter, opening a theater venue with his brother in Covington, Kentucky. It was at this time that he joined Blue & Lonesome. Rick would later leave the band and go on to play and record with the Gibson Brothers, performing at some of the finest venues across the country and even the mother church itself... The Grand Ole Opry...After which he went on to found the bluegrass band, Nightflyer. Recently, he  added to his business resume, with his own line of guitars and mandolins, Rick Hayes Instruments, which are endorsed by some of the best musicians in the industry.

Rick is an artist in all aspects of the word. Not only as a great musician, but a fine luthier, recording engineer and graphic artist. He is a true “road scholar” and brings more to the table then anyone could ask. His recent collaboration with Deb O, to create Favorite Blue, has combined his talents as an instrumentalist, songwriter, recording engineer and producer takes him in yet another exciting direction in music.

Bob Kennedy

 As a classically trained pianist, Bob lent his keen knowledge, craftsmanship and fabulous "chops" to Favorite Blue. A musical veteran,  Bob's tour credits included The Rock N Roll Heaven Tribute Band, The Van Dells  and Sonny Turner of the Platters. As a member of the long standing band, Balderdash, he performs routinely to a large crowd of loyal followers. Recently he has performed to sold out crowds with the Carlo Santana tribute band, Madrigal.