Hailing from the mountain towns of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland, the Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers draw freely from old-time, bluegrass, jamgrass, rockabilly, and swing music to create their own brand of high energy Appalachian Bluegrass. Their goal is simple: write good songs, honor the music, have fun, and take it to the road.
Gary Antol (songwriter, guitar, vocals) and Libby Eddy (fiddle, vocals) formed the band in 2014. Since then they have released several CDs including The Lane Change (2015), White Lightning Road (2016), Live at the Blue Plate Special (2016), and Sleep Creek Harfest (2017). The powerful songwriting, mesmerizing vocals and hard-driving rhythms of the Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers have earned them a growing national following.
An enormously popular band on the festival circuit, The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers performed at the Emerging Artist Showcase at Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in 2016, to high acclaim. The band has also performed at Baygrass Bluegrass, Great Blue Heron, Smoked Country Jam, Hickory Fest, and many more. Television appearances include WGN America’s “Outsiders”; Live from Center Stage in Cape Cod; and KDKA Pittsburgh. WDVX (Knoxville) has twice featured the band on their Blue Plate Special show.
The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers have opened for The Steep Canyon Rangers, Town Mountain, The Black Lillies, Pure Prairie League, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Larry Keel, Jeff Austin, and Cabinet.
Accompanying Gary Antol and Libby Eddy are Evan Bell (upright bass; formerly with the Hackensaw Boys) and Ray Bruckman (mandolin, fiddle, vocals; formerly with Grand Ole’ Ditch).
“The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers are a daring and talented young bunch, and I can only hope that they manage to reach out and unite the bluegrass and old-time communities as easily as their music does.”
“Western Pennsylvania has a strong bluegrass and old-time music tradition...it was built by men and women who worked. Following that tradition, the Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers are a working band...They never stand still, traveling and playing, every mile another experience to turn into a song...In the end it is their music that will tell the story...will touch that part of your heart that loves good songs well played, and good stories well told. That’s hard work...even if they make it look easy…”
Bruce Mountjoy, WYEP 91.3 Pittsburgh
“...flat out one of the best bluegrass albums released this year (White Lightning Road).”
“This old-time/bluegrass style quartet...provides a much appreciated lift of fresh and thoroughly engaging music...a band that could literally rock a dance tent with nonstop energy.”
Mark Panfil, buffalobluegrass.com