Robert Phillips - Mandolin
Robert grew up in middle Georgia listening to bluegrass on Saturday nights and sitting on a hard church pew listening to the Preacher come Sunday morning. He started playing the Mandolin as a kid but sat it down after joining the Army. Robert served his nation for 20 years (1981-2001) with units such as the 82nd Airborne Division, JFK Special Warfare Center & School, and 2nd Infantry Division. It wasn’t until after his retirement from the Army that a friend encouraged him to dust off that Mandolin case and that fire for playing was reignited. To Robert, bluegrass and gospel is tightly intertwined and is more than just music. It is indeed a reflection of his heritage, where the struggles, hopes, and happiness of everyday life are put into song. He has been a member for both the Bluegrass Fever Band and the D.R. Wells Medicine Show. His musical influences include Ralph & Carter Stanley, Jimmy Martin, Red Smiley, Don Reno, and Lester Flatt. Robert and Sheila were married November 21st, 2015.
Sheila Phillips - Fiddle
Sheila grew up listening to her grandfather playing old-time fiddle tunes. Drawn to the music, she picked up the fiddle at the age of 13. Never getting any formal training (means she can’t read music and rarely knows what key she is playing in), she taught herself to play by buying LP record albums of fiddle players she enjoyed listening to and playing along with the songs on the records until she figured them out. Accompanied by her father on the guitar, one of the first fiddle contests Sheila entered and won was in Calico Ghost Town in Southern California -- (3rd Place got her a large ribbon, an apple pie and a $50 gift certificate to their local music store. The “tater bug” mandolin she purchased with that gift certificate still has a place on the shelf in her home.) She continued playing off-and-on as life and events would allow until her children were grown and had moved on. By this time, Sheila was living in Arizona. She joined a little bluegrass gospel band there and found what had been missing in her music. Arriving in North Carolina the winter of 2009, she eventually sought out other musicians that shared her love of bluegrass and gospel music and joined the Bluegrass Fever Band where she met her future husband, Robert Phillips.