You probably noticed their events shared on the Pinefield Farm Facebook page…a lot. Well, they are a very busy group consisting of Husband and wife: Josh and Pam Ray, and Jubal Taylor. They bring that commitment and energy to their shows and original music. West Virginia is their territory and this area is very rich in musicians and musical tradition.
The Band Wagon is a Bluegrass Americana band from Hamlin WV formed in 2010 by Josh Ray and Pamela Ray. In late 2015, Jubal Taylor joined with his banjo last year to complete the trio. The Band Wagon’s roots are shaped in bluegrass and gospel traditions from their individual upbringings and seasoned into a perennial fan favorite in the Charleston area music scene. The trio’s musical choices reflect a wide variety of tastes and influences. Their show’s set lists cross genres, generations and relationships while they perform Bluegrass, Americana, Classic Country and Rock with authenticity and ease rooted in strong bluegrass instrumentation and flavor.
According to Monica Orosz of The Charleston Daily Mail,”The members of Lincoln County’s The Band Wagon are so in tune they can sing three part harmony that’s as tight as an Army private’s bunk sheets”
Their song “Backwoods Romance” was featured on the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad’s annual “Great Train Race” 2016 video.
In July, they were featured on WCHS Channel 8: “The Band Wagon @ The “WGTGOOTP” Piano”. During that interview segment with Terry Burhans, Josh told the story of how he met Pam working at a local music store. They told Terry that the music came first then the marriage. Watch the July segment
Raised in Lincoln County, West Virginia, Pam was taught at an early age by her Mother, Juanita Stratton, to sing gospel tunes handed down from her mother. She started singing in church at the age of 10 and later formed the gospel band “Bound and Determined” with her nephew Jamie Stratton. They performed in churches all over the Tri-State Valley. You might be surprised to know that her husband Josh taught her to play the upright bass. While Pam’s vocals are the front and center stage for the band, her bass work lays the foundational groove for her band members. However, it’s Pam’s distinctive and powerful Appalachian mountain-born vocals, nurtured on Sunday mornings, that provide The Band Wagon’s sound a warm blend of tight harmony with power enough to spare to master a range of stylings from Bluegrass, Country, and Rock to the Blues.
Originally from Nicholas County WV, Josh Ray started playing guitar at the age of 10, hailing from a long line of family musicians. Josh emerged as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist from the strong musical presence in his family. He performed for the Great Smokey Mountain Railroad for 2 1/2 yrs before moving to Lincoln County in 2010. He met, now wife, Pam Ray at Musicians Paradise in Hamlin WV and together they formed The Band Wagon. Josh Ray’s unwavering musicality is a pillar in the foundation of The Band Wagon sound. On guitar Josh provides solid rhythm with clear and melodious styling. Double duty on mandolin, Josh provides limber rhythms, always laying a stylish groove and is equally at ease with lead and harmony vocals, fortifying the group’s three part harmony
From Webster City, WV, Jubal Taylor began banjo lessons at age 10 with his father teaching him the basic rolls from an instruction book. At age 11 Jubal began his study with local master and treasure, Olen Selman of Allegheny Outback. Jubal was submerged and steeped in Scruggs style with Olen as his instructor. Jubal’s first ensemble work began at age 15 with a local bluegrass band which further honed his skills. It is during those lessons with Olen and ensemble practice that Jubal developed a strong fluid roll and melodic flavoring from masters of banjo: Scruggs, Reno, Fleck, and Vestal. Upon joining the Band Wagon in 2015, Jubal has expanded his skill set to include guitar and lead/harmony vocal work with the support and encouragement of Josh and Pam. At 21, Jubal’s musical skills are advanced for his years and continue to flourish and expand.
The Band Wagon, working with local talented songwriters, is currently finishing up their original Bluegrass Gospel CD to be released shortly after Thanksgiving. The CD features guest vocalist Briana Browning age 11 from Hamlin, WV performing an original number called “Heaven’s Playground” along with the writing talents of long time friend Sherry Bayless and her lovely daughter Casey L. Bond on “God Works in Mysterious Ways”. Pam said “We are so pleased to present both of these local talents to our fans.”
The Band Wagon is also recording an original Bluegrass project with songs ranging from outlaw to honky-tonk including traditional sounding material as well. Both recordings will feature 3-part harmony work by The Band Wagon members.
West Virginia Venues…
Over the past six years, with Pam and Josh at the helm guiding, The Band Wagon’s venue list continues to grow to include:
- The Bridge Road Bistro (house band)
- Barnyard BBQ
- L&R BBQ
- The Greenbrier
- Live on the Levee
- Kirkwood Winery
- Durbin Greenbrier Railroad
- Palatine Park
- The Wheeling Jamboree
- The Clay Center
- Heston Farm Winery
- Berry Hills Country Club
- Edgewood Country Club
- The Lincoln County Bluegrass Festival
- National Youth Science Camp
- Jerry Run Theater
- Fallen Hero’s and Veteran’s functions
(Special thanks to Pam Ray and Kat Taylor for their input)