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Blue Day

was formed in 2008, when four guys who occasionally jammed together realized that they had an energy and blend that demanded more. They began rehearsing and soon had thirty or so songs that ran the gamut from Monroe to the Steeldrivers, with the occasional pop/rock cover thrown in. The band enjoys picking together so much, sometimes they just show up and start playing whatever comes to mind. Soon, the band incorporated some original music mixed in with the cover tunes. Recently, a new member (Ernie Welch) was added to cover for Ed's busy schedule. Blue Day is either Ernie Welch or Ed Richter on banjo, Rick Crenshaw on mandolin, Steve Craig on bass and Tony Branham on guitar. All members share vocal duties.

Ernie Welch

started playing banjo late at the age of 21 taking lessons from Joe Oser, Rual Yarbrough and Bela Fleck. His early musical influences were the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin. His Bluegrass influences were the New Grass Revival, The Seldom Seen, The Country Gentleman, The Nashville Bluegrass Band, and Hot Rize. While continuing to play with the Smokehouse Band, Ernie released two singles: “Ramblin Man” and “Who Have You Got To Lose” both produced by Johnny Sandlin, the original producer of the Allman Brothers on his Duct Tape Label. These releases charted in Cashbox and Billboard magazines. With “Ramblin Man” Ernie reached the # 3 position in the country on Cashbox for an Independent Artist. On keeping a band together for 29 years, Ernie is quoted as saying “I’m not a manager but I have developed good negotiating skills”. Ernie handles some of the songwriting duties and wrote “Walking After Midnight Over You” for the “20 Years Of Feedback” CD.

Ed Richter

was born and raised in Memphis, TN. He was introduced to the guitar as a young teenager and played in various groups throughout high school and college. After completing a tour of duty with a US Army band as a trombone player, he had a life changing experience when he heard J.D. Crowe play the banjo, and after that was hopelessly hooked on the five string sound. He has held the banjo spot in a number of bluegrass bands, beginning in the early 1980’s with the Shelby County Boys, Hickory Withe and Goin’ Home. In addition to bluegrass banjo, he plays guitar in a contemporary worship band at church and has played in the pit orchestra for a number of musical theater productions at Theater Memphis, the Desoto Civic Center, the Harrell Theater, and the University of Memphis. Ed plays banjo with Blue Day and sings baritone.

Rick Crenshaw

purchased an old guitar at a Beale Street pawnshop back in 1970. His early influences were Woody Guthrie, Donovan, Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, and Arlo Guthrie. A high school English teacher introduced Rick to the Delta Blues and a few years of picking that style ensued. Marriage, work, and three children led to putting the guitar down for a few years. Around 1999, his son wanted to learn guitar and inspired Rick to purchase his first quality guitar. It wasn’t long before an old guitar-playing friend from high school reintroduced Rick to Doc Watson. Soon they were joining bluegrass jams. Influences include Flatt & Scruggs, the Stanley Brothers, Bill Monroe, Tony Rice, Doyle Lawson, and the Bluegrass Album bands. Around 2002, Rick picked up the mandolin and has been playing it almost exclusively since. Local bluegrass musicians have helped him find his voice and taught him how to sing tenor. Rick is really enjoying the music choices of Blue Day and some of the more contemporary styles of the songs chosen by this band.

Steve Craig

began playing upright bass in 2001 after being a bluegrass listener for 10 years. He was going to local jams and noticed that there was a shortage of bass players. His early musical influences where Country and Southern Rock. He was a big Keith Whitley fan and when he heard Allison Kraus singing “When You Say Nothing at All”, he was hooked on Bluegrass. He soon joined the groups Brush Arbor and Ghost River. Whenever there was a local jam, Steve was there. He played guitar with Cypress Creek for a short time. In 2007, he played with the group Deep Hollow. Currently, he plays bass and sings lead and backing vocals with SingleTree and BlueDay. Look for Steve at Festivals and jams. He just can’t get enough pickin.

Tony Branham

was born in Nashville and grew up in the middle of country music. He began playing guitar at an early age when his grandfather taught him some chords and his first “pickin’ song”, Wildwood Flower. He also hung out at the local music store and absorbed what he could from the great pickers that came by. His first band "Sierra" opened for Janie Fricke and Merle Haggard during a Houston music festival. After moving to Memphis, he played with "Delta Breeze" and “i2i”, rock, blues and country bands that gigged around the Memphis bar scene for several years. The early influence of his grandfather led him to return to his bluegrass and country roots. He started playing bluegrass and writing songs just a few years ago. Tony plays guitar, sings and writes original material for the band.