Nashville’s music community is cultivating an All-star ensemble of singer-songwriters and instrumentalists playing original music based in the traditions of bluegrass, Americana, rock, folk, country and jazz.
Ballhog! is finding its diverse musical niche by featuring bluegrass instruments and gang vocals accompanied by horns and drums. The seven-piece band formed in 2000 cut its teeth in the bars of Music City and continues to play in Nashville when not traveling to weekend shows and festivals throughout the southeast.
The band’s strength lies in well-thought-out musical arrangements, purposeful lyrics and contagious onstage enthusiasm.
“… Nashville is better now. We have a weenery now, and a Tomato Festival. Or tomaaato, as some say. And a cool brass-grass band called Ball Hog … - Todd Snider, The Independent Weekly Nov. 14, 2007.
“The certainty is that Ballhog! is the sound of a good time. Imagine the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and the Del McCoury Band climbing onto the ramshackle stage of a roadside tavern and stirring up the floor-strewn sawdust into a blinding sandstorm.” Steve Wildsmith, Maryville Daily Times April 13, 2007.
2006 Americana Folk Festival
2006 & 2007 Mucklewain Festival
2006 &2007 New Years Eve at The Belcourt Theater
Have shared the stage with: Steve Earle, Patti Griffin, Drivin N Cryin, Jason Isbell, Todd Snider, Jim Lauderdale, Nashville Bluegrass Band, Mindy Smith, Chely Wright, Scott Miller, Will Hoge, Blue Mountain
Randy Russell – (Vocals/Mandolin/Guitar) Randy has played music for almost 20 years with 2 independent solo albums released in 2002 and 2004. Most recent release nominated as one of Nashville’s Top 5 independent album. (Sensored Magazine)
Craig Boerner – (Banjo/Vocals) Craig transformed his love for music into songwriting while earning his English degree at the University of Missouri more than 15 years ago. A lifelong journalist, he plays and writes all of his music on the banjo.
Toby Leonard (Standup Bass) a graduate of Belmont University, Toby plays almost every instrument in the band as well as provides most of the high harmonies.
Patrick Dolan – (Sax/Flute) An original member of funk/blues/rock band, Guy Smiley, Patrick has his Masters degree from MTSU in composition and arrangement and has been playing multiple horn instruments for 20 years.
Randy Boen – (Vocals/Guitar) Randy is the newest member of the group, replacing Jamey Wood who moved to Houston. Formerly of Mile 8, he also plays locally with Johnny Neel and the Criminal Element. A great guitar player and singer, it is only a matter of time before Mr. Boen places his stamp on the group.
Andrew Swift (Drums, percussion) “Swifty,” formerly of the Guy Smiley Blues Exchange, works hard to keep everyone in time with drums, congas, and vibes.
Chris West – (Sax/Flute/Keys) Currently a member of The Dynamites featuring Charles White, Chris has a Masters degree in composition and arrangement from MTSU. Was an original member of the regional touring band Guy Smiley and sits in regularly with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Jeff Coffin.
Steve Swertfeger – (Dobro) With over 20 years of experience, ‘SpottyDog’ also plays electric guitar/lap steel with southern rock band, Old Union. They have backed/toured with Bonnie Bramlett and opened for the likes of Gov’t Mule and North Mississippi Allstars as well as playing Bonnaroo 2005.