My thoughts, and an overview of Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, by golly what a great more contemporary Bluegrass band. I have had the opportunity to see these guys almost every year for the past 7 years, or so, at the Berryville Bluegrass Series in Berryville, VA. I even had the chance to meet and talk with the band after one of their concerts, thanks to some friends from back home. They are the nicest folks to talk to; they interact with audience and are more than gracious to take song requests. For 14 years, if I remember correctly Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out have played in Berryville on Valentine’s Day weekend and I hope to see them up here during the next 14 years, gentlemen y’all are always welcome in Clarke County, VA.

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out is a highly revered band in Bluegrass after their many awards they have worked so hard to achieve (full list of awards can be found at ) I am going to type out here a brief overview about Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out’s history.

Russell Moore was raised near Houston, TX in a town called Pasadena; which is famous for “Gilley’s.” Russell grew up there during the Urban Cowboy craze, but Bluegrass sparked his interest while he was in his teens.  “The bands, the musicians, they were so approachable—and even though we weren’t in the bluegrass mainstream geographically, I was able to see artists like Bill Monroe, Larry Sparks ands the Lewis Family, and you could just be around them.  That was intriguing to me” said Russell.  By his early 20’s Russell was playing mandolin in a regional band, and Russell and two like minded young folks started a local band called Southern Connection. Not too many years later Russell moved to North Carolina and found himself as a guitar-playing sideman. Russell then joined Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver and was part of their band for six years where they recorded many bluegrass and bluegrass gospel albums. In 1990 the newly established IBMA awarded Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver with song of the year for “The Little Mountain Church House.”

In 1991 Russell Moore along with band mates Mike Hatgrove and Ray Deaton started their own band called IIIrd Tyme Out. They had to prove that they could make music that would be appreciated by Bluegrass fans, and boy they sure did. In 1994 Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out were awarded there first of seven IBMA Vocal Group of the Year awards. In the early 2000’s IIIrd Tyme Out as they were called at the time went though some hard times, and almost disbanded but Russell Moore stepped up and soon the band signed with Rural Rhythm Records in 2007. In 2009 their hit single “Hard Rock Mountain Prison” got Russell another Male Vocalist of the Year award, as well did the bands popular song “Pretty Little Girl from Galax.”

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out has got some of the best Bluegrass talent in my opinion. The band members are Blake Johnson as their bass player and bass vocals, along with Keith McKinnon on banjo, and vocals. Wayne Benson plays the mandolin and has for over 20 years now, Justin Haynes is their fiddler, and finally Russell Moore plays the guitar and is their lead vocalist. Lots of hard work has been put into their music and it shows; from all of the awards, albums, and concerts they do IIIrd Tyme Out is a premiere band in Bluegrass today and will be for decades to come.

For more information you can go to their website:


Chris Youngs



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