Bobby Ray Bittle - Lead Vocalist / Rhythm Guitar / Harmonica / Keyboard
Bobby Ray Bittle was born the son of a preacher man in Black Mountain, NC. He learned early on to appreciate music. It was a part of his recovery and total healing from cancer at nine months old. He was writing his first songs by age four. Being raised up in gospel gave him roots, but sneaking to listen to country and rock helped round out his sound.
Life became a succession of bad choices which led to drugs, alcohol and self-destructive behavior. Coming out on the other side wasn't easy, but it shaped the hope, love, and grace in his music.
Without the grace of God, a guitar, and his family, he would not be who he is. His music speaks to the pain but ultimately recognizes the faith, hope, and love we all want and need.
Joey Jefferies - Lead Guitar / Mandolin / Banjo
Joey Jefferies is the proud single dad to a wonderful little boy. He started playing guitar at the age of 6 and started his first metal band in high school with Bobby Ray playing bass. He has played in several other metal bands throughout the years.
He moved to Boone to study jazz at Appalachian State and he and Bobby lost touch. When Bobby called him one day to play some acoustic gigs, he had no idea it would blossom into what is now as the Bobby Ray Bittle Band. Joey couldn't be happier in the band but being back with his old friend Bobby is even better.
Darren Watts- Bass Guitar
Darren Watts is a seasoned professional, with extensive experience playing Bass Guitar and Singing.
"I was influenced mostly by music from the 70s classic rock era. I really liked those bands and styles. It was really great music, with lots of feeling and dynamics! "I always liked working with older musicians, because they were just better players than people my own age."When I got my first pro job working with The George Hatcher Band in the early 80s, I was only twenty, but I could hang with 'em Lol! "It was a good gig and the band was a hot ticket then, with four albums in England recorded under the United Artists label, then getting major airplay here in the states with the new release album "Coming Home".We played shows on the same bill with Billy Idol, The Scorpions, Ted Nugent, Molly Hatchet, The Outlaws, Black Sabbath, Cheap Trick, Johnny Van Zandt, Nantucket, Black Oak Arkansas, Gary U.S. Bonds, Glass Moon, and lots of others. It was a wild ride, but fun. The last tour I did was with Unknown Hinson, known for his theatrics, dark humored lyrics and guitar skills. Traveled all over the U.S. as a headliner act on the underground alternative circuit.
The Bobby Ray Bittle Band - is an electric blend of traditional and new country, peppered with roots in soul music as well. The sound can best be described as “Southern Fried Soul”. Each performance is a crowd rousing example of passion. From the first note to the last beat of each show, they take you on a musical ride that you will never forget. From favorite original songs like “How We Roll” and “Road to Redemption” to country classics by artists such as Keith Whitley and Vince Gill to modern artists such as Randy Houser and Jason Aldean, they pour their heart and soul into bringing the crowd the best show they can.
The band, led by the incredible songwriting, vocal talent, and experience of Bobby Ray has become a force to be reckoned with. Bobby has received critical and industry accolades on the local and global level. Each member of the team is at the top of their craft and is an incredible individual artist. However, they defer to the good of the band and work as one unstoppable unit poised and ready for the unbelievable success that is their future.
The newest hit single "That Wiggle" was released in November 2012. It will be followed up with a new EP release in the third quarter of 2013. You owe it to yourself to experience the epic live show and avail yourself to the huge catalogue of undiscovered hits that each show will reveal.
Randy Sevearance - Steel Guitar
Randy was born into a family that fostered musical growth at an early age. His mother was a true southern gospel alto, while his step-father was a successful musician. He was introduced to music in the southern Baptist church where his grandfather was a minister and pianist. From the church pew to the swing on this grandma's porch, and even around grandpa's piano, music became the cornerstone of this life.
His step-father purchased an old Kay electric guitar and Randy began to play by ear which led to him playing lead guitar with the family gospel group which toured the east coast at reunion at churches and other events. He married his lovely wife Tina, and they had two boys, Chad and Joshua. Randy established his own business, which consumed a lot of time to build.
His passion for music began to surface again and one evening he saw a musician playing a pedal steel guitar and instantly he knew he needed one. Randy with to Nashville and purchased a pedal steel guitar and the rest is history. His resume included several local bands and friends over the years. Randy believes that it is an honor to play pedal steel for Bobby Ray Bittle. He loves his style of music and is grateful for the friendship that has evolved with the band.
Bradley Cloninger took his first piano lesson at age 5. Although this was short lived, it planted the seed of music in Bradley’s life. Bradley started back in music at the age of 18 and hasn’t looked back. He is heavily influenced by southern rock, country, and 90’s rock and these influences shine through in his keyboard and guitar work. He is excited about the opportunities ahead while performing with the Bobby Ray Bittle Band.