HUGHESVILLE, Md. – Headlining group Jay Armsworthy and Eastern Tradition will be playing their variety of “hard-driving” Bluegrass music at the 7th Annual Guitar Festival on 9 March 2019 at the 5 South Event Center.  The band’s repertoire consists of traditional Bluegrass, original ballads, energized instrumentals, and old-time gospel.  With their own arrangements, Jay Armsworthy and Eastern Tradition insert a “punch” and a “drive” into Bluegrass music that is enthusing audiences of all ages.   The members of Eastern Tradition are as follows:

JAY ARMSWORTHY plays Guitar, and lead & tenor vocals for the group.  Jay is from California, Maryland, and has been performing, promoting, and airing Bluegrass music for 37 years.  He not only heads up his own band, but he is the promoter several events in the Southern Maryland area such as the annual Bluegrass for Hospice, L’il Margaret’s Bluegrass Festival, and a concert series at the American Legion in Hughesville, MD.  He started playing guitar by the age of 10 and by 13 he had his own band performing in areas throughout St. Mary’s County, Maryland.  By the age of 18, he put together his first Bluegrass show which was a benefit for a friend and featured over 6 bands.  Since that time, Jay has put on concerts and fundraisers for various organizations.

Jay has also been a part of other regional bands in Maryland including Ernie Bradley & Grassy Ridge as well as traveled and performed throughout the summer of 1995 with Bluegrass Artist David Davis & the Warrior River Boys from Alabama and in later years with the Paul Adkins Band.   Jay also plays mandolin as well as singing lead & tenor vocals.  He is known for his “driving” rhythm guitar playing, “cuttin’-up” entertainment on stage, and his hot licks and smooth voice are appreciated by all.  Jay has received many complements on his first solo recording project entitled, “Just Lookin’ For Fun” which was recorded in 1995.  To date he has 4 recordings with his latest, and most popular, an all gospel project titled “I Couldn’t Make It Without Him” on Blue Circle Records which features a stellar lineup of professional musicians. 
Jay started his radio career on January 17, 1993 on AM WPTX radio in Lexington Park, Maryland playing Bluegrass music for a 1 hour show he called “The Bluegrass Hour”.  Nestled off the coast of the Chesapeake Bay, he changed the name of his show to “Bluegrass on the Bay” when an additional hour was added as well as another radio station.  It was then heard on its sister station FM WMDM.  He has also been heard on FM WBEY in Pocomoke City, Maryland, World Wide, and The Bluegrass  Bluegrass on the Bay is currently heard on 5 radio stations: AM-1510 WWSM in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, WNNT FM-107.5 and in Warsaw/Tappahannock, Virginia, The Bluegrass, The SBB Radio Network and 91.7 FM in Tennessee, Valerie Smith’s Bell Buckle Radio, and most recently WAMU’s Bluegrass, 105.5 FM, & 88.5 HD Channel 2.  He produces the program from his home in California, Maryland.  Whether it’s performing, promoting, or DJ’ing, Jay Armsworthy has a passion for Bluegrass music and it shows in his endeavors.

Leon Morris plays Mandolin, lead & tenor vocals with the group.  Leon was originally from Canada, was an early bluegrass artist in the Washington DC area. He performed as a guitarist, singer sideman on a number of early studio projects — including some early solo recordings by Frank Wakefield.  By the early 1960s, Leon had partnered with Buzz Busby, and their band released a string of 45 rpm singles until Buzz wound up back in jail for substance abuse problems. In the 1970s and 1980s, Leon led his own band, “Leon Morris & Associates,” based out of Northern Virginia. The band released at least one album on the Old Homestead label, and toured extensively in the United States and Canada.

Scott Walker plays Banjo, and does baritone vocals in the group.  Scott is from Friendswood, Texas, and currently lives in Front Royal Virginia. His humor and friendship is a big part the Jay Armsworthy & Eastern Tradition show.  His driving banjo playing has placed in some big names in Bluegrass such as Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa, Paul Adkins & Borderline, Fastest Grass Alive and the Northern Connection Bluegrass Band from Baltimore.

Lewis Layton plays Upright bass, and does Tenor & baritone Vocals.  Lewis has been the Bass player in the band for several years.  He has been part of the Paul Adkins Band and has played with many Pennsylvania Gospel bands.  His famous black color bass is a big hit and he keeps a solid beat for the band.

Jay Armsworthy and Eastern Tradition have played countless fairs, festivals, community and private functions throughout the Eastern United States.  Both Bluegrass audiences and the general listening public enthusiastically receive them. With guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass and effective vocal harmonies, Jay Armsworthy and Eastern Tradition ensemble insert a popular “punch” and a “drive” into Bluegrass music.

Guitar Fest 2019 sponsored by a Touring artist grant from Maryland State Arts Council. The other guitar artists are features guitarist Davis Norris, and supporting artist August Winters, Bob Schaller and Friends, Landry Slaughter, Paul Dickson, and Prophessor.  The fest starts with a workshop with bluegrass guitarist Jay Armsworthy, from 2 to 4 PM, followed by a guitar concert from 7 PM to 11 PM.  Art work by local artist will be out on display.  Additional information is available on the website