ACES Music

Claxton Creek is comprised of Wise County natives John Vandiver (Coeburn) and his wife, Tracy (Appalachia) . They began singing together in 2008 and have spent the last four years carving out a style all their own. Thought perhaps best described as Americana or Folk they make a point of playing music that moves them, whatever style that may be. They enjoy writing their own music, anything from Bluegrass to Gospel and sharing their talents with anyone that they can. They released their first EP this year and have had a lot of success with the release. They have most recently been featured on Knoxville radio station WDVX’s Blue Plate Special and at The Heartwood Sunday Brunch in Abingdon, VA. You can find them online at or

Strawberry Jam was formed by the musical duo, Buddy Delp and Jane Branham, in 2010. They truly enjoy sharing their songs of good times and the good old days with their audiences. Being from Southwest Virginia, they have been influenced by the rich and diverse musical culture of the mountains. They love to utilize basic acoustic music to express themselves through song, using combinations of instruments and vocals. Guitar, mandolin, and Native American flute are their musical instruments of choice. They have been playing music and singing most of their lives and live musical performances are what they enjoy most. The first Strawberry Jam CD entitled “Mountain Fall” was released in August of 2011. It was recorded at Maggard Studio in Big Stone Gap, Va.  This musical work consists of 12 original songs written and arranged by Jane and Buddy over the years.  Audiences are sure to enjoy the combination of the delicious vocals and musical rifts of Strawberry Jam.

The Railsplitters is an old time trio from Southwest Virginia and Eastern Kentucky playing hard driving fiddle tunes and featuring Adrian and Julie Shepherd-Powell and Brett Ratliff. Formed at an impromptu performance at the Portland, Oregon Old Time Gathering in 2009, the Railsplitters sporadically play at various festivals and venues across the southeast. Most recently the Railsplitters took first place in the old time band contest at the Grayson County Fiddlers Convention in Elk Creek, Virginia in June 2012.

Adrian Shepherd-Powell, a native of Crimora, VA, has won contests at fiddler’s conventions all over the southeast. His fiddle style is straight forward with a hard drivin’ bow. Adrian has played with many old time bands including the Pea Ridge Ramblers, Matt Kinman’s Old Time Serenaders, and the Cabin Creek Boys. He currently teaches beginning mandolin at Mountain Empire Community College. Julie Shepherd-Powell is an award-winning clawhammer banjo player and flatfoot dancer originally from North Carolina. Julie teaches old time banjo at Mountain Empire Community College, competes in flatfoot dance competitions at fiddlers’ conventions all over the southeast, and calls square dances anywhere from Knoxville to New York City. Most recently, she took second place in the flatfoot dance competition at the Grayson County Old Time Fiddlers Convention in June 2012. Brett Ratliff is a native of Van Lear, Kentucky and is a nationally known banjo player and ballad singer. He’s played everywhere from New York City to England. He also plays with the Clack Mountain String Band, the Giant Rooster Side Show, and Letcher County band Rich and the Poor Folks. He currently lives in Whitesburg, KY, where he is the General Manager of WMMT-FM. Brett recently returned from the world renowned Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, Virginia, where he taught an early country music class. He joins the Railsplitters on vocals, guitar, banjo and fiddle. Be prepared for foot stomping and hollering when you listen to the Railsplitters-you’ll find it hard to stay in your seat!

Anthony Keys is a local solo artist and native of Big Stone Gap, VA. The sounds of folk, blues, and rock are blended with a soulful voice that he has been developing since the age of 3.