THE SANDY SHORTRIDGE BAND
Deep in the hills of Southwest Virginia, mountain music runs through the veins of many natives. No other band in the region captures the heart, mind, and soul of the people than the Sandy Shortridge Band.
Sandy Shortridge, a guitarist and an exceptional singer with a baritone voice, is from Buchanan County
which is located in the the coal fields of Southwest Virginia and borders the states of both Kentucky
and West Virginia. She began her musical career at ten years old and is well known as a result of
performing on many of the area stages and beyond throughout the years. She is also a songwriter
and master storyteller. Her original songs capture the cultural traditions of the region and can bring
tears or a smile with equal ability. During her performances, the stories and her experiences are
shared in her music in an almost magical way. Shortridge has made multiple recordings which feature
her moving compositions in carefully crafted arrangements and presentation. She was featured on a
two CD compilation recording of 50 current artists from The Crooked Road region called “A Treasury
of American Music” (Grandmas’ Gate). Her original compositions which have been recorded by other
artists can also be found on “The Music of Coal” (Red Neck Wars co-written with Ron Short), Larry
Spark’s 50th Anniversary CD “Lonesome and Then Some” (We Prayed and Journey to the Light), Joe
Mullins & the Radio Ramblers new project “Sacred Memories” (Same Ole Dipper) and Kelly Nelson’s
gospel project “In the Waiting” (The Son is Always with me in the Mine). Her work was included in the
audio book “When Miner’s March” ... The Battle of Blair Mountain (“Red Neck Wars”).
Ethan Taylor, mandolin player, from Russell County, Virginia, has been with the Sandy Shortridge Band
since the founding in 2007. Ethan is well versed in mandolin and guitar as well as other instruments.
He acquired his unique sound from influences which came from bluegrass and old tyme, as well as,
Jon Prater, resophonic guitar, from Buchanan County joined the SSB late in 2014. He began his
musical career in rock and roll, but soon became drawn to the traditional music of his home in the
Appalachian Mountains. That soulful feeling is felt whenever and wherever Jon performs. In addition
to resophonic guitar, Jon also plays guitar and banjo.
Al Weekley (“Big Al”), bass player and also a radio DJ, is originally from Ravenswood, West Virginia
right near the Ohio River. He joined the SSB in 2015 after relocating to Buchanan County Radio
station, WMJD, from Radio Station, KRVN in Lexington, Nebraska. Throughout the years Big Al
Weekley has recorded with Dave Dudley, Leroy VanDyke and a variety of bluegrass artists. Bluegrass
legend, Larry Sparks recorded one of Weekley’s songs, “Lines on the Highway”. Weekley is the first
recipient of the Old Time Country and Bluegrass Music Preservation Award which was presented to
him by the Miles of Memories Country MusicFest. He was also inducted into the Nebraska Country
Music Hall of Fame and has been nominated as one of the IBMA Top 5 Bluegrass broadcasters on two
separate occasions. Weekley is not only heard with the SSB, but can also be heard on his syndicated
radio show, “The Big Al Bluegrass Show” or doing celebrity interviews for Music Charts Magazine.
With the talent, creativity and the varied background of these four individuals, the Sandy Shortridge
Band possesses a unique sound of their own. You won’t want to miss them!