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As a founding member of the band, Sim handles the banjo duties in the band. Born in England, he grew up in a small Cornish fishing village in the southwest of England where he acquired a taste for Bluegrass music. Sim cites all the background music from American television shows of the 70's and 80's as the spark that lit the fire.
In June of 1994, Sim won first place at the renowned Edale Bluegrass Festival Banjo Contest, the largest in the UK at the time. From 1992 to 1995 Sim played in the band Wild Turkey, playing extensively in and around the southwest of the country. During his three-year tenure with the band, Wild Turkey had the honor of touring Brittany, France, before Sim departed for the United States. His musical interests finally drew him to the US, where in 1996 he married fiddle player and vocalist Renee Radeke. They now make their home in Nashville, TN.
Today Sim owns and operates Daley's Instrument Co., which caters to the needs of professional road musicians, studio players, and hobbyist musicians alike. Sim is also the builder of Daley mandolins and guitars, which are played by the likes of Dan Tyminski (Alison Krauss and Union Station) and Adam Steffey (Mountain Heart).
Renee Radeke-Daley, better known as Missy to the Bluegrass community, began her bluegrass journey at the age of 9. She started playing guitar and then banjo, mandolin and finally fiddle in her family band Misty Ridge with her father and brother. They performed extensively in the tri-states region of the Midwest. Missy won numerous fiddle contests throughout the region, culminating in her placing in the Iowa State Fair Fiddle Championship.
In 1994 Missy moved to Nashville, and was soon in demand playing locally. In early 1995 Missy met her future husband, Sim, and the two started playing together in a number of bands. While playing at the Smithville Jamboree, Missy was asked to tour Belgium, Holland and France with the television celebrity Ronnie Stoneman from the hit television show Hee Haw. In December 1995 Missy was honored to be included on stage in the 70th anniversary of the Grand Ol' Opry celebration, performing on stage alongside Bluegrass legends such as Bill Monroe, Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, The Whites, and Mark O'Conner.
Today Missy is kept busy with her career as a realtor, where she provides property services to many from the music community in and around Nashville, but the band is the thing which excites her the most. Missy says, "Sim and I have played in several bands together over the years, but now we are able to play the style of music with the DRIVE that we have both been yearning for... this band has the most talented musicians I've ever played with.
Tony, the newest addition to the group, is originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and now lives in Nashville. Despite growing up far away from the birthplace of Bluegrass music, Tony's early interest in traditional Bluegrass was fueled by his father Steve Watt, a talented banjo and mandolin player, and by the strong Bluegrass community throughout the northeastern United States. Tony's love of Bluegrass led him south to Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia, where he graduated with a degree in engineering.
In July 2002 Tony was awarded first prize in the New England Flatpicking Championship, and has also been runner-up at various contests including the prestigious Doc Watson Guitar Contest at MerleFest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, and the RockyGrass Guitar Contest in Lyons, Colorado. From 2002 until 2004 Tony was a member of the critically acclaimed Bluegrass band Meridian, and was honored to perform on the main stage at the International Bluegrass Music Association's annual convention in Louisville, Kentucky in October 2003. Tony is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Materials Science and Engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
Jenni Lyn Gardner
Jenni hails from Conway, South Carolina, where at the age of 5 she started playing guitar. Making the switch to mandolin at age 8, she played with her family band in and around the local area. Even at this tender young age, Jenni’s musical gift was not just limited to performing, as she soon became responsible for writing songs for the family band to perform. It was during this time playing with her family that Jenni entered and won the Country Music Showdown against an all adult line up, even thought she was only 10 years old.
At age 17, Jenni made the move to Charleston, South Carolina to play in a local Bluegrass band. Here she would have the opportunity to open for several national touring acts including the legendary Ralph Stanley and Ricky Skaggs at the Charleston City Music Hall. Skaggs was so impressed with the talent that he invited her band to Nashville to record their debut album at his personal recording studio.
Although Jenni kept busy with Bluegrass, she found the time to branch out into other musical genres. While living in Charleston, Jenni was a regular member of local folk, swing and jazz bands. With Jenni’s natural musical ability, it wasn't long before Music City began to beckon. She made the move in 2005 and now makes her home in Mt Juliet, TN, just outside of Nashville.
While attending the 2006 International Bluegrass Music Association convention, Jenni met Sim and Missy, and it wasn't long before all three were playing gigs around the Nashville area. Jenni says, “When Sim and Missy were putting this band together, Sim asked if I would become a member as he couldn't think of another mandolin player he would rather have in the band, period!”
Born in Texas and raised in Tennessee, Daniel Hardin started playing bass at the age of 9. Performing in the family band with his sister and brother, he started to master his instrument under the direction of his father. In the following years Daniel turned his attention to guitar and piano, but bass remains his primary instrument of choice. Daniel played locally until he joined the professional touring band Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike. During his three-year tenure with the band he played every major festival in the United States, including Bean Blossom, Poppy Mountain, and the Graves Mountain Festivals. Their touring schedule also took Daniel on the Bluegrass Cruise to the Bahamas twice, as well as a European tour of England, Scotland, Germany, Holland, Switzerland and Luxembourg.
Today Daniel prefers to stay a little closer to home. As well as Cages Bend, he still plays with his family band and also works at the world renowned Jack Daniel's distillery in Lynchburg, TN. The band is still hopeful of a sponsorship someday!