The Band Members
Ray and Glen Adams
Over thirty years of accomplishments in bluegrass and country music were recognized in 2005 when the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame presented its Citation to Ray and Glen Adams. The Adams brothers were the foundation of the first version of Bytown Bluegrass in 1974, and have led several editions of the band since then. Ray and Glen grew up in the rural area south of Ottawa, where they learned square-dance and gospel music from their parents. Later, they gravitated towards bluegrass, and the traditional side of that music is evident in the band's repertoire. They have always felt that Bytown Bluegrass should feature strong vocal harmonies and innovative arrangements, and this has led them to adapt songs from many styles. Although both brothers are multi-instrumentalists, you will most often find Glen on 5-string banjo and singing baritone harmony, with Ray playing mandolin and singing either lead or tenor harmony. They have contributed their skills to recordings by many well-known bluegrass and country artists, and have often played important roles in organizational and promotional activities for both bluegrass and country music in the Ottawa area.
Born in Newfoundland, raised in Ompah, Ontario, Neville Wells has been a country music presence on the Ottawa Valley scene for many years. He has had several popular recordings in the field of Canadian country with coast-to-coast airplay, featuring his original material. In the past, he toured with his own band, but now performs more often as a single artist. Song-writing remains high on his list of interests. In 1980, he also founded a monthly newspaper that has become the highly acclaimed "Country Music News". To honour his many achievements, Neville was inducted into the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994. Although he is an accomplished guitarist, Neville plays electric bass with Bytown Bluegrass, and sings lead and harmony vocals.
Don O'Neill hails from the Kemptville area of Ontario and now lives in Smiths Falls. For many years he played lead guitar for the nationally known country band "Country Mile", and he also worked with the Tommy Hunter Show. He is much in demand as a lead player for stage and studio work in the Ottawa area. He has been with Bytown Bluegrass for the past 20 years or so, first on electric bass, now on rhythm and lead guitar, but he can double on virtually any instrument. Don also lends his voice to Bytown quartets. His induction into the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992 recognized his significant talent and his contribution to music in the Valley.
John Richard was born and raised in New Brunswick, but he has made his home in Ontario for many years. He was a veteran stage performer before the age of ten, took classical training in Montreal, and has worked with several of the best Canadian country bands in Toronto and Ottawa, as well as with many touring U.S artists. He is equally at home playing bluegrass, swing, jazz or country. He has been honoured by both the New Brunswick Country Music Hall of Fame and his home town of Minto, N.B. With Bytown Bluegrass, John delivers both the essential drive for bluegrass instrumentals and tasteful backup to the group's signature harmony vocals.