Band Member Bios



There is no mistaking the raw and powerful vocals by singer, songwriter, and guitarist Dave Adkins. During his impressive career, Adkins has achieved an extensive list of awards and nominations in Bluegrass, Country, and Gospel music, along with achievements for his songwriting. His extraordinary vocal talents are evident from his significant chart success and stellar live performances.

Dave Adkins was born David E. Adkins on June 8, 1972, in Pikeville, Kentucky, and now makes his home in Elkhorn City. When he was just eight years old, he played and sang with classmates in a band performing at schools and other venues. Then, at 17, he began playing bluegrass music at Dollywood, where he stayed for two years. A year later, Adkins was named a Kentucky Colonel - the highest title of honor bestowed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Commissions for Kentucky colonels are given by the Governor and the Secretary of State to individuals to recognize noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to a community, state, or nation. Adkins is also a proud Mason and Shriner.

After Dollywood, Adkins took a turn doing solo country music shows and later performed with a rock band in Chicago, Illinois. He also served as a Country Radio DJ as Brave Dave Adkins, the Original Midnight Cowboy at WBHR in Pikeville, Kentucky.

In 2010, he returned to the genre that was his first love, bluegrass, and formed the group Dave Adkins & Republik Steele. Adkins' soulful vocals earned him a 2013 SPBGMA nomination as Male Vocalist of the Year in the Contemporary category.

Adkins is also an accomplished songwriter, contributing three original songs to the band's 2013 album, That's Just The Way I Roll, on Rural Rhythm Records. The album made its debut #7 on Billboard's Top 10 Bluegrass Album Chart and was featured in the CMT article titled "New Independent Music" along with the Steeldrivers. Additionally, Adkins was part of the February 12, 2013 album, God Didn't Choose Sides, Volume 1 – Civil War True Stories About Real People. This all-star line-up also features Marty Raybon, Lonesome River Band, Carrie Hassler, Russell Moore, Ronnie Bowman, Dale Ann Bradley, and bluegrass artists.

By February 2014, Adkins moved to the Mountain Fever Records label who released his first solo album, Nothing To Lose. He again contributed his songwriting talents by penning three originals and co-writing another track on his most chart successful album. His original song, "Pike County Jail," was an instant chart hit and was the 7th most played song on the Bluegrass Today Top 30 Song of 2014. It also appeared on the Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine's National Bluegrass Survey Top 30 Song Chart for ten months, reaching as high as #2, and was named in the publication's Best Albums of 2014. The title track, "Nothing to Lose," garnered the #1 spot on Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction's Most Played Tracks. Six of the twelve tracks received chart action with numerous #1s on Bluegrass Today's Top 20 Weekly and Monthly Song Charts. Two tracks, "I Can't Even Walk" and "Don't Pray That Way," appeared in the Top 5 on the gospel music charts. Additionally, Nothing To Lose appeared on the Roots Music Report's Top 50 Albums of 2014 and 2015.

A collaborative album with Dave Adkins and Edgar Loudermilk was released in March 2015 titled Adkins & Loudermilk that helped garner the duo a 2015 International Bluegrass Association Emerging Artist of the Year Award Nomination. The first single release, "Back Side of Losing," was written by Dave Adkins and Mark "Brink" Brinkman and appeared on Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine's Top 50 Songs of 2015. The album also appeared at #17 on the Roots Music Report's Top 150 Albums of 2015.

In February 2016, Mountain Fever Records released the self-titled album by Dave Adkins that made its debut at #1 on Billboard's Top 10 Bluegrass Album Chart and reached #1 on Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction's Most Played Albums in December 2016. The first two single releases received tremendous radio chart success. His original tune, "Change Her Mind," hit #1 three times on the Bluegrass Today Top 20 Chart and was also #1 on the Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction's Most Played Tracks in 2016. In addition, the song appeared on Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine's Top 30 Song Chart for ten months. Other chart success includes Power Source Magazine's Top 35 Song Chart and the Roots Music Report's Top 50 Singles chart. 

Adkins' second single release from the album was his impressive cover of John Michael Montgomery's country hit "Sold." The track reached #1 on the Bluegrass Today Top 20, #2 on Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction's Most Played Tracks, and Power Source Magazine's Top 35 Song Chart. The third single release was the lightning fast "Turn and Burn." He co-wrote the song with David Morris and Dawn Kenney that won 2nd place in the prestigious Hazel Dickens Songwriting Contest in 2016.  Adkins also received a 2016 Inspirational Bluegrass Artist of the Year Nomination.

In January 2018, the single “Blood Feud,” co-written and performed by Dave Adkins and Larry Cordle, quickly hit the bluegrass charts reaching #1 on the Bluegrass Today Top 20. On the heels of another ICM Top 10 Nomination for the 2018 Inspirational Bluegrass Artist of the Year, Mountain Fever Records released Dave Adkins' album, Right Or Wrong, in the spring of 2018. This project appeared regularly on Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction's Most Played Albums during 2018. Other chart successful songs include his cover of the “I Can Only Imagine,” “Blue, Blue Rain,” “Roll Little River,” and “Cold in the Ground.”

In September 2019, Dave Adkins' album Better Days (Mountain Fever Records) was released. The first single, "Better Days A Coming," was written by Dave and his wife Katrina (her first songwriting credit). It debuted on the Bluegrass Today Top 20 chart on the day the album was released. In addition, his cover of the classic country song “Country Sunday” made its debut on the Bluegrass Today Top 20 Chart at #7 on February 28, 2020.

Dave Adkins contributed his lead vocals to two tracks on the 2020 Grammy Nominated "Best Roots Gospel Album" Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout by Rick Lang and Various Artists. He sang lead vocals on the opening track, "Thinking Outside the Box," with Tammy King and Jerry Salley providing their impressive back-up vocals. Adkins also joined Jerry Salley and Maggie Salley on the song, "There Is A Light."  

In 2022, Adkins earned a SPBGMA Male Vocalist of the Year nomination followed by the single release, “We’re All Crazy” that debuted on the Bluegrass Today Top 20 Song Chart at the end of April. The album We’re All Crazy, was released in August 2022 and includes the singles, “Cold Hearted Woman,” and the impressive cover of “Dixieland Delight” that Syntax Creative calls “a worthy alternative to one of the all-time bar-jam/college party anthems.” Other tracks include “Dear Departed,” the love song “Best I’ve Never Been In,” the haunting “Traveler,” the melodious “Blind Hawg,” “Friday Night Jesus,”  and more.

August 2023, Morning Glory Music is set to release Adkins’ Southern Gospel album, Say, Jesus. The powerful and incredibly moving 11-track album includes original songs and Southern Gospel's most beloved songwriters like Gerald Crabb, who wrote/co-wrote four tunes, including "You Wouldn't Know Me Now." Adkins said, “I hope the song touches people like it has touched me."


Also, in August 2023, Adkins signed with Billy Blue Records, joining a fantastic roster of accomplished artists and songwriters where he will record and write for the vibrant label and publishing house. The label released Adkins’ debut single to bluegrass radio on August 11, 2023  and the album in early 2024.

Adkins best described the news, “Signing to Billy Blue Records and getting to work with these wonderful folks is a dream come true. No one can out work the individuals at Billy Blue. Jerry Salley can and will get any job done. I’m so excited! This has been a ‘pinch me’ kind of moment in my career. I just want to make great music. One of these days when I leave this earth, I hope people look back and say I did pretty good when I was here. I look forward to working with Billy Blue to help me do that.”



Originally from Wheatfield, Indiana, Bobby Davis now makes his home in Salyersville, Kentucky. He has been with the Dave Adkins Band since early 2019. Bobby got his musical start with the Chicago Bluegrass Band and has since performed bass with Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Audie Blaylock & Redline, James King Band, and Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike.

Ari Silver


Hailing from River Falls, Wisconsin, Ari grew up immersed in bluegrass and Americana music. He spent weekends tagging along with his father, a professional musician, to bluegrass and folk festivals, soaking up everything he could from workshops to open stages and forming mentor relationships with local musicians and songwriters. Since high school, Ari has been performing professionally as a singer-songwriter and in bluegrass bands. He eventually started his own band, The Silver River Band, which played at festivals and events throughout the Midwest. Currently, Ari is attending East Tennessee State University, majoring in Bluegrass, Old-Time and Roots Music Studies. In addition to attending school full time, Ari has performed with Valerie Smith and her band, Liberty Pike. He is known for his dazzling flatpick guitar, soulful mandolin, and outstanding vocal quality.

Layla Cantafio


Growing up in New Brunswick, Canada, Layla was attracted to the fiddle from a young age when she heard traditional Cape Breton and Québécois tunes. It wasn’t long before she and her sister started playing gigs around their hometown. When she was 14, her father took her to her first bluegrass festival, which was the start of something new for Layla. She quickly fell in love with the music and the entire community, which prompted her to enroll at East Tennessee State University to study Bluegrass, Old Time, and Roots Music. While still young, she has had many opportunities to share the stage with Junior Sisk, Zink & Company, and many others.

Jack Brown


Hailing from the lower Appalachian mountains of East Tennessee, Jack started learning banjo from Brandon Green at 16. He is continuing his education as a student in the ETSU Bluegrass, old-time, and country music program. His hard-driving, fast-paced banjo playing, along with his powerful tenor lines, raises whoever he plays with to the next level. He’s shared the stage with renowned musicians such as Barry Bales, Monroeville, and Trey Hensley. In 2024, he embarked on a successful two-week tour of Ireland with fellow ETSU student band Pythagoras.