Band Member Bios



There is no mistaking the raw and powerful vocals by singer, songwriter, and guitarist Dave Adkins. His significant chart success and his stellar live performances have made him one of the most talked-about male vocalists in acoustic music.

Adkins was born in Pikeville, Kentucky, and makes his home in Elkhorn City. When he was eight, he began playing and singing and joined a band with classmates performing at schools and other venues. 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 by the Governor and the Secretary of State are given to individuals to recognize noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to a community, state, or nation. He is also a proud Mason and Shriner.

After Dollywood, Adkins took a turn doing solo Country shows and later performed with a Rock band, especially in Chicago. 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 That's Just The Way I Roll on Rural Rhythm Records in 2013. The album debuted at #7 on Billboard's Top 10 Bluegrass Album Chart and appeared in a CMT feature article titled "New Independent Music," along with the Steeldrivers and Wood and Wires. In addition, Adkins joined the all-star artist line-up for the February 12, 2013 album, God Didn't Choose Sides, Volume 1 – Civil War True Stories About Real People. This album also features Marty Raybon, Lonesome River Band, Carrie Hassler, Russell Moore, Ronnie Bowman, Dale Ann Bradley, and more.

By February 2014, Adkins moved to the Mountain Fever Records label and released his first solo album, Nothing To Lose. He again contributed his songwriting talents by penning three originals and co-writing another track that, at that time, was 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 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 Chart and the Roots Music Report Top 50 Bluegrass Songs Chart. In addition, two tracks, "I Can't Even Walk" and "Don't Pray That Way," appeared in the Top 5 on the gospel music charts. Nothing To Lose appeared on the Roots Music Report's Top 50 Albums of 2014 and 2015.

Mountain Fever Records released a collaborative album with Dave Adkins and Edgar Loudermilk in March 2015 titled Adkins & Loudermilk that helped garner the duo a Nomination by the International Bluegrass Music Association for the 2015 Emerging Artist of the Year Award. 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. It debuted 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 from this album received tremendous success. His original tune, "Change Her Mind," hit #1 three times on the Bluegrass Today Top 20 Chart, #1 on the Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction's Most Played Tracks in 2016, and numerous months on the Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine's Top 30 Song Chart, where it remained for 11 months. Other chart success includes his many appearances on the Power Source Magazine Top 35 Song Chart and the Roots Music Report's Top 50 Singles Chart.

Adkins' second single release from the self-titled album is his impressive cover of John Michael Montgomery's country hit "Sold." The song reached #1 on the Bluegrass Today Top 20, as high as #2 on Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction's Most Played Tracks chart, Power Source Magazine's Top 35 Song Chart, and the Roots Music Report.

The third single release from  Dave Adkins is the lightning-fast "Turn and Burn," a song he co-wrote with David Morris and Dawn Kenney that won 2nd place in the prestigious Hazel Dickens Songwriting Contest in 2016. "Turn and Burn" debuted at #7 on Bluegrass Junction's Most Played Tracks for December 2016 and is appearing on the Bluegrass Today Top 20 and the Roots Music Report's Top 50 Bluegrass Singles Chart.

In January 2018, Mountain Fever Records released the single "Blood Feud," co-written and performed by Dave Adkins and Larry Cordle. The song quickly hit the bluegrass charts reaching #1 on the Bluegrass Today Top 20. In May 2018, the label released Adkins' album Right Or Wrong, which appeared regularly on Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction's Most Played Albums in 2018. As with every Adkin's album, it is full of chart hits, including his incredible cover of the inspirational hit song "I Can Only Imagine" and the bluegrass chart hits "Blue, Blue Rain," "Roll Little River," and "Cold in the Ground."

In September 2019, Mountain Fever Records released Dave Adkins' album BETTER DAYS. 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 the same day the album was released. In addition, his cover of the classic country song "Country Sunday" debuted on the Bluegrass Today Top 20 Chart at #7 on February 28, 2020.

Dave Adkins contributed his vocals to two tracks on the Grammy Nominated "Best Roots Gospel Album" GONNA SING, GONNA SHOUT by Rick Lang, including the spectacular "Thinking Outside the Box" with Tammy King and Jerry Salley. In addition, Adkins joined Jerry Salley and Maggie Salley on "There Is A Light."

In 2021, Morning Glory Music (part of the Mountain Fever Records label) released a new single by Dave Adkins titled "Say Jesus" to Christian radio. Dave co-wrote this contemporary gospel song with Tim McDonald.

Adkins received a nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year by the Society and Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA) in 2022. In August 2022, Mountain Fever Records released Adkins' album, We're All Crazy.



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.

Zackary Vickers


Zack is originally from the mountains of North Georgia and now makes his home in Johnson City, Tennessee.  Zack is a talented multi-instrumentalist.  He started playing music at the young age of 4 years old.  He started on piano and now plays banjo, guitar, bass, and any other instrument he picks up. Zack has played locally with his family all over North Georgia and Tennessee.  He has also played with the Pick and Bow youth program in Dahlonega, GA, and taught at local music camps throughout the years.

Zack graduated from East Tennessee State University with Old Time, Bluegrass, Country Music, and Computer Science degrees.  He has worked with the youth bands at Bluegrass Farm Jam and won or placed in several band competitions with different groups. He is also the band’s resident all-around cutie.

Layla Contafio


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.