Split Rail Bluegrass


So, what you really want to do is go to another show and hear the same old bluegrass tunes that you heard at the last show you went to? Well, there's not a thing wrong with that. There is some truly great music in Bluegrass that has lasted through the ages and it is part of what draws us all to it.

HOWEVER!! When you see the Split Rail show, you'll get a dose of several types of Bluegrass and a selection of music that's sure to please no matter what your preference in bluegrass is. Some new, some old, and a whole lot "bluegrass". Yessiree, you'll hear some Flatt and Scruggs and a little Monroe. You'll also get a heavy dose of gospel and a great mixture of the 1960's-70' and 80's "new classic grass" all done with an emphasis on new arrangements and entertaining the audience.

Banding together from distant towns, within South Carolina, are five gifted vocalists that love to perform. The group was formed in the late 80's and has worked festivals from South Georgia to Maryland. They have opened shows for national acts such as Doyle Lawson, The Lost and Found, IIIrd Tyme Out, Blue Highway, Claire Lynch, and the Lewis Family.

Split Rail provides a great continuity of sound that can only be achieved from years of playing together. Strong vocal harmony is their trademark. The band is comprised of Philip Arnold (banjo), Stan Elgin (mandolin), Gene Holdway (guitar), Doug Todd (bass), and Ray Harper (fiddle). All are accomplished musicians who understand that pleasing the audience is the number one priority.

 SPLIT RAIL is a band that works very hard to produce "Consumable Bluegrass Music."


GENE HOLDWAY (GUITAR - LEAD AND BARITONE VOCALS) - Rumor has it that the band hired Gene because they kept losing their other guitar player in crowds. Gene just kind'a sticks out and they can keep track of him when it's time to go eat at the Waffle House. Here is a man who loves Bluegrass and grew up listening to Flatt and Scruggs on the radio every morning with his dad at breakfast. He takes pride in being a solid rhythm guitar player and loves to sing. His musical influences are Doyle Lawson, Charlie Waller, and the early Seldom Scene. Gene lives in Greer, SC.

STAN ELGIN (MANDOLIN - LEAD AND TENOR VOCALS) - Don't get the wrong idea! Stan is a great musician even though he pulls for the Clemson Tigers. You will enjoy listening to Stan pick some of the old tunes on Mandolin. Listen close, you'll hear a heavy influence from Dempsey Young and Doyle Lawson in his style. Blessed with a very strong tenor voice, he truly sets off the Split Rail trios and will sing some great lead!! Don't let him get away without doing his version of "Train 45" for you! Stanley makes his home in Anderson, SC.

DOUG TODD (DOGHOUSE AND ELECTRIC BASS - LEAD AND BASS VOCALS) - We all pick on Doug some because he is truly a great guy and takes it so well (and he can't run very fast). Doug cut his teeth on country music and has come to hold traditional bluegrass music in reverence. A great bass player who understands that the spaces between the notes are as important as the notes themselves. He has an impeccable ear for knowing what fits and lays down the perfect foundation to build the music on. He'll do a couple of the old tunes for you, and if you ask him real nice, he might even do the "Butter Bean" song. Doug makes his home in metropolitan Belvedere, SC.

PHILIP ARNOLD (BANJO - LEAD, BARITIONE AND BASS VOCALS) - Philip is a great, self-taught banjo player who has an outstanding ear for arrangements. You will hear the influence of Scruggs and Crowe in his playing, but even more of Philip's years in the woodshed coming up with what sounded good to him (and a lot of other people). He is a truly gifted baritone singer and does a great job singing lead as well. He restored the 1955 Chevrolet seen in many of the band's photos (you'd think he would get a real job!) Philip makes his home in Union, SC.

Ray Harper (FIDDLE - LEAD AND  HARMONY VOCALS) - Ray has been playing music since the age of five and has been performing for audiences for many years. Ray has performed with other groups as well as his own group. In the early 90's Ray was lead singer and fiddle player for Bluegrass Gospel Legend, Carl Story, performing at festivals & events from Georgia to Maine. Split Rail is proud to have Ray sing and play fiddle and or guitar. Rays early musical influences include Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Bill Monroe & Glen Campbell. More recent influences include Larry Sparks & Tony Rice.