Mason Thomas
 
Mason is from Madison Heights, Va. and has grown up to eat, sleep, and breathe bluegrass. He started playing the guitar at 7 years old. From there he progressed in his playing and singing abilities. In 2006 Mason started the group Hard Drivin’ Grass and performed for over 4 years with that band. For the past 2 years Mason has been a part of In The Tradition. He is now a graduate of Virginia Tech and works for a machinery company. Mason loves to play the old, traditional style with his own twist. Besides playing music he also enjoys to hunt, fish, and spend time with family. 

Zach Brown


Franklin County nativeZach Brown puts the fiddle in the band. You may have seen him anywhere in Southwest Virginia since 2003 playing mandolin with Blackwater and making appearances with Smith Mountain Grass, Pocket Change, and many other acts. 

He learned mandolin at age 11 from the late Dewey Prillaman, a well respected Franklin County fiddler with a distinct style. With New Standard, Zach has gone public with his fiddling and delivers the tenor vocals that top off the group's harmony. 

A graduate of Virginia Tech and corporate project manager, Zach can be found in the deer woods, on a river, or with is wife and new baby boy when not picking and singing.


Spencer Blankenship 
Spencer started playing mandolin at age 8 and also plays several other instruments. He began playing in a family band with his parents, brother, and uncle. He then went on to play with a popular local band from Franklin County, Va called "Smith Mountain Grass." After playing with them for 5 years, he began playing with a band based out of Roanoke, VA called Sandy Ridge for 2 years. Then, Spencer joined the stage with Hard Drivin' Grass for about 2 years. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech and now teaches Agricultural Education at Liberty High School. Spencer and his wife, Bonnie live in their hometown of Bedford, Va. 


Stewart Scales 

Stewart, originally hailing from Big Stone Gap, VA is a Geography instructor at Virginia Tech. He plays upright bass with the band as well as banjo and guitar at jams along the Crooked Road. Stewart currently teaches a variety of courses at VT including Geography of Appalachia, Cartography, Geography of Virginia and Physical Geography. Outside of the music spectrum, he enjoys hiking, biking and many other outdoor activities.


Jason Wheeler