Our History

New Standard brings together a variety of styles and influences ranging from traditional music to contemporary bluegrass and gospel artists.  The band was founded in October, 2011 by Zach Brown, Spencer Blankenship, and Mason Thomas - all students at Virginia Tech at the time. Shortly after, Stewart Scales joined the group playing bass and the band began performing at local restaurants in the New River Valley.  Robert Overstreet was added on banjo in 2018, and the band continues to expand its performance horizons up and down the Blue Ridge today.  In late 2019, the group wrote several new songs featured on a 2021 release entitled 'One More Tear' which was recorded and mastered at Hambone Productions in Lynchburg, VA.  Check out the Music page to get your copy!

In the following years, the group played larger festivals such as Nothin Fancy, Stoney Creek, Sedalia, and has performed at the Harvester in Rocky Mount on two occasions, once as a solo act and another opening for the Lost & Found. 

In 2023, Mason began playing part time, Zach now plays guitar and Matthew Amos joined the band playing dobro. Zach Gilmer & Jason Wheeler have also played banjo in previous performances.

New Standard has entertained audiences in many towns across the mountains and Piedmont of Virginia. From fall festivals to church services, birthday parties to fishing tournaments, the group enjoys playing traditional gospel and bluegrass music for a wide variety of audiences. If you are interested in having New Standard at your event, feel free to use the contact on the Booking page - or reach out to any group member individually to discuss a show!

Our Mission Statement 

To provide audience members a high quality and entertaining performance while keeping bluegrass music alive for current and future generations to enjoy.

Some early photos of our shows and performances!