MEET THE BAND
Adam Ash - Banjo and Vocals
Adam began learning to play music when he was 13 and can play a variety of instruments! He can play banjo, guitar, bass, mandolin, and even trombone (although you aren't likely to see that at one of our shows soon). He has had the privilege of playing with several outstanding groups over the years including Shady Grove Bluegrass, Pure Tradition, and Ozark Mountain Revival.
Adam has a deep love for the traditional bluegrass music. Some of his biggest influences include Earl Scruggs, Jim Mills, JD Crowe, and Doug Dillard. When you listen to him play you can hear those influences, although he has a style all his own!
He is married to his wife Leann and they have two adorable kids: Kellie and Daniel. He works as the Gadget Guru at the Banjo Ben General Store. He also serves as the unofficial hype man for the store. He has lots of interests outside of work and the music, including a deep love of all things history.
Adam enjoys picking with the guys and he says the best part about being in Spillwater Drive is the friendship and being able to play with such outstanding musicians. Next time you see him at a show, be sure to come up and say howdy. He loves to visit!
Samuel Cobb - Mandolin and Vocals
You would be hard pressed to find a more accomplished musician than Sam. He started playing piano and violin at age 5, before adding the mandolin at age 8 and guitar at the age of 12. For several years he played in a family band with his brothers. He has always been a crowd favorite wherever he goes and has had the chance to share the stage over the years with many great musicians.
Samuel graduated from Harding University at the age of 20 with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and a minor in Psychology. He currently works as a software engineer at JB Hunt in Rogers, AR. In his spare time he enjoys fishing, hunting, writing coding, and visiting the Hornet Spooklight.
Some of his musical influences include Adam Steffey, Seth Taylor, and Tim O'Brien. He also claims to look up to Adam Ash, Gary Cook, and Jake Stogdill, but it's possible he made that part up to make the rest of the guys in the band feel better about themselves. Samuel joined the group in early 2019 and is a wonderful addition to the group.
Gary Cook - Bass and Vocals
I guess you could say that music is in Gary's DNA. He has been singing since he could talk. His first stage appearance was at the age of 3 at a local hootenanny. As a young kid he showed interest in the bass but since he didn't have one, he would pretend by playing the door facings. At the age of 9 he started on the bass, having to use a step stool to play since the instrument was bigger than he was. From that point he took off and hasn't looked back.
Gary first played for several years in his grandfather's band Downhome Bluegrass. They played shows all across the Midwest. During this time Gary was nominated three times for SPBGMA Midwest Bass Player of the Year. The group also won the Instrumental Group of the Year title in 2001. During these years, he had the privilege to learn from his grandfather and the other members of the band. Following the passing of his grandfather, in 2011 he helped establish his own group, Spur of the Moment Bluegrass, which played for several years across the region.
Gary joined Spillwater Drive in early 2019 and is loving every minute of it. He enjoys the fact that he is surrounded by a group of talented musicians who push him to be better, all while having fun. He claims there's never a dull moment around these guys!
When not playing bluegrass, Gary works as a high school social studies and speech/debate teacher, where he has coached numerous state champions and national finalists. He is active in his church, spends way too much time on social media, and also spends time following his nephews' sports teams. He loves getting to visit with people so if you ever see him, be sure to say howdy.
Jake Stogdill - Guitar and Vocals
Compared to some, Jake started into the music business a little later in life but has more than made up for it. At the old age of 14, he began learning how to play music from his father Boyd. The two, along with other members who changed over the years, performed throughout the Midwest in the group Crazy Mule. After his dad passed away unexpectedly in 2016, Jake laid down the guitar for a little over a year until Spillwater Drive materialized.
Throughout Jake's musical career, he was won numerous instrumental contests, including the American Heritage Bluegrass Guitar Championship at the age of 18. He is also a champion yo-yo master. He has been included in the YouTube list as one of the greatest bluegrass flatpicking guitarists, though he believes there must have been a typo. Speaking of YouTube, his channel JakeStogdill Guitar is one of the bigger channels of its kind with thousands of subscribers and millions of views.
Jake is married to his much better half Michelle. They have two children -- Nevaeh and Noah. He currently manages the Banjo Ben General Store, which is the #1 dealer in the world for many of the brands they carry. He is a Certified Acoustic Instrument Specialist by Gibson, Taylor Guitars, and the American Made Banjo Company.
When he is not working on instruments or picking, Jake is constantly striving to improve his techno dancing skills, which he claims are very impressive, but the other members of the group don't necessarily seem to concur. He feels grateful and humbled to now be a part of such a stellar band of musicians.