Circus No. 9 is East Tennessee’s own Progressive Bluegrass outfit, blurring the lines between Bluegrass, Jazz, Jambands, and more. Described as “John Hartford meets John Coltrane,” the group has appeared alongside artists including David Grisman, Bryan Sutton, Larry Keel, and more. Comprised of musicians Matthew Davis, Thomas Cassell, and Vince Ilagan, Circus No. 9 is one of the most exciting new bands on the acoustic music scene today.
"Circus No. 9 represents everything that's good about the new generation of acoustic music. These guys already exhibit a maturity and musicianship that has me thinking we're going to be hearing great stuff from them for a long time!" - Bryan Sutton
Banjo extraordinaire Matthew Davis is the winner of both the National Banjo Championship and the Rockygrass Banjo Contest, not to mention the achievement of his musical chops at just age 18. Davis has performed on the Grand Ole Opry, among other venues and shows around the country.
On the mandolin is Virginia’s own Thomas Cassell, a now Tennessee transplant. Cassell is the winner of the 2016 Rockygrass Mandolin contest, and has performed on stage beside artists including Darrell Scott, Bryan Sutton, Aofie O’Donovan, Mike Marshall, Julian Lage, Billy Strings, and more.
Holding down the low end for the band is Knoxville’s Vince Ilagan, also holding a Bass Performance degree from the University of Tennessee and years of studio and touring experience. Ilagan has performed with artists including Justin Townes Earle, Jeff Sipe, Scott Miller, and many others.awards. After winning the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2003, the band widened its travels to include the US, Canada, and Europe. In 2007 bassist Franher Joseph joined Delta Moon. He was followed in 2015 by drummer Vic Stafford (Blueground Undergrass, Donna the Buffalo, Toubab Krewe) to complete the current line-up. The band’s constant recording and touring continues into 2015 with tours scheduled for the United States, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Poland and more.
“If you’re looking for exquisite playing and fine songcraft, you’ll find it on Delta Moon’s Low Down.” – Living Blues (USA)
“The use of the slide guitars is magical.” – Roots Music Report
“Gray and Johnson’s double-slide style works to perfection.” – Chicago Sun-Times
“Delta Moon’s music lives and breathes.” – Rocktimes (Germany)
“Delta Moon is deep blues with a fury…. Hot stuff!” – Vintage Guitar