Meet the Band


Meet the current Skillet Lickers keeping the nearly century long tradition of Skillet Licker music alive and well! Here’s your fourth generation Skillet Lickers:

Russ Tanner – Dacula, Ga.

Born and raised in Dacula, GA, Russ is a fourth-generation Skillet Licker who resides on the land originally purchased by his great-grandfather, the legendary Gid Tanner. Russ is widely known as a masterful musician, comparable to his grandfather, Gordon, but also as a comedic showman, like that of his great-grandfather, Gid.

When did you start playing music? At age 11.

Favorite Skillet Licker show you’ve ever done? ‘Real Time Radio’.

Biggest musical celebrity you’ve ever met? John Hartford.

First job? Worked on framing crew for local builder.

Favorite place to travel? Jamaica.

Favorite NON-Country song or artist? The Eagles.

Phil Tanner – Dacula, Ga.

Phil’s been playing with folks like Fleet Stanley and Larry Nash since his high school days, and to this day – over half a century later – is still performing alongside them. In addition to playing rythm guitar (as he does at all shows), Phil can also play the fiddle – and did we mention he builds them, too?

When did you start playing music? At age 10.

Favorite Skillet Licker show you’ve ever done? National Mall.

Biggest musical celebrity you’ve ever met? Gid Tanner.

First job? Construction.

Favorite place to travel? North Georgia mountains.

Favorite NON-Country song or artist? Bing Crosby.

Joel Aderhold – Walnut Grove, Ga.

Joel is known as one of the most masterful banjo stylists and bluegrass musicians in the state. A Georgia native, Joel took to the banjo from a young age. When he’s not playing with the Skillet Lickers, you can catch Joel picking and singing alongside his wife, Earleen, making for some irresistable country harmony.

When did you start playing music? At age 15.

Favorite Skillet Licker show? Blairsville Courthouse.

Biggest musical celebrity you’ve met? Earl Scruggs.

First job? “The Jacks” Drive-in in Stone Mountain.

Favorite place to travel? Mountains of GA/NC/TN/VA

Favorite NON-Country song or artist? ‘Even Now’ by Nana Mouskouri and ‘Johnny B. Goode’ by Chuck Berry.

Larry Nash – Dacula, Ga.

He claims he brings the band “good looks”. We don’t know about that, but we do know he plays one mean bass. Larry played with Phil and the band when it reformed in the 1970’s, but took a couple decades off before rejoining full-time in 2014. Larry now resides in the Harbins community of Dacula.

When did you start playing music? At age 19.

Favorite Skillet Licker show you’ve ever done? ‘Smoke on the Mountain’ at the Cumming Playhouse.

Biggest musical celebrity you’ve ever met? Bill Monroe.

First job? Colonial Store in Lawrenceville, GA.

Favorite place to travel? Appalachian Mountains.

Favorite NON-Country song or artist? Fats Domino.

Jimmy Hooper – Auburn, Ga.

Known as one of the smoothest electric guitar players around and a native to Hiawasee, Jimmy Hooper has always loved to play music and entertain audiences everywhere. Between his infectious smile and stellar guitar skills, it’s hard not to love Jimmy.

Brian Stephens – Monroe, Ga.

Once you’ve heard this guy play, it’s pretty hard to put it into words, but we’ll try. Brian’s one of the most accomplished musicians around (and can play nearly every instrument you give him). He’s played on stages from the local music barn to the Grand Ole Opry, and now, we’re proud to call him one of our own!