STEVE BOWEN is the bass player and one of the lead singers of the band. Steve is a native of Wilkes County in North Carolina and graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Health and Physical Education. He then received his Masters Degree from Gardner Webb University. Steve is a retired teacher from the Surry County School system.
Steve has been involved in Bluegrass and Old Time music for nearly forty years. He began playing guitar for local Bluegrass bands. Then he and his wife, Diane, discovered the beauty and simplicity of Old Time music, and thus began their love affair with this genre of music.
DIANE BOWEN is Steve’s wife. She plays clawhammer banjo and helps Steve with the band’s vocals. Diane is originally from Buncombe County in the western North Carolina. She is an Appalachian State University graduate too and is also a retired teacher from Surry County Schools. Diane taught her entire career of thirty years at Mountain Park Elementary School.
Diane learned to play banjo from Emily Spencer of Whitetop, Virginia. She and Steve have been involved in Old Time music for over twenty years and founded the “Zephyr Lightning Bolts” Band not too long after they began to play this kind of music.
JACOB BOWEN is the fiddler of the band. He is Steve and Diane’s older son. He followed his parents in graduating from Appalachian State University, earning his degree in Psychology and has worked in the mental health field.
Thornton and Emily Spencer of Whitetop, Virginia have both been important fiddle instructors for Jacob. He is an avid collector of Old Time music and has been greatly influenced by the late Albert Hash. G.B Grayson, Rafe Brady, Eck Robertson, and other great fiddlers through their recorded music.
The Bowen family lived in the Zephyr community in Surry County, North Carolina for nearly thirty years, but in 2005 they moved across the Mitchell River into the community of Pleasant Ridge in eastern Wilkes County, to the farm where Steve was raised.
CHESTER MCMILLIAN is the guitarist for the band. He has played Old Time music for several decades. He has played with Round Peak legends including Tommy Jarrell, Kyle Creed, Whit Sizemore, Benton Flippin, Fred Cockerham, and others. He was awarded the Brown-Hudson Folklore Award in 2013, which acknowledges lifetime achievement in furthering cultural traditions in North Carolina. Chester still resides in the Round Peak community of Surry County, and area noted for a unique style of Old Time music making. Chester is known for his unique runs and picking technique.