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Runaway Train

Runaway Train – based in south Puget Sound – was formed in 2000 and has evolved through the years into it’s current formation of guitar, bass, mandolin and banjo along with strong lead and harmony vocals. They have a traditional sound but are not afraid to push the boundaries a bit. The band has played most of the major festivals in the Northwest as well as other music events and private parties. They are host band for Bluegrass from the Forest festival which as of 2022 is in it’s 17th year.


Greg Linder – After being bitten by the bluegrass bug around 1980, Greg played in several local groups, and eventually founded Runaway Train in 2000. Greg plays guitar, sings lead and harmony vocals. In addition, Greg has been active behind the music scene and is co-founder of Bluegrass from the Forest festival in Shelton, WA which, as of 2022, is in it’s 17th year. He resides in Union, WA.


Kent Powell – Kent has been involved in the bluegrass scene in the Pacific Northwest for over forty-three years.  He played banjo with Crossfire, a very popular band that competed in the Pizza Hut/Gibson Bluegrass Showdown in Owensboro, Kentucky. He continues to play bass with other local favorite groups, including North Country and String Theory.  Kent joined Runaway Train in 2005, originally as the band’s banjo player, however, he now performs as the band’s bass player.  Kent contributes with strong lead and harmony vocals.


John White - grew up in Michigan and started playing guitar at five.  By his teenage years, he was following a local bluegrass band and that led him to the mandolin.  John’s been in bands in Michigan, California, Utah and Washington.  Currently, he’s the mandolin player for Runaway Train.  If he’s not playing bluegrass, he’s probably woodworking, gardening, cooking or golfing


Clayton Hess - is a banjo veteran of the Seattle area, having played in several local bands through the years. His banjo influences range from the esoteric riffs of Bela Fleck to the hard-driving playing of Ron Block. He’s played with several configurations of Runaway Train, and hails from Kirkland, WA.