The members of Hog Operation have been part of the Louisville Bluegrass scene for the past 35 years. Current members are Steve Cooley (banjo), Larry Raley (bass and vocals), Mike Schroeder (mandolin and violin) and John Hawkins (guitar). Steve, Larry and Mike previously performed as part of New Horizon and The Galoots. Steve was also a member of The Dillards and a Vanguard Recording Artist. Mike is the founder of the Louisville Mandolin Orchestra.
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From The Courier Journal, Louisville KY
And while I loved artists such as Green, Lynn and Dwight Yoakam, my favorite moment was completely unexpected. On Sunday, I wandered by the Bluegrass Stage just as Hog Operation was beginning. Only a handful of people were there, and none in the paddock directly in front of the band, so I headed down for solidarity. As the band began playing the Grateful Dead's "Friend of the Devil," I found myself enjoying the festival in a way I so far hadn't. The whole thing had been a blur of deadlines and tweets and blisters, but as Steve Cooley, John Hawkins, Larry Raley and Mike Schroeder strolled through the song I knew I wasn't going anywhere for the next hour. I wasn't the only one, as people on their way to the infield stopped and listened. By set's end there were maybe 100 people watching - including John Asher, vice president of communications at Churchill Downs - and I had a warm feeling that had nothing to do with the sun baking my tender head. I'm looking for more of the same next year.
Reporter Jeffrey Lee Puckett
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