Our Story

The origins of Sunrise Shadow began back in 1998 when Jason and Melanie first met, ironically through music.  At that time, Jason played in a bluegrass group with Melanie's brother.  When they finally met on Valentine's day in that year it was love at first sight.  Melanie picked up the upright bass for the first time and quickly learned 1-5-1-5-1-5... ;-) bassists will understand...  They got married in September and started their first bluegrass/gospel jam session in Pilot Mountain, NC in December.  In 2000 Rick Gustaitis joined their group know as Stillwater.  They continued to play in North Carolina over the next 2 years.  Rick and his family moved back to Ohio in 2002.  Jason and Melanie continued to play in a bluegrass group but renamed the group 36 Degrees North after Rick's departure.  In 2006 Melanie and Jason celebrated the arrival of their first son, Lee.  In 2009, their second son Jackson was born.  Their attention shifted away from music and towards their two beautiful children.  Music never left them but the days of playing 30 shows a year were behind them.  That is until Rick began to feel a draw back to his acoustic routes and contacted Jason and Melanie to see if there was any interest in forming a new trio centered around acoustic Americana music.  They got together in 2013 and developed a new group called Sunrise Shadow.  Differences between the visions and goals of the future caused Rick to leave the group so Jason and Melanie decided to continue playing the music they have both grown to love.  We are asking some of the most talented musical guests in the area to help us out.  Frank Bounds, Keith Dunn, Eddie Day, Tim Sands, and more have been a huge help.  We have appreciated the great responses through this journey so much!!!!  Thanks to all our fans!!!

Melanie Bodenhamer: Acoustic Bass, Vocals
Gear: 1953 Kay M-1, Realist pickup, TKL Bags, Glasser Bows
Influences: Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, Sonya Isaacs, Emmy Lou Harris
Occupation:  RN Nurse

Melanie's voice is distinct and unmistakable.  She carries the vocal load and is one of the primary reasons people come to see Sunrise Shadow perform.  Believe it or not, she has not always been able to sing this well but gained an interest in singing at church and worked hard at it.  Now you can hear how it has developed into one of the most beautiful voices around.  Melanie also holds down the bottom end with timing and taste. She began playing the bass in 1998, when she met her husband, Jason. Melanie is from Toast, a small community in Mt. Airy, NC. She attended North Surry High School. She works as a registered nurse. She lives with her husband Jason and two sons in Westfield, NC.

Jason Bodenhamer: Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Dobro, Vocals
Gear: 1954 Martin D-18,1998 Nechville Banjo, 1990 Hutto Mandolin, 1980 Dobro, Shubb Capos, Bluechip Picks.
Influences: Sammy Shelor, Terry Baucom, Craig Smith, Bela Fleck, Jim & Jesse, Mike Snyder
Occupation:  Air Quality Meteorologist

Jason is a versatile singer, and capable of supplying multiple harmony parts, ranging from bass to tenor. He picked up his first string instrument, the guitar, in 1995 and later moved over to the banjo. He also plays violin, dobro, bass, mandolin and piano/organ. Jason was born in 1974 and grew up in Pfafftown, a small community near Winston-Salem, NC. In his spare time, Jason enjoys restoring and playing reed and pipe organs and playing golf. He lives with his wife Melanie and two sons in Westfield, NC.


Melanie Bodenhamer

Jason Bodenhamer