The Illbillys: The band whose likenesses are reproduceable thanks to "photography."
Photography was still in its infancy in the long-ago year of "2002," when the Illbillys were formed. Several cave drawings and hieroglyphs depicting their earliest performances have been found in the pre-historic dwellings of what is now Powhatan County, which we have digitally enhanced into the pictures on this page.

Click on any image to see its full-sized counterpart.
The band that would become the Illbillys' first gig was at Blessed Sacrament at Huguenot's Beef and Music Festival, on May 10, 2002. In its embryonic form, the Illbillys were a three-piece band, with JB Jeter on guitar and vocals, Peter Hempfling on bass and vocals, and Jack Taggart on drums.

Jack was not a drummer before becoming an Illbilly, but a guitar player. In their first gigs, Jack played just a solo snare drum and a hi-hat cymbal.

Being bereft of any sense whatsoever, the band's initial name was Peter, Jeter & Skeeter.
The Illbillys' first "real" gig wouldn't happen until a year later, at Richmond's no-longer-extant Texas-Wisconsin Border Café on June 14, 2003. By this point JB had secured the Ovation guitar that he still plays today, and Peter had, thankfully, secured the facial hair that he still wears today.

It was at this show that the name Illbillys was stumbled upon. As the band was still unnamed, the venue's staff had written "The Hillbilly Boys" on their light-up whiteboard, based solely on Jack's (misleading) description of their music. Sqwunching up his nose at such a hideous name, Peter wet his finger and removed enough letters from the whiteboard to spell, The illbillys.
Jack did eventually graduate to a whole drumset, as evidenced at a graduation party in Powhatan, VA on June 10, 2006.
Guitar, drums 'n' bass were working for the Illbillys, but it was reasoned that a lead guitarist would make them work better.

In July of 2006 Joe Bales joined the Illbillys. Joe was a good guitar player and had a lot of really awesome sound equipment...but he wore polo shirts whilst playing, which violation of the strict-yet-unwritten-or-spoken Illbilly dresscode eventually eroded his position.

Sartorial miscalculations notwithstanding, Joe was an Illbilly into 2008. Here we see the first version of the four-piece Illbillys, at a cul-de-sac party in Chesterfield, VA on May 27, 2007.
The spectacular Chris Vasi became the Illbillys' lead guitarist in December of 2008. His amazing skill, laid-back attitude and impeccably Illbillyesque fashion sense were an immediate fit: The jigsaw puzzle that had been the Illbillys for the first six years of their existence was finally complete.
Since 2012, on those occasions when Chris Vasi has been unavailable to play an Illbillys show, there has been veteran guitarist Ray Dilello. JB and Ray played together in The Recliners in the early-to-mid 2010's.

Here we see Ray with the Illbillys at Keagan's in Richmond, VA on August 23, 2014, at which event everyone pretends that Peter isn't dressed as a Scottish Colour Sergeant from the Boer War, complete with badger sporran.
The Illbillys at the heroic-but-no-longer-in-existence-in-this-dimension Rumbleseat Grill in Manakin-Sabot, VA, on July 26, 2014.

Yes SIR, all the Illbilly pieces were in place, things couldn't be more perfect, UNTIL...

Founding Illbilly Jack Taggart left the Illbillys in September of 2015, in order to further his participation in another band with which he was playing, Tin Can Fish Band.
Forrest Young, the Emergency Drummer, had filled in for Jack on three occasions in 2014 & 2015. He agreed to take the plunge & become an Illbilly on September 12, 2015.

Immensely skilled in the percussional arts, photogenic and imbued with a weirdly wonderful sense of humor, Forrest was absolutely the drummer the Illbillys needed!
An excellent representation of the Illbillys' Forrest Era is their performance at Henry & Anne Cantrell's wedding on April 17, 2016.

A video of their performance of "Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson" was blessedly recorded at this event: Click here to view!

The Forrest Administration continued until August of 2016. Though no longer with the band, Forrest still occasionally fills in when the Illbillys are otherwise drummerless.
The Illbillys were graced with their present-and-forever drummer, Ian Browning, in September of 2016. Ian teaches drums and piano professionally, and plays all the Illbillys' intruments better than any of them, except for Chris Vasi, whom it is scientifically impossible to play guitar better than.

Here we see Ian preparing for his first gig with the Illbillys at the 28th Annual Magnificent Midlothian Food Festival on October 5, 2016, by aggressively displaying the wristband which allows him to have some of that magnificent food.
...and speaking of drummers, Scott Milstead has served as replacement Illbilly drummer on several occasions. A founding member of Carbon Leaf, Scott met JB whilst drumming for The Venture Rays, and also drummed behind the lead Illbilly in The Significant Others. Drummers do not get any more drummery than Scott.

Here we see the enScotted Illbillys at Hallsley's Pool in Chesterfield, VA on May 25, 2018.
The Illbillys in their ultimate, most powerful form (yes that's Ian hiding behind the cymbal). Castleburg Brewery in Richmond VA, August of 2019.
Proving that the only Illbilly to be at least temporarily irreplaceable is JB, Matt Martin has played bass on a few occasions when Peter has been in prison and/or otherwise occupied. Matt plays with several other bands, including Blues Flash and Zach Angel and the Steel Tips.

The Mattified Illbillys at a house party in Chesterfield, VA on November 19, 2022. This is the only case in history in which JB has been the tallest Illbilly.