- From Baltimore, Maryland.
- A mandolin player, record producer, and author of a best-selling mandolin instruction book (Bluegrass Mandolin, Oak Publications, 1976).
- First band: a Washington, D.C. group called “The Lonesome River Boys” (1968-1970).
- 1975, released a solo project “Back Road Mandolin” (Rounder).
- 1975 formed Tasty Licks (with Pat Enright and Bela Fleck) in Boston.
- 1982, founded the bluegrass music program at East Tennessee State University, which has produced many professional bluegrass musicians.
- 1999, released Bluegrass Sound album (Copper Creek) with guests Jerry Douglas, Tony Rice, Béla Fleck, Stuart Duncan, Ron Block, Ronnie and Del McCoury.
- Conducts seminars across the country on how to listen to bluegrass music.
- 2012, formed a band in Hawaii called Bluegrass Jack.