Search Results for: jd crowe

Fairchild, Raymond


  • From Maggie Valley, North Carolina.
  • Called “King of the Smoky Mountain Banjo.”
  • Born on an Indian reservation in Cherokee, North Carolina.
  • Performs regularly at the Maggie Valley Opry House—a local country music performing arts center.
  • Known for his speed on the banjo. In his words, “The older I get, the faster I get.”
  • Known for his deadpan demeanor on stage—he rarely ever smiles. But friends say he does have a keen sense of humor. He just takes his work very seriously.
  • Once received six standing ovations (in one appearance) at the Grand Ole Opry.
  • 1967-1975, performed with the Maggie Valley Boys.
  • 1975-1991, worked with the Crowe Brothers (who started with the Maggie Valley Boys, then in 1978 changed the name to Raymond Fairchild and the Crowe Brothers.)
  • Formed the new Maggie Valley Boys, including his son Zane on guitar.
  • Designed the Cox/Fairchild banjo for the Cox banjo company.
  • 2017, lent his name (and family recipe) to a line of flavored moonshine whiskeys called “Raymond Fairchild White Lightning,” now legally produced by the Elevated Mountain Distillery in Maggie Valley, North Carolina.
  • 2019, died at the age of 80.


Webb, Darrell


  • From Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • 1993, began his pro career at age 19 playing mandolin with the Lonesome River Band (replacing Dan Tyminski).
  • 1997, joined J.D. Crowe and the New South.
  • 1999, released first solo project “Webbsite.”
  • 2000, joined a group called New Reflections, then returned to work a second time with J.D. Crowe’s New South.
  • 2001, formed a new band called Wildfire with New South bandmates Phil Leadbetter, Robert Hale and Barry Crabtree.
  • 2003, performed on Dolly Parton’s “Halos and Horns” project.
  • 2005, released solo project Behind the Scenes (Lonesome Day).
  • 2007, joined Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, playing guitar (replaced Josh Williams).
  • 2008, joined Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, playing guitar.
  • 2009, formed The Darrell Webb Band.
  • 2010, released Bloodline album (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2012, released Breaking Down the Barriers album (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2013, was an original member of the group Sideline.
  • 2014, joined a part-time band called Mountain Jacks, the pre-show band for the Lumberjack Feud dinner theatre in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee four nights a week.
  • 2014, released Dream Big album (Mountain Fever) with several guest artists celebrating his 20th year as a professional musician.
  • 2014, left Sideline. His Darrell Webb band became regulars at the Ole Smokey Distillery in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
  • 2017, released Lovers Leap album (Mountain Fever).
  • 2018, disbanded his Darrell Webb band to pursue a solo career.
  • 2018, teamed up with Barry Abernathy (banjo) to form a new band called Appalachian Road Show.

Rice, Tony


  • From Danville, Virginia. Grew up in southern California, near L.A.
  • Considered one of the greatest flatpick guitar players of all time. Until he lost his voice in the 1990’s, he was also considered one of bluegrass music’s top lead singers.
  • Main influence: Clarence White whom he met in 1963. (Tony owns Clarence’s Martin D-28).
  • 1970, left California to join the Louisville-based Bluegrass Alliance.
  • 1971, joined his brother Larry in J.D. Crowe’s band, The Kentucky Mountain Boys (later re-named The New South). While with this band, he recorded one of the most important bluegrass albums of all time: J.D. Crowe & The New South (1973, Rounder).
  • 1975, joined the The David Grisman Quintet, playing jazz-oriented “Dawg Music.”
  • 1977, released Tony Rice album (Rounder).
  • 1978, released Guitar album (Rebel).
  • 1978, released landmark Manzanita album (Rounder), the first bluegrass album without a banjo.
  • 1980, recorded a classic album of duets with Ricky Skaggs Skaggs & Rice: The Essential Old-Time Country Duet Recordings (Sugar Hill).
  • 1981, arranged the first Bluegrass Album Band recording with friends Doyle Lawson, J.D. Crowe, Bobby Hicks, and Todd Phillips. The album sold so well, five more were recorded and the ensemble won the IBMA award for Instrumental Group of the Year (1990).
  • 1983, released Church Street Blues album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1984, released Cold On The Shoulder album (Rounder).
  • 1985, formed his own band, The Tony Rice Unit.
  • 1987, released and album of duets with guitarist Norman Blake Blake & Rice (Rounder). This was followed up with Blake & Rice 2 (1990, Rounder).
  • 1988, released Me & My Guitar album (Rounder).
  • 1993, his home in Florida was destroyed in a hurricane. His guitar was underwater for three hours, but Tony dried it out very slowly and reported that “it sounds better than ever.”
  • 1993, participated in a recording session at David Grisman’s Dawg Studios in Berkeley, California with Grisman and Jerry Garcia. The recordings were later released as The Pizza Tapes (Acoustic Disk).
  • 1994, developed voice problems, a malady called Muscle Tension Dysphonia and was forced to curtail his singing.
  • 1995, the Tony Rice Unit won the IBMA award for Instrumental Group of the Year.
  • 1996, released Tony Rice Sings Gordon Lightfoot album (Rounder), his last featuring vocals.
  • His hobbies: photography and collecting/repairing old watches.
  • 1997, 2000, recorded and performed with brother Larry, Chris Hillman and Herb Pederson as Out of the Woodwork and also as Rice, Rice, Hillman and Pederson.
  • 1998, released Native American album (Rounder).
  • 1998, released Tony Rice Plays And Sings Bluegrass album (Rounder).
  • 2000, released The Bluegrass Guitar Collection album (Rounder).
  • 2001, began performing and recording with Peter Rowan. Released Quartet album (Rounder) and You Were There for Me album (Rounder).
  • 2007, won his fifth IBMA award for Guitar Player of the Year (also won in 1990, 1991, 1994 and 1997).
  • 2008, worked dates with Mountain Heart.
  • 2010, his biography Still Inside: The Tony Rice Story was was published, co-authored by Tim Stafford and Caroline Wright.
  • 2011, released Hartford-Rice-Clements album (Small Dog a-Barkin’) with John Hartford and Vassar Clements. This album was recorded in John Hartford’s home in 1988 but was not released until 2011.
  • 2013, was inducted into the IBMA’s Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. His memorable acceptance speech included a seemingly miraculous recovery of his voice.
  • 2020, died on Christmas day at the age of 69.

McCall, Dwight


  • From Cincinnati, Ohio (born in Maryland).
  • Began playing mandolin as a teenager.
  • First pro job: Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass.
  • 1992-1995, had a band called Union Springs.
  • 1995, worked with Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen.
  • 1996, joined J. D. Crowe and the New South.
  • 1999, released first solo project “Kentucky Peace of Mind” (no label).
  • 2007, released Never Say Never Again album (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2012, formed American Drive with other former members of J.D. Crowe and the New South (after Crowe retired).



  • From Tennessee/Kentucky.
  • Formed in 2015 as a 20-year reunion of the version of J.D. Crowe and his New South band that recorded the album “Flashback.” The group included Crowe, Richard Bennett (guitar), Don Rigsby (mandolin), Curt Chapman (banjo) and Phil Leadbetter (Dobro™).
  • After Crowe retired in 2016, the band continued to perform together under the name Flashback, with Stuart Wyrick joining them on banjo.
  • 2017, released album Foxhounds and Fiddles (Pinecastle).
  • 2017, Leadbetter retired from the group to take care of his health and to pursue a career in real estate.

Crowe Brothers, The


  • From Nebo, North Carolina. They are originally from Clayton, Georgia.
  • Featured brothers Wallace (guitar) and Wayne (bass). They both go by their middle names (James Wallace and John Wayne). Wallace is also known as Josh.
  • Early 1970’s, performed as the Blue Ridge Mountain Boys.
  • 1975-1991, worked with legendary banjo player Raymond Fairchild, known as “King of the Smoky Mountain Banjo.”
  • 1981, released “The Crowe Brothers Sing ‘Always True'” album (Skyline).
  • 1984, released “The Gospel Way” album (Skyline).
  • 1985, released “The Winds Are Blowing in Maggie Valley” album (Atteiram).
  • 1988, released “Jesus is Coming” album (Atteiram).
  • 1989, released “I Knew It Wasn’t You” album (Atteiram).
  • 1990, formed their own band, The Crowe Brothers.
  • 1993, Wayne retired from music and Josh formed a duo with David McLaughlin (formerly with the Johnson Mountain Boys). They released one album Going Back (Rounder).
  • 1999, released “Regenesis” album (Copper Creek).
  • 2004, Josh formed the Josh Crowe Band and released “Sincerely” album (Pinecastle).
  • 2005, began performing together again.
  • 2008, released Brothers-N-Harmony (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2011, released Bridging The Gap album (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2014, released Forty Years Old album (Mountain Fever) commemorating their 40 years in the music business.

Crowe, J.D. (and the New South)


  • From Lexington, Kentucky.
  • 1955, began his career as a member of Mac Wiseman’s band.
  • 1956, joined Jimmy Martin’s band, The Sunny Mountain Boys and established himself as one of the top banjo players in the world
  • 1966, formed his own group The Kentucky Mountain Boys which included Doyle Lawson and Larry Rice. Red Allen joined in 1968.
  • 1971, changed band name to The New South. Early band included Tony Rice, Larry Rice and Bobby Slone. Doyle Lawson replaced Larry Rice (after a short stint with Jimmy Martin), and Lawson was later replaced by Ricky Skaggs.
  • Other New South alumni: Jerry Douglas, Keith Whitley, Jimmy Gaudreau, Paul Adkins, Wendy Miller, Gene Johnson (of Diamond Rio), Tony King (of Brooks and Dunn), Phil Leadbetter, Rick Pardue, many others.
  • Was also a member of the legendary Bluegrass Album Band (with Doyle Lawson, Tony Rice, Jerry Douglas, Bobby Hicks and Todd Phillips).
  • 1990, retired from music (became a mail carrier) but returned in 1992 with a new version of The New South.
  • 2000, his band members left en masse (with Crowe’s blessing) to form a new group called Wildfire.
  • 2003, was inducted into the IBMA’s Hall of Fame.
  • 1994, 2004, won IBMA Award for Banjo Player of the Year.
  • 2004, was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame.
  • 2007, won IBMA award for Album of the Year (“Lefty’s Old Guitar”)
  • 2011, won the IBMA Award for “Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year” and “Recorded Event of the Year” (both for “Prayers Bells of Heaven” by J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson and Paul Williams)
  • 2012, retired again (this time for good) and disbanded The New South, most of whom formed a new band called American Drive.
  • 2012, his biography was published by the University of Illinois press titled Crowe on the Banjo: The Music Life of J.D. Crowe written by Marty Godbey.
  • 2012, was presented with an honorary doctorate degree by the University of Kentucky.
  • He was a long-time member of the IBMA’s Trust Fund Board of Directors.
  • 2021, died at the age of 84 on Christmas Eve.



Blackwell, Curtis (and the Dixie Bluegrass Boys)


  • From Long Creek, South Carolina.
  • Formed in 1960 when seventeen-year-old guitarist/singer Curtis Blackwell with his brother Haskell (bass) and Junior Crowe (banjo; father of The Crowe Brothers). They won a talent competition sponsored by WNEG in Toccoa, Georgia. The prize was a performance on The Grand Ole Opry.
  • 1964, band included Sam Cobb (bass) Larry Jefferson (mandolin), Martin Beckman (guitar), Al Osteen (banjo), and Randall Collins (fiddle).
  • 1965, won first place at Asheville’s Bascom Lamar Lunsford’s Mountain Dance and Folk Festival.
  • 1970, won first place in the band contest at Union Grove Fiddler’s Convention.
  • During the mid 70’s, Curtis Blackwell and the Dixie Bluegrass Boys regrouped with South Carolina fiddler Verner Foster joining the band and Curtis’s son Terry Blackwell (mandolin) and Tom Roach (banjo). Wallace Crowe of the Crowe Brothers also worked with them on occasion.
  • 2010 lineup: Curtis Blackwell (guitar), Sam Cobb (bass), Vic Blackwell (mandolin), Charles Wood (banjo), and Chuck Nation (fiddle).

Bluegrass Album Band, The


American Drive


  • From Ohio/Eastern Kentucky area.
  • Formed in 2012 by former members of J.D.Crowe’s band “The New South” (after Crowe retired.)
  • Original members: Ricky Wasson (guitar), Dwight McCall (mandolin), Matt DeSpain (Dobro™), Justin Jenkins (banjo) and Kyle Perkins (bass).
  • 2012, released first album American Drive (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2013, Wasson and Jenkins left the band and were replaced by Adam McIntosh (guitar) and Shayne Bartley (banjo). Dwight McCall assumed leadership of the band.
  • 2015, disbanded.