Category: J

Jackson, Carl

CARL JACKSON

  • From Philadelphia, Mississippi. Lives in Nashville.
  • Best known for his virtuosity on banjo and guitar, he is also a very successful vocalist, songwriter and record producer.
  • First band: The Country Partners” with his father Lee Jackson, his Uncle Pete and Uncle Sock.
  • 1967, began his professional musical career at age 14, playing banjo with Jim and Jesse.
  • 1971, joined the Sullivan Family gospel group.
  • 1972, moved to Columbus, Ohio to form The Country Store with Keith Whitley and Jimmy Gaudreau.
  • 1973-1985, worked with Glen Campbell, replacing Larry McNeeley on Campbell’s TV show. He was billed as “The Greatest Banjo Player in the World” in Campbell’s live shows.
  • 1973, released Carl Jackson: Banjo Player album (Capitol).
  • 1980, released Banjo Man: A Tribute to Earl Scruggs album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1980, released Songs Of The South album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1983, released Banjo Hits ablum (Sugar Hill).
  • 1990, won IBMA Award for Song of the Year for his composition, “Little Mountain Church House.
  • 1991, released Spring Training album (Sugar Hill), a collaboration with former Seldom Scene vocalist John Starling and Emmy Lou Harris’ band, The Nash Ramblers.
  • 1992, won the Grammy Award for best bluegrass album (for Spring Training).
  • 2004, won IBMA award for Recorded Event of the Year as producer of “Livin’ Lovin’ Losin: the Songs of the Louvin Brothers.” This album also won Carl a second Grammy Award the same year.
  • As a songwriter, he has written dozens of hit songs for other artists including “Against the Grain” (Garth Brooks), “Real Ladies Man” (Vince Gill) and “Letter to Home” (Glen Campbell). His songs have sold more than 40 million records.
  • He is a collector of baseball memorabilia, cars (like his 1957 Ford T-Bird given to him by Glen Campbell) and claims to be the “biggest Ole Miss Rebel fan in the world.”
  • 2003, won a Grammy Award for the album Livin’, Lovin’, Losin’: Songs of the Louvin Brothers (Universal), which he produced.
  • 2006, inducted into the Mississippi Music Hall of Fame.
  • 2013, released Grace Notes (Voxhall), a guitar instrumental album featuring guitars from his personal collection.
  • 2015, produced Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited album (Sony Legacy), a tribute to the “Big Bang” of Country Music.

Jarosz, Sara

SARA JAROSZ

  • From Wimberley, Texas (near Austin).
  • Began singing at two, playing piano at six, took up the mandolin at ten. She also plays plays clawhammer banjo and guitar.
  • 2009, released first solo project Song Up In Her Head (Sugar Hill) at age 18.
  • 2010, enrolled at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.
  • 2011, released Follow Me Down album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2014, released Build Me Up From Bones album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2016, released Undercurrent album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2017, won two Grammy Awards, one in the Best Folk Album category for Undercurrent album (Sugar Hill) and another in the Best American Roots Performance category for “House of Mercy” from the same album.
  • 2017, began touring and recording with Sara Watkins and Aoife O’Donovan as “I’m With Her.”

Jeff and Vida

JEFF AND VIDA

  • From Nashville (by way of New York City and New Orleans).
  • 1997, Jeff Burke (mandolin) and Vida Wakeman (guitar) met in New York City.
  • 1999, after attending MerleFest (and getting hooked on the music) they moved to New Orleans.
  • 2001, began performing together full-time.
  • 2003, released The Simplest Plans album (Binky).
  • Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, they relocated to Nashville.
  • 2009, released fourth album Selma Chalk (Rosebank).

Jenkins, Snuffy

DEWITT “SNUFFY” JENKINS

  • Born 1908 in Harris, North Carolina.
  • He is credited as being the first country musician to play banjo using the three-finger style which was later refined and popularized by Earl Scruggs.
  • A humble man, he never wanted credit for inventing the style. Said he didn’t know where it came from—but admits he was probably the first to play banjo that way on the radio.
  • First band to have a three-finger style banjo: The Jenkins String Band.
  • 1936, worked with J.E. Mainer’s Mountaineers.
  • 1939, teamed up with fiddler Homer “Pappy” Sherrill and formed the WIS Hillbillies.
  • 1948, formed The Hired Hands, a band name that he kept going until his death in 1990.
  • 1960, he semi-retired from music and worked as a car salesman.

RECOMMENDED ALBUMS:

Jerusalem Ridge

JERUSALEM RIDGE

  • From Edmonton, Alberta (Canada).
  • Formed in 1989, they were once known as “The Undisputed Western Canadian Champions of Bluegrass.”
  • 1991, released “North Wind” album (no label).
  • 1993, released “Looking Back” album (no label).
  • 1994, released “Make a Joyful Noise” album (no label).
  • 1998, released “How Far is Heaven?” album (Koch).
  • 1999, released Beyond the Ridge album (no label).
  • 2001, released “Together” album (no label) featuring LeRoy Mack on Dobro™.
  • 2007, released New Jerusalem album (no label).

Jett’s Creek

JETT’S CREEK

  • From Lebanon, Ohio.
  • A family band featuring Adam McIntosh (guitar) and his sister Angie Young (vocals) and their father Jon McIntosh (guitar). Other members of the band (at various times): Brad Jessmer (banjo), Tim Hale (banjo), Pearl Bradley (mandolin), Wayne Haddock (mandolin) and Jeff Byrd (bass).
  • Adam McIntosh is also a member of Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, playing guitar. He is a former member of the Dry Branch Fire Squad.
  • 2008, released “Supposed to Be” album.
  • 2010, released Guilty album (no label).
  • 2013, released The Wait Is Over album (Mountain Fever).
  • 2015, banjo played Tim Hale died, as did former mandolin player Pearl Bradley.

Jewell, Ebby and the Bluegrass Kinsmen

EBBY JEWELL AND THE BLUEGRASS KINSMEN

    • From Rosedale, Virginia.
    • Formed in 1971 by brothers Shelby and Ebby Jewell and distant cousins Ervin Mullins, James Cole and Claude Mitchell. Since they were related, they called themselves the Bluegrass Kinsmen.
    • Wayne Taylor (Blue Highway), Billy Baker, Darrell Webb, and Robert Hale are former members of this band.
    • 2011, Shelby retired from the band due to health problems. Ebby and his wife Jewell took over leadership of the band.
    • Ebby has also worked with Fisher and Company and filled in on banjo and mandolin with IIIrd Tyme Out, The Country Gentlemen and James King. He also teaches bluegrass music at the Southwest Virginia Community College.
    • 2008, Ebby received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tazewell County (Virginia) Fiddlers’ Convention.
    • 2014, released their fifth album “Renewal.”

JigJam

JIGJAM

  • From Central Ireland (Tullamore, which is about halfway between Dublin on the east coast and Galway on the west coast).
  • Formed in 2013 by Jamie Keogh (guitar/tenor banjo), Daithi Nelia (5-string banjo/guitar), Cathal Guinan (bass/fiddle), Gavin Strappe (mandolin/tenor banjo).
  • They call their music I-Grass (short for Irish Bluegrass).
  • 2014, released first album “Oh Boy” (no label).
  • 2016, released “Hello World” album (no label).
  • 2017, released “Live in Tullamore” album (no label).
  • 2019, released “Phoenix” album (no label).

Jim and Jesse

JIM AND JESSE (AND THE VIRGINIA BOYS)

  • From Coeburn, Virginia.
  • They recorded more than 50 albums for Capitol, Columbia, Epic, Kentucky, CMH, Rounder, Opryland Old Dominion, Pinecastle.
  • First public appearance: 1941 in St. Paul, Virginia (an amateur talent contest).
  • First influence: grandfather Charlie McReynolds, a fiddler and member of the Bull Mountain Moonshiners.
  • They were heavily influenced by the Delmore Brothers.
  • First band: the Cumberland Mountain Boys (1947-1948).
  • First radio show: on WNVA in Norton, VA (1947).
  • First recording: a collection of Gospel songs with their 1950 group, The Virginia Trio (which eventually became The Virginia Boys.)
  • 1952, recorded for Capitol in the historic Tulane Hotel in Nashville. The Virginia Boys included Sonny James on fiddle and Curley Seckler on guitar.
  • 1962, performed their first song on the Opry: “I’ll Never Love Anybody But You.” Jesse wrote the song as a joke (intended to be a rock and roll song) but it caught on and became a hit.
  • 1964, joined the Grand Ole Opry.
  • 1966-7, had their own syndicated TV show, sponsored by Martha White.
  • 1966, to expand their audience, they recorded an album of Chuck Berry songs called “Berry Pickin’ in the Country.” It flopped.
  • 1967, had their only “top 10” song on the country charts– “Diesel on My Tail.”
  • 1969, Jesse played mandolin on an album by The Doors.
  • Close friends with the Louvin Brothers. Jesse and Charlie Louvin were in the army together during the Korean war. 1982, Jim and Jesse recorded a trio album with Charlie.
  • Jesse has a trademark style of playing the mandolin which has become widely known as “McReynolds-style mandolin.” It is a distinctive cross-picking style which Jesse developed while trying to make his mandolin emulate the sound of the bluegrass-style banjo.
  • 1993, they were inducted into the IBMA’s Hall of Fame.
  • They were also inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame’s “Walkway of Stars,” the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame, and Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Hall of Fame.
  • 1996, Jesse McReynolds married Joy Tipton.
  • March 29, 1997, celebrated 50 years in music with a celebration at the Grand Ole Opry House.
  • September, 1997, received a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship award from First Lady Hillary Clinton at the White House.
  • 1998, Jesse’s grandson Luke McKnight joined the Virginia Boys.
  • 2002, Jim McReynolds died of cancer on New Year’s Eve at the age of 75.
  • 2003, Jesse re-organized the Virginia Boys with Charles Whitstein singing his brother’s parts. Bobby Hicks also joined the band, playing fiddle.
  • 2004, Jesse released A Tribute to Brother Duets with Charles Whitstein (Pinecastle).
  • 2007, Jesse released Bending the Rules album (OMS).
  • 2008, Jesse began hosting a weekly radio show from his family farm and music theatre (The Pick Inn) on WHIN, Gallatin, Tennessee.
  • 2010, Jesse released Jesse McReynolds and Friends: Songs of the Grateful Dead album (Woodstock).
  • 2018, Jesse was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Glenville (West Virginia) State College.
  • 2019, Jesse released Jesse McReynolds and Friends: Play the Bull Mountain Moonshiner’s Way (Pinecastle) at age 90.

Johnson, Billie Renee’

BILLIE RENEE’ JOHNSON

  • From Mt. Sterling, Kentucky.
  • She grew up singing with her family gospel group.
  • 1996, graduated from college with a degree in criminology.
  • 1997, formed her own band Billie Renee’ and Cumberland Gap.
  • 2006, won the band competition at SPBGMA.
  • 2017, released Songs from the Heart album (Truegrass).

Johnson, Bob

BOB JOHNSON

  • From Chattanooga, Tennessee.
  • An innovative banjo player who recorded two popular banjo albums in the 1960’s: “Twelve Shades of Bluegrass” (Parkway) and “New Sounds in Bluegrass: Bluegrass Banjo with Strings” (MGM).
  • 1958, worked briefly with Bill Monroe.
  • 1959-1960, worked with Walter Forbes and the Lonesome Travelers, making frequent guest appearances on the Grand Old Opry. Norman Blake was also in that band.
  • During the 60’s, he was an A-list studio musician, playing banjo on such hits as the Statler Brothers “Flowers on the Wall.”
  • Retired from music in 1967.

Johnson Mountain Boys, The

THE JOHNSON MOUNTAIN BOYS

  • From Washington, D.C. area (Gaithersburg, Maryland).
  • Formed in 1975 as a duet featuring Dudley Connell on banjo and Ron Welch on guitar. Connell eventually switched to guitar and added other musicians to form a full bluegrass band: Ed D’Zmura (guitar, mandolin), Eddie Stubbs (fiddle), Richard Underwood (banjo), Larry Robbins (bass). Over the years, the band also included David McLaughlin (mandolin), Tom Adams (banjo) and Marshall Wilborn (bass).
  • There is no such place as Johnson Mountain. Connell originally named the band The Johnson Boys because it just sounded good, but later added “Mountain” because he discovered a folk group already had the Johnson Boys name.
  • While they were together, they performed in some of the nation’s most prestigious venues: Madison Square Garden, The White House, the Lincoln Center and the Grand Ole Opry. Also toured England, Japan, and Africa.
  • 1981, released “The Johnson Mountain Boys” album (Rounder).
  • 1982, released “Walls of Time” album (Rounder).
  • 1983, released Working Close album (Rounder).
  • 1983, released Live At the Birchmere album (Rounder).
  • 1985, released “We’ll Still Sing On” album (Rounder).
  • 1987, released Let the Whole World Talk album (Rounder).
  • 1987, released Favorites album (Rounder).
  • 1988, released Requests album (Rounder).
  • 1988, broke up and recorded a “final” performance in Lucketts, VA, released as At the Old School House (Rounder). But after doing several reunion shows, the group decided to re-emerge as a part-time band in 1991.
  • 1994, released Blue Diamond album (Rounder).
  • 1994, broke up for good.
  • Connell (guitar) took a job with the Smithsonian Institution as director of the Folkways Record Collection. In 1995 he joined the Seldom Scene as guitarist and lead singer. He was also a member of Longview.
  • Eddie Stubbs (fiddle) moved to Nashville in 1995 where he took a job as fiddle player with Johnny Wright and Kitty Wells, and also became a DJ and Grand Ole Opry announcer on WSM-AM. He won the CMA award for Broadcast Personality of the Year in 2002. He has also won that award twice from the IBMA (1996, 2002).
  • David McLaughlin (mandolin) formed a duo with Josh Crowe and has worked with several other bands.
  • Tom Adams (banjo) went on to work with the Lynn Morris Band, Blue Highway, Rhonda Vincent, Dale Ann Bradley, Bill Emerson and other bands.

Johnson, David

DAVID JOHNSON

  • From Purlear, North Carolina.
  • A multi-instrumentalist and studio musician who performs primarily gospel music.
  • 1981, formed a band called Dixie Dawn.
  • 1996, released solo project “Wooden Offerings.”
  • 1997, released solo project “Praises, Promises and Prayers.” He played all the instruments on both of his solo albums.
  • 1999, won award for “Studio Musician of the Year” from the Southern Gospel Music Association.

Johnson, Mark

MARK JOHNSON

  • From Garrison, New York. Lives in Crystal River, Florida.
  • Plays clawhammer-style banjo.
  • Calls his music “Clawgrass” and also named his backup group (formed in 1996) Clawgrass.
  • Took up the banjo in 1971, learned from fiddler Jay Unger (composer of “Ashokan Farewell”).
  • Works for Florida Power Authority at its Crystal River Facility. While working there, he met Larry Rice and his brothers Tony, Ronnie and Wyatt. In 1993, they recorded an album together at Tony’s home.
  • 1997, released Bridging the Gap album (Pinecastle).
  • 1999, formed a duo with mandolinist Emory Lester.
  • 2002, released Acoustic Campaign album with Emory Lester (Bangtown).
  • 2006, released Acoustic Rising album with Emory Lester (Mountain Home).
  • 2012, released Acoustic Vision album with Emory Lester (no label).
  • 2012, won the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass and appeared with Steve on Late Night with David Letterman (CBS).

Johnson, Merl

MERL JOHNSON

  • From Woodbridge, Virginia. Lives in Asheville, North Carolina.
  • Plays all the bluegrass instruments but is best known as a mandolin/fiddle player with Travers Chandler & Avery County.
  • First performed on the radio at age 6.
  • Has worked with such artists as Dave Evans, James King, Frank Wakefield, Charlie Waller, the Stoneman Sisters, Gillis Brothers, Junior Sisk, Don Stover, Joe Meadows, Bobby Hicks, Buzz Busby and Bill Harrell.
  • 2012, released solo album A Better Man on Patuxent Records.

Jones, Al

AL JONES (AND THE SPRUCE MOUNTAIN BOYS)

  • From the Washington D.C. area.
  • Since the 1960’s played guitar and sang in a band with banjo player Frank Necessary as “Al Jones, Frank Necessary and the Spruce Mountain Boys.” They recorded several albums for Rounder, Old Homestead Records. Necessary died in 2011.
  • 1987, released “Frank Necessary, Al Jones and Buzz Busby” on Old Homestead Records.
  • 2014, released Hard Core Bluegrass album (Mountain Fever) at the age of 81.

Jones, Chris

CHRIS JONES (AND THE NIGHT DRIVERS)

  • From Pomona, New York (near Buffalo). Lives in Franklin, Tennessee.
  • During his teen years, played oboe in the school orchestra.
  • Formed first bluegrass group at age 18 called Horse Country (in New York).
  • Has been a member of The Special Consensus (1981), Weary Hearts, The Lynn Morris Band and The Vassar Clements Band. He also worked with the McCarter Sisters, a country act.
  • He and Ron Block (of Union Station, and a former bandmate in Weary Hearts) are married to sisters from Canada.
  • Because he sings in a lower range, his music has been called “the low lonesome sound.”
  • His wife Sally also performs with her own band, the Sidewinders.
  • 1995, formed his band the Night Drivers, named for the night driving bluegrass bands typically do to get from one gig to another.
  • 1995, released Blinded by the Rose album (Strictly Country).
  • 1997, released No One But You album (Rebel).
  • 1998, released Follow Your Heart album (Rebel)
  • 2000, broke his collarbone in a traffic accident in Canada.
  • 2001, released Just a Drifter album (Rebel).
  • 2001, became a full-time announcer for Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s bluegrass music channel. He had previously hosted a bluegrass radio program in Franklin, Tennessee.
  • 2002, released A Few Words album (Rebel).
  • 2003, toured with the Chieftains and formed a new band called the Chris Jones Coalition with Jeremy and Glen Garrett (formerly of the Grasshoppers).
  • 2005, changed his band name back to Chris Jones & the Night Drivers.
  • 2007, won the IBMA award for Broadcast Personality of the Year as well as the IBMA award for Song of the Year (for “Fork in the Road” which he co-write with John Pennell and was recorded by the Infamous Stringdusters.)
  • 2009, released Cloud of Dust album (GSM).
  • 2011, began writing a regular column for Bluegrass Today (online news journal).
  • 2012, released Lost Souls & Free Spirits album (Rebel).
  • 2013, released Lonely Comes Easy album (Rebel).
  • 2014, released Live At the Old Feed Store album (GSM).
  • 2014, won IBMA Award for Print/Media Person of the Year (for his columns in Bluegrass Today).
  • 2015, released Run Away Tonight album (Mountain Home).
  • 2015, won IBMA Award for Broadcast Personality of the Year (for his work on Sirius/XM Radio).
  • 2017, released Made to Move album (Mountain Home)
  • 2019, released The Choosing Road album (Mountain Home).

Jones, Clay

CLAY JONES

  • From Mocksville, North Carolina (near Winston-Salem).
  • First public performance: at the Snuffy Jenkins Festival with a band called The Carolina Bluegrass Band
  • 1991, moved to Japan and worked there as a musician, playing everything from jazz to bluegrass.
  • 1992-1994, joined Lou Reid, Terry Baucom and Carolina as guitarist.
  • 1994-1996, took a two-year hiatus from touring.
  • 1995, played guitar on the “Bluegrass ’95” album which won the IBMA award for Instrumental Album of the Year in 1996.
  • 1996-98, worked with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder.
  • 1999, worked with the Gena Britt Band.
  • 2000, worked with the Schankman Twins.
  • 2003, joined Mountain Heart.
  • 2005, released solo project Mountain Tradition (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2007, left Mountain Heart to pursue solo projects, but rejoined the band 16 months later (December 2009)
  • 2015, after a hiatus from music, he recorded an EP album titled “Heritage Not Hate” with his band Clay Jones and Pure Drive.

Jones, Curtis

CURTIS JONES

  • From Dahlonega, Georgia.
  • “Known worldwide as the fastest acoustic guitarist alive.” (from his website). He also plays j
  • 1993, toured with the Schankman Twins.
  • 1995, toured with Bluegrass Etc.
  • He has released numerous solo albums including Blue As I (Pistol River) with guest musicians Shawn Lane, Tim Stafford, Missy Raines, Alison Brown, Dan Tyminski, Mike Compton, others.
  • He teaches music from his home in Georgia and performs as a solo artist as well as with various ensembles.

Jones, Sally

SALLY JONES (AND THE SIDEWINDERS)

  • From Alberta, Canada. Lives in Franklin, Tennessee.
  • After graduating from Trinity Western University in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, she married Chris Jones, who was a member of The Weary Hearts at the time. Her sister Sandra married Ron Block, who was also a member of that band.
  • Has a graduate degree in English.
  • First musical job: a background singer for Marie Osmond.
  • 1994-1997, was a member of Petticoat Junction.
  • 1997, joined Harley Allen’s band.
  • 2000, recorded first solo project and formed her own band.

Jordan, Lorraine (and Carolina Road)

LORRAINE JORDAN (AND CAROLINA ROAD)

  • From Garner, North Carolina.
  • Plays mandolin with her band Carolina Road.
  • 2001, formed a talent agency with Steve Dilling (of Third Tyme Out) called Jordan/Dilling Entertainment.
  • Owns Lorraine’s Coffee House in Garner, North Carolina, featuring live bluegrass entertainment.
  • This Lorraine Jordan is NOT the popular Scottish singer/songwriter of the same name.
  • Recorded with The Daughters of Bluegrass, a multi-album project featuring women in bluegrass music.
  • 2002, released “Mandolin Rose” album (West Station).
  • 2005, released Road Trip for the Lord album (no label).
  • 2006, released A Stop In Southport Towne album (Blue Circle).
  • 2007, released Carolina Road album (Blue Circle).
  • 2008, released Why Don’t You Give Jesus a Try album (Blue Circle).
  • 2010, released “Ten Years of Hard Driving Bluegrass” album.
  • 2010, released Carolina Hurricane album (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2013, released Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road album (Pinecastle).
  • 2015, released Country Grass album (Pinecastle) featuring guest appearances by Crystal Gayle, Lee Greenwood, Jim Ed Brown, Lynn Anderson, the Kentucky Headhunters, T.G. Sheppard, Eddy Raven and John Conlee.
  • 2018, released True Grass Again album (Pinecastle).

Jordan, Tresa

TRESA JORDAN

  • From Melrose, Florida (central Florida).
  • Moved to Nashville at age 19 to pursue a career in country music, her career was put on hold when she married and had children. Seven years later, after her divorce, she re-married and resumed her singing career.
  • 2006, won a Momentum Award for Country Artist of the Year from Indiehaven.com (a popular Christian music music web community).

Jordan, Vic

VIC JORDAN

  • From Washington, D.C.
  • 1962, played banjo with a group called the Delta Ramblers in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
  • 1964, moved to Nashville and worked with Jimmy Martin as well as Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper.
  • 1967, joined Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys.
  • 1969, joined Lester Flatt’s Nashville Grass. He was the first banjo player to work full time with Flatt after Earl Scruggs.
  • 1971, joined Jim and Jesse.
  • As a Nashville session musician, he worked with Dolly Parton, Hank Williams Jr., the Oak Ridge Boys, Jerry Reed, Loretta Lynn and many others. He played banjo on movie soundtracks for “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and “Smoky and the Bandit.”
  • 1973, released “Pickaway” album (Atteiram). His composition “Pickaway” was popularized by Mike Auldridge as a Dobro™ instrumental. It was named after a small town in West Virginia. Vic was driving Lester Flatt’s bus one night and Roland White spotted the “Pickaway, West Virginia” sign at three in the morning and suggested it to Vic as the name of his new banjo tune.
  • 1978, released “Banjo Nashville” album (Sugar Hill)
  • 1981, released “Greatest Christmas Songs of our Land” album (Power Pak).
  • 1990-91, had his own band, Old Hickory.
  • 1992, worked in the “Hee Haw” TV show band.
  • 1995, worked with Wayne Newton in Las Vegas and Branson, Missouri.
  • 1996, returned to Nashville to do session work.
  • 2013, was presented with the IBMA’s Distinguished Achievement Award.
  • 2016, died at the age of 77.

Jorgenson, John

JOHN JORGENSON

  • From Redlands, California.
  • Began playing bass as a youngster, then gravitated to mandolin and guitar. He is well-known as one of the top guitarists in the world, and an authority on “Gypsy Jazz” music. He has worked with such artists as Earl Scruggs, Bonnie Raitt, Elton John, Bob Dylan and many others.
  • 1985, was a founding member of the Desert Rose Band.
  • 1990, 1991, won the Academy of Country Music Award for Guitarist of the Year.
  • 1990, formed The Hellecasters, an electric guitar band.
  • 1994-2000, worked with Elton John, touring and recording.
  • 2004, formed the John Jorgenson Quintet, performing gypsy-jazz music.
  • 2004, portrayed the legendary gypsy-jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt in the movie “Head in the Clouds” starring Charlize Theron and Penelope Cruz.
  • 2014, formed the John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band (or J2B2) with Herb Pederson (banjo), Jon Randall (guitar), and Mark Fain (bass). Jorgenson plays mandolin in the band.
  • 2015, released a three-CD set Divertuoso (Cleopatra), which included a disc featuring the John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band. That disc was later released as From the Crow’s Nest (Purple Pyramid). It was recorded at Sheryl Crow’s home studio.

Jutz, Thomm

THOMM JUTZ

  • From Buehl, Germany. Lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • He learned guitar as a teenager and began performing country music in Germany in various cover bands.
  • Studied classical guitar at the Stuttgart Conservatory of Music.
  • 2003, emigrated to the U.S. on a Diversity Immigrant Visa program.
  • After coming to Nashville, he worked with singer/songwriter Mary Gauthier and also with Nanci Griffith’s Blue Moon Orchestra, eventually producing an album for her. He has also worked with and produced albums for Bobby Bare, Maura O’Connell, David Olney, Kim Richey and others.
  • His songwriting credits include several bluegrass songs including “Around the Corner” (Terry Baucom & the Dukes of Drive) and “Carolina Wind” (Irene Kelley). He teaches a songwriting class at Belmont University.
  • 2011, released The 1861 Project: From Farmers to Foot Soldiers, a three-album project featuring original songs about the American Civil War.
  • 2016, with Peter Cooper, wrote and produced an album of songs about Mac Wiseman called Mac Wiseman: I Sang the Song (Mountain Fever).
  • 2016, released a duet album with Craig Market called Nowhere to Hide (no label).
  • 2017, released a bluegrass album of original songs called Crazy If You Let It (Mountain Fever).
  • 2020, released To Live in Two Worlds, Volume 1 album (Mountain Home).