Ekstein, Rudi


  • From Asheville, NC. He was born in Kansas and lived most of his life in southern California (Los Angeles).
  • The son of Austian immigrants, his surname Ekstein is translated “Cornerstone” in English.
  • 1970’s, began learning all the bluegrass instruments: banjo, mandolin, guitar, and later, upright bass and Dobro™. Played in several southern California bands with good friend and banjo player Billy Constable.
  • 1987, recorded, engineered and produced his first band project featuring his band Foxfire.
  • 1990, founded Foxfire Recording studio in Van Nuys, Calif. where he produced and/or engineered numerous albums for such labels as CMH, Rounder, and Sugar Hill. Artists recorded included Tony Rice, Larry Rice, Chris Hillman, the Laurel Canyon Ramblers, Steve Spurgin, Josh Graves, David Grisman, Gabe Witcher, Richard Greene, Bill Keith, David Grier, Dennis Caplinger, Gene Libbea, Leroy Mack, Patrick Sauber, Herb Pedersen, Bill Bryson, and many others. He was also producer and artist on several albums in the CMH “Pickin’ On” series.
  • 1990, played mandolin with the LA-based band Liberty. They recorded one album “Cornerstone” that was released in 1995.
  • 2004-2006 played with the southern California band Silverado.
  • 2009, moved to Asheville, NC to play with old friend Billy Constable and build a new recording studio.
  • 2012-2015, worked with the Bobby Hicks band and Blue Wheel Drive.
  • 2015, produced an album for Blue Wheel Drive called Hard Driving Bluegrass (Foxfire).
  • 2018, released a solo project Carolina Chimes (Foxfire) featuring his original instrumentals with supporting musicians Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Mark Schatz (bass), Jeff Autry (guitar), Patrick Sauber (banjo) and others.