He started playing banjo as an undergraduate in Swarthmore College, where he led a band called the Crum Creek Valley Boys and Girl. After a hiatus devoted to raising his family and developing his academic career, he returned to the banjo and old-time music around twenty years ago, writing a monthly column entitled "Clinch Mountain Banjo" in Banjo NewsLetter (the columns were the source for his award-winning book, Traveling the High Way Home: Ralph Stanley and the World of Traditional Bluegrass Music); he has also written liner notes and articles on bluegrass music. He is host of a monthly radio program on WLUW Chicago.
His drop-thumb banjo style is largely self-taught; he has come up with a method of accompaniment which his friend Charlie Sizemore calls "playing rhythm and back-up at the same time." His song "Verdie Let Your Bangs Hang Down" was the last track on the last album of the late fiddler Curly Ray Cline.
Besides "Everything She Asks For," he has also recorded a Gospel cassette with the help of Charlie Sizemore and a CD with the help of Blankenship and fiddler James Price. Since 1997 he has been playing old-time music and touring with his wife, guitarist and singer Ellen Wright; the couple are now engaged in recording their first CD.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Everything She Asks For
2. Let's Talk For Awhile
3. Highway of Sorrow
4. Funny When You Feel That Way
5. Dirty Dishes
6. I Get So Cold
7. Too Old To Die Young
8. Brand New Tennessee Waltz
9. The Chikldren Are Crying
10. Gravel Road
11. No Hiding Place
12. Shall We Gather At The River