Ashby Frank (Nov. & Dec. Camps)
Ashby Frank grew up in central North Carolina in the small town of Tyro. By the age of 16 he had already won multiple mandolin contests in the region, including the prestigious championships at Merlefest and Galax. Now making his home in Nashville, Ashby has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe with artists such as Marty Raybon, Special Consensus, Ronnie Bowman, Dale Ann Bradley, Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, The Crowe Brothers, Mountain Heart The Lonesome River Band, The Earls of Leicester, and a band he cofounded, Mashville Brigade. When he’s off the road, Ashby is a sought after session musician, performance coach, and instructor. He teaches private lessons in Nashville and online, and has been a featured instructor at major camps and workshops in the US, Canada, and Europe. Several of his students have gone on to win State and National Championships. As a songwriter, Ashby has penned several #1 charting singles, and his song “The Story of the Day That I Died” (recorded by Junior Sisk and Rambler’s Choice) was nominated for “Song of the Year” at the International Bluegrass Music Awards.
Brandon Bostic (Nov. & Dec. Camps)
Playing guitar and singing harmony with Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike brought the Milton, Florida native to Nashville, Tennessee, in 2007. Since that time, Brandon has found himself working alongside some of bluegrass, country and Americana music’s top musicians and entertainers. Currently, Brandon can be seen performing with country music superstar and Grammy winner, Patty Loveless (with whom Brandon made his Grand Ole Opry debut in 2015); contemporary bluegrass favorites, Blue Moon Rising; Appalachian-American media personalities, The Darrell Brothers; and Nashville-based acoustic country “supergroup,” The Likely Culprits. In addition to his work as a touring musician, Brandon also produces, engineers, and performs on records for artists from all over the world.
Deanie Richardson (Nov. Camp)
Deanie has been a fiddler in Nashville and all over the world for the past 35 years. Her employers have included Patty Loveless, Vince Gill, the world renown Chieftains, Holly Dunn, and recently she had the honor of going out on Bob Seger's U.S tour. When she is not on the road she is teaching students of all ages, to play fiddle, mandolin, and guitar. Deanie grew up backstage at the Grand Ole Opry with the likes of Howdy Forrester, Roy Acuff and many of the bluegrass and country music greats. She continues to work there on rotation as house band fiddler. She is currently the fiddler for the Grammy nominated bandSister Sadie, labeled by critics as the ..." newest bluegrass supergroup...".
Don Julin (Nov. Camp)
Don Julin, author of the best selling "Mandolin For Dummies" (Wiley 2012) has developed a reputation for being one of the most eclectic mandolin players/teachers on the scene today. His original compositions have been used on many network and cable television programs along on NPR's All things Considered. Recent clients include HBO, VH1, MTV, NBC, Showtime, Bravo, National Geographic Explorer, Fox Sports, Hermann Miller Corp. Barmensen Labs, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, and filmmaker Michael Moore. Don has presented workshops and masterclasses at The Mandolin Symposium, Elderly Instruments, CMSA conventions, Weiser Fiddle Festival, Jim Richter's Mandolin Camp, Cesar Pollini Conservatory (Padova Italy), Midwest Mandolin Festival and others. He also maintains a steady schedule of private students via Skype.
Megan Lynch Chowning (Nov. & Dec. Camps)
Megan Lynch Chowning, originally from Redding, California, is a seven-time national fiddle champion, touring musician, recording artist, teacher, singer, and flatfooter. She recently finished a four year touring stint with legendary country music artists Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan, and has played with bluegrass stars Dale Ann Bradley, Roland White, Larry Cordle, Jim Hurst, Chris Jones, 3 Fox Drive, Due West, Chris Stuart, and BEML (the duo of Bill Evans and Megan). Megan has fiddled and sung on dozens of projects, and has recorded three albums in the last two years, included the critically acclaimed "Inside Out", with banjo virtuoso Adam Hurt. She has taught fiddle at prestigious camps such as Augusta Heritage Week, the British Columbia Bluegrass Workshop, Sore Fingers Bluegrass Week in the UK, and the California Bluegrass Association Camp, among many others. Megan has also judged the National Fiddle Championships three times, as well as many state championships throughout the country. She’s the co-director, with her husband Adam of all the Nashville Acoustic Camps. But sometimes she just likes to sit quietly and smell the flowers.
Wyatt Rice (Dec. Camp)
Fans of acoustic guitar music should be well acquainted with the name of Wyatt Rice. Wyatt was first spotlighted as an original member of the Tony Rice Unit where he played primarily rhythm guitar, although he had many opportunities for soloing as well. Wyatt has been featured on numerous recordings, videos, and has played countless gigs with the the Tony Rice Unit. He played lead and rhythm guitar with his own band “Wyatt Rice &Santa Cruz” and with The Ronnie Bowman Committee. Wyatt has recorded or performed with players such as David Grisman, JD Crowe, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Dan Tyminski, Alison Krauss, Bela Fleck, Rickie Simpkins, Ronnie Bowman, Lee Ann Womack, The Lonesome River Band, Sierra Hull, Ricky Skaggs, as well as his brothers Larry, Tony and Ronnie. Wyatt has recorded “Advanced Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar” (DVD) with Flatpicking Guitar Magazine and been featured on several of their special compilation CD’s.
Wyatt Rice was born in Long Beach California in 1965 but due to the need to move with the job, the Rice family was all over the country from Florida to California to Texas to Virginia, North Carolina, and places in between. Several members of the family played instruments and it was natural for the Rice brothers themselves to start playing. Thus, Wyatt found himself with a guitar in hand by age 6, playing “Little Brown Jug”. Although he kept up with guitar during his school years, Wyatt’s musical training included stints on alto saxophone, bassoon, and bass in the school marching band. By 10th grade, though, his attention was becoming firmly directed toward acoustic guitar, encouraged by older brother Tony’s developments in jazz-oriented Dawg and New Acoustic Music. When Tony recorded his landmark “Church Street Blues”
album, consisting of just voice and guitar, he flew Wyatt out to California to record a couple of tracks with him. From there on, Wyatt’s goal was to play guitar with Tony and, at age 17, he got his wish, moving from Florida to California to play on the “Backwaters” album.
When the Tony Rice Unit came together in 1984, it featured Wyatt Rice on rhythm guitar. That band made an indelible footprint in the world of acoustic music, giving Wyatt world-wide exposure as a rhythm and lead guitarist. During this time, Wyatt participated in numerous side projects, including recording his own CD for Rounder Records “New Market Gap” , as well as two projects with his brothers "The Rice Brothers". He toured and recorded on many projects with oldest brother Larry that also included a CD that's now out on Pinecatsle Records" Larry and Wyatt Rice"
The Tony Rice Unit took a short break in the mid- 90’s and Wyatt took the opportunity to develop some more of his own ideas. Wyatt formed a new band called "Wyatt Rice & Santa Cruz". They toured and recorded a classic bluegrass CD for Rounder Records called "Picture In A Tear". Shortly after, Wyatt started working particularly with Flatpicking Guitar Magazine on several projects. These include a DVD on “Advanced Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar”, a concert DVD with Kenny Smith and David Grier, and several appearances on special compilation CD’s. Wyatt then went on to record and produce a Christmas CD with long time friend, Rickie Simpkins "Acoustic Christmas". Wyatt and Rickie then continued to record and produce several projects including 3 projects for CMH Records "Pickin On Series" (Martina McBride, Vince Gill, and Van Zant)
Today, Wyatt works with a varied palette that includes teaching, recording, and producing well known artist in his own studio "Rice Recording". He continues to peform with the Tony Rice Unit. Wyatt currently teaches at East Tennessee State University. Wyatt has been a featured instructor at Kaufman Kamp, Fur Peace Ranch, Roanoke Bluegrass Weekend, and Rocky Grass Academy.
Charlie Cushman (Dec. Camp)
Charlie Cushman was born August 23, 1959, in Clarksville, Tennessee. He is the son of Irene and Finis Cushman, Jr. Around age 4, Charlie became interested in the music he saw on local television. Saturday afternoons were his favorite times, due to the vast variety of Country music programs being broadcast on WSM-TV. These included The Ernest Tubb Show, The Wilburn Brothers Show, The Porter Wagoner Show, The Grand Ole Opry, and foremost, The Flatt and Scruggs Show. The banjo picking of Earl Scruggs caught Charlie's ear, amidst all the electric guitars, fiddles and vocals of these incredible talents. Charlie had to have a banjo! After months of persistent talk and dreams of having a banjo, his grandfather bought a used one with a repaired neck at the local music store. "My grandfather bought the banjo behind my grandmothers back, as money was tight, and Grandma didn't care for music in the first place," says Charlie.
During the next 2 years, Charlie played the banjo in talent contests, at luncheons, and parties around his hometown. Most of his time was spent at the record player, learning sounds and tones from his favorite records, and applying them to the neck of the banjo. "When you have to find notes without visual clues, you develop an "ear" to distinguish where they are on the banjo neck," Charlie says. "This was vital to learning the tunes, developing left hand patterns, and forming technique."
In early 1974, 14-year-old Charlie began playing the banjo six days each week on the Carl Tipton Show. The show was on WLAC-TV in Nashville, and was broadcast for over 25 years. The show featured Bluegrass and Country music in a down home format.The show featured a wide variety of guest artists from Bill Monroe to Tennessee Ernie Ford, and many local talents. It was during this 5-year period of employment that Charlie learned guitar and upright bass. He was often called on, to back up the guest performers, and gained tremendous musical experience, along with making some life long friends. "Carl was a fine disc jockey, and a successful businessman. His family treated me as they would one of their own children, and I will remain forever grateful to them."
From 1979 till 1986, Charlie worked as a musician and business owner, in Nashville. He played the banjo with James Monroe and the Midnight Ramblers, Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys, Mel Tillis and the Statesiders, and also became a part of the Nashville session scene. Opryland, USA, then employed him, as a multi-instrumentalist from 1986 to mid 1990.
On September 20, 1990, his long time friend and fellow banjo picker, Mike Snider, hired Charlie. Charlie went to work with Mike as his bass player, and later switched to guitar after some personnel changes in the band. Mike became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in June of 1990. Charlie was employed by Mike Snider playing road dates and the Grand Ole Opry until September 1, 2004.
Charlie enjoys playing music with a variety of artists and friends. He is an in-demand session player on banjo and guitar and is available as a free-lance artist. He also enjoys working on Mastertone style banjos, and appreciating antiques. When he's not involved in music, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends. Charlie Cushman is a people and music enthusiast.
Vickie Vaughn (Nov. and Dec. Camps)
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