Nashville Bluegrass Band

Nashville Bluegrass Band

With two Grammy awards, two Entertainer of the Year honors from the International Bluegrass Music Association, and four wins as IBMA’s Vocal Group of the Year, Nashville Bluegrass Band is no stranger to acclaim from both critics and fans alike.

In the spring of 2001, NBB broke new ground by performing with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra on classical violinist Conni Elisor’s composition for the group, “Whiskey Before Breakfast: Partitas for Chamber Orchestra and String Band.” The collaboration took place at three concerts in Music City, and was taped for broadcast on National Public Radio. This adventure is merely one example of NBB’s willingness to experiment and expand conventional musical boundaries.

In 2002, Pat Enright became one of the voices of the Soggy Bottom Boys, the fictional old-time singing trio led onscreen by George Clooney in the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? Alan O’Bryant , Mike Compton and Stuart Duncan also appeared on the film’s soundtrack, and NBB began performing as a core element of the “Down From the Mountain” tour. In 2003, Stuart Duncan’s fiddling was featured throughout the soundtrack of Cold Mountain and, again, NBB was an integral part of the “Great High Mountain” tour, which featured the music from both movies. The band celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2004, with the release of their Grammy nominated album Twenty Year Blues, and in 2006, NBB was invited to the White House by President George W. Bush to entertain in honor of visiting president of China, Hu Jintao.

Nashville Bluegrass Band was initially formed to accompany Minnie Pearl and others on a 1984 package tour, and through the years, NBB has continued to perform with other stellar artists such as Lyle Lovett and Mary Chapin Carpenter, as well as playing a sold-out concert with the legendary gospel group, Fairfield Four, at famed Carnegie Hall. The band has recorded with artists as diverse as Bernadette Peters and Clint Black, and collaborated with Johnny Cash on the film soundtrack, Dead Man Walking. NBB also performed for R.E.M. at their private party, in addition to playing at Wynonna Judd’s wedding reception.

Although Nashville Bluegrass Band can be as traditional sounding as any pioneering bluegrass band, the band’s repertoire is extremely varied, laced with blues compositions and songs from African-American gospel tradition (the gospel ensemble, Fairfield Four, was featured on two NBB records). NBB was the first bluegrass group to perform in the People’s Republic of China, and the band’s concerts have spanned the globe, with performances in Egypt, Brazil, Crete, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Qatar, The Azores, Iraq, Israel, in addition to Denmark, Germany, France, Ireland, Switzerland, Turkey, Japan, Italy, Spain and England. NBB is also one of the few bluegrass bands to have videos in heavy rotation on the CMT network.

The members of Nashville Bluegrass Band came together in Nashville from all points on the compass: Mike Compton (mandolin) is from Mississippi, Pat Enright (guitar) from Indiana, Alan O’Bryant (banjo) hails from North Carolina, Stuart Duncan (fiddle) was born in California, and Andy Todd (upright bass) is a Tennessee native. All band members are on-call session musicians in constant demand by Nashville’s mainstream country stars; yet all the while, Nashville Bluegrass Band’s nine albums have virtually defined the modern bluegrass sound. These gifted musicians have joined together under a name that salutes their adopted hometown to create an unmatched all-American sound. Nashville Bluegrass Band’s talents have been celebrated, literally, around the world, but the band’s appeal is as basic as a small-town general store.

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