Buddy Melton

Musical Biography  

 

Buddy started playing music in the late 80’s while in college at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina.  After dabbling with the fiddle for sometime it was not until he met a now dear friend, Bill Phillips, that he starting really progressing.  Bill was a fluent fiddle player who had studied the style of Kenny Baker.  With Bill's help Buddy was soon playing old fiddle tunes. 

During Buddy's freshman year, he met John McCulloch who became a life-long friend and college roommate.  John had the desire to play banjo and soon they were spending more time with the instruments than the books. They started attending weekly jams at Mr. Gene Brown’s house.  It was there that Buddy sang his first song.  Until then, he had never sang or really knew that he could.  Buddy had learned the fiddle parts to Blue Moon of Kentucky in the key of B.  In order to play the song, he had to sing since no one else at the time did.  Buddy recalls, “I still remember the first time I sang it.  I believe I had to sing it a half dozen times that night.”

After leaving college with a Bachelor of Science from Western and a Master's Degree from Gene Brown’s School of Bluegrass, Buddy started playing with various local bluegrass bands and competing in various fiddle competitions winning many awards.  He developed several close friendships through these bands and was influenced by many great local musicians since Western North Carolina is blessed with a deep musical heritage.  It was during this time period that Buddy met and developed a life- long friendship with Joe McElroy who has been one of the most influential people in his music career.

In the mid 90’s Buddy started playing with a gospel bluegrass band called Rock Springs Reunion. Shortly after leaving Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Grammy Award winning banjo player Marc Pruett joined the group.  With a record deal on the table with Horizon Music Groups Mountain Home label, the group recorded a project which landed a song in the top ten of the charts.  With the end of Rock Springs Reunion came the beginning of a Nashville based band, Jubal Foster. This group combined the influences of bluegrass, traditional country and rockabilly.   After leaving Jubal Foster, Buddy's musical journey came full circle. Buddy teamed up again with old friend Marc Pruett and the time began to feel right for his first solo bluegrass project.

Looking back it is obvious that each musical step has led to the next and for good reason.  As one door began to close a new one was opening - some stages shorter than others but equally as important.  Each stage has developed life- long relationships with individuals who have help carved Buddy into the musician and singer he is today.  Without the previous experiences, contacts, friendships and lessons, the present would not appear as it does today.  “The road to paradise is paradise”.

Buddy’s new solo project is charmed with many old traditional bluegrass songs as well as new original material penned by former band mate and friend, Milan Miller. With the help of great musicians such as Tony Rice, Marc Pruett, Adam Steffey, Tim Surrett and more this new release is certain to become a favorite.