Byron Berline

Byron Berline
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For an exciting evening of traditional bluegrass and Western swing music, join three time national fiddle champion Byron Berline and his band; John Hickman, Jim Fish, Greg Burgess, Richard Sharp and Steve Short.

Berline's early career included playing fiddle with bluegrass legends such as Bill Monroe, Dillard and Clark and Country Gazette. After moving to Los Angeles in 1969, he soon became one of the most popular fiddlers in the music business. His long list of performing and recording credits includes The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, The Band, The Byrds, Elton John, Alabama, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Rod Stewart, John Denver, Earl Scruggs, Emmylou Harris, Tammy Wynette, Mason Williams, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Vince Gill. He also has extensive television and movie sound track credits and has appeared in STAR TREKBLAZEBACK TO THE FUTURE III, and BASIC INSTINCT.

Berline has recorded seven solo albums including his highly acclaimed "FIDDLE & A SONG" with guest performances from Vince Gill, Mason Williams, Earl Scruggs and Bill Monroe. In 1996 the album was nominated for two Grammy awards, 'Best Album of the Year' and ' Best Song of the Year'.

In 1995 Byron returned to his home state of Oklahoma where he opened a Fiddle Shop in the town of Guthrie, for the purpose of "visiting, trading and jamming" with folks who enjoy their music. As a natural progression a band was formed to entertain regularly in the Music Hall above the Fiddle Shop. The Byron Berline Band found themselves in great demand around the state, as well as surrounding states, and have extended their music through Europe. Byron's band buddies include:

BANJO: Regarded as one of the great masters of the banjo, the legendary John Hickman continues his almost 30 year collaboration with Berline. Hickman has played with bluegrass greats like Red Allen, Frank Wakefield, and Earl Taylor's Stoney Mountain Boys. His work can be found on major label studio sessions as well as motion picture and television soundtracks. He spends his spare time repairing instruments at Byron's Fiddle Shop.

GUITAR: Jim Fish began his career as a musician playing washboard in a jug band in the early 1960's, but the lure if the guitar was too powerful to deny. Fish saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show and began a decades-long interest in guitar as a result. Jim lists diverse influences including Don Rich, George Harrison, Roger McGuinn and Clarence White. Jim toured the states with a southern rock band called the Henry Paul Band, releasing two albums on Atlantic Records in the late 1970's. The band's first gig was opening for the Rolling Stones in Lakeland, Florida. Jim's interest in Clarence White's singular guitar playing guided him towards bluegrass music. Fish uses a custom-made "vintaged" Triggs acoustic guitar, and a Telecaster with a string-bender device to contribute to the sound of the Byron Berline Band.

FIDDLE/GUITAR: Greg Burgess has been playing g guitar and fiddle for over 30 years. Starting as a child, Greg had a lot of support and instruction from family and friends. Over the years, associations with fiddlers like Clark Forshee, Amos Hedrick, Ace Sewell, Russell O'Neal, Herman Johnson, Dick Barrett, Orville Burns, Merle David and, of course, Byron Berline, helped form Greg's fiddling style. Greg has won the Oklahoma state Fiddle Championship numerous times, and has been ranked in the top 10 at a number of national level fiddle contests. Greg has recorded and/or shared the stage with a number of musical greats including Hank Thompson, Leon Raush, Jody Miller, Mel Tillis, Moe Bandy, Billy Walker, Wanda Jackson, Becky Hobbs, Red Stegall, Suzy Bogguss, Asleep at the Wheel and many others. Greg has also been included in the Folk Life section of the Oklahoma History Center. Greg lives in Guthrie, OK and considers it a privilege and an honor to play twin fiddles and guitar with Byron Berline and his band.

BASS: Richard Sharp is at home on the left-handed upright and electric bass. Richard has stayed busy with more recording sessions than can be listed. He grew up listening to all kinds of music from Hank Williams to Bill Monroe and The Beatles, and has toured with Oklahoma's own Harlow Wilcox, recording on his Grammy nominated album Groovy Grubworm. He has shared the stage with Hank Thompson, Texas Playboys, Chris Hillman, Vince Gill, Alan Munde, John Anderson, Boxcar Willie, Wanda Jackson, Colin Raye, Les Gilliam as well as entertaining Oklahoma Governors George Nigh and Frank Keating. Richard's showmanship and vocal contributions to the band bring a nice variety.

DRUMS: Steve Short began playing drums with his parents' family band at a very early age. Since those early days he has recorded and played with every big name imaginable, including three years with Reba McIntyre. Steve is an accomplished recording and sound engineer, and produces the Byron Berline Band's album projects. He is undoubtedly the most popular recording drummer in the area.

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