2016

Nate Lee – Mandolin


Nate Lee playing mandolin at the fiddle house nashville tn
Nate Lee is a 2015 IBMA Momentum Award winning instrumentalist and renowned teacher of private lessons and music camps. While attending the Bluegrass & Country Music Program at South Plains College, Nate joined the Alan Munde Gazette. He toured with the band for six years and played fiddle on their second release, Made To Last.  After moving to Nashville in 2012, Nate toured with Irene Kelley, Town Mountain, and the Jim Hurst Trio. Although Nate is in demand on stage and in the studio, his first love is teaching. With more than thirteen years’ experience as a teacher and workshop instructor, Nate has gained a loyal following of students who enjoy his comprehensive teaching methods and relaxed, encouraging demeanor.  Nate can be found playing mandolin, twin fiddle, and singing with the Becky Buller Band.  He is also a member of the IBMA Leadership Bluegrass committee and a 2014 graduate of the program.  For more info on studying music with Nate and to check out his Plays Well With Others solo album and his popular new teaching DVD, How To Play A Break On A Song You’ve Never Heard Before, visit TheNateLee.com and PlayNately.com

Alan Tompkins – Banjo

Alan Tompkins - BassBLUEGRASS TODAY calls Alan Tompkins “a true Renaissance man,” and the title certainly fits.  A native of the farming and coal mining country of western Kentucky, Alan grew up steeped in the sounds of classic country, gospel, and bluegrass music.  He performed in several bands in his home town of Madisonville, Kentucky before moving to Texas in 1983, where he earned MBA and law degrees at SMU.

It was a thrill for Alan to produce and record his first album, No Part of Nothin’ , released in 2012.  The album features a lineup of incredibly talented musicians and singers, many of whom are Grammy® or IBMA award winners or nominees.  The list includes Sam Bush, Deryl Dodd, Kenny & Amanda Smith, Ron Stewart, Stephen Mougin, Gerald Jones, Greg Cahill, Ned Luberecki, Mike Bub, Randy Kohrs, Brad Davis, Nate Lee, Bobby Davis, and Steve Rhian.

Alan is the founder and President of the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of bluegrass music in America.  The Foundation produced Fanning the Fire, an award-winning short film about bluegrass music that screened in more than 25 film festivals across the United States, in 2011.  He’s a 2009 graduate of the IBMA Leadership Bluegrass program and presently serves as the chair of the planning committee for the program.  Alan plays a Huber Banjo, some great, really old Gibson banjos, a 1961 Kay bass, a New Standard Cleveland bass, Beard dobros, and few other great instruments.

For more information about Alan, visit: AlanTompkins.com

Jim Hurst – Guitar

Jim Hurst - GuitarJim Hurst was influenced by Merle Travis and Chet Atkins, and especially Jerry Reed, calling his discovery of their finger-style playing “a turn in the road” for him. He continues to rely on these varied influences to enhance his own musical compositions and performances. His diverse tastes led him to play in several bands, playing country, bluegrass, blues, jazz and other styles. His career was already growing when Holly Dunn came calling in 1990.

• He joined Trisha Yearwood’s band in 1992 adding electric guitar, something he spent many years doing, to his job description and toured more extensively including many high-profile radio and television appearances.

• In the mid 1990’s Jim also performed with Sara Evans, Travis Tritt, and the McCarter Sisters. He recorded with Sara Evans on her 1998 RCA release “No Place That Far,” on harmony vocals and acoustic guitar.

In search of more bluegrass playing, Hurst joined Grammy nominated and IBMA Vocalist of the Year Claire Lynch in 1995 and toured with Claire and The Front Porch String Band until the end of 1999. While in this ensemble, he met Missy Raines, the award-winning bassist.It was then that Jim and Missy realized the similarities in their playing styles and musical desires. Jim and Missy began the duet “Jim Hurst & Missy Raines” in 1998 while touring with Claire Lynch. They broke off from Claire Lynch’s band in 2000 to focus more sincerely on the duet, a ground-breaking arrangement in bluegrass music circles.

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Together Jim & Missy’s music delved into several different genres, while staying close to their bluegrass roots. Their two Pinecastle Records releases “Two” and “Synergy” received critical acclaim, culminating with Jim and Missy receiving the Guitar Player and Bass Player of year awards as well as nominations for Emerging Artists of the Year at the 2001 and 2002 IBMA Awards Ceremonies. Jim and Missy rejoined Claire in the newly formed Claire Lynch Band in 2004, but continued playing as a duet for until November 2006.

Jim has since left the Claire Lynch Band, his last performance being in March 2010. He is now concentrating solely on his own musical efforts and is performing in concert and conducting workshops and clinics, and producing recordings for other artists, as well as continuing to produce his own recordings. His touring dates have Jim working in a varied selection of venues, including festivals, performance halls, museums, music stores, coffeehouses, house concerts, and music camps around the country and parts of the world.

For more information about Jim, visit: JimHurst.com.