From the Broadway stage to the concert hall, this unique and beloved string band has become
one of the most celebrated music groups in the world! Now, in their 40th year, the Red Clay Ramblers are a North Carolina,
old-time mountain band that includes musical elements from bluegrass, country, rock, New Orleans jazz, and gospel. They have
earned a Tony Award and numerous other awards and accolades.
Today, the band of down-home musicians is still performing
their classic songs and some of their latest music. They perform as a quintet these days with Jack Herrick on bass, trumpet,
guitar, bouzouki and whistles, Clay Buckner on the fiddle, mandolin and harmonica, Chris Frank on the accordion, guitar, tuba,
uke and trombone, Bland Simpson on piano and Rob Ladd on drums. These talented musicians create musical magic wherever they
perform, and fans come out in droves to see this legendary band perform their greatest hits and latest tunes.
Red Clay Ramblers recently earned PlayMakers Repertory Company's Distinguished Achievement Award, which is a tribute to the
legendary band. They have also performed at the Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival and the LEAF Festival in Black Mountain,
NC and composed music for the Atlanta and the Carolina Ballet. They also have a long history performing as the band for various
musicals including the off-Broadway show "Lone Star Love."
About the Artist
They began their career in
the 1970s as a trio, playing at various festivals and recording their down-home, mountain music to the delight of music fans
in their home state of North Carolina and all over the US. The band's name was changed to the "Diamond Studs" for a period
of time in the mid 70s, and the band performed Off-Broadway with a production at ArtPark amphitheater in Niagara Falls, NY.
That same year, the band released "Stolen Love" on Flying Fish Records. The band also performed in musical stage productions
like Diamond Studs and Merchants Lunch. Along with recordings for the shows they were a part of, the band also recorded their
own music, releasing Stolen Love, Twisted Laurel, Meeting in the Air, Chuckin' the Frizz and Hard Times throughout the 70s
and 80s. Big-name musicians and singers like Debby McClatchy, Tommy Thompson and Si Kahn lent their talents to several of
the Ramblers' albums, helping to put the band on the map.
They undertook their first overseas tour during that time,
and were a hit in countries like Scotland and Switzerland. They continued to spend their time performing in theater productions
and performing their signature music throughout the world. And then in 1993, the Ramblers earned their second Drama Desk nomination
for Outstanding Music in a Play. They toured with Fool Moon through the rest of the 90s, earning numerous awards and accolades
for their stage performance. During the 2000s the group continued to tour and perform with prestigious groups like the North
Carolina Symphony and The Carolina Ballet, and performed in historic venues like the Newberry Opera House and Geary Theater
in San Francisco.
The Red Clay Ramblers had been performing together for many
years before they became a critically-acclaimed group. During the 70s and 80s, the band thrived on word-of-mouth marketing
and their devoted fans. They had a considerable following, but hadn't yet found the mainstream. That all changed in the early
1990s. The band was working on the score of a Sam Shepard film called Silent Tongue in the early 1990s when they met clowns
Bill Irwin and David Shiner. The relationship between the two men and their on-camera antics gave the Ramblers the idea for
Fool Moon. Fool Moon was a musical production, scored and performed by the band. It was performed on Broadway with two subsequent
revivals and won a Tony Award in 1999. It was then that the world knew the Ramblers and their amazing talent.
Although the Red Clay Ramblers aren't as young they used to be, they still possess the humor and youthful
vigor of musicians half their age. They get the crowd going with their impressive musical skills and the comforting southern
drawl of their lead singer. Each musician seems to get its own time to shine during the lively performance, with a little
banjo hear, a little mandolin there and a lot of fiddling. There's something very honest about the band's performance that
audiences seem to respond to.
They're not on stage to provide some elaborate visual show. They are there to play good,
old-fashioned, feel-good music that makes you want to get up and dance a jig. The audience feels as though they are listening
to the sounds of a home-grown band playing the music they love on the front porch of little house in the country, where someone
may or may not be blowing across a ceramic jug to add to the musical buffet of mountain sound.