Nashville Bluegrass Band
With two Grammy Award-winning albums and two Entertainer of the Year honors from the International Bluegrass Music Association, four time IBMA Vocal Group of the Year, the Nashville Bluegrass Band, is no stranger to acclaim from critics and fans alike. The band’s personnel are sought-after, first-call studio musicians, known for a superior level of creativity and a commitment to traditional music styles. Collectively and singularly, the members of NBB have virtually defined the modern bluegrass sound.
Nashville Bluegrass Band was initially formed to accompany Minnie Pearl and Vernon Oxford on a 1984 Grand Ole Opry package tour. Three original members are still in the group – Alan O’Bryant (banjo), Pat Enright (guitar), and Mike Compton (mandolin) – though Compton left for twelve years, replaced by Roland White until Compton rejoined at the end of 2000. Award-winning fiddler Stuart Duncan has been a band member since 1985. Only the bass slot has seen any turnover; its current seat is held by talented Andy Todd, who came on board in 2005.
NBB celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 2004 with the release of its sixth Grammy-nominated album, Twenty Year Blues. As if on cue, in 2006 the Nashville Bluegrass Band was invited to the White House by President George W. Bush to entertain in honor of visiting president of China, Hu Jintao. It was a very special honor for NBB as well – twenty years earlier, NBB had been the first bluegrass band ever to be permitted play in the People’s Republic of China. NBB concerts have since spanned the globe, with performances in Egypt, Brazil, Crete, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Qatar, The Azores, Iran, Israel, Denmark, Germany, France, Ireland, Switzerland, Turkey, Japan, Italy, Spain and England.
Throughout the years, NBB has toured and performed with both traditional and contemporary artists such as Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Lyle Lovett and Mary Chapin Carpenter, including a sold-out concert with the Fairfield Four at famed Carnegie Hall in New York City. The Band has recorded with Peter Rowan, Maura O’Connell, Jerry Douglas, Bernadette Peters and Clint Black, appeared on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Will The Circle Be Unbroken Vol. III and Collaborated with Johnny Cash on the film soundtrack Dead Man Walking. Well known both inside and outside bluegrass circles, NBB performed for rockers R.E.M. at a private party and played Wynonna Judd’s wedding reception. NBB is also one of the few bluegrass bands to have videos in heavy rotation on the CMT Network.
The biggest break of all came in 2002, when NBB lead singer Pat Enright became one of the voices of the Soggy Bottom Boys, the fictional old-time trio led onscreen by George Clooney in the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? Alan O’Bryant, Mike Compton and Stuart Duncan appeared on the film’s Platinum soundtrack and NBB began performing as a core element of the “Down From the Mountain” tour. The following year, Stuart Duncan’s fiddling was featured throughout the soundtrack of Cold Mountain and again, NBB became an integral part of the “Great High Mountain” tour which featured music from both movies.