Noted fiddler and former Osborne Brothers sideman Blaine Sprouse is set to re-engage his musical bone after a lengthy period of inactivity.
During the 1970s, Sprouse was one of the most active fiddlers in Nashville. Music had come calling in the person of Jimmy Martin, who tapped Blaine to join the Sunny Mountain Boys while the young bow man was still in high school – and he promptly dropped the books and took to the road. Blaine did time with Jim & Jesse and Charlie Louvin before signing on with Sonny and Bobby, and filled in with Bill Monroe on at least two occasions.
He helped form The Bluegrass Band with Butch Robins in the 1980s, and played fiddle on the debut record from The Nashville Bluegrass Band when the former morphed into the latter in 1985. A career highlight for Sprouse was when he saw his fiddle work on Alabama’s If You’re Gonna Play In Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band) rise to the top of the charts in 1984.
There were a number of influential solo fiddle albums, showcasing his Kenny Baker-influenced style, and in another highlight, he joined his mentor for Indian Springs, a set of fiddle duets with Baker released in 1989.
But with all these accomplishments, Sprouse saw his lack of education as a burden, and he left music to obtain his school and college diplomas, followed by a law degree.
Living now in California, Blaine sees the time as ripe for his retiurn to his first passion, and is embarking on a tour later this week that will take him from the central US back to his native West Virginia, to Nashville and back to California. He will perform on concerts, workshops and festivals, and will be available for more as his schedule permits.
Welcome back, Blaine Sprouse!
Category: Miscellaneous bluegrass news
About the Author (Author Profile)
John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.
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