Aynsley Porchak and Avery Welter to Darren Nicholson Band

Darren Nicholson has announced two new top talents as members of his touring band.

Aynsley Porchak on fiddle and Avery Welter on guitar are now performing with the Darren Nicholson Band. Both have established themselves in the bluegrass world through stints with other artists, and will now bring those skills to the stage with Darren.

Porchak was born and raised in Canada, but came to the US to study in the Bluegrass, Roots, and Old Time Music program at ETSU in Johnson City, TN. She excelled there, studying fiddle with Dan Boner, and went on to also earn a masters degree from the school, where she now works as a professor in the department. Aynsley first got to shine on a wider platform as a member of Carolina Blue, where she stayed until the band broke up a few years later, and she served as a founding member of the Tennessee Bluegrass Band.

But her greatest distinction to date is as the only fiddler to ever win the Grand Masters Championship in both the US and Canada, no small feat that. A devotee on the Kenny Baker school of fiddling, she will surely bring some real flair to Nicholson’s shows.

Welter grew up near Pittsburg in a very musical family. As a child he studied classical music in school, but his father taught him about bluegrass, and the young Avery also picked up guitar and banjo. He was likewise an ETSU Bluegrass program student, where he studied under the tutelage of players like Wyatt Rice, Adam Steffey, and Hunter Berry.

Prior to joining up with Darren, Avery had been a part of The Churchmen, Dreamcatcher, and The Tim Shelton Syndicate. He also records for the Sound Biscuit label as a solo artist, and is a volunteer fireman when he’s at home.

The two newbies join Darren on mandolin, guitar, and lead vocals, Kevin Sluder on bass, and Richard Foulk on percussion.

Nicholson also has a new single released today, Big Sky, which we will highlight soon.

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About the Author

John Lawless

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.