Calder Baker to Nu-Blu on banjo

Nu-Blu has announced the addition of Calder Baker to the band, playing banjo. A recent graduate of the bluegrass program at East Tennessee State University, Baker was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI and started his pursuit of bluegrass as a youngster.

At ETSU, he established himself as a top practitioner of the banjo, earning a spot in the school Bluegrass Pride Band, reserved for performers who stand out in the department. Dan Boner, director of the Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music program, said of him…

“Calder is certainly one of the finest banjo players ever to work in the ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band. He has admirable technical control, tone, and consistency, which makes even his most complicated musical ideas sound accessible to listeners – a true sign of maturity. I’m eager to hear the sound of Nu-Blu with Calder on the five-string.”

Since graduation, Baker has been teaching private music lessons in the Johnson City area, and says that he is excited to start his first full time professional position.

“I am thrilled and motivated to be playing music with Nu-Blu. The momentum and trajectory of this unit is exactly what I have been wanting to play for. The fact that everyone in this band wants to improve individually and together is what makes music fun for me, and I am stoked to see what the future holds with Nu-Blu.”

Nu-Blu is based around the husband-and-wife team of Daniel Routh on guitar, and Carolyn Routh on bass, both of whom provide lead vocals in the group. They are joined by Justin Harrison on fiddle and mandolin, and now Calder on banjo.

The band is touring aggressively this spring and summer, running almost non-stop through the end of June, and picking up again in August, hitting 20 states during their travels. You can follow their schedule online.

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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.