Introducing the Tennessee Plow Cleaners

Bluegrass songwriter, Billy Smith, has formed a new band, the Tennessee Plow Cleaners. The Nashville-based ensemble consists of David Talbot on banjo, Shad Cobb on fiddle, Smith on guitar, and his wife, Marilyn, on upright bass. Ironically, none of the four piece band originally hail from the Volunteer State. 

Smith, a North Carolina native, joked, “That’s the qualification. We’re all Tennessee transplants.”

The new group have long-standing relationships in bluegrass music. The Smiths and Talbot are pickin’ pals. They also perform with bluegrass fiddler and music business man, Craig Duncan. Cobb and Smith have likewise recorded together. Their history together affords a bond that guarantees great music.

“Billy and I noted how a four-piece group has that extra space and breadth,” said Canadian-born banjoist Talbot. “There’s more room to play or not play, depending on the moment. We’ve also known one another for years, and have much respect for each other’s musicianship. So our music always feels good and natural to us, and hopefully for the listener, too.”

Smith, son of famed Nashville matriarch/publicist/songwriter/journalist Hazel Smith, and square dance fiddler, Pat Smith, and older brother to Grascals’ bassist, Terry Smith, is credited for penning such tunes as Lonesome River Band’s most requested songs Crazy Heart, Hobo Blues, and more recently, Cumberland River Shore.

Tennessee Plow Cleaners will premiere at the world famous Station Inn in Nashville on November 30.

“Come and see us!” Smith concluded.

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About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.