Josh Swift inducted into Sparta, TN Bluegrass Hall of Fame

Paul Schiminger, IBMA; Paul Bailey, State Senate; Jerry Lowery, Hoyt Jones, Jim Floyd, Aldermen, City of Sparta, TN;
Jeff Young, Sparta Mayor; Josh Swift; Doyle Lawson; Blake Williams; Denny Wayne Robinson, White County

This past weekend in Sparta, TN, Josh Swift was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame during the annual Liberty Square: A Lester Flatt Celebration. The Hall was established to honor the many fine bluegrass artists who called Sparta their home, including the man himself, and the reason for the festival, the great Lester Flatt.

Swift, who plays reso-guitar for Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, is a fourth-generation Sparta native, being raised there in a musical family who performed bluegrass Gospel together when Josh was a lad. Before being asked to join up with Doyle, he had worked with Set Apart and Carrie Hassler & Hard Rain.

But Josh is more than just Doyle’s Dobro man. He functions as band leader while Quicksilver is on the road, and serves as their primary audio engineer, tracking their recordings at his Cowbell Fever Recording Studios there in Sparta. And he represents Beard Guitars as an endorser, with his own signature series resonator guitars, built to his specifications.

As a new Hall of Famer, Swift joins Flatt, Benny Martin, Bill Jones, John Henry Demps, and Blake Williams, sons of Sparta every one.

For him, it was a bit much to take in…

“It was a shock to say the least. I still consider myself to be fairly young, so being recognized at that level was definitely something I never saw coming.

To be completely honest, I feel extremely humbled and undeserving. Lester Flatt, Benny Martin, Blake Williams, John Henry Demps, and Bill Jones have left some pretty large shoes to fill, and to be included on that list is kind of overwhelming.

I certainly appreciate the fact that my hometown recognized the fruits of my labors over the past 12 years or so, but to me, this music has put food on my family’s table for that time period. It’s been a job, that I just happen to love, and the fact that other folks honor and appreciate what I do produces a feeling that is hard to put into words.

I’ve never been the best at anything, but I’ve always tried my very best at everything. I love Sparta, Tennessee, and knowing that they love me too is pretty awesome. Thank you will never be enough…”

Congratulations, and well done, Josh Swift!

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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.