Haley Stiltner with Country Current at Lake Havisu (right) – photo by Senior Chief Musician Stephen Hassay
This is a new feature we are running to memorialize the creative and musical legacy of the late J.D. Crowe, who we lost just before Christmas. We are calling it My Favorite Crowe Lick, and each episode will feature a prominent bluegrass banjo player sharing both their thoughts about Crowe and his influence, and showing us a lick they learned from his playing that sticks with them.
Today’s contribution comes from Haley Stiltner, banjo player with the US Navy Band Country Current. Haley was something as a prodigy as a teen, playing at a very high level while still in high school. She completed her degree at ETSU in the bluegrass program, and auditioned for the job with Country Current when Keith Arnseon announced his retirement. She was accepted into the band in 2018 and joined the US Navy as a Musician First Class (E6), and has been with the group ever since.
Haley is only the third banjo player to serve with Country Current in its 48 year history. The band launched in 1973 with Bill Emerson at the helm, and Areneson stepped in when Bill retired. Stiltner is filling those big shows well, and she shares her thoughts about J.D. Crowe below.
Keep an eye out for future installments of My Favorite J.D. Crowe Lick here at Bluegrass Today.