On This Day #25 – Dale Reno

On This Day …………

On February 6, 1961, Dale Reno was born in Roanoke, Virginia.

The second son of banjo ace Don Reno, Dale Reno fell in love with musical instruments at the tender age of ten. Initially he built his first set of drums using old paint cans found in the garage. 

At the age of 11 his father began teaching him how to play the guitar. 

A year later, Dale attended a Bill Monroe Festival where he saw Marty Stuart playing a mandolin with Lester Flatt, and he took up the instrument with a deep passion.  

At about the same time he joined The Tennessee Cut-ups fronted by dad, Don, and his partner Bill Harrell. Growing up on the road he was blessed with being around some of the greatest musicians in the world, and he was able to learn from a host of great mandolin players, Red Rector, Frank Wakefield, Jimmy Gaudreau, John Duffey and Sam Bush included. 

Since the Tennessee Cut-ups folded when Don Reno passed away (1984) Dale has played with his brothers Ronnie and Don Wayne in the Reno Brothers band; Lonesome Standard Time; Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers; actor and country singer Tom Wopat; and Grass to the Bone. 

Dale "Deacon" RenoStarting in 2000, using the moniker “Deacon,” Dale Reno played mandolin and guitar in the bluegrass-rock music fusion band, Hayseed Dixie. The band, which began as a comic tribute to rockers AC/DC in a bluegrass style, developed a strong following, especially in Europe.

Most recently he has, with Don Wayne and Mitch Harrell, formed the 21st century version of Reno and Harrell, Sons of the Legends. Their first album, Reno Bound, was released in 2013.


Selected Discography

Don Reno

  • Golden Guitar of Don Reno King (KMCD-5115, 1999)
  • Dear Old Dixie CMH (CMH-6201, 1976)
  • Home On the Mountain CMH (CMH-6216, 1977)
  • Still Cutting Up Windy Ridge (WR-1002, 1984)
  • Family and Friends Kaleidoscope (F-34, 1989)

Buck Ryan

  • Draggin’ the Bow Rebel (SLP-1552, 1976)

Reno Brothers

  • Reno Brothers Step One (SOR 0034, 1988)
  • Kentucky Gold Webco (WEB-CD 0142, 1992)
  • Drawing from the Well Webco (WEB-CD 0153, 1996)
  • Three Part Harmony Pinecastle (PRC 1075, 1998)

Hayseed Dixie

  • A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC Dualtone (DTQ0001104, 2001)
  • A Hillbilly Tribute to Mountain Love Dualtone (DTQ0001118, 2002)
  • Weapons of Grass Destruction Cooking Vinyl (CKV 4880, 2007)

Reno and Harrell

  • Reno Bound John Boy & Billy (2013)

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.