Tim Smith to Rich In Tradition

Veteran fiddler Tim Smith joins Rich In Tradition, the excellent young traditional band from the Mt. Airy – Galax area.

Hot on the heals of our recent note about Tim Smith’s rich musical past, including his near three-year tenure with the Bluegrass Cardinals and a one-off performance with Bill Monroe, comes news of a new appointment, as the fiddle player with Rich In Tradition.

Smith is replacing Tim Martin, who following the recent death of his mother, has stepped aside to deal with increased family duties.

Smith comes from Havre de Grace, Maryland, and with the help of his maternal grandfather and two uncles he began learning about the fiddle from the age of seven. At the age of nine his family settled in Sparta, North Carolina, and Smith became consumed in the great fiddle playing traditions of region, entering contests and playing at shows, dances and local churches.

In 1973, shortly after his graduation from Alleghany High School, Smith won Lester Flatt’s fiddle contest in Pinnacle, North Carolina. The first place prize was a guest appearance with Lester Flatt and The Nashville Grass on The Grand Ole Opry.  Since then, he has been awarded various prestigious fiddle prizes, including 1st place at the 1976 The North Carolina State Championship, 1st place at the internationally renowned  Galax Fiddlers Convention in 1977,  and the World Championship fiddle prize at the world famous Union Grove Fiddlers Convention in 1978.

His career in bluegrass music has seen Smith playing and recording with the Bluegrass Cardinals, Jim and Jesse, Del McCoury, the Lost and Found, the Virginia Squires, the James King Band, The Country Gentlemen and The Churchmen, among several other well-known names.

Smith has his own record company, TRS Records and publishing company, Big Baby Boy Music, BMI. He lives in Kernersville, North Carolina, with his wife, Anita, and their two children, Melissa and Andrew.

Karl Cooler of Mountain Roads Recordings, the label for which Rich In Tradition has recorded the superb album Black Mountain Special (MRR-1010-CD) says,

“Rich In Tradition has become much in demand since the release of their latest recording, Black Mountain Special in July 2010. This album has introduced this talented group to new audiences around the world and the addition of Tim Smith solidifies this group as a force to reckoned with in traditional bluegrass.”

Share this:

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.