Still a student in the Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music Studies program at ETSU, Tray has already established himself as a creative and capable player, through his work with teen sensations Cane Mill Road, on his own solo EP, Uncaged Thoughts, and these days as a free lance banjo for hire.
His efforts were recognized last year as a winner of the 2019 Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year award from the IBMA. Banjo NewsLetter published a cover story on Tray in May of this year, and he also received an invitation to serve as an assistant instructor at Béla Fleck’s Blue Ridge Banjo Camp.
For Tray, this new opportunity is both thrilling and humbling.
“I am so happy to be signing with Mountain Home. There are so many great artists with this label. And I’m glad to be a part of this great musical family, and to share some of my music with everyone. I have listened to music from Mountain Home for a long time, so to be able to make music with the great group that has helped put out some of my favorite music is so exciting!”
Here’s video of Tray playing one of his originals, Gibbous Moon, from his solo EP.
Mountain Home’s Jon Weisberger sees great things in Wellington’s future.
“I first took real notice of Tray’s playing when I saw Cane Mill Road at a festival in Utah the summer before he and they won their IBMA awards. After that, I got to know him a little better while I was teaching at ETSU, and once we began talking about his desire to make a career as a musician, bringing him into the Mountain Home family was practically a no-brainer. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to work with such a great young talent!”
No word yet on when work might begin on a new recording, but with Wellington set to graduate from ETSU early next year, one would expect that to get started soon.