October 2007

Hey Everyone! It’s been quite a while since the last up-date. I’ll fill you in on what’s been going on since then.

I played banjo and guitar on several great projects released in 2006 and 2007. These two years have been among the most rewarding and exciting times I’ve ever experienced as a musician. My sincere thanks to my Lord, and all the great folks I have been working with.

The sessions for the “Fiddler’s Green” project by Tim O’Brien received a Grammy for the Best Traditional Folk Album of 2005. This was an exciting project for me to play banjo on, along with Tim, Jerry Douglas, Dan Tyminski, and Dennis Crouch. The song “Look Down That Lonesome Road” from that same project, was voted the 2006 Song of the Year by the folks at the IBMA. Tim’s CD’s “Cornbread Nation” and “Fiddler’s Green” were released simultaneously, and have won much national acclaim in the Folk, Celtic, and Bluegrass fields. It was a pleasure to play banjo on these two releases with all these great musicians.

Other projects released in 2006 were “All American Bluegrass Girl", by Rhonda Vincent, “New Day” by Claire Lynch, “Monroe Approved” by Chris Henry, “He Put the Color in the Rose” by The Village Singers, and “Let’er Go, Boys!” by the incredible Michael Cleveland. Michael’s project was voted “Instrumental Album of the Year” for 2006 by the IBMA. Those are a few CDs that come to mind right away that I had the pleasure of playing on. Thanks to all these great artists for having me!

February 2006 marked the release of Marty Stuart’s “Live at the Ryman” CD. Marty’s Fabulous Superlatives, along with fiddler Stuart Duncan, dobro legend Uncle Josh Graves, and yours truly, performed two hours of basically un-rehearsed Bluegrass and Country music for a sold out Ryman crowd. The audio engineer Les Banks, recorded the entire show to disc and presented it to Marty afterwards. We had no idea we were being recorded. Marty approved, and released the recording on his newly formed Superlatone label. The CD was Grammy nominated for Recorded Event of the Year, 2006.

Adding to the list for 2006 is the remarkable four CD box set by Vince Gill titled “These Days”. I played banjo and guitar on some of the songs on the acoustic disc titled “Little Brother“ contained in the set. This collection is the definitive showcase for the song writing, vocal prowess, and un-matched musicianship of Vince. The set contains 43 original compositions by Vince, with an all-star cast of duet partners, musicians, writers and arrangers.

To top it off, beginning in October 2006, Vince took this incredible entourage of sixteen players and singers, and stage crew on a successful national tour of more than 30 U.S. cities. The tour was titled “These Days” , and many of the songs contained in the box set were brought to the stage. Starting again in January 2007, the tour continued, with only a few breaks until early July.

On July 1, 2007, my longtime sweetheart Carla and I were married in a private ceremony in downtown Nashville. She is truly the light of my life, and we have a beautiful home just north of Nashville. As Vince sings, “ I’ll take these days over any that I’ve ever known”. How true!!

A Three hour DVD of the “These Days” show was recorded in high definition format at the Ryman July 3rd and 4th to sold out crowds both evenings. The show has also aired several times on HD NET. We played the Ryman auditorium on July 5th for the annual Bluegrass Concert Series, to a SRO crowd. What fun!

July 14th marked the beginning of the Vince Gill “Family and Friends” tour which included Amy Grant and the Del McCoury Band. What incredible shows they were! Vince took the audience and the band each night on a three to four hour musical journey, with traditional and new Country, Jazz, Rock & Roll, Bluegrass, and Sacred music. The venues were sold out nearly every night. We all had a great time together, and made some unforgettable music. It was a real treat to play and sing with Amy Grant. A kinder, sweeter person you will never meet, except maybe Vince!! The tour ended in mid-September, performing shows in over 100 U.S. cities, and we all were ready to rest and be at home with our families. Thanks a million Vince, I love you man! As a footnote, after watching Vince play his many vintage guitars night after night, I was inspired to buy a vintage 1952 Fender Telecaster RI electric guitar. Now I can relate to some of the fun he has on stage!

Backtracking to November 2006, found us at the Skaggs Studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee, to do an acoustic album with the legendary Merle Haggard. The album titled “The Bluegrass Sessions” was the first of it’s kind to be done by Merle. I remember him telling me, “I want to hear these instruments”, comparing the acoustic setting to his usual electric stage situation. We arranged our chairs in a circle, and the magic unfolded as Merle began to sing. What a special time this was to set beside Merle and be a part of his music. I’ll always remember those moments feeling the music, watching, and hearing him, as he sang. Thanks, Hag.

Throughout this incredible musical journey of the past two years, I have remained active on the vintage and new instrument scene. I’m still working with Gruhn Guitars in Nashville, and tending to an expanding business at home. I have designed a new Charlie Cushman signature series banjo for the American Made Banjo Company under the brand name Kel Kroydon. I’ll be showing you some pictures and telling you more about the new banjo very soon.

Thanks for visiting my website. May God continue to Bless each one of us…. Charlie Cushman

March 2006

      Hi everyone! Thanks for checking in on my current events page. I'd like to re-cap a few important events during the past few months, and tell you about some things on the horizon that I'm very proud to be participating in.

     January 2006 brought a change of direction for me. My quest to remain focused on the banjo has led to many new and exciting opportunities and challenges for the future.

     At present, I am working with Gruhn Guitars in Nashville, Tennessee doing banjo set-up and maintenance for their vast inventory. I am pleased to be working with a professional, knowledgeable staff dedicated to the sales and service of new and vintage instruments. Gruhn Guitars is certainly the epicenter of the vintage instrument world. Please visit the showroom located at 400 Broadway.

     I will also be doing the set-up on all the new Osborne Chief banjos for my friend Sonny Osborne. Sonny continues to be an inspiration to me, and one of my all time favorite banjo players. It is an honor to work with a hero of mine, and a fine product like the Osborne Chief banjo.

A sincere "Thank You" to all the folks mentioned above for giving me these incredible opportunities to learn, and to experience the banjo at peak, new levels. You all are the best!!

     I have enjoyed for the past 20 years or more being a multi-instrumentalist with some of the finest artists and musicians in the world. Today, I am concentrating my efforts toward my main instrument, the banjo. I am participating as a free-lance artist with a variety of acts and music formats. I am looking forward to making music in 2006 with artists such as Marty Stuart, Vince Gill, Dave Peterson & 1946, and the many recording sessions that I do. Also, I enjoy jamming with all the enthusiastic Bluegrass players, on ALL levels. I am excited about going to the many festivals and concerts for the 2006 season. I hope to see you there!

      During each year, I spend many hours in the recording studios in Nashville. These sessions are always special and fun. It is a true compliment to be invited to participate in musical history. My friend Eddie Stubbs says: "A record is Forever!". He is right!

                   Andy Griffith  "The Christmas Guest"  CD
                   Gaither Gospel Series " A Bluegrass Gospel Homecoming" Volume 1 & 2  CD's
                   and Video's
                   "Christmas Grass" Volume 2  CD
                   Jesse McReynolds "New Horizons"  CD
                   Porter Wagoner  "Grand Old Gospel 2004"  2 CD set
                   Daryl Mosley & Tim Graves  "Remembering The Beacon Brothers"  CD
                   "Moody Bluegrass"  A Nashville Tribute To The Moody Blues  CD
                   Danny Roberts  "Mandolin Orchard"  fine instrumental CD 
                   Jim Hurst  "Second Son"  CD
                   Osborne Bros.  "Detroit To Wheeling"  CD
                   James Monroe  "The Way I Am"  CD
                   Glen Duncan    "Glen Duncan"  fine instrumental CD
                   Hank Locklin   "Generations In Song"  CD
                   Tim Crouch    "Bluegrass With Friends"  fine instrumental CD
                   Tim Crouch    "Front Porch Fiddlin'"  fine instrumental CD
                   WhiteHouse  "WhiteHouse" Pinecastle CD  fine traditional Bluegrass
                   Osborne/McReynolds  "Masters Of The Mandolin"  CD
                   Amber Burks  "Tennessee Amber"  CD 
                   Kurt Stephenson  "Banjo Special"  fine instrumental CD
                   Roy Crawford  "Front Porch Fiddlin' In Alabama"  fine instrumental CD
                   CMH  "Pickin' on ..." Series  I am playing banjo on over 40 of these CD's. 
                   Please check covers!
Here are some CD's that will be released during 2006. I am proud to be a part of these fine recordings! More to come!
                  Michael Cleveland's New Rounder CD with lot's of special guests
                  Chris Henry's New Mandolin instrumental CD
                  Tim O'Brien's New CD's (2) - "Cornbread Nation" and "Fiddler's Green" 2006 Grammy Winner!
                  David Peterson & 1946  New CD - "In The Mountaintop's To Roam"            
                  Charlie Cushman  "5-String Time" Instrumental CD  available late May 2006
                  Marty Stuart's new CD  Recorded live at the Ryman / with Uncle Josh and other
                  Josh Ulbrich's new CD  Fine vocalist and Dobro player
                  Jesse Mc Reynolds New CD
                  Don Reno & Red Smiley "Sweethearts in Heaven"  Bear Family CD  (Production and
                  Don Reno & Red Smiley "Together Again"  New CD (Production &  Re-Mix)

     Recently I was asked by Don Wayne Reno, to oversee an effort to restore the 1935 Gibson RB-3 Mastertone Banjo "Nellie", that his father Don Reno used during his un-paralleled career. This was a blessed event for all who were involved. For the complete story and pictures, please visit the Reno/Scruggs RB-3 page.

     Thank you all so much for visiting the website. Please check back often for updates and news. Please tell your banjo buddies about my website, and my banjo set-up service. I hope to meet you in-person in the near future. Keep pickin' Bluegrass and keep those banjo's ringing!!

My Best To You,

Charlie Cushman