Grammy Award-winning guitarist, songwriter, author and singer, two-time IBMA Songwriter of the Year, former member of Alison Krauss and Union Station, and founding member of celebrated Bluegrass group Blue Highway. Co-author of Tony Rice's authorized biography, "Still Inside," winner of over 30 IBMA and SPBGMA awards as well as a Dove Award. 

Blue Highway and the town of Big Stone Gap, VA are proud to announce The first annual BLUE HIGHWAY FEST, October 6-8, 2022 at Bullitt Park in Big Stone Gap, VA. CHECK OUT THIS LINEUP: Blue Highway, Sam Bush Band, Tommy Emmanuel, Dan Tyminski Band, Darrell Scott, Travelin' McCourys, Scythian, Sierra Hull Band, Seldom Scene, Balsam Range, Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers, Ralph Stanley II and the Clinch Mountain Boys, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Ed Snodderly, Carson Peters and Iron Mountain, Beth Snapp plus MORE ARTISTS TO BE ADDED!!! TICKETS and more info: https://bluehighwayfest.com/

#bluehighwayfest

On-site camping (RVs and tents), On-site food vendors, Craft brews... Children under 12 FREE!

Come join us this Fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia on the Trail of the Lonesome Pine, to celebrate the rich heritage of Bluegrass and Roots music, food and culture, with Blue Highway and their friends!

Words really can't express the gratitude I feel for these two honors at the 2021 IBMA awards: Liner Notes of the Year for the reissue of Tony Rice's great California Autumn record on Rebel, and co-winner of Gospel Recorded Performance for In the Resurrection Morning by Sacred Réunion, featuring me, Doyle Lawson, Vince Gill, Mark Wheeler, Barry Abernathy, Jim Van Cleve, and the late Phil Leadbetter and Jason Moore. The first was, of course, an honor for me to do since I literally cut my teeth on Tony's record and in light of his passing last year... The second was a tribute to my late co-writer and brotherman Steve Gulley. The influence of these two guys will live on for a long, long time, and I dedicate the awards in their memory. Thanks so much to everyone who voted.  Tim

STILL HERE, TIM AND STEVE GULLEY'S FINAL DUET RECORDING, AVAILABLE NOW...  STILL HERE is the second and final duet record by Tim and the late, great Steve Gulley, who passed away just a few months after this, his last recording, was completed. Steve Gulley and Tim have enjoyed special acclaim as one of the most creative and successful songwriting teams in bluegrass music, with scores of recorded co-writes to their credit. They co-wrote the 2008 IBMA song of the year, "Through the Window of a Train," as well as a 2020 nominated song, "Both Ends of the Train," both recorded by Blue Highway. Their previous record, "Dogwood Winter," (2010) was critically-acclaimed. The title cut of this record, "Still Here," was #1 on the Bluegrass Today Top 30 Airplay chart on September 11, 2020. This collection of Tim and Steve's songs features Ron Stewart, Barry Bales, Dale Ann Bradley and Thomas Cassell. We hope it is a fitting legacy to Steve, because he is definitely "still here" through his music. Available now in my store

STILL HERE, TIM AND STEVE GULLEY'S FINAL DUET RECORDING, AVAILABLE NOW... STILL HERE is the second and final duet record by Tim and the late, great Steve Gulley, who passed away just a few months after this, his last recording, was completed. Steve Gulley and Tim have enjoyed special acclaim as one of the most creative and successful songwriting teams in bluegrass music, with scores of recorded co-writes to their credit. They co-wrote the 2008 IBMA song of the year, "Through the Window of a Train," as well as a 2020 nominated song, "Both Ends of the Train," both recorded by Blue Highway. Their previous record, "Dogwood Winter," (2010) was critically-acclaimed. The title cut of this record, "Still Here," was #1 on the Bluegrass Today Top 30 Airplay chart on September 11, 2020. This collection of Tim and Steve's songs features Ron Stewart, Barry Bales, Dale Ann Bradley and Thomas Cassell. We hope it is a fitting legacy to Steve, because he is definitely "still here" through his music. Available now in my store

December 14, 2020—

GRAMMY, DOVE, IBMA and SPBGMA AWARD-winning guitarist, singer and songwriter TIM STAFFORD is proud to release his fourth solo record, TUNES & BALLADS on December 14, 2020.  Stafford, a former member of Alison Krauss’s Union Station and a founding member of perennial Bluegrass powerhouse Blue Highway, was named IBMA’s Songwriter of the year in 2014 and 2017 and co-wrote IBMA’s 2008 Song of the Year, “Through the Window of a Train.”  

TUNES & BALLADS features 15 of Tim’s compositions, 10 instrumental and 7 vocals, along with a cover of Bobby’s Hebb’s 1960s anthem “Sunny.”  Like the title says, the record is a mix of solo, duet and trio instrumentals—much like those featured on Tim’s critically-acclaimed 2017 release Acoustic Guitar—and story songs, four of which were co-written with Tim’s friends and collaborators Craig Market, Joe Newberry, Jon Weisberger, and the late, great Steve Gulley.  There are stories about great ships like the Titanic and Arizona, historical figures as disparate as Buffalo Bill Cody and Jack the Ripper, and tales of the loss of ways of life and old guitars. There are both flatpicked and fingerpicked originals—Tim was named the SPBGMA guitar player of the year in 2001 and 2015.

"An exquisite collection of original songs...  So subtle and elegant throughout, Tim performs well balanced melodies. He makes it all sound so simple and effortless."  

SEVERIN THEINERT for Uncut Grass, December 2020

"lonesome beauty...  stylistic perfection and superb pacing...  Tunes & Ballads will carry you away into nostalgias, perhaps for a place and time you have only imagined and can never experience for yourself. Such is the power of music...  So it seems Tim has harnessed the power of nostalgia for not only places and distant times, but ones within ourselves as well."

BAMBI GRINDER, Writer and Editor, Noteworthymusic.com, February 5, 2021  

"Stafford’s work and talents need no words of praise. His accomplishments would put three of him in the Bluegrass Hall of Fame in Owensboro...a bravura display of storytelling and musicianship that opens the mind as much as the ear..."

DAVID MCCARTY, Bluegrass Unlimited, March 1, 2021

TUNES & BALLADS is available now at https://www.timstaffordguitar.com/store.

December 14, 2020—

GRAMMY, DOVE, IBMA and SPBGMA AWARD-winning guitarist, singer and songwriter TIM STAFFORD is proud to release his fourth solo record, TUNES & BALLADS on December 14, 2020. Stafford, a former member of Alison Krauss’s Union Station and a founding member of perennial Bluegrass powerhouse Blue Highway, was named IBMA’s Songwriter of the year in 2014 and 2017 and co-wrote IBMA’s 2008 Song of the Year, “Through the Window of a Train.”

TUNES & BALLADS features 15 of Tim’s compositions, 10 instrumental and 7 vocals, along with a cover of Bobby’s Hebb’s 1960s anthem “Sunny.” Like the title says, the record is a mix of solo, duet and trio instrumentals—much like those featured on Tim’s critically-acclaimed 2017 release Acoustic Guitar—and story songs, four of which were co-written with Tim’s friends and collaborators Craig Market, Joe Newberry, Jon Weisberger, and the late, great Steve Gulley. There are stories about great ships like the Titanic and Arizona, historical figures as disparate as Buffalo Bill Cody and Jack the Ripper, and tales of the loss of ways of life and old guitars. There are both flatpicked and fingerpicked originals—Tim was named the SPBGMA guitar player of the year in 2001 and 2015.

"An exquisite collection of original songs... So subtle and elegant throughout, Tim performs well balanced melodies. He makes it all sound so simple and effortless."

SEVERIN THEINERT for Uncut Grass, December 2020

"lonesome beauty... stylistic perfection and superb pacing... Tunes & Ballads will carry you away into nostalgias, perhaps for a place and time you have only imagined and can never experience for yourself. Such is the power of music... So it seems Tim has harnessed the power of nostalgia for not only places and distant times, but ones within ourselves as well."

BAMBI GRINDER, Writer and Editor, Noteworthymusic.com, February 5, 2021

"Stafford’s work and talents need no words of praise. His accomplishments would put three of him in the Bluegrass Hall of Fame in Owensboro...a bravura display of storytelling and musicianship that opens the mind as much as the ear..."

DAVID MCCARTY, Bluegrass Unlimited, March 1, 2021

TUNES & BALLADS is available now at https://www.timstaffordguitar.com/store.

NOTE:  NO LONGER AVAILABLE FOR INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING.  The entire Bluegrass community is still mourning the loss of one of the giants in the genre's history, the legendary flapicker/singer Tony Rice in Reidsville, NC on Dec. 25, 2020.  Tony's legacy is staggering in this corner of the music world, and his impact was broad, deep and will continue for years to come.  Tim was privileged to co-write with Caroline Wright  Tony's authorized biography, "Still Inside:  The Tony Rice Story" (Word of Mouth Press, Kingsport, TN 2010) and it is available autographed by Tim in the store--https://www.timstaffordguitar.com/store. 

He will be greatly missed by all his fans, devotees and admirers, and especially by his legion of friends.  Rest well, Tony.

Online remembrances and articles:

Alec Wilkinson, "The Master Guitar Playing of Tony Rice," New Yorker magazine, Jan. 8, 2021
https://www.newyorker.com/culture/postscript/the-master-guitar-playing-of-tony-rice?fbclid=IwAR1Yl4grRzjN9cGZikY7BtloDhFm4zSY0r-dXcHbzz-u_LlA9ykmz33DQJo

Molly Tuttle, Tony Rice Was My Guitar Hero, NPR, December 29, 2020 
https://www.npr.org/2020/12/29/951149547/tony-rice-was-my-guitar-hero

Tony Russell, "Tony Rice obituary
Guitarist and singer who took bluegrass in new directions by experimenting with its traditional repertoire" The Guardian, Mon 4 Jan 2021.
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/jan/04/tony-rice-obituary

Chris Eldridge, "Tony Rice In Memoriam: Punch Brothers’ Chris Eldridge Salutes the Greatest Guitar Hero of Bluegrass," Variety, December 30, 2020.
https://variety.com/2020/music/news/tony-rice-chris-eldridge-punch-brothers-bluegrass-guitarist-appreciation-1234877008/

Brian Mansfield, "Tony Rice: 1951 – 2020
Béla Fleck on the influence and inspiration of the bluegrass legend and guitar giant," 
December 29, 2020.  Tidal.com, December 29, 2020.
https://tidal.com/magazine/article/tony-rice-1951-2020/1-76154

Bill Friskics-Warren, "Tony Rice, Bluegrass Innovator With a Guitar Pick, Dies at 69," New York Times,  Dec. 28, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/28/arts/music/tony-rice-dead.html

NOTE: NO LONGER AVAILABLE FOR INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING. The entire Bluegrass community is still mourning the loss of one of the giants in the genre's history, the legendary flapicker/singer Tony Rice in Reidsville, NC on Dec. 25, 2020. Tony's legacy is staggering in this corner of the music world, and his impact was broad, deep and will continue for years to come. Tim was privileged to co-write with Caroline Wright Tony's authorized biography, "Still Inside: The Tony Rice Story" (Word of Mouth Press, Kingsport, TN 2010) and it is available autographed by Tim in the store--https://www.timstaffordguitar.com/store.

He will be greatly missed by all his fans, devotees and admirers, and especially by his legion of friends. Rest well, Tony.

Online remembrances and articles:

Alec Wilkinson, "The Master Guitar Playing of Tony Rice," New Yorker magazine, Jan. 8, 2021 https://www.newyorker.com/culture/postscript/the-master-guitar-playing-of-tony-rice?fbclid=IwAR1Yl4grRzjN9cGZikY7BtloDhFm4zSY0r-dXcHbzz-u_LlA9ykmz33DQJo

Molly Tuttle, Tony Rice Was My Guitar Hero, NPR, December 29, 2020 https://www.npr.org/2020/12/29/951149547/tony-rice-was-my-guitar-hero

Tony Russell, "Tony Rice obituary Guitarist and singer who took bluegrass in new directions by experimenting with its traditional repertoire" The Guardian, Mon 4 Jan 2021. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/jan/04/tony-rice-obituary

Chris Eldridge, "Tony Rice In Memoriam: Punch Brothers’ Chris Eldridge Salutes the Greatest Guitar Hero of Bluegrass," Variety, December 30, 2020. https://variety.com/2020/music/news/tony-rice-chris-eldridge-punch-brothers-bluegrass-guitarist-appreciation-1234877008/

Brian Mansfield, "Tony Rice: 1951 – 2020 Béla Fleck on the influence and inspiration of the bluegrass legend and guitar giant," December 29, 2020. Tidal.com, December 29, 2020. https://tidal.com/magazine/article/tony-rice-1951-2020/1-76154

Bill Friskics-Warren, "Tony Rice, Bluegrass Innovator With a Guitar Pick, Dies at 69," New York Times, Dec. 28, 2020 https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/28/arts/music/tony-rice-dead.html

Welcome

 

"Blessed with an exquisite ear, superlative-creating touch and technique, and a nuanced sense of taste, no one in bluegrass has ever made the guitar sound better than Tim Stafford... David J. McCarty, Bluegrass Unlimited, February 2018

 

This is the official website for guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer and author Tim Stafford.  You can find merch, including downloads and physical copies of all my solo and duet projects, plus instructional material, as well as the critically-acclaimed biography of Tony Rice:  Still Inside, the Tony Rice Story.  Also lyrics, news, schedule, photos, Blog and much more.  Blue Highway dates and information here.

 

TIM'S NEW SOLO RECORD TUNES & BALLADS AVAILABLE NOW!! 

GRAMMY, DOVE, IBMA and SPBGMA AWARD-winning guitarist, singer and songwriter TIM STAFFORD is proud to release his fourth solo record, TUNES & BALLADS on December 14, 2020. Stafford, a former member of Alison Krauss’s Union Station and a founding member of perennial Bluegrass powerhouse Blue Highway, was named IBMA’s Songwriter of the year in 2014 and 2017 and co-wrote IBMA’s 2008 Song of the Year, “Through the Window of a Train.”

TUNES & BALLADS features 15 of Tim’s compositions, 10 instrumentals and 7 vocals, along with a cover of Bobby’s Hebb’s 1960s anthem “Sunny.” Like the title says, the record is a mix of solo, duet and trio instrumentals—in the style of those featured on Tim’s critically-acclaimed 2017 release ACOUSTIC GUITAR—and story songs, four of which were co-written with Tim’s friends and collaborators Craig Market, Joe Newberry, Jon Weisberger, and the late, great Steve Gulley. There are stories about great ships like the Titanic and Arizona, historical figures as disparate as Buffalo Bill Cody and Jack the Ripper, and tales of the loss of ways of life and old guitars. There are both flatpicked and fingerpicked originals—Tim was named the SPBGMA guitar player of the year in 2001 and 2015.

 https://www.timstaffordguitar.com/store

 

"An exquisite collection of original songs...  So subtle and elegant throughout, Tim performs well balanced melodies. He makes it all sound so simple and effortless."  

SEVERIN THEINERT for Uncut GrassDecember 2020

"lonesome beauty...  stylistic perfection and superb pacing...  Tunes & Ballads will carry you away into nostalgias, perhaps for a place and time you have only imagined and can never experience for yourself. Such is the power of music...  So it seems Tim has harnessed the power of nostalgia for not only places and distant times, but ones within ourselves as well."

BAMBI GRINDER, Writer and Editor, Noteworthymusic.com, February 5, 2021

"Stafford’s work and talents need no words of praise. His accomplishments would put three of him in the Bluegrass Hall of Fame in Owensboro...a bravura display of storytelling and musicianship that opens the mind as much as the ear..."

DAVID MCCARTY, Bluegrass Unlimited, March 1, 2021

 

"LONG WAY AROUND THE MOUNTAIN," the second single on Mountain Home from the late Steve Gulley & Tim released November 2020.

From modern tales of love and loss to stories of hard-working mountaineers, the award-winning team of

Steve Gulley & Tim Stafford

wove compelling narratives out of historical events and personal, emotional journeys alike — and never so well as when the two coincide, as they do in “Long Way Around The Mountain.” Built around a true story, the song offers a vivid portrayal of life underground and the violence that periodically flared up in the coal fields as miners sought to organize.

That alone would have given the release some gravity — it’s a theme the two have treated more than once, both together and individually — but with the sudden passing of Steve Gulley in August at the age of 57, his musical legacy takes on an even deeper emotional weight. So it was natural that, when planning a second release from the duo’s already-recorded material, thoughts would turn to a song based on events handed down from one generation of the singer’s family to the next.

On “Long Way Around The Mountain,” muscular bluegrass picking from Ron Stewart (banjo, fiddle), Thomas Cassell (mandolin), bassist Barry Bales and Stafford on guitar give life to Gulley’s heartfelt recounting of the story of his native eastern Kentucky’s “Fork Ridge Coal Mine War” at one of the area’s few non-union operations long ago — told in the voice of miner Marcellus Gulley, his great-uncle.

Stafford says, “I remember Steve's vivid recollections about the miners being told to find another way home from the mine since there was ‘blood running down the highway’ and ‘they were shooting men down at the gate.’ We put Steve's words directly into the song as we told the story of hard-working men just trying to make a living, who learned through the grapevine that they had better take the long way around the mountain to make it home alive.”

Great article HERE on the single.

 

"STILL HERE," the first single on Mountain Home from Steve Gulley & Tim released June 26, 2020!

Arden, North Carolina (June 26, 2020) — For their first Mountain Home Music Company single, ace songwriting colleagues Steve Gulley and Tim Stafford have chosen “Still Here,” a bleak yet ultimately poignant portrait of a man trapped in a life away from the only place he feels at home. 

“I love the money but I hate this town / Every day I’m here just wears me down,” Gulley sings in weary tones, as the song shifts from its hushed, moody opening feel into the solid bluegrass rhythms of the first chorus and its downcast conclusion: “Costs me more than this place will ever give me / But here I am...still here.” 

With a searing fiddle solo by ace studio musician Ron Stewart (who also contributes banjo) that perfectly captures the narrator’s mingled bitterness and resignation over Stafford’s muscular, mournful guitar rhythms, bassist Barry Bales’ steady pulse and the brisk groove of mandolinist Thomas Cassell (Circus No.9), “Still Here” offers a polished, musically sophisticated yet viscerally emotional reading that serves to reintroduce the duo in their first joint project in a decade. Both men are renowned performers in their own rights — Gulley as an esteemed singer and hitmaker with his own Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle, Stafford as a founding member of Blue Highway and an influential guitarist — but have only one previous recording together to their credit, 2010’s Dogwood Winter. 

"This is one man's regret at living so long somewhere he didn't want to be,” says Stafford of “Still Here.” “And despite everything he's endured, including his homesickness for Appalachia. But I think it can be generalized to anyone who feels out of place.” 

“I think a lot of people can relate to the story in the song,” adds Gulley. “Most all of us have had times when we've felt out of place and missed home. I know I have.” 

And circling back to the title, Stafford concludes, “Despite it all, he's still here." 

Listen to “Still Here” HERE.

"BOTH ENDS OF THE TRAIN" NOMINATED FOR IBMA SONG OF THE YEAR!!  The first song from Somewhere Far Away was written by Tim and Steve Gulley.  The IBMA Awards will be held virtually on Oct. 1 2020!

NEWS FLASH!  TIM WINS SECOND IBMA SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR AWARD!!

"BOTH ENDS OF THE TRAIN" #1 ON ROOTS MUSIC REPORT'S TOP 50 TRADITIONAL BLUEGRASS CHART FOR THE WEEK OF JAN. 4, 2020!

 


"A modern classic of great tone, tunes, and technique, this album is not to be missed..."  David J. McCarty, Bluegrass Unlimited, February 2018 

Tim nominated for 2018 IBMA Song of the Year with Becky Buller for "Calamity Jane"!

 

NEW VIDEO FOR "I AM AMERICA"

 

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Nashville Flatpick Camp

 —  —

Nashville Flatpick Camp, 1418 Timber Trail Rd, Goodlettsville, TN 37072

In the hills just above Nashville, TN there is a house set back in the woods where people go to learn how to play flatpick guitar. Only 15 campers are allowed to attend so each class is small and every camper comes away feeling like he or she had a couple of days of private lessons. And yet, friendships are made that last a lifetime. It's pretty magical.