25th ANNIVERSARY RECORD, 12 NEW ORIGINAL SONGS.  https://bluehighwayband.com/music-store

25th ANNIVERSARY RECORD, 12 NEW ORIGINAL SONGS. https://bluehighwayband.com/music-store

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.

 

"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"

 

Join our mailing list for the latest news

Previous events

Oct16

Tim Stafford teaches guitar and songwriting virtually at 2019 NBCMS Acoustic Music Workshop--ONLINE only

 —  —

Virtual, Your house, Alberta

https://www.theacousticmusicworkshop.com/2020-online-workshop

Workshop leaders with solid backgrounds in teaching and performance are assembled to provide the best possible musical weekend.

It will be different... it will be great. Let's stay connected ​

The Northern Bluegrass Circle Music Society sponsors the Acoustic Music Workshop in order to promote, preserve and present bluegrass music. Knowledge of bluegrass is not required, it is our hope that musicians, already comfortable in their playing ability, will want to experience the user friendly nature of bluegrass music.

Let's Make It Social

Grow your community of musical friendships. The live ZOOM workshop allows you to learn new skills while reconnecting with friends. Keep the workshop running all weekend and see what you learn about other instruments and instructors. Check in from time to time to see who else is tuned in. Use the 15 minute break between workshops to connect with friends.

The More You Know The More You Grow.

Award winning songwriters, guitar players, mandolin players, fiddlers and banjo players will be presenting 45 minutes of insightful sessions on instruments you already play and on instruments you may not know much about. Techniques and strategies on the different instruments are transferable. Access to knowledgeable instructors can broaden your musical experience.

Viewing On Demand

Seminars will be available for viewing on demand after the workshop weekend.

Expand Your Musical Network

Meet some of the most accomplished artists in the acoustic music world. This is a jumping off point to establishing student/teacher relationships.

Tune in to different sessions and find out more about the instructor and their instrument.

Expand your list of jamming friends. Find out who else is out there playing music. We won't be isolated for ever. We will want to return to a healthy musical community when we emerge from this pandemic.

Prepare For The Workshop Sessions

Workshop handouts are available for some of the workshops. Download them ahead of time and be ready.

​​

Bring All 16 Sessions Home

45 minutes sessions over 16 hours. Check the schedule.

All 16 sessions for

$75 Earlybird rate before October 12

$120 Household rate. Two people at one location

$95 after October 12

All 16 sessions for $75 Earlybird rate before October 12 $120 Household rate. Two people at one location $95 after October 12

POSTPONED UNTIL FUTURE DATE!! Songwriters in the Round: Miller, Kelley & Stafford

Folkmoot USA, 112 Virginia Ave, Waynesville, North Carolina

The Great Balsam Songwriters in the Round Series begins its 2020 season with The Scott Miller, Irene Kelley and Tim Stafford live in the round at Queen Auditorium on the Folkmoot Center campus.

$10 Student advance ticket; $20 advance adult ticket

Tim Stafford teaches at Nashville Flatpick Camp

 —  —

Nashville Flatpick Camp with Kenny and Amanda Smith, Tim May and Adam Schlenker, 2094 Timber Trail Rd. , Goodlettsville, TN 37072

SOLD OUT!! In the woods above Nashville, TN, there is a camp for flatpickers of all levels and most ages. It is held in a beautiful home surrounded by trees and creeks and bonfire pits perfect for late night jamming. Many of the greatest flatpickers alive will be teaching there but only 15 students will be allowed to sign up - guaranteeing the most incredible learning experience offered in modern music camping.

You will stay on-site or travel from your home each day and learn from the masters. In the afternoons there will be jams where you may very well find yourself picking Red Haired Boy or Big Sciota across from Kenny Smith or possibly Amanda Smith sings harmony with you while you sing and pick with Adam Schlenker.

On Sunday of camp you will record a tune with one of these flatpicking heroes with a real-deal professional engineer. It's mind-boggling, really. We also have a very close relationship with the incredible Carter Vintage Guitars store in downtown Nashville. We always suggest you head there either before or just after camp to see what's new over there. Feel free to click on the link above to browse their website before you head this way. Gearld Strickland is our camp luthier and will be available throughout camp to help you sort out any issues you might have with your guitar.

Tim Stafford teaches songwriting at 2019 NBCMS Acoustic Music Workshop

 —  —

2019 NBCMS Acoustic Music Workshop-- camp He Ho Ha (https://www.theacousticmusicworkshop.com/camp-he-ho-ha), AB T0E 2B0, Seba Beach, Alberta

The Acoustic Music Workshop occurs over three days and offers six 60 minute workshops, a Mini Festival, performance opportunities and lots of jamming. The workshop campus is situated at Camp He Ho Ha 45 minutes west of Edmonton. Stay in comfortable dorms, enjoy home cooked meals and play as much music as you can fit into a weekend.

Workshop leaders with solid backgrounds in teaching and performance are assembled to provide the best possible musical weekend.

The Northern Bluegrass Circle Music Society sponsors the Acoustic Music Workshop in order to promote, preserve and present bluegrass music. Knowledge of bluegrass is not required, it is our hope that musicians, already comfortable in their playing ability, will want to experience the user friendly nature of bluegrass music.

Tim Stafford teaches Songwriting at the Great Lakes Music Camp

 —  —

Great Lakes Music Camp, 10451 Lakeshore Drive , West Olive, MI 49460

Great Lakes Music Camp provides a unique opportunity to study in intimate small groups under award winning musicians and spend the weekend on Michigan’s unbeatable shoreline.

Tim Stafford guitar class at 2019 Smoky Mountain Songwriters Bluegrass Camp

 —  —

Gatlingburg, TN

https://smswf.com/product/2019-smswf-bluegrass-camp/

The SMSWF is hosting a Bluegrass Camp sponsored by Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery Aug. 11-18, 2019 at the end of the 8th Annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival .

Tim Stafford guitar class at Ashokan Music and Dance Camp

 —  —

Ashokan Music and Dance Camp, 477 Beaverkill Rd , Olivebridge, NY 12461

https://ashokan.org/bluegrass-camp/

Don’t miss this chance to learn from and jam with some of the best musicians and teachers in bluegrass music. Featuring Tim, Tony Trischka, Claire Lynch, Laurie Lewis, Matt Flinner, Missy Raines, Phil Ledbetter, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Tony Watt and Laura Orshaw.

Tim Stafford at the Station

The Station, 4206 Miser Station Rd , Louisville, Tennessee

The Station in East Tennessee is the south's most unique listening room setting for live music. Experiencing music inside The Station's 120 yr old building with raw wood interior resonating is much like climbing into the sound hole of a vintage instrument

Tony Arata & Tim Stafford at Randy Woods Pickin' Parlor

Randy Wood's Pickin' Parlor , 1304 E. Highway 80, Bldg 2 , Bloomingdale, GA 31302

An evening of fun and great songs from Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member and Savannah native Tony Arata ("The Dance," by Garth Brooks; "Here I Am" by Patty Loveless) and two-time IBMA Songwriter of the Year Tim Stafford of Blue Highway. (912) 748-1930 https://www.randywoodmusic.com/pickin-parlor/

An Intimate Evening of Song with Justin Mychals, Tim Stafford and Bobby Starnes

Ridgefields Tavern, 2320 Pendragon Rd, Kingsport, TN 37660

Comin up March 23rd! You don’t want to miss this show! Tim Stafford and Bobby Starnes will be joining me for “An Intimate Evening of Song” Awesome songwriters, Grammy nominated, International Bluegrass Music Association songwriter of the year, founding member of Blue Highway are just a few of the accolades that these two bring to the stage that night. They have recently released their first Cd together and it is on fire! The cd entitled “What We Leave Behind” is number 1 on airplay direct radio Charts. Advance Tickets for this Dinner concert are $39.00 +tax =$42.70 and can be purchased at: Paypal.me/justinmychals Or call Ridgefields CC at 423 392-8373! Limited seating and all seats are reserved! Get yours today!

Wintergrass Songwriting Intensive with Tim Stafford

 —  —

Hyatt Regency, 900 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004, Bellevue, WA

Wintergrass Songwriting Intensive. The course will be an immersive songwriting experience, focusing on craft and process as well as some business issues. We'll write a song together using everything we learn about melody, rhythm, harmony, lyric and spirit, so students should be prepared to participate.

Songwriting is one of the most subjective and fluid topics possible - - there are a lot of ways to make a good song and even more ideas about what makes one. We'll examine successful songs by artists such as Hank Williams and ones that students particularly admire. We'll also have lots of fun and hopefully acquire some skills along the way!

Skill levels - - all

Register on the Wintergrass ticket site.

Jul21

An Evening with Tony Arata and Tim Stafford

Randy Wood's Pickin' Parlor, 1304 E. Highway 80, Bldg 2, Bloomingdale, GA 31302

An evening of fun and great songs from Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member and Savannah native Tony Arata ("The Dance," by Garth Brooks; "Here I Am" by Patty Loveless) and two-time IBMA Songwriter of the Year Tim Stafford of Blue Highway. http://www.randywoodmusic.com/upcoming-shows.html

Extraordinary Night of Songwriters Reunion!

Robinette Studio and Performance Venue, 248 Blackley Road, Bristol, TN 37620

$15 TICKETS at http://www.annierobinette.com/calendar

In 2015, Annie Robinette had an idea for a night of "musical storytelling" involving a few songwriters with very different approaches to the art. First she contacted Jeff Lane and together they decided to ask Tim Stafford and Bobby Starnes about the idea. What ended up happening was pure magic in front of a sold-out audience in the Robinette's intimate studio in Bristol, TN! In 2016 the show was brought back together with the same results and a very personal experience for everyone in attendance. Due to circumstances beyond their control, a planned 2017 reunion didn't happen, however it is now 2018 and this MUST HAPPEN AGAIN!

This is a true reflection of why songs are written as told by the musical storytellers. Prepare to understand the songs in their most fragile form - just as they were created...

For more info on the artists:

Tim Stafford website - https://www.timstaffordguitar.com/ Annie Robinette website - http://www.annierobinette.com Bobby Starnes website - http://www.hatcreekrecordingcompany.com/About_Us.html Jeff Lane website - http://jefflanesongwriter.com

Get your TICKETS http://www.annierobinette.com/calendar

"STILL HERE," FIRST SINGLE FROM NEW STEVE GULLEY & TIM STAFFORD RECORD AVAILABLE!! 

"STILL HERE," the first single on Mountain Home from Steve Gulley & Tim was 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…

Read more

TIM AND BOBBY STARNES DUET RECORD AVAILABLE! 

ORDER HERE!!

What We Leave Behind:  A Songwriters' Collection is a showcase for 14 songs written in the Bluegrass, Country and Americana styles by Tim Stafford and Bobby Starnes, featuring guest vocals from Trey Hensley, Tim Shelton, Beth Snapp and Keith Williams and also featuring special guests Dave Eggar, John Gardner, Ron Stewart, Jacob Burleson, Kam Kellar, Daniel Salyer, Jim Price, Jason Lloyd, Tony Dingus, Kevin Jackson, Tommy Starnes, Eddie Trent, Chris Simmons, Gina Salyer, and Jonathan Presnell.  

Read more

NEW TIM STAFFORD GUITAR RECORD NOW AVAILABLE!!!! 

Tim's new record, "Acoustic Guitar," IS NOW AVAILABLE!! 18 cuts, 13 original instrumentals, 10 solo guitar, 5 duets, 2 trios, 1 vocal (featuring Tim Shelton)...  FEATURING:  Stuart Duncan, Dave Eggar, Adam Steffey, Tim Shelton, John Gardner, Gaven Largent, Daniel Salyer...  And the new Youtube sensation from Bobby Starnes and Tim, "I Am America." 

BLUE HIGHWAY'S "ORIGINAL TRADITIONAL" GRAMMY NOMINATED!! 

Very proud of our guys!  Blue Highway's Original Traditional was nominated for a Grammy on Dec. 6, 2016 in the "Best Bluegrass Album" category!  This is our 11th studio album and first with Dobro ace Gaven Largent.  It's the band's third Grammy nomination, with previous nods for Wondrous Love in 2005 and Marbletown in 2006.  The focus for this album was to make a traditionally-oriented record with original material.  The album is nominated along with releases by Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Claire Lynch…

Read more

Original Traditional is here! Blue Highway's 11th studio album arrives 

Original Traditional, Blue Highway's 11th studio album, was released Sept. 9 on Rounder records.  The band is very excited about this, our first recording with dobro ace Gaven Largent.  Is it a concept record?  Kinda.  We decided we wanted to do a traditional bluegrass record, and after we checked out everyone's writing, we decided we had enough original tunes to comprise the entire record, minus an a cappella version of the Sacred Harp song, "Hallelujah."  By doing an all-original traditional bluegrass…

Read more

The passing of a legend  

Ralph Stanley's passing truly marks the end of an era.  He was the last man standing from the "big three" acts of the early years of bluegrass, Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs and the Stanley Brothers, a link to the very beginning of the genre.  It was the Stanleys' 1948 recording of "Molly and Tenbrooks" that represented the first recorded evidence of a group emulating the sound of the seminal 1945-48 Bill Monroe band (featuring Flatt and Scruggs as well as Chubby Wise and Howard Watts).  In essence, it…Read more

Tim on the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine March-April '16 

Tim was featured in a cover story by Dan Miller in Flatpicking Guitar magazine's March-April 2016 issue (Volume 20, No. 3).  Sadly, FGM is in its final year of publication, and has decided to "catch up" with artists profiled earlier in the magazine's history, including Tim, Jim Hurst, Bryan Sutton and Kenny Smith. Tim was originally featured in the January/February 2001 issue of the magazine (Volume 5, No. 2).  Both issues are available on the FGM website (click photo).

Howdy 

Welcome to my newly-designed website.  I'll be updating all my activities here, and sharing various musings.  I recently had a couple good conversations with friends of mine on far-ranging topics on their podcasts, including the formation of Blue Highway, streaming, the future of bluegrass and other more fun stuff...  Tim Shelton and Justin Moses are amazing musicians and singers, and it was good to talk with them at length recently about what's going on in my world.  Here are their links:

Tim Shelton (#35…Read more