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.

 

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. 

3/3/23:  TODAY is the day! "Lost Voices," the duet recording with Thomm Jutz, is out today on Mountain Fever Records! Available NOW on my website: https://www.timstaffordguitar.com/store
From the press release: February 3, 2023 - Nashville, TN - When long-time pals, mutual admirers, and heavily respected bluegrass musicians Tim Stafford and Thomm Jutz really started amassing a catalog of co-written songs during Covid lockdown and beyond, it only made sense to get these inspired, well-crafted stories recorded for the rest of the world to hear and enjoy. Decamping to Jutz’s log cabin studio outside of Nashville with a crew of like-minded greats including Shaun Richardson on mandolin, Ron Block on banjo, Tammy Rogers on fiddle, and Mark Fain on bass, Stafford and Jutz cut fourteen of their songs to create an album of tunes that the beloved, late music writer and historian Peter Cooper called “Songs that bring American history—mountain culture, steam trains, vaudeville, race, baseball, strife, and grace—to technicolor life.” The album is called Lost Voices, and it's out now on Mountain Fever Records.
From “Callie Lou,” a song based on a scene from Harriette Arnow’s The Doll Maker that features Dale Ann Bradey on vocals; to the story of Negro League heroes, The Elizabethton Blue Grays, brought to life by the dedicated research of Jacey Augustus and the Cedar Grove Foundation; to the amazing story of the now-recognized Navajo heroes of the battle of Iwo Jima in “Code Talkers”; to “The Queen and Crescent” which is full of the alluring jargon from the golden era of America’s railroads; Lost Voices is all in tribute to what the longtime Blue Highway guitarist (Stafford) and the long-respected Nashville songwriter and session man (Jutz) call “the lost voices that still had so much to say.”
After calling both Stafford and Jutz “master guitarists and writers,” the aforementioned Cooper described Lost Voices, just like this: “These are new kinds of bluegrass songs, informed by mutual heroes Tony Rice, Norman Blake, John Hartford, and Gordon Lightfoot, yet not beholden to any prior influence, other than the influence of the American experience.”
Lost Voices In The News:
The Elizabethton Star, the home paper of that famous ball team who last took the field in 1955, wrote about Stafford and Jutz’s “The Blue Grays.”
Wide Open Country and Saving Country Music both included Lost Voices in their lists of most anticipated releases of 2023.
Americana UK shared “Take That Shot,” writing a simple, hefty compliment: “Lively? Sprightly? Bluegrass Perfection? Yes to all of those.”
Alan Cackett wrote a lovely review of Lost Voices, saying, “Echoes of the tenuous trappings of America’s past come flooding to the fore in these expertly penned songs, but they find a contemporary connection as well.”
No Depression reviewed the album writing, "Lost Voices showcases the sheer beauty of the work of two songwriters who capture in a song the heart and soul of people struggling with daily life but who also evoke elegantly the spirit of a time past that pulls on us, teaching us about our present condition."
Lost Voices Tracklist:
Take That Shot
Enough To Keep You Going For A While
The Blue Grays
The Ballad Of Kinnie Wagner
Callie Lou
The Wild Atlantic Way
No Witness In The Laurel But The Leaves
Vaudeville Blues
Code Talker
The Standing People
The Queen And Crescent
High Mountain Rising
Revolutionary Love
Lost Voices
More About Tim & Thomm: Mountain Fever Records is very proud to announce the signing of Tim Stafford and Thomm Jutz; two of the most prominent and prolific songwriters in bluegrass music, for the release of their forthcoming duo project, Lost Voices.
Their love for history, vintage guitars, and well-crafted songs brought the two together five years ago. “I’m such an admirer of Tim’s writing, singing, and playing. Making a duo record with Tim was a logical step and a dream come true for me,” notes Jutz. Stafford says, “Thomm is such a great, unique writer, player, and singer - we connected and found so many ideas that spoke to us both. Recording was a breeze!”

NEW SINGLE!!! Blue Highway is proud to announce its new single, "Lonesome State of Mind" is now available everywhere music is streamed.  The song, written by Tim Stafford and Bobby Starnes, is a classic banjo-driven bluegrass heartache number featuring Wayne Taylor on lead vocal, great solos from Jason Burleson, Gary Hultman and Shawn Lane and a classic Wayne/Shawn duet!  #1 Nationwide on Bluegrass Today's Monthly Airplay Chart for February 2023!! Have a listen here.


Tim Stafford & Thomm Jutz are proud to announce a new single from their 2023 release "Lost Voices" on Mountain Fever Records!  "No Witness in the Laurel but the Leaves" is a tale of mountain feuding featuring Ron Block on banjo, Tammy Rogers on fiddle, Mark Fain on acoustic bass and Shaun Richardson on mandolin.  This single follows their highly successful premiere release from the record, "Take That Shot," which is still in rotation on Sirius radio's Bluegrass Junction.  You can download "No Witness" here.

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, The Earls of Leicester Featuring Jerry Douglas, 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. 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

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