J.D. Crowe | Architect of the New South

A second generation Kentucky Bluegrass pioneer, J.D. Crowe cut his first record in 1956 with the Sunny Mountain Boys. Crowe’s career is defined as much by the bands he has helmed as the sound he created. Crowe absorbed and interpolated the musical and cultural nuances of his predecessors such as Earl Scruggs to become the driving force behind the new voice of Bluegrass in the 1970s.

He has spent the past six decades building a series of Bluegrass juggernauts, held together with his five banjo strings and a passion for music. Firmly rooted in Bluegrass traditions going back to his early days of performing with Jimmy Martin in the 1950s, Crowe went on to form the Kentucky Mountain Boys and, later, J.D. Crowe and the New South The most famous of those bands, The New South, is considered one of the most influential Bluegrass groups since the 1970s, and gave rise to the careers of musicians like Ricky Skaggs, Bobby Sloan and Keith Whitley – each went on to write their own chapter in Bluegrass history.

Inducted into the 2016 American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame.