Tom Dudley (Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals)
Tom Dudley has played and composed music since he was a teenager. He studied classical guitar, piano and music theory at the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, CT, and jazz performance and arranging at Berklee College in Boston, MA. From 1982 until 1995, Tom worked behind the scenes as an electronic technician. His electronics career culminated in his moving to Asheville, NC in 1995 to work for synthesizer pioneer Bob Moog. Since 2001 Tom has played with County Farm, a bluegrass band based in Asheville. He left Moog Music in 2002 to pursue a full-time career in music. In 2007, Tom produced "Walkin' to the Bridge" an album of his original songs featuring some of his favorite pickers and singers.
"Walkin' to the Bridge" is the natural result of Tom's appreciation for mountain music, and for the young artists who honor that heritage as the music evolves with each generation. With each of the eleven tunes he composed for this release, Tom had one of the featured singers or pickers in mind. Different people, different sounds—old as the proverbial hills, and fresh as a blast of bebop banjo. Independently produced, and mixed and mastered by Grammy winner Nathan Milner, "Walkin' to the Bridge" is a journey that covers a lot of ground.
"Walkin' to the Bridge" features the collaborative talents of nine North Carolina pickers and singers. Town Mountain's Robert Greer sings lead on the tongue-in-cheek tear-jerker "Etch A Sketch® of Love" and the seriously heartfelt "Don't Mourn For Me." Cary Fridley, former Freighthopper (winner of the "Talent From Towns Under 2000" competition on NPR's "A Prairie Home Companion") appears solo and unaccompanied on the haunting ballad "Nightbird." Also featured are Daniel Coolik of One Leg Up, Jay Mullenax and Paul Leech of County Farm, and Lance Mills of the Cavemen. Capping off the lineup are Nicky Sanders, who fiddles full-time with Steep Canyon Rangers (2006 IBMA Emerging Artists of the Year), and banjo wizard Ryan Cavanaugh, on a break from touring with jazz saxophonist Bill Evans.