Award winning banjo player Cliff Wagner was raised in Greenwood, Mississippi, home of blues legend Robert Johnson. He gained national exposure as one of 12 bands out of 6000 applicants on Next Great American Band Show on FOX television October – November 2007 , produced by Freemantle Entertainment , producers of American Idol.
His first instrument was his grandmother's banjo-uke at 7 years old. He started playing 5-string banjo at 11, and also picked up guitar . He played with his father, who played stand-up bass, in a local bluegrass band in Mississippi until he moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music. While in Boston he played traditional music in Harvard Square and the subway for a living with partner Nathan Phillips. He and the band moved to NYC. There he started playing banjo in local bluegrass heroes Drinkin' and Cheatin' with mandolinist Bob Grant, formerly of the Bad Livers, now with Tim Graves and Cherokee. He moved to California seven years ago and started his own band. Cliff has also played on several CHM recordings as well as with members of Lost Highway, The Witcher Brothers, and Bluegrass Etc. In addition Cliff has contributed on many New York and Los Angeles Alt. Country recording sessions and independent film scores as well as commercial soundtrack recordings for Mini Cooper and The Sports Network.
Cliff plays banjo and fiddle and sings lead for Cliff Wagner & The Old #7, and writes all of their original material.