Boyd Deering grew up nine miles from the Kentucky state line in the small, rural town of Lafayette, Tennessee, the son of J. V. "Bud" and JoAnne Deering.
Boyd really got interested in playing music at the age of 10 when his dad – who operated a local music club, the Picking Post – showed him a handful of fiddle tunes on the mandolin. Boyd would practice up to 10-12 hours a day in the summer – playing mandolin whenever he wasn't busy helping haul hay, fencing, working with farm machinery, raising a garden, working in tobacco, or whatever else it takes to keep a family farm going. A few folks in Lafayette still remember a really young Boyd selling watermelons and cantaloupes with the old men downtown at Key Park.
It wasn't long until Boyd took up acoustic guitar and fiddle. He took on more work at fifteen, teaching guitar at the local music store and being a member of the staff band on weekends at his dad's local music club, The Picking Post. Boyd played mandolin, fiddle, acoustic and electric guitar, acoustic and electric bass, and even quite a bit of banjo at the club from 1983-1988.
Being only an hour outside of a major music center such as Nashville, many of the world's brightest and best musicians were often found onstage at The Picking Post.
From the beginning, Boyd was playing in bands. He was catching a ride to Nashville to play bars and clubs while still in high school. At first it was mainly country and bluegrass music. In the years since, Boyd has played rock, pop, classical, jazz, swing, alternative, rockabilly, country, fusion, and gospel. He stepped onstage at a Nashville club with Bill Monroe for the first time when he was barely sixteen. He was later to spend time with Mr. Monroe at this farm in Goodlettsville, a visit which had a great deal of influence on Boyd's musical direction and resolve.
From the mid-eighties to the mid-nineties, Boyd was quite often found throughout the southeast competing in music festivals against some of the best acoustic players of our time. Chris Thile, Kenny Smith, Jim Hurst, Randy Howard, Mark O'Connor, and any number of other great players were likely to be among the competitions in which Boyd honed his skills as a musician and showman. Boyd won approximately 70 first places on mandolin, acoustic guitar, and fiddle before moving to Nashville.
Boyd took top 3 honors on mandolin at the legendary Galax Old Fiddler's Convention in 1986, competing against 139 other mandolin players. He took top 3 honors on fiddle in the Kentucky State Fiddler's Contest at age 16 in the year Alison Krauss won first. He took top 3 honors on acoustic guitar in 1994 at Merlefest, one of the top guitar competitions in the United States. He has claimed 1st place on guitar and mandolin 8 times at one of the largest music competitions in the world, the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree.
After moving to Nashville, Boyd appeared on TNN with Mark O'Connor. He toured with Vassar Clements. He played with the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble. He worked with Danni Leigh, Ten Cent Whiskey, and Brasilbilly. Boyd has shared the stage with the Charlie Daniels Band, Josh Graves, John Anderson, Johnny Gimble, John McEuen, Peter Rowan, David Allen Coe, and the Cumberland Boys. Boyd was in a Madonna video shoot. He played the Grand Ole Opry. Boyd toured the United States and performed to audiences on 4 continents.
His talent has been well-received North America, South America, Asia, and Europe, including playing before a crowd of more than 46,000 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the 8th largest city in the world.
Boyd has continued to look for ways to stretch his creativity. He has been a 2nd engineer on Nashville studio projects. He has been involved as a player on demo session recordings in Nashville. He has well-developed skills as a singer/songwiter. He has written for a Nashville-based acoustic music publication. He has continued to teach on a limited basis.
He has been involved with professional theater, sharing the stage with several serious full-time professional actors. 2004 has found Boyd trying on a new hat, producing his own CD, "The Pilgrim Soul".
Listen to this new musical project and you will be convinced that Boyd Deering is a creative musical force that is going to be around for a long time.