Bryan Sutton

Bryan Sutton is an American musician. Primarily known as a flatpicked acoustic guitar player, Sutton also plays mandolin, banjo, ukulele, and electric guitar. He also sings and writes songs.

Bryan Sutton
Asheville, North Carolina
OriginUnited States
GenresCountry, bluegrass
Years active1997-present
LabelsSugar Hill
Associated actsRicky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Hot Rize


Early career

Sutton's grandfather and father were regionally recognized fiddlers, and Sutton grew up playing in the family band, the Pisgah Pickers. In 1991, he played guitar for Karen Peck and New River, a gospel group. In 1993, he moved to Nashville.[1][2]

Ricky Skaggs

Sutton first came to prominence in 1997 as lead guitarist in Ricky Skaggs' band Kentucky Thunder when Skaggs returned to bluegrass. Sutton eventually left the band to focus on session work.[3]

Hot Rize

Bryan was asked to join the seminal bluegrass quartet Hot Rize in 2002. He has toured and recorded with them ever since, and has only missed one show since they re-formed.[4]

Session work and touring

In addition to Skaggs and Hot Rize, Sutton has toured with the Dixie Chicks, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Béla Fleck, Hot Rize, Chris Thile, Tony Rice and others.[5]

In 2007-08, Sutton toured with Chris Thile & The How to Grow a Band, a project which later turned into the Punch Brothers.[6]

Bryan is one of the most in-demand session players in Nashville, and recently produced a record for Della Mae and the Cash Cabin. His style is a unique blend of staccato mixed with powerful chromatic and melodic movements which is integrated into the more common bluegrass, blues and folk leads that are common to the genre.[7]

Other projects

In June, 2011 he launched the Online Bluegrass Guitar School with Bryan Sutton, as part of the ArtistWorks Academy of Bluegrass.[8]

In 2013, Sutton recorded the album Ready for the Times with T. Michael Coleman and David Holt. They recorded the album as a tribute to Doc Watson.[9] The trio got together in 2011, and have performed frequently under the name Deep River Rising.[10]


For Almost Live, Sutton was joined by 17 guest musicians, including Béla Fleck (banjo), Jerry Douglas (resonator guitar), Russ Barenberg (guitar), Chris Thile (mandolin), and Stuart Duncan (fiddle).[6]

Sutton's album Into My Own featured guests Bill Frisell (guitar), Ronnie McCoury (mandolin), and Noam Pikelny (banjo).[2]

On 2016's The More I Learn, Sutton continued to develop and showcase his singing and songwriting skills. The album prominently features Bryan Sutton Band members Casey Campbell (mandolin), Mike Barnett (fiddle), and Sam Grisman (bass).[11]


  • 2000 - IBMA Guitar Player of the Year
  • 2003 - IBMA Guitar Player of the Year
  • 2004 - IBMA Guitar Player of the Year
  • 2005 - IBMA Guitar Player of the Year
  • 2006 - IBMA Guitar Player of the Year
  • 2007 - Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance for Whiskey Before Breakfast w/ Doc Watson. The song was recorded using 3 vintage Neumann microphones and a laptop in a Colorado hotel room by Engineer Phil Harris.[1]
  • 2011 - IBMA Guitar Player of the Year [12]
  • 2013 - IBMA Guitar Player of the Year
  • 2014 - IBMA Guitar Player of the Year
  • 2014 - Into My Own was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Bluegrass Album category[13]
  • 2015 - IBMA Guitar Player of the Year[14]
  • 2016 - IBMA Guitar Player of the Year[15]


Bryan supports Bourgeois Guitars and performs regularly with his own signature model, a Bourgeois Bryan Sutton Limited Edition. He also uses a Bourgeois "Country Boy Deluxe" model dreadnought, and a Bourgeois "Banjo Killer" slope-shouldered dreadnought, which is another model directly inspired by Bryan. He also regularly performs with a 1940 Martin D-28.[2]


  1. ^ a b Emily Glaser. "Bluegrass and Balsam: Appalachia's Own Bryan Sutton". Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Stone, Steven (December 1, 2014). "Bryan Sutton: Into His Own". Vintage Guitar Magazine. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  3. ^ Netherland, Tom (March 1, 2017). "Guitar phenomenon Bryan Sutton looks to next challenge". Bristol Herald-Courier. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  4. ^ Leslie, Jimmy (February 6, 2015). "Bryan Sutton on Hot Rize, Low End, and Fluid Flatpicking". Guitar Player. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  5. ^ "Bryan Sutton Bans". Music City Roots. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Ellis, Andy (April 1, 2010). "Bryan Sutton". Guitar Player. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  7. ^ Reed, James (May 30, 2013). "Della Mae puts extra pluck in its bluegrass". Boston Globe. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  8. ^ staff writer (May 26, 2011). "ArtistsWorks to Launch Online Bluegrass Guitar School with Bryan Sutton". Guitar Player. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  9. ^ "Sutton, Holt & Coleman-Ready for the Times". Bluegrass Unlimited. October 1, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  10. ^ Gevock, Nick (July 11, 2012). "Inspired by Doc Watson, Deep River Rising trio carries on tradition". Montana Standard. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  11. ^ Donald Teplyske. ""The More I Learn" by Bryan Sutton". The Lonesome Road Review. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  12. ^ "STEVE MARTIN & THE STEEP CANYON RANGERS NAMED IBMA ENTERTAINERS OF THE YEAR". International Bluegrass Music Association. Archived from the original on 2011-11-23. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
  13. ^ Kopp, Bill (March 6, 2015). "Bryan Sutton on the "DNA of Bluegrass"". No Depression. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  14. ^ "Bryan Sutton, Rhonda Vincent win at IBMA!". Bourgeois Guitars. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  15. ^ Lawless, John (September 29, 2016). "2016 IBMA Awards results". Bluegrass Today. Retrieved June 14, 2017.

External links

Adieu False Heart

Adieu False Heart is a Grammy-nominated 2006 album by American singer, songwriter, and producer Linda Ronstadt featuring Cajun music singer Ann Savoy. It peaked at #146 on the Billboard album chart. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the disc sold a total of 67,203 copies as of December, 2016.

This was Ronstadt's last studio album before her retirement in 2011 and the revelation of her affliction with Parkinson's disease in 2013, which has left her unable to perform or sing.

Bryan Sutton discography

Bryan Sutton is an American guitarist and singer/songwriter. In addition to his six solo albums and recordings with Ricky Skaggs and Hot Rize, he has been featured as a performer on many albums by other artists.

Chris Thile

Christopher Scott Thile (; born February 20, 1981) is an American mandolinist, singer, songwriter, composer, and radio personality, best known for his work in the progressive acoustic trio Nickel Creek and the acoustic folk and progressive bluegrass quintet Punch Brothers. He is a 2012 MacArthur Fellow. In October 2016, he became the host of the radio variety show A Prairie Home Companion, which in December 2017 was renamed Live from Here.

Dana Bourgeois

Dana Bourgeois (born 1953) is a luthier, writer, lecturer and is considered one of the United States' top acoustic guitar makers. Bourgeois's innovations in design and voicing techniques have earned him worldwide acclaim for his acoustic guitars from professional players, hobbyists and collectors alike. Some notable musicians playing Bourgeois guitars include Luke Bryan, Ricky Skaggs, Bryan Smith, Ry Cooder, Scott Fore, Bryan Sutton, Vince Gill, Lee Roy Parnell, James Taylor and Guy Clark,

Home (Dierks Bentley album)

Home is the sixth studio album by American country music singer Dierks Bentley. It was released in February 2012 via Capitol Records Nashville. The album produced four singles—"Am I the Only One", the "title track", "5-1-5-0", and "Tip It On Back"—on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart between 2011 and 2012, with the first three on those reaching went to number 1.

Hot Rize

Hot Rize is a bluegrass band that rose to prominence in the early 1980s. Established in 1978, Hot Rize has appeared on national radio and TV shows, and has toured most of the United States, as well as Japan, Europe and Australia.The band issued six studio albums before they disbanded in 1990. That year they received the first Entertainer of the Year Award issued by the International Bluegrass Music Association. The following year, their album Take It Home received a Grammy nomination, and a song from the album, Colleen Malone, won Song of the Year from the IBMA.

From 1991–98 the band played several reunion dates each year. Following the death in 1999 of Charles Sawtelle, Hot Rize re-grouped in 2002, adding Bryan Sutton to play the guitar.In 2014 Hot Rize released its first studio album with Bryan Sutton, "When I'm Free", on Ten in Hand Records, and set out on their first major tour in over 20 years in support of the record.When touring, Hot Rize often incorporates a performance as a Western swing band called Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers.

International Bluegrass Music Awards

The International Bluegrass Music Awards is an award show for Bluegrass Music presented by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA). Awards are voted based on professional membership in the IBMA.

Perpetual Motion (album)

Perpetual Motion is an album of classical music released in 2001. The album is unusual in that none of the pieces featured on it are played on the instruments for which they were written. Arrangers Béla Fleck and Edgar Meyer won a Grammy in 2002 for their arrangement of Claude Debussy's "Doctor Gradus Ad Parnassum". The album also won a Grammy as Best Classical Crossover Album.

Fleck assembled a group of musicians well-known on their own instruments: violinist Joshua Bell, cellist Gary Hoffman, percussionist Evelyn Glennie, double-bassist Edgar Meyer, mandolin player Chris Thile, and guitarists John Williams and Bryan Sutton.

Sugar Hill Records

Sugar Hill Records is an American bluegrass and Americana record label.

It was founded in Durham, North Carolina in 1978 by Barry Poss and David Freeman, the owner of County Records and Rebel Records. Poss acquired full control of Sugar Hill in 1980 and owned the label until 1998, when he sold it to the Welk Music Group, owner of Vanguard Records. Poss stayed on as president, and in 2002 was promoted to chairman. Sugar Hill remained in Durham until 2007, when Poss moved the label to Nashville, Tennessee.

Among the many notable artists who have released albums on the label are Nickel Creek, Doc Watson, Townes Van Zandt, Ricky Skaggs, Guy Clark, Robert Earl Keen, Sam Bush and Dolly Parton. One of Parton's albums for Sugar Hill, Halos & Horns (2002), included a song called "Sugar Hill", which she wrote as a tribute to the label. In 2008, Welk Music Group appointed EMI as distributor of its labels including Sugar Hill.In 2006, Sugar Hill executive Barry Poss won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Americana Music Association.The label was acquired by Concord Bicycle Music in April 2015.

T. Michael Coleman

Thomas Michael Coleman (born January 3, 1951) is an American bass player of bluegrass and folk music. He is best known for work with Doc Watson and the Seldom Scene.

The Brock McGuire Band

The Brock McGuire Band is an Irish Folk group fronted by Paul Brock and Manus McGuire. Residing in County Clare, button accordionist and melodeonist Paul Brock and fiddler Manus McGuire are two of Ireland’s most celebrated traditional musicians and have been at the forefront of Irish music for many years: They are joined by acclaimed composer Denis Carey on piano and dancer Dave Curley on banjo, mandolin and vocals.

The Brock McGuire Band is a tenacious blend of instruments emphasizing mostly Irish music but also sprinkling in impressive arrangements of American Old Timey, Bluegrass, French-Canadian, and other Celtic traditions.

In 2011, they collaborated with various Nashville musicians including 14 time Grammy Winner Ricky Skaggs to record, "Green Grass Blue Grass". An exploration of the connection between Irish Traditional Music and American Bluegrass and Appalachian music. The album was launched on the Grand Ole Opry, March 11th 2011.

Green Grass Blue Grass featured Ricky Skaggs on mandolin, Bryan Sutton on guitar, Aubrey Haynie on fiddle, Jeff Taylor on accordion and Mark Fain on Double Bass.

The album has been described by critics as "an adrenaline rush", "a masterpiece" and "virtuosity in full flight".

Tin Omen (band)

Tin Omen are a UK-based band who describe themselves as "industrial-electro" in style. Their sound is a mix of powerful beats, dirty guitars and melodic keyboards topped with female vocals.

Formed in Wolverhampton in 1998 by Bryan Sutton (programming, samples and guitar). Bryan was quickly joined by Kelly Newton (lyrics, vocals) and John Baker (programming, keyboards, guitars and backing vocals). They are known for their muddy live performances (assisted by live sound engineer/tour manager Stan Saunders) and the high quality production of their recorded work (produced by former Dream Disciples Gordon Young). The band is named after the Skinny Puppy track of the same name.

They have a strong fan base in the goth, industrial and electronic scenes, and have played at many related festivals in the UK, including Infest as well as supporting other bands such as Gary Numan, Ministry, Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Spear of Destiny, as well as performing many sold out headline performances of their own.

Tony Rice discography

This article presents the discography of influential guitar player and vocalist Tony Rice.


Unglamorous is the first major label debut album from country/folk singer Lori McKenna. After three songs written by McKenna appeared on Faith Hill's 2005 album, Fireflies, Warner Bros. Records re-released McKenna's 2004 album Bittertown (her fourth independent release). Unglamorous, however, is the first album of McKenna's recorded specifically for a major label. The album was released August 14, 2007 on StyleSonic Records through Warner Bros. Records.

Hill's husband, Tim McGraw co-produces the album and each of them contributes vocals to one of the tracks. Other notable guest appearances are made by Kelly Willis, Darrell Scott, Bryan Sutton and Buddy Miller.

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