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Mike Barnett

Mike Barnett

Muddy Bottom Blues

Program #240 (April 16 at 8:00 p.m. and April 17 at 3:00 p.m.)

Mike Barnett is a virtuoso fiddler with a sound that straddles traditional and contemporary bluegrass, jazz, and folk.

Raised in Nashville, Barnett began playing the fiddle in his youth and by his teens was already a formidable performer. At age 14, he recorded his debut album, Lost Indian, which found him putting his mark on a set of bluegrass fiddle classics. From there, he caught the ear the director of Vanderbilt University's fiddle program, which brought him on board to teach at the Vanderbilt Blair School of Music International Fiddle Camp alongside such veteran performers as Vassar Clements, Bobby Hicks, and Buddy Spicher.

High-profile performances followed with Jesse McReynolds, including weekend appearances at the Grand Ole Opry. While still a teenager, Barnett moved to Massachusetts with his family, after which he joined the Gordon Stone trio on tour, eventually recording the group's 2006 Vermont Album of the Year-winning Rhymes with Orange. As a result of that experience, Barnett met bluegrass singer/guitarist Michael Daves, who taught him mandolin and introduced him to influential banjo star Tony Trischka.

Over the next several years, Barnett toured and recorded with Trischka, appearing on several of his albums. Also during this period, he collaborated on projects with mandolinist Joe Walsh, folk singers Amy Walsh, Jonathan Edwards, and others.

In 2007, he joined progressive banjo player Greg Liszt's the Deadly Gentleman and spent seven years touring and recording with the ensemble. During this period, he also worked as a member of acclaimed mandolinist David Grisman's quintet. Along the way, Barnett also found time to study at Boston's Berklee College of Music. In 2014, he released his sophomore solo album, and first collection of original music, One Song Romance, on Compass Records. Included on the album were appearances by Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O'Donovan, Noam Pikelny, and others.

Based in Nashville, Barnett is a regular member of Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder and the Bryan Sutton Band. He also performs often in New York with saxophonist and Stay Human-member Eddie Barbash.

In 2016, he joined Barbash and pianist Jon Batiste for a four night-run with Stay Human on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Also in 2016, he embarked on a U.S. Embassy-funded American Music Abroad tour of Eastern Europe with the Stash Wyslouch Stringband. In 2017, he delivered the studio album, Portraits in Fiddles, featuring appearances by Tim O'Brien, Stuart Duncan, David Grisman, and many more.

(provided by Allmusic)