Known around the world for his clawhammer banjo playing, Joe Newberry is also a powerful guitarist, singer and songwriter. The Gibson Brothers’ version of his song “Singing As We Rise,” featuring guest vocalist Ricky Skaggs, won the 2012 IBMA “Gospel Recorded Performance” Award. With Eric Gibson, he shared the 2013 IBMA “Song of the Year” Award for “They Called It Music.”
A longtime and frequent guest on A Prairie Home Companion, he was a featured singer on the Transatlantic Sessions 2016 tour of the U.K. with fiddler Aly Bain and Dobro master Jerry Douglas, and at the Transatlantic Session's debut at Merlefest in 2017 with fellow singers James Taylor, Sarah Jarosz, Declan O’Rourke, Karen Matheson, and Maura O’Connell. In addition to performing solo, Joe plays in a duo with mandolin icon Mike Compton, and also performs with the dynamic fiddler and step-dancer April Verch.
Joe has taught banjo, guitar, singing, and songwriting at numerous camps and festivals, including Ashokan, Midwest Banjo Camp, American Banjo Camp, the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Targhee Music Camp, the Swannanoa Gathering, Centrum Voice Works, the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Pinewoods Camp, the Australia National Folk Festival, the Blue Ridge Old-Time Music Week, Bluff Country Gathering, and Vocal Week, Bluegrass Week, and Old-Time Week at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV,
Growing up in a family full of singers and dancers, Joe took up the guitar and banjo as a teenager and learned fiddle tunes from great Missouri fiddlers. he moved to North Carolina as a young man and quickly became an anchor of the incredible music scene in the state. He does solo and studio work, and plays and teaches at festivals and workshops in North America and abroad.
Photo - Daniel Coston
Quotes About Joe Newberry
“His lyrics read like a cross between Longfellow and Johnny Cash. The muse is sometimes gentle and other times rough. But she never strays too far from Joe Newberry's side.”
~ Independent Weekly
"Most contemporary old-time artists get their inspiration from recordings either commercial or field made. Most of the time the artists spend their energy trying to copy the sound of their source. Joe Newberry goes one step further... He takes the music and makes it his own, and always respectfully."
Transatlantic Sessions review... "Appalachian veteran Joe Newberry allied his trenchant, raw-boned holler with lickety-split banjo picking."
~ The Scotsman Newspaper