Danny Roberts


Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival, SMSWF Bluegrass Camp, Ole Smoky Moonshine, Gatlinburg, TN Danny Roberts began his musical journey playing guitar to back up his friend Jimmy Mattingly (a founding member of The Grascals) in fiddle competitions when the two were growing up on adjacent farms in Leitchfield, KY. Soon he was winning contests on his own as a guitarist and, eventually, mandolin player. In 1982, he co-founded the New Tradition, a dynamic, ground-breaking bluegrass/gospel group that toured the country for close to 20 years (the last ten on a full-time basis), recorded ten CDs, made “Seed of Love,” the first bluegrass video to feature the banjo – which reached #1 on the former TNN channel – appeared on the Grand Ole Opry, and helped to bring the bluegrass sound and gospel message to a new generation of fans. When the group dissolved in 2000, Danny went to work for Gibson Musical Instruments, where he rose to the position of plant manager at Original Acoustic Instruments (OAI) as well as being master luthier of the mandolin division.  Still, he kept his hand in as a musician, giving workshops with mandolin colleagues like Sam Bush, Chris Thile and Bobby Osborne, making guest appearances with artists such as Marty Raybon, Larry Cordle and Melonie Cannon, and touring and recording with bluegrass/country veteran Ronnie Reno as a member of his band, the Reno Tradition, before reuniting with Mattingly in The Grascals in 2004. His solo recording, MANDOLIN ORCHARD, received extensive airplay and was touted by the Chicago Tribune as one of the Top 10 Bluegrass Releases of 2004 and his most recent solo release, NIGHTHAWK on Mountain Home Records, features several duets with many of today’s most accomplished mandolin players.

As a member of The Grascals, Danny has received many accolades including 2-time IBMA Entertainer of the Year, 3 Grammy nominations, IBMA Song of the Year, IBMA Album of the Year and has been named the SPBGMA Mandolin Player of the Year seven times.  He has also recorded and performed with:  George Jones, Vince Gill, Charlie Daniels, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, Jr., Dierks Bentley, Steve Wariner, Brad Paisley, Tom T. Hall, The Oak Ridge Boys, Aaron Tippin and more as well as having numerous television appearances including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late, Late Show, The Talk, Good Morning America, The Marie Osmond Show, Fox & Friends, and more.  In addition to touring all over the United States, Canada…and the world…Danny (The Grascals) has made over 200 guest appearances on the Grand Ole Opry.