Tim Stafford, Thomm Jutz & Dave Eggar

Thursday 3:30pm

Downtown Stage

Tim was born and raised in Kingsport, Tennessee. His mother’s Browder side of the family was musical, and his twin sisters play piano and sing. After starting out on drums, Tim discovered bluegrass in the mid-1970s as a freshman at Ketron High School, becoming a banjo player. He switched to guitar in the late 70s and became a member of several groups, including Mountain Memories and The Boys in the Band. In the late 1980s, Tim formed Dusty Miller with Adam Steffey and Adam’s wife at the time, Tammy Rogers (later a founding member of the Steeldrivers), Brian Fesler (Band of Ruhks) and Barry Bales. Alison Krauss hired Tim, Adam and Barry in 1990 and Union Station proceeded to record a Grammy-winning CD, Every Time You Say Goodbye (Rounder, 1992). After leaving the band in 1992 to spend more time with his family, including his infant son Daniel, Tim worked odd jobs and taught at different colleges and universities until he formed Blue Highway in 1994 with Wayne Taylor, Shawn Lane, Rob Ickes and Jason Burleson. The band is one of the most decorated and influential in bluegrass history, having been nominated for 3 Grammys, winning a Dove Award, and nearly 30 IBMA Awards. In March 2016, Blue Highway was named the most popular bluegrass artist in history in an online poll by Bluegrass Today.

Tim is a prolific songwriter, with over 250 songs recorded. He co-wrote IBMA’s 2008 Song of the Year, “Through the Window of a Train,” and was named IBMA’s Songwriter of the Year in 2014 and 2017. In addition, he is a sought-after studio musician, having recorded with over 75 artists in addition to Blue Highway, including Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney, Jorma Kaukonen, Jesse McReynolds, Benny Sims, Marty Raybon, Joe Isaacs, Ronnie Bowman, Charles Sawtelle, Tony Trischka, Larry Sparks, Jim Mills and many others. Tim was named SPBGMA Guitar Performer of the Year in 2001 and 2015. He has produced many award-winning records for various artists, including Kenny Chesney, The Infamous Stringdusters (IBMA 2007 co-album of the Year) , and Knee Deep in Bluegrass, the Acutab Sessions (IBMA 2001 Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year). Tim performed many times with Hazel Dickens, including the Lincoln Center in New York (2006), Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT (2005), Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, San Francisco, CA (2010), and Wintergrass, Tacoma WA (2003). He has taught at nearly all the bluegrass-oriented camps, including Rockygrass Academy, Camp Bluegrass (South Plains College, TX), Augusta Heritage, Wintergrass Academy, Sore Fingers (UK), Bluegrass at the Beach, Nashcamp, Kaufman’s Flatpicking Camp, California Bluegrass Association Camp at Grass Valley, St. Louis Flatpick, Resosummit, Summergrass Academy, Grand Targhee, Great Lakes Music Camp, Bluegrass Masters Weekend, Ashokan Bluegrass Camp and Nashville Flatpick and Songwriting Camp.

Tim worked on a PhD in History at Miami University in the mid 1980s. He has taught American History, Western Civ, Appalachian Studies, Mass Communications and Popular Culture, Personal instruction in guitar and banjo, American Roots Music, and Bluegrass-related courses at several colleges and Universities, including Miami, East Tennessee State, and Appalachian State University. In 2010, he and Caroline Wright co-authored Still Inside: The Tony Rice Story, the critically-acclaimed authorized biography of bluegrass Hall of Fame member and living legend Tony Rice. Tim gave the keynote address at the 1994 IBMA World of Bluegrass in Owensboro, KY and has been on the IBMA Board of Directors two different times, serving as Vice Chair from 1995 to 1998. He is a former Board member of the Foundation for Bluegrass Music and currently sits on the Bluegrass Hall of Fame Nominating Committee. On May 8, 2015, Tim was named a Distinguished Alumnus in the Arts by the East Tennessee State University National Alumni Society.

Tim released his first solo record, Endless Line in 2004 on FGM Records to critical acclaim. It was nominated for IBMA’s Instrumental Recording of the Year in 2005. His second, Just to Hear the Whistle Blow, was released in July 2014; his third, Acoustic Guitar, in September 2017. His fourth solo record, Tunes and Ballads, was released in 2020. Other projects include three duet records–one with the late Steve Gulley, Dogwood Winter, in 2010 and What We Leave Behind: A Songwriters’ Collection, with Bobby Starnes in 2018, as well as the final Gulley/Stafford duet record on Mountain Home Records to be released in March 2021, Still Here.

Raised in the Black Forest of Germany, Thomm Jutz has become an American roots music treasure.

Jutz (it’s pronounced “Yootz”) was a young, classically trained musician in Germany when he heard Outlaw legend Bobby Bare sing on a television show and decided to devote his life to informal music.

He saved money, won the immigration lottery (yes, there is such a thing), and eventually moved to Nashville, where he found work touring with Nanci Griffith, Mary Gauthier, David Olney, Kim Richey, and many more. He built a recording studio and produced albums for Country Music Hall of Fame members Bill Anderson and Mac Wiseman, among many others.

Beloved by Grammy winners including Bare, Tom T. Hall, Jim Lauderdale, and Buddy Miller, Jutz writes songs of depth and breadth. He sings of mill workers, Civil War characters, folk heroes, struggle, heartbreak, and triumph. In a time of division, he seeks and finds connection.

His virtuosity, eloquence, and clarity of expression have made him a linchpin of Nashville’s creative community, and in 2020 his To Live in Two Worlds, Volume 1 was nominated for the Best Bluegrass Album Grammy, making him the first immigrant to receive a nomination in that category.

He’s earned four nominations and a 2021 win for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Songwriter of the Year award and is a current lecturer of songwriting at Belmont University. He has written numerous Bluegrass number ones, and his songs have been recorded by John Prine, Nanci Griffith, The SteelDrivers, Balsam Range, and more. He’s had over 250 film and TV placements of his music worldwide.

Jutz is working on a master’s degree in Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University, writing his thesis on Grammy-winner Norman Blake. Additional writings and essays have been published in American Songwriter and the IBMA Songwriter’s Newsletter.

Jutz is featured in the Country Music Hall of Fame’s American Currents exhibit, slated to run 2022-2023.
Eggar was a musical prodigy as a child, beginning to play the cello and piano at age three and performing as a singer and actor on Broadway and at the Metropolitan Opera at age seven. He trained as a classical cellist at the Juilliard School, and later graduated from Harvard University and the Juilliard School’s Doctoral Program.[1] He debuted in Carnegie Hall at 15 as the youngest winner in the history of the Artists International competition.[2] He has appeared throughout the world as a classical soloist, including concerto appearances at Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, London’s Barbican Center, the Paris Opera, and the Hollywood Bowl. In fact, that is Dave’s cello leading the way at the top of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”. He is the winner of the prestigious Sony Elevated Standards Awards for Excellence in the area of Classical Music.[citation needed] Eggar has appeared as featured soloist with the Thailand Philharmonic, The Sydney Symphony, the Melbourne Symphony, The Aspen Festival Orchestra, The Juilliard Orchestra, The Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, the Queensland Symphony, Phiharmonia Virtuosi, the Westchester Symphony, Stamford Symphony, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.

Eggar’s work is prominently featured on Esperanza Spalding’s Grammy-winning record Chamber Music Society and Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange. Dave toured extensively in 2012-2015 as a regular member of the Phillip Phillips Band (winner of American Idol 2011. He has also performed frequently as the solo cellist with singer Amy Lee and Evanescence. He regularly tours with his own band Deoro and with the Craig St Ramblers. 2017-2018 Saw Mr. Eggar on tour with Evanescence worldwide as part of the “Synthesis” Tour. Summer 2018 Eggar collaborative project “Cellogram” With Chuck Palmer opened for the Evanescence/Lindsey Stirling co-bill tour in 31 Cities. Cellogram’s self-titled EP peaked at no 2 on the World Music iTunes Charts.

Mr. Eggar’s own record, Kingston Morning (produced by Chuck Palmer) was nominated for a Grammy in 2011 for their version of Michael Brecker’s epic song “Itsbynne Reel”. The team’s subsequent record “Deoro XX” won the Popular Voting Award for World Beat at the Independent Music awards the following year. Mr. Eggar has a long relationship with Chesky records, producing David Chesky’s record Area 51 in 2006 which was nominated for a Grammy, and recording and producing “String Theory: The Concertos of David Chesky”, which won Best Classical Record at the Independent Music Awards (2012). His latest release: Aftermath: Music from and Inspired by the film War Story is a collaboration with Evanescence composer and front woman Amy Lee. The team composed the score to Marc Jackson’s film and then released Aftermath as a soundtrack with bonus tracks. Aftermath debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Soundtrack Charts and No. 47 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart.