Adcock (born June 21, 1938 in Scottsville, Virginia) is an American banjoist and one of the true innovators in the five-string banjo pantheon.
His professional career as a 5-string banjoist began in 1953 when he joined Smokey Graves & His Blue Star Boys, who had a regular show at a radio station
in Crewe, Virginia. Between 1953-57, he floated between different bands. Bill Monroe offered a job to Adcock in 1957, and he played with the Blue Grass
Boys until Monroe had to let him go because the band simply wasn't earning enough money to employ him. Adcock returned to working day jobs, but that
was short-lived. After he started working in a sheet metal factory, Jim Cox, John Duffey, and Charlie Waller asked him to join their new band, The
Adcock performs almost exclusively with his wife Martha and calls Lebanon, Tennessee his home. Eddie belongs to a number of business organizations, including
IBMA and the Folk Alliance. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Banjo Institute. He and Martha also created and ran (off and on)
Adcock Audio, a large, state-of-the-art sound company until 2006
He bought his first banjo as a child and began performing with his brother Frank shortly afterward. The duo would sing in local churches and radio stations
based in the nearby Charlottesville. He left home when he was 14 years old and supported himself through semi-professional boxing. For the next seven
years, he boxed and played music at nights. A few years later, he began racing cars. As a racer, Adcock racked up 34 straight wins with his car, which
he named Mr. Banjo; he also had set two track records at Manassas, Virginia. He also performed various blue-collar jobs to pay the rent. All the time,
he played music at night.
With the Country Gentlemen
The Country Gentlemen originated in Washington, D.C.. The band’s original members were Charlie Waller on guitar and lead vocals, John Duffey on mandolin
and tenor vocals, Bill Emerson on banjo and baritone vocals, and Larry Lahey on bass. Soon after Adcock's arrival the band settled into a somewhat
permanent lineup consisting of Waller, Duffey, Eddie Adcock on banjo, and Tom Gray on bass. During his tenure with the Country Gentlemen,
Adcock adapted "Travis-style" guitar finger picking and pedal steel guitar playing to the banjo, which remain unique innovations on the instrument.
In addition, his driving, percussive and jazz-based single-string licks, which resemble Don Reno's single-string work in the early `60s, were at the
heart of the group's "chamber music" bluegrass instrumental style, as developed in the interplay between Duffey's jazzy mandolin licks, Waller's syncopated
guitar picking and Adcock's innovations. The Country Gentlemen's style and repertoire fundamentally changed bluegrass, and the group was arguably the
first New Grass band and the forerunner of modern bluegrass as a whole.
Then Eddie met Martha
In 1970 Eddie quit The Country Gentlemen and moved to California, where he formed a country-rock band called The Clinton Special. While he performed with
the group he used the pseudonym Clinton Codack. The band recorded only one single, "Just as You Are I Love You"/"Blackberry Fence", released on MGM
Records. In 1973 he met Martha Hearon whom he would marry three years later. They have remained partners in music and life for over three decades.
The dynamic duo of Eddie and Martha Adcock has become known as “the biggest little band in Bluegrass”. Cashbox magazine and Billboard magazine have
both named them “one of the Bluegrass circuit's top acts”. Eddie and Martha now concentrate on performing as a duo, as well as doing some concerts
with Tom Gray and a few shows with Adcock-Gaudreau-Waller & Gray: (The Country Gentlemen Reunion Band), and on producing themselves and others
both outside and in-house at their own SunFall Studio.
Eddie and Martha AKA The Adcocks have appeared on Austin City Limits, Ernest Tubb's Midnite Jamboree, TNN's 'Nashville Now' and Wildhorse Saloon, Grassroots
To Bluegrass, and a host of NPR specials, as well as syndicated, Internet, and local TV and radio shows worldwide. Their video Dog aired on TNN, CMT,