Danny Roberts

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Week Two

Bluegrass Mandolin Team

Mandolinmaster, Danny Roberts, is a founding member of the two-time IBMA Entertainers of the Year and three-time GRAMMY nominated band The Grascals.  Danny began his musical journey as a teenagerplayer guitar to accompany fiddlers in competitions.  Soon after he was winning contests on his own as a guitarist and, eventually, as a mandolin player.

In 1982 Danny co-founded the New Tradition, a dynamic, ground-breaking bluegrass/gospel group that toured extensively, recorded ten CDs, 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, Danny went to work for Gibson Musical Instruments where he rose to the position of plant manager in the company’s Original Acoustic Instruments (OAI) division as well as being master luthier of the mandolin department.  During this time he was also busy participating in workshops with mandolin colleagues like Sam Bush, Chris Thile and Bobby Osborne; making guest appearances with artists such Marty Raybon, Larry Cordle, and Melonie Cannon; and touring and recording with bluegrass/country veteran Ronnie Reno as a member of the Reno Tradition before reuniting with childhood friend Jimmy Mattingly to form The Grascals in 2004.  

Danny has two solo mandolin projects to his credit. First was the self-released “Mandolin Orchard” that received rave reviews and was touted by the Chicago Tribune as one of the Top 10 Bluegrass Releases of 2004.  Danny’s second recording, the highly-acclaimed 2014 Mountain Home release “Nighthawk”,featured special mandolin guests Sam Bush, Ronnie McCoury, and Mike Compton.  

Along with members of The Grascals, Danny toured with Dolly Parton in her band forthe “Hello Dolly” tour.  Danny has recorded with a host of musical greats: George Jones, Hank Williams Jr., Charlie Daniels, Dolly Parton, Dierks Bentley, Joe Diffie, Aaron Tippin, Steven Segal, and Elizabeth Cook.  Some of the biggest names in music have collaborated on Grascals’ projects including The Oak Ridge Boys, Tom T. Hall,Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Steve Warnier, Joe Nichols, Daryl Worley, and The Jordanaires.

Roberts has performed at many prestigious venues including over 200 guest appearances at the Grand Ole Opry, the historic Ryman Auditorium, Radio City Music Hall,Lincoln Center, and the White House along with numerous theaters, arenas and festivals across the US and Canada.   He’s also toured in Japan, Greece, France, Norway, Switzerland, Belgium,Germany and Denmark.  His television appearances include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, The Talk, The Marie (Osmond) Show, Fox & Friends, and Good Morning America with Dolly Parton.  Danny was also part player on the hit TV show “Nashville” as a member of the Rayna James band for several seasons.

In addition to touring and recording with The Grascals, the seven-time SPBGMA Mandolin Player of the Year is a songwriter, producer, has his own setup/repair business “Just Off The Bench” and works with mandolin builder extraordinaire Jonathan McClanahan building McClanahan Mandolins.  

Danny makes his home in Murfreesboro, TN with his wife Andrea and their daughter,Jaelee.