Matthew Bright

Matthew Bright is a young musician from the Flatwoods community in Wise County, Virginia. He began playing bluegrass banjo as a kid when his dad bought him an old Sears and Roebuck Silvertone banjo. By age fifteen he was playing bluegrass gigs with his cousin Fiddlin’ Dale Kennedy’s band.

  • Clawhammer Banjo
  • Big Stone Gap, Virginia

The “clawhammer” banjo style is an essential aspect of old-time music, an ensemble-based, hard-driving music form that has inspired dancers across southern Appalachia for generations. Unlike the more popular bluegrass style which moves the banjo into the forefront, the clawhammer technique essentially preserves the banjo as a rhythm instrument, with the player’s thumbs bouncing off the short fifth string and stroking down on the others. Matthew Bright is a young musician from the Flatwoods community in Wise County, Virginia. He began playing bluegrass banjo as a kid when his dad bought him an old Sears and Roebuck Silvertone banjo. By age fifteen he was playing bluegrass gigs with his cousin Fiddlin’ Dale Kennedy’s band. When he was twenty he first heard a clawhammer banjo on a recording of his grandfather, Tom Bright, and the Bright Brothers band. Matthew quickly picked up the old-time banjo and has since won numerous banjo contests. Uncle Dave Dougherty, banjoist for the Stoneman Family, took Matthew under his wing, helping to further develop his playing. In 2008, Matthew began hand-building banjos of his own.

  • error

    Report an error

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

Or report an error instead