Visit www.billyconstable.com for more info.
Billy Constable grew up in a very musical family in Avery County, and he has been playing music for most of his life. Billy is part of Avery County’s Wiseman family, which includes a number of professional musicians including Scotty Wiseman, Lawrence Wiseman, David Wiseman, Fiddling Jimmy Wiseman, banjo picker Kent Wiseman, and Billy’s mother, Lois.
Billy began playing guitar professionally as a youngster with bluegrass great Charlie Moore, who had married Billy’s mother. He also played in Douglas Dillard’s newly formed “post Dillards” bluegrass band The Doug Dillard Band from Hollywood, which also featured Byron Berline and occasional guests like Vassar Clements and Sam Bush.
Billy’s approach to the banjo is firmly rooted in Appalachian string music, but it can be deceptively eclectic. His influences begin at home and with his family, but Billy’s repertoire is vast, and he is comfortable in most musical situations. In addition to banjo, Billy is also an accomplished musician on the guitar, mandolin and violin.
Travers Chandler writes in Bluegrass Today, “I was well aware of what a musical giant Billy Constable was. He had spent time with The Doug Dillard Band, toured with Kenny Baker and Josh Graves, and later worked with envelope-pushers like Larry Keel, Leftover Salmon, and String Cheese Incident on both banjo and guitar. It wasn’t until I had moved to Asheville in 2010, though, that I became aware of what a rare human being he was – both as a friend, and a brother in the order of acoustic music. We had spoken a time or two during my research on Charlie, and I knew of his prowess and ability to play all kinds of acoustic music: jamband, gypsy, rock and roll… The guy is a genius.”
“He was a mentor to all of us,” Jon Jon Davis said [in an interview in the Boone Mountain Times with Frank Ruggiero],“and he’s played with everybody.”
LKNB’s Mark Schimick says in the same interview, “Billy Constable was the main bluegrass teacher for Jon Jon and myself,” he said. “When he first heard us play, he heard a bunch of green musicians, as far as bluegrass is concerned, but he heard how we knew to play the rhythm to it,” Schimick said.
During the next couple years, Constable became their bluegrass mentor, teaching them how to play solos, sing the parts and behave on the road. “In a lot of ways, he helped us all get started on how to become professional musicians,” Schimick said. “Playing with him is like playing with family,” Schimick said. “He’s just as down to earth playing on stage as he is hanging out.”
For more information about Billy Constable and for updates on his medical situation, please visit: www.billyconstable.com.
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