By the early '90s, youngest brother, Alan, who had been travelling with the band as the soundman, joined Bruce and Barry, as the three brothers returned to their newgrass/folk roots as trio, recording a CD, Stobro, in 1992. Since then, The Stockwell Brothers have performed throughout the US, and in Canada and Europe.
How did playing in Europe happen?
Barry, who books the band, started by calling a few Germany, Switzerland and England venues listed in the back of several music trade magazines. Through their association with Seldom Scene, Bruce and Barry were somewhat known in European bluegrass circles, and as each phone call led to a handful more, the trip mushroomed into a six-week, 11-country tour. It was an invaluable experience, which led to our Stobro CD being re-released on Holland's Strictly Country label.
What are the highlights of your career that you look back on with the most satisfaction?
As teenagers, we had the good fortune to be booked by Putney Folk as an opening act for some great artists, including Bruce's hero, banjo legend Earl Scruggs. Over the years, we've shared bills with artists from Bill Monroe to Mary-Chapin Carpenter to Asleep At The Wheel, at some venerable concert halls.
The European tour, as well as an extended West Coast tour and tours with singer/songwriter, Jonathan Edwards, also stand out. Bruce has won a bunch of banjo contests over the years, most notably, the 2005 Merlefest competition in Wilkesboro, NC. Then there are the albums - our labor of love snapshots of where we've been musically.
What were your early influences?
We all listened to Flatt and Scruggs, the Osborne Brothers, Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers, while Barry focused equally on a few singer/songwriters of the time - Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Croce and Merle Haggard.
What instruments do you play?