Dobro player from Warren, Ohio, who started playing professionally in his teens, with The West Virginia Travelers, of which his father was also a part.
In 1973, he joined the long-time, D.C.-based bluegrass band, The Country Gentlemen . He stayed with them for two years and then band-hopped to J.D. Crowe & The New South. They released three albums in 1975, including an eponymous LP, Holiday in Japan, and New South Live. In September of the same year, he and Ricky Skaggs helped co-found Boone Creek. They debuted in 1977 with a self-titled album and One Way Track, then promptly broke up in 1978.
Jerry struck out on his own as a solo artist with Fluxology in 1979. (“Flux” is his nickname, which was coined by Skaggs .) He followed this up with Fluxedo in 1982. In 1983, he won the first of twelve Grammy awards, Best Country Instrumental Performance, thanks to a reunion with The New South on “Fireball”. The International Bluegrass Music Association began raining awards down on him in 1990, for Instrumental Performer of the Year on the Dobro, the first of eight he would win in that category alone. They also named his 1992 album, Slide Rule, their Instrumental Album of the Year. In 1994, he took home another Grammy, this time for Best Bluegrass Album for The Great Dobro Sessions. It also earned IBMA’s Record Event of the Year honors. The same can be said of 1997’s True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe, a star-studded affair that also featured the talents of John Hartford and Vassar Clements .
In 1998, he joined Union Station, Alison Krauss’s virtuosic bluegrass band, and they took part in the Grammy award-winning soundtrack of O Brother, Where Art Thou?. It was only the beginning of another shelf full of Grammys, including Best Bluegrass Album for 2001’s New Favorite and 2002’s Live. In 2003, Jerry appeared on Mountain Stage in Charleston, West Virginia, performing his self-penned “Wild Rumpus”. He would return there in 2008 in support of his new album, Glide, which boasts another all-star line-up, including Rodney Crowell, Edgar Meyer, Earl Scruggs , and Travis Tritt. He has recently been involved with The Trans-Atlantic Sessions on BBC-TV, a project that celebrates Irish and Scottish music and its influence on American folk. Jerry’s plate is full with live dates in 2009, including New York’s Beacon Theatre, the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, and The Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Telluride, Colorado.
In all, Jerry is reputed to have appeared on more than 1600 albums. He has also been honored to have his name attached to a new Signature Edition Dobro. The Country Music Hall of Fame tapped him to be their Artist-in-Residence in 2008.
In 2011 he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Music Association and in 2016 the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation gave him a Bluegrass Star Award.
Here he is performing his “Little Medley”…