“You look like you could play Irish music” said the agent, who had known me for many years, “there’s a new Irish Pub opening at the Opryland Hotel, and we’d like you to put together an acoustic trio to play there.” Thus, in 2003, was born ‘The Boys of County Nashville‘. Jeff Taylor and I became totally besotted with Irish music, and eventually persuaded Bill Verdier, the ‘Godfather’ of Irish music in Nashville, to join us on fiddle. A great time it was, learning countless songs and tunes, playing pubs, sessions and festivals.
Eventually CMH Records, a bluegrass/country label with a huge catalog, asked us to do a series of ‘Celtic Tribute’ projects’, four CDs of instrumental versions of material by Led Zeppelin, U2, Alison Krauss, and, uh, well, Metallica(!) The occasional goofiness of some of the music notwithstanding, it has inspired an almost cult-like following from all over the world. Producing these recordings helped lay the foundation for what is now a specialty at Mill Pond Music.