Types of Artistry
Marshall, NC (Madison County)
After more than fifty years on the road, Bobby Hicks, indisputably one of the most influential fiddlers in bluegrass music, has come home to his native North Carolina. In 1954, Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys came through Greensboro on tour, and found themselves in need of a bass player. Twenty-one-year-old Bobby Hicks was recruited to play with the Bluegrass Boys on their local gigs, and after that two-week stint ended, Monroe asked him to come back to Nashville and continue on with the band. When Hicks agreed, according to a 2005 Bluegrass Now article, Monroe told him, "Well, call home and tell your mama to pack you a suitcase." The suitcase arrived, and Bobby Hicks was whisked off in Monroe's Cadillac limousine to Nashville and a career in music.
After Bluegrass Boys fiddler Gordon Terry was drafted into the Army, Hicks stepped in on the fiddle, the instrument for which he became famous. He would appear on some of the band's monumental recordings of fiddle tunes, including "Scotland" and "Big Mon." Hicks' post-Bluegrass Boys career has been equally impressive. He has played with Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Earl Scruggs, J. D. Crowe and the New South, and other greats. Among his many recordings are five Grammy-winning releases (one with Bill Monroe and four with Ricky Skaggs), three gold albums, one platinum album (Ricky Skaggs' Highways and Heartaches), and the legendary Bluegrass Album Band records.
In addition to his busy performance schedule, Bobby Hicks offers instruction in bluegrass and Western swing-style fiddling. He teaches private lessons, and day-long and weekend-long fiddle workshops and camps. Hicks plays in concert and at festivals, solo and with his band, Hazel Creek. He teaches his own workshops and fiddle camps, and is available as an instructor for other such events.