The Dollar Brothers
Todd, NC (Watauga County)
The Dollar Brothers, including brothers Darrell, Barry, and Wade, have been playing bluegrass music together and performing at local dance venues, barbeques, and churches for more than 20 years, and they continue to play their traditional bluegrass style. The group has shared the stage with many bluegrass greats, including Bill Monroe, Jim and Jesse McReynolds, the Seldom Scene, Doyle Lawson, and the Osborne Brothers.
The brothers grew up in the Meat Camp community of Watauga County in a musical family. "Mom and Dad really got us into it," Darrell says. "I remember Mama singing a lot of the traditional songs to us when we were growing up." Their father played piano, guitar, and mandolin, and he showed the boys a few chords to get them started. Their sisters also played music. "There has always been music making around the house," Darrell remembers.
When the boys were in grade school and high school, they started playing bluegrass music and singing. Darrell, the oldest, who plays mandolin and does the majority of lead singing for the band, was in various choir groups in school. Barry, the second oldest, who plays fiddle with the band, started out on banjo, and he is adept at most of the stringed instruments. The youngest brother, Wade, plays guitar, Dobro, and clawhammer banjo.
The brothers joined the Mountain Music Club in high school, which was led by Laura Hodges. Ms. Hodges found the boys a few places to play around Boone, including some churches, a festival at Appalachian State University, and square dances at the Apple Barn in Valle Crucis. Soon, the brothers started playing Sims Barbeque in Caldwell County, and they have continued playing there for more than 20 years.
First called Timberline Bluegrass Boys, they started making recordings in the mid-1980s. Since then they have made more than 10 recordings featuring traditional bluegrass and some original songs written by the brothers. After changing bass players a couple times, the band was officially renamed the Dollar Brothers. They enjoy playing at area churches, barbeques, festivals, family-friendly events, and dances. "We really like playing for dances," Darrell says. "We like to watch people dance."
The band's current banjo player, Tim Norris, is a cousin and is also a guitar and piano player. The band's new bass player is J.M. Trivette, from Zionville, NC.
The band is available for performances at festivals, dances, family-friendly events, and church-related events. They will consider requests for college classroom programs.