Bob grew up in Micaville in Yancey County surrounded by the music of his family and community, and he has been playing and singing since he was a young boy. “I could sing songs before I could talk,” he says. His parents were from Asheville and Booneford. Both of Bob’s parents were musical, and his grandfather, aunts, and uncles all played music. His father played guitar until he lost his hand in an accident, after which he started playing harmonica. Mary Martha Lominac, his mother, learned to play drop-thumb clawhammer banjo by the age of five, and she also played fiddle, guitar, and piano. “Mom could play anything that could make music,” says Bob. Bob now has her fiddle, which he plays occasionally.
By the age of eight, Bob was playing guitar, and he and his three brothers often played together. Over the years, Bob has traveled and played with many musicians in a variety of styles including gospel, country, bluegrass, and oldtime. He still plays some songs that he remembers his mother playing when he was young, such as “Down Yonder,” and “Alabama Jubillee.” Growing up, Bob played frequently for local Farmers Federation picnics and on the Carolina Barndance, which was broadcast out of Spruce Pine. He has been very involved with mountain music in the Mitchell-Avery-McDowell-Yancey-Burke County area.
His work in instrumentation, engineering, and design took him all over the country. He has lived in Louisiana, Michigan, and Alaska, and he continued playing music the entire time. He has played in small local venues that range from schools and fire departments to nursing and retirement homes and churches. In addition, he has done other work such as recording the soundtrack for a documentary done for the British Broadcasting Company and playing shows with Hank Snow and Merle Travis.
For years, Bob has led a group called the Boys From Mitchell County with Mike Hodge and Charles Pendley. The group performs country, bluegrass, and gospel music at Young’s Mountain Music and other local and regional venues. Bob is also a songwriter. He wrote a song for the senior center in Yancey County, “I’ve Bin Everywhur,” which uses local place-names in the lyrics and has become a regional hit.
Bob is available for performances, either solo or with a full band. He usually plays guitar, but can also play mandolin and bass.