David Wiseman was born in Spruce Pine into a very musical family, and he has been playing music since he was ten years old. David’s father, Charles Wiseman, was part of the Avery County Wiseman family that has been part of the region’s traditional music from Scotty and Lula Belle Wiseman to David’s fiddling uncle Jimmy Wiseman, and his uncle Kent Wiseman, a banjo master who was tragically killed in a car wreck. Bluegrass great Charlie Moore married into the Wiseman family, and he also influenced David. “I was exposed to a lot of good music growing up,” says David.
When he was ten years old, David started playing the guitar, and he soon moved on to mandolin, then fiddle. In his first band, Leather Britches, he played with his relatives Billy Constable and Eddie Lovelace. He later played in Country Comfort, a band based in East Tennessee, Whiskey River with Del Myers and Steve Bradshaw, and he played fiddle with L.W. Lambert and the Blue River Boys. He has also performed in the Wiseman Family band with Billy Constable, Kenny Jobe, and other members of his extended family.
David often performs with the John Shuffler Band, playing mandolin and singing tenor harmony. “Mandolin’s my main instrument,” he says. He also plays with Raymond Fairchild at festivals throughout the summer. These performances are in addition to those of his primary band, Linville Ridge. “Last year, I believe I was off like three weeks,” says David.
The Linville Ridge Band formed in May of 2002, bringing together a group of tradition-bearing musicians with vast experience. The band includes David on mandolin, bassist Mike Ramsey, guitarist Aaron Ramsey, and banjoist Perry Woodie. “We try to bring original material and dredge up more obscure traditional songs,” says Mike Ramsey. The group has been influenced by a number of musicians from the region including the Wiseman family from Avery County and also Burke County’s Shuffler family, which includes bluegrass legends George and John. “We are extremely proud of the musical heritage associated with the part of the country we call home,” says Mike on the band website. “Bluegrass was formed by individuals from this region and we owe a great debt for the foundations they have laid.”
David Wiseman continues to be a much sought-after bluegrass musician due to his passion, skill, and versatility. David’s day job is making electrical devices in Morganton, but he stays very busy playing music. He is interested giving performances with Linville Ridge Band and occasionally with other groups. He is also interested in giving workshops and presentations on bluegrass music.