“Good harmony singing is what makes the bluegrass sound for me,” says bluegrass bass and guitar player Loyd Richardson. Like many bluegrass musicians, Loyd’s first musical exposure came in church. “I learned guitar from my dad, and used to play in church and on Sunday morning radio broadcasts with local preachers.”
His father, Howard Richardson, played guitar and harmonica, and Loyd started learning guitar when he was 10 years old. By the time he was 14 or 15, he was performing with his father in church and on radio. He also started picking guitar with his cousin, Roger Richardson. “I learned a lot from him.”
As he was growing up, Loyd listened to bluegrass recordings and attended local and regional festivals and concerts. “I grew up on gospel music, but I always loved bluegrass,” he says. He listened to Flatt and Scruggs, the Osborne Brothers, Tony Rice, the Seldom Scene, and the New Grass Revival. “I started playing bluegrass pretty heavy when I was around 18 or 20 years old,” he says.
With cousins and friends, he participated in regular Tuesday-night jam session. “We played for years and years,” he recalls. “That’s how Rock Bottom got started.” Several of the regular jam session members, including John and Dale Roten, and Bob Richardson, were in the band. Loyd played guitar and sang tenor harmony and some lead. When Mack Powers and Butch Barker soon joined the band, he switched to playing bass. “I never played bass before that, but Butch is such a great guitar player, and bass is what we needed,” he says. Rock Bottom formed in the mid 1990s and had a successful run that lasted about a dozen years. The band has appeared with or opened for Jim and Jesse, the Lonesome River Band, IIIrd Tyme Out, Blue Highway, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, and the Krüger Brothers.
Loyd is starting a new group with Butch Barker called Creek Junction. “It is made up of a bunch of friends that have been in throw-together groups over the years,” he says. That group also includes Paul Trianosky, Jordon Blevins, and Don McCraw.
Loyd Richardson is available for performances with his bluegrass band.