Born and raised in Grassy Creek, North Carolina, Randy Pasley immersed himself in traditional music as a performing and recording artist, as a music store owner in West Jefferson, and as a teacher of music lessons. Randy records with numerous local groups and musicians, and he is known as one of the top bluegrass Dobro players in the area.
Randy’s father, a mandolin player, sparked his interest in music. “He would take us to see Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, the Country Gentlemen, and other famous bluegrass bands in the late 1970s and early 1980s. I started [banjo] on my own when I was eleven years old,” Randy remembers. “My father would take us to local jams, and I would pick up things from some of the older players there.”
Ashe County and the surrounding region was and is a hotbed of traditional music. “There was a revival of sorts during that time in this area,” Randy says. “There were quite a few other kids my age that played, and we would share ideas. He developed skills on both banjo and the resonator guitar.
Randy has played with several bands, including Alternate Roots from 1997 to 2005 with mandolin and fiddle player Scott Freeman, banjo and guitar player Steve Lewis, Ashe County singer and songwriter Katy Taylor, artist and musician Willard Gayheart, and bassist Tony Testerman. The band made several recordings and performed at the Carter Fold and the Lowell Folk Festival in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 2003. He played with Wayne Henderson during a television taping of Nightline with Ted Koppel in 2001. Since 2005, Randy has recorded with Boone-based Amantha Mill, and he has shared the stage with several well-known musicians, including Doc Watson, Sam Bush, and Tim O’Brien.
He was voted Best All-Around Performer at the 1999 Galax Old-Time Fiddlers Convention-the only Dobro player to receive that award thus far. He has won the individual Dobro competition three times at the Galax convention.
Randy continues to perform and record. He operated Bluemoon Guitars and Music in West Jefferson, where he taught approximately 50 private students on most of the stringed instruments.
Randy is available for limited performances, workshops, and music lessons. He currently lives in Alaska.