Strictly Clean and Decent, an acoustic trio based in Caldwell County, features husband and wife duo Patrick and Kay Crouch on various instruments and Ron Shuffler on bass. The group has been performing with the current line-up since 1991 blending tight vocal harmonies with solid instrumental accompaniment. They play a variety of musical styles including instrumental breakdowns, songs of family and home from traditional and contemporary bluegrass repertoires, Celtic airs and dance tunes, modern folk songs by American, Canadian, and Irish songwriters, jazz standards, western swing music, and some classic country material.
Ron Shuffler, a veteran of the early Top 40 and beach music scene, plays the upright bass and is well-known in country and bluegrass circles. Ron grew up in the Valdese community of Burke County in a musical family. His brothers, George and John, played with The Stanley Brothers, and George virtually created the cross-picking style of guitar playing while working with the band in the 1950s and 60s. Ron has been surrounded by music all of his life, and his solid bass playing and tight harmony singing exemplify his longevity and experience.
Patrick Crouch plays the mandolin, banjo, Dobro, fiddle, and guitar for the trio. Patrick has been performing acoustic music since 1977 when he founded New River Reign, a staple at Blowing Rock’s P.B. Scott’s Music Hall. He started playing country music with a band called Long Time Gone in the 1980s. Along with Ron Shuffler and Reggie Harris, Patrick created Strictly Clean and Decent in 1989. Patrick’s intense instrumental skills are a highlight of Strictly Clean and Decent shows.
Kay Crouch plays the guitar, flute, piano, and tin whistle with Strictly Clean and Decent. Kay has a widely varied musical background that includes symphonic and solo percussion work, musical theatre, county, and bluegrass music. Kay has introduced a variety of harmony singing interpretations to the groups’ performances.
Strictly Clean and Decent has performed in Ireland eight times at various festivals, but the trio performs primarily in western North Carolina. They have opened for noted performers such as Doc Watson, Ralph Stanley, J.D. Crowe, Vassar Clements, Tim O’Brien, Tony Rice, Lee Greenwood, John Cowan, Ricky Skaggs, and Jerry Clower.
Since 1998, Strictly Clean and Decent has become active in recording and presenting the great number of traditional musicians in Caldwell County. More than sixty musicians have been recorded on six CDs. Strictly Clean and Decent is included in the 2004-2006 Touring Artist Directory produced by the North Carolina Arts Council.