Richard Greene, "one of the most innovative and influential fiddle players of all time," grew up in Los Angeles and studied classical music until his encounter with the pyrotechnic fiddling of Scotty Stoneman; from then on Richard was a fiddler. He first attained prominence with Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys in 1966 as one of Monroe's first "northern" band members; it was during this time that he perfected his invention of the 'chop', a rhythmic/melodic bowing technique now universally employed throughout the world of fiddling. Richard then went on to found the revolutionary Folk-Rock group Seatrain, pioneering the first use of the electric violin in Rock. His advanced technique and intense yet "cool" tone shocked audiences and prefigured such players as Jean-Luc Ponty and others, influencing a generation of fiddle players including Darol Anger, Alison Krauss, Sam Bush and Stuart Duncan.
Richard's return to acoustic music occasioned the invention of "New Grass" or "New Acoustic" instrumental music, now a mainstay throughout the world's acoustic music festivals. As one of Los Angeles' premier string session players he founded the trailblazing Greene String Quartet creating the first ever amalgam of Jazz-Folk-Rock-Chamber music and producing three seminal albums. His many acclaimed releases in the folk and bluegrass world have been honored with Grammy and IBMA awards, his CD Sales Tax Toddle was Grammy nominated for Bluegrass Album of Year.
Welcoming private students, Mr. Greene currently leads seminars on all aspects of fiddling and violin playing nationwide. Among his instructional venues are The Mancini Institute, the RockyGrass Academy, the Festival of Fiddle Tunes, the Mark O'Connor Fiddle Camp, the Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, The Swannanoa Gathering, Strings Without Boundaries and dozens of ad hoc workshops throughout the year. Reaching out internationally, Richard Greene presented master classes for violin students playing in the Portuguese Metropolitan Orchestra in Lisbon in 2009. Mr. Greene's also frequently performs many of his original compositions for Bluegrass Violin and Orchestra with many ensembles throughout the country including his piece entitled "What If Mozart Played With Bill Monroe?"
Richard Greene Resume
Authentic Old Time fiddle music (much of which learned one on one from Bill Monroe, inventor of BlueGrass Music), Bluegrass fiddling and New Acoustic (original instrumental compositions). Richard co-invented the genre New Acoustic with David Grisman circa 1974 (The Great American Music Band).
Major Festival Performances as Headliner:
Vancouver, Telluride, Durango Meltdown, Mayfest (Scotland), Wind Gap, Winterhawk (now Grey Fox), MerleFest, RockyGrass, Live Oak, Winfield, Old Settlers, Strawberry, Supergrass, Blythe, Mayville, Sedona
2009 Music Legend Award: Topanga Banjo•Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival http://www.topangabanjofiddle.org/legend_award.html
GRAMMY AWARD: Best Instrumental Performance of the Year (1997)
GRAMMY NOMINATION: Best Bluegrass Recording of the Year (1998)
IBMA: Recorded Event of the Year
IBMA Nomination: Instrumental Band of the Year
Honorary Kentucky Colonel
Performed as Leader with his own groups:
Seatrain (1969-1972) (produced by George Martin of Beatles fame). 1st occurrence of the electric violin in Rock and Roll
The Great American Music Band (co-lead with David Grisman, circa 1974)
Muleskinner (band members: Bill Keith, Clarence White, Peter Rowan, David Grisman)
The Greene String Quartet
The Grass Is Greener (David Grier, Bill Keith, Chris Thile, Butch Baldasarri, Tony Trischka, Tim Emmons, Gene Libbea)
Richard Greene & The Brothers Barton
Recording & Performance History as Sideman (highlights):
Red Allen (Richard’s 1st ever recording session - 12 classic sides), Bill Monroe (14 classic sides), David Lindley, Taj Mahal, Gary Burton, The Greenbriar Boys, The Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Melissa Manchester, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Ivers, Herbie Hancock, Martina McBride, Paul Siebel, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Andreas Vollenweider, Steve Wynn, Tom & Patrick Sauber, The Blasters, Maria Muldaur, Geoff Muldaur, David Grisman, The Blues Project, James Taylor, Tony Rice, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Bob Seger, Old And In The Way, Brian Wilson, Eddie Adcock, George Strait, Loggins & Messina, Crosby-Stills & Nash, Peter Rowan, Deana Carter, Rod Stewart, Lacy J. Dalton, Jerry Garcia, Van Dyke Parks, Bruce Springsteen, The Brothers Barton, Tony Trischka, Sting, Joss Stone, Richard Thompson, Kelly Clarkson, Mandy Moore, Tony Bennett, The Wagner Ensemble (Jeannine Wagner), Jennifer Leitham, Dan Hicks, Produced Stephanie Bettman's award winning debut CD: 'Get Close to Me' http://www.stephaniebettman.com/store/
"There's not a man in the country that can do what Richard can do." - Bill Monroe
"Formidable!" - Stephane Grappelli
"Richard Greene has such great tone and fine musicianship, he states a melody the way Lawrence Olivier delivers Shakespeare, clearly and with command of the language and the feelings." - efolkMusic Reviews
"One of America's most influential fiddlers - certainly one of the giants of modern fiddling, with Richard Greene you get the complete Bluegrass fiddle package: great technique, daring invention, sensitivity to the music's inner soul and a fiery presentation."- Bluegrass Unlimited
"Wow man, how the fuck do you follow that?" - Steve Winwood after Richard Greene completed his third encore with Seatrain as opening act for Traffic in Liverpool.
"Richard is a hero of mine too, from when I was 11." - Mark O’Connor
"...the only violinist in the world who can play anything on that instrument, and with so ecstatic a tone..." - Nat Hentoff
Concerning Richard's latest project, Richard Greene & the Brothers Barton:
“... a tremendous record! The song Ninth of June Serenade is hands down one of the greatest songs I have heard in not only Bluegrass, but in any genre. The melody, structure, and performance almost approaches a Frank Zappa level to me. You hooked up with the right musicians on this record, your phrasing and articulation sounds like you have been playing together for a number of years, almost like brother vocals.” - Andy Evans (Director of Marketing, Pinecastle Records)
“Richard Greene and the Brothers Barton put on a spectacular performance at Elderly’s showcase in February in San Diego. Greene made some moves with the fiddle that I have never witnessed before. His stage presence was electrifying when performing, and charmingly modest when informing the audience about the music. I've since found out that this guy is a fiddle god, and I shouldn't have been so stunned by his talent. The Brothers Barton never took a back seat to Greene, ably backing him up, and when it came time for their solo spots, one realized what excellent players Richard has chosen. It was a great show, as evidenced by the hoots and hollers from the audience. I immediately approached them about booking the band - a sure sign of success. Supreme musicianship, wonderful stage presence.” - Meegan Holland (Creole Gallery)
“Richard Greene and the Brothers Barton offer fresh readings of classic old-time fiddle music, plus great new acoustic compositions. I had the pleasure of seeing this wonderful group perform live recently and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Richard's deft handling of the fiddle and deep intuitive understanding of traditional music (drawing from his years of experience) provides a wonderful contrast to the hot picking and youthful energy of the talented Brothers Barton. An exciting and innovative collaboration.” - Matthew Greenhill (Folklore Productions)