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Riley Baugus


Riley Baugus

Riley Baugus
MerleFest 2009.
Background information
Origin Walkertown, NC, USA
Genres Old Time American,
Americana, Country
Occupations Old Time Musician
Instrument builder
Instruments Banjo, Vocals, Guitar, Fiddle

Riley Baugus is an American old-time guitarist, banjo player, fiddler, singer and instrument builder from North Carolina.

Background and Career

Baugus grew up in the Regular Baptist tradition, which gave him a solid foundation in unaccompanied singing.[1] He began playing the fiddle at age 10 and grew up with the fiddler Kirk Sutphin. As a youth, he also had the opportunity to study with such eminent old-time musicians from Surry County, North Carolina and Grayson County, Virginia, including Tommy Jarrell, Robert Sykes, Dix Freeman, Verlin Clifton, and Paul Sutphin.[2][3] He is influenced particularly by the Round Peak style of Surry County, North Carolina.[4]

Baugus worked as a welder and blacksmith for 18 years before becoming a professional musician.[4] He has performed throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Ireland, Scotland, and England. He has played with several old-time string bands, including The Farmer's Daughters, The Konnarock Critters, The Red Hots, Backstep, and the Old Hollow Stringband. He tours regularly with Dirk Powell and Tim O'Brien, and frequently performs and tours with the dancer Ira Bernstein, with the duo show Appalachian Roots. He often performs as a guest musician with the Dirk Powell Band and the North Carolina folk band Polecat Creek. He sang on the soundtrack to the 2003 film Cold Mountain. He has recorded with Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson, Dirk Powell, and Martha Scanlan. He has taught banjo at the Augusta Heritage Center's Old Time Week in Elkins, West Virginia.

He lives in Walkertown, North Carolina.[4]



Year Album
2001 Life Of Riley (Yodel Ay Hee)
2006 Long Steel Rail (Sugar Hill)


Year Album
2002 Appalachian Roots with Ira Bernstein (Yodel Ay Hee)
2004 Going Home Shoes with The Lonesome Sisters (Tin Halo Music)
2010 Long Time Piedmont Pals with Kirk Sutphin (Old Blue Records)
2012 Lonesome Scenes with The Lonesome Sisters (Tin Halo Music)

Other appearances

Year Album
1986 Old Time Music From North Carolina The Old Hollow String Band (Flyin' Cloud)
1994 Ready To Roll by The Red Hots (Fire Ant Music)
2001 Salt Sea Bound by Polecat Creek (Yodel Ay Hee)
2002 Grandpa's Favorites by Kirk Sutphin (Old 97 Wrecords)
2003 Rare Rags & Stringband Blues by Adam Tanner & The Dirty Rag Mob (Old 97 Wrecords)
2003 Cold Mountain: Music from the Miramax Motion Picture (Sony)
2004 Time Again by Dirk Powell (Rounder Records)
2005 Come to the Mountain: Old Time Music for Modern Times (Rounder Records)
2005 Leaving Eden by Polecat Creek (Yodel Ay Hee)
2006 The West Was Burning by Martha Scanlan (Sugar Hill)
2005 Ordinary Seasons by Polecat Creek (Yodel Ay Hee)
2007 Raising Sand by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant (Rounder Records)
2009 Frolic in Round Peak by Kevin Fore (Round Peak Banjos)
2010 Country Music by Willie Nelson (Rounder Records)
2010 Live & Lively by the New North Carolina Ramblers (Old Blue Records)
2011 That's How We Run by April Verch (Slab Town Records)


External links

  • Riley Baugus official site
  • Riley Baugus MySpace page
  • Appalachian Roots
  • Allmusic entry


  • Weekend Edition Saturday, September 1, 2007
  • Mountain Stage, August, 2009

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