Johnny Bellar, a virtuoso performer on resophonic and lap steel guitars, will be in Historic Jonesborough for two shows this weekend.
The Cranberry Thistle will welcome Bellar on April 16 and 17 at 6 p.m. both nights. Cost is $5 or free to dinner customers.
Born in Springfield, Johnny grew up with the sounds of the traditional country music that his father, an accomplished harmonica player, loves so well. Tuning other musicians instruments while still in grade school, he began to teach himself the guitar at 14 years old.
At 15, Johnny began to concentrate on the instrument that would become his greatest love the resophonic guitar. Listening for hours to Josh Graves and Brother Oswald, Johnny developed his own style of playing.
Within a year of his 1973 graduation from high school, Johnny entered and won the dobro competition at a contest in Murfreesboro. Watching his performance was a friend of the legendary Stoneman Family, and within two weeks Johnny was performing with the group.
For 10 years Johnny toured and recorded with The Stonemans and began composing his own music. In 1984, Johnny became an original member of The New Tradition, a popular bluegrass group.
After three years of touring with the group, Johnny left to pursue a solo career and continue with his composing
In 2005, Johnny B. won the 2005 National Resonator Guitar Championship. Boxcar Willie and Tommy Cash are among the artists Johnny has recorded with on albums spanning a musical spectrum from childrens music to bluegrass, traditional country, classical and gospel. He currently has 10 solo albums of original music.