“The Dillards are my musical inspiration…”
-Sir Elton John
“The father of modern bluegrass…”
–Rolling Stone magazine
With over twenty albums as a recording artist, multiple single cuts, two Grammy nominations, and the syndicated longevity on the Andy Griffith Show, The Dillards are currently finishing the long-anticipated new album – a full-length tour de force co-produced by multiple Grammy award-winning legend Bil VornDick (Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Earls of Leicester, Bela Fleck, Lynn Anderson, Doc Watson, T. Bone Burnett, Mark O’Connor…) and Grammy-winning Artists Manager Ken Lingad and a handpicked musical posse of the hottest talents.
Noted as being the first bluegrass ensemble to introduce electric instruments in the mid-1960s, The Dillards are considered to be one of the pioneers of the burgeoning Southern California Folk Rock, Country Rock and Progressive Bluegrass genres, and are credited with directly influencing artists such as The Eagles, The Byrds, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill, Elton John, and scores of other well-known acts of the last fifty years. In 1972, Elton John cited The Dillards as his “musical inspiration,” actually requesting the band’s addition to the bill during John’s first U.S. tour.
Rodney Dillard and The Dillards band cemented their place in American popular culture performing musically as members of the fictional “Darling” family on multiple seasons of The Andy Griffith Show, introducing bluegrass music to the vast majority of Americans and audiences around the world who had never heard it.
Today, Rodney Dillard and his wife, noted clawhammer banjo artist Beverly Cotten-Dillard, continue to blaze new paths on the world music scene with his unique brand of “DILLARDGRASS,” having recently reunited with fellow Dillards band alum and noted multi-instrumentalist, Jeff Gilkinson. Other Dillards personnel include: noted bluegrass guitar and banjo authority, Tony Wray; double bassist Gary J. Smith; champion fiddle player and mandolin ace, George Giddens; with Ken Lingad handling the rhythm duties, playing drum set, electronic drum loops, and hand/foot percussion.
Look for The Dillards on their upcoming 2016 world tour in support of their forthcoming full-length album release, tentatively titled The Dillards.