Podcast 366: Tray Wellington

Musician Tray Wellington has a truly one-of-a-kind story: As a teenager trying to learn rock riffs on the electric guitar, he stumbled upon the music of Doc Watson. Soon after that, he heard the five-string banjo.

For the last decade, Tray has devoted himself to that instrument, attending festivals, entering banjo contests, and even majoring in Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music studies at East Tennessee State University. He recently released his debut full-length album, ‘Black Banjo.’ It’s a project where he gets to explore his passion for bluegrass, newgrass and beyond. He also reveals some not-so-traditional music influences, including interpretations of John Coltrane and Roy Hargrove compositions.

On this week’s podcast, we talk to Tray about the record, what it’s like to be one of the few people of color in bluegrass, and how he hopes to inspire the next generation of musicians.

This episode is sponsored by Peghead Nation (use the promo code FRETBOARD and get your first month free or $20 off any annual subscription); Retrofret Vintage Guitars; Izotope (use the discount code FRET10 to save 10% off your Izotope purchase); and Calton Cases.

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