All three members of the Randy Lucas Trio have performed at Woodshed Archive in the past with other projects, but Thursday, June 9th we’re happy to present Randy Lucas, Jim Graddick, and Dave Holder together as Randy Lucas Trio. Each of them are experienced musicians who play multiple instruments, however their specialties are banjo and guitar for Randy, fiddle for Jim, and double-bass for Dave. Join us online in the shed for a fun night of acoustic tunes, interesting stories, and the inevitable deluge of banjo jokes.
The stars were aligned, it seems, for Randy Lucas to become one of the best banjo players in South Carolina and to win the 1997 National Banjo Championship. He shares a birthday with bluegrass legend Bill Monroe. He was born into a family in which his great-grandfather played fiddle, his grandfather played guitar, and his father played banjo and guitar. He was even named after a banjo tune by Earl Scruggs called “Randy Lynn Rag.”
Lucas has been playing his own banjo since the age of 5, and grew up blending traditional bluegrass with a variety of musical influences. “It’s not just bluegrass,” he says. “When I came up through high school, I heard all the rock n’ roll, all The Beatles, television shows, movies, augmented chords, diminished chords—all that really plays into my music. I sometimes feel like I’m a rock n’ roll player playing banjo.”
That’s part of the approach he takes to his band, The Randy Lucas Trio. “Some bands you listen to are purist,” he says. “They want to have that high, lonesome sound. But many of the bands today are like me. We’ve heard all kinds of stuff. So when we play, you can call it bluegrass, but some of it’s more high energy.”
The group’s fiddler is Jim Graddick of Blythewood, SC. He is a 2012 graduate of the USC Music Department with a degree in music education. Fortunately, he became interested in bluegrass and old-time fiddling styles at a young age and has been playing these styles along with the classical style for years. Jim knows what to play and when to play it. His tasteful contribution is so vital and adds that unique “edge” to the group’s overall sound.
The bassist for the group is Dave Holder of Columbia, SC. Dave, the “senior” member, started playing folk music in 1964 and has continued playing acoustic music of some sort throughout his life. He says that when he became involved in bluegrass he realized his guitar skills weren’t quite adequate enough, so he returned to the double bass after laying it down in 1968.
All members of the group have played, and continue to perform, with various other bands and projects so you never know where you will see them sharing their chops, pickin’ and grinnin’, to appreciative audiences all over the area.
Randy Lucas – Banjo, Guitar, Vocals
Jim Graddick – Fiddle, Vocals
Dave Holder – Bass, Vocals
Randy Lucus Trio Live from the Woodshed [rlucus2016-06-09] by Randy Lucus Trio is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://woodshedarchive.org/event/rlucus2016-06-09/ .