Byron Berline

Byron Berline is an American fiddle player. His music career began in the 60s, most notably appearing as a prominent guest musician on bluegrass group The Dillards' third album, 1965's Pickin' & Fiddlin'. The same year he won the National Oldtime Fiddle Contest Championship. He was also offered a job as part of bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe's band, but didn't join until 1967, shortly before he was drafted by the US army.
After his discharge from the army, he joined Dillard & Clark for their second album (1969's Through The Morning, Through The Night). He moved to California, and over the next few years found extensive work as the go-to fiddle player for all the top country-rock acts, including The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers and Gram Parsons, plus Arlo Guthrie, Gene Clark, Manassas and others. He also played the fiddle on The Rolling Stones' "Country Honk". In 1971 he became a member of The Flying Burrito Brothers. Whilst on tour with them he worked with bassist Roger Bush, banjo player Alan Munde and guitarist Kenny Wertz (plus the Burrito's leader Chris Hillman on mandolin), giving the band the ability to transform into a bluegrass act for part of the show. The four of them then christened themselves Country Gazette, and recorded their debut album in 1972.
Since then Berline's career has continued to flourish up to the present day. He has appeared on records by artists including Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, The Band, Willie Nelson, and many others. He has been in bands including Byron Berline & Sundance, Califorinia and The Byron Berline Band. In 1995 he opened his own fiddle shop in Oklahoma, and the next year founded the Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival. He remains one of the most important fiddle players to be found in the cross-section of bluegrass and country-rock.

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