In 2016, Becky Buller was chosen to make bluegrass music history by becoming the first person ever to win in both instrumental and vocal categories at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards. That’s right, folks. EVER!
As is usually the case, Becky’s is an overnight success story almost 20 years in the making.
Her songs, on the lips of the industry’s best, preceded this fiery-haired fiddling St. James, Minn., native to prominence in the acoustic music world. Now audiences are connecting the composer with her compositions…to the tune of five IBMA awards in the last two years, including the 2016 Fiddler and Female Vocalist and 2015 Songwriter Of The Year nods.
Since 2015, the Becky Buller Band has toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada. The group has an exciting 2017 planned, beginning with the release of Becky’s fourth solo album on the Dark Shadow Recording label. Check the band’s online tour schedule for a performance near you.
Reluctant as she might have been to start her own band, Becky had no qualms about entrusting her songs to the consummate artistry of Ricky Skaggs (“Music To My Ears”), Rhonda Vincent (“Fishers of Men”), Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (“Be Living”), Josh Williams (“You Love Me Today”), Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out (“My Angeline”, “Rest My Weary Feet”, “Cottontown”) and now The Infamous Stringdusters (“Freedom”), just to name a few.
Becky was featured on the cover of the Spring 2012 issue of Fiddler Magazine and penned the title cut of Special Consensus’ album Scratch Gravel Road, which was nominated for the 2013 Best Bluegrass Album Grammy.
Becky’s own recordings include: Little Bird (2004) and Rest My Weary Feet (2000). She also released a duet album with Valerie Smith: Here’s A Little Song (2007). Becky is featured on several of Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike’s recordings as well as three albums from the award-winning Daughters of Bluegrass: Pickin’ Like A Girl (2013), Bluegrass Bouquet (2008), and Back To The Well (2006), which won the 2006 IBMA Recorded Event Of The Year award.
Becky’s third solo album, ‘Tween Earth And Sky, was released in October 2014 on the Dark Shadow Recording label. It was the #1 album on the National Airplay Chart in the March and April 2015 issues of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. The singles “Nothin’ To You” and “Southern Flavor” both reached #4 and each stayed on the chart 13 months. Her 2015 Christmas single “Gingerbread House” topped the BluegrassToday.com radio airplay chart both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Becky’s cover of Bill Monroe’s “Southern Flavor” (including new lyrics by DeWayne Mize and Guy Stevenson and featuring members of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys) garnered the 2015 IBMA Recorded Event Of The Year award.
She was featured in the July 2015 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited and honored as a 2016 SPBGMA Songwriter Of The Year nominee as well as being chosen as 1st Runner Up for the 2016 IAMA Country/Bluegrass Song of Year for her composition “Nothin’ To You”.
“Wait a minute,” you say. “Bluegrass music in Minnesota?!” Yes, indeed! And it’s a large, diverse and very vibrant community, too. Becky grew up playing fiddle with her parents and Gordy and Roxy Shultz in their group Prairie Grass. She studied classical violin with both Patti Tryhus and Charles Gray and participated in the Mankato Area Youth Symphony and even the Minnesota All-State Orchestra while in high school. But Becky’s heart was always that of a fiddler.
She graduated in 2001 with a public relations degree from East Tennessee State University (ETSU), where she took part in their Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music program. That same year, Becky’s songwriting nabbed a first place finish in the bluegrass category of the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest in Wilksboro, NC.
Becky’s journey as a professional musician included a ten-year stint with Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike, touring internationally, writing for and recording with the group, producing several of Val’s most recent records. In 2011, she decided to take some time off, but was back on the circuit from late 2012 through 2014 with Darin & Brooke Aldridge and their fine band. She can be heard on their album Flying (2013) on the Organic Records label as well as Snapshots (2015) on the Mountain Home label.
In addition to her heavy touring schedule, Becky teaches instrumental music both in her adopted hometown of Manchester, Tenn., and online around the world via Skype and Facetime. She also currently serves on the IBMA Board of Directors and just finished up a three-year term as chair of that organization’s Songwriter Committee. She is a Leadership Bluegrass alumna, class of 2003.
Becky uses Fishman electronics: an Aura Ellipse pickup in her LaPlant Guitar, a Classic Series banjo pickup in her DP Hopkins signature model clawhammer banjo, and a V-300 Concert Series pickup on The Old Man (her fiddle). In addition to Fishman and DP Hopkins Banjos, the Becky Buller Band is grateful for the partnership of the following amazing companies: BlueChip Picks, D’Addario Strings, Ear Trumpet Labs and L.C. King Manufacturing, makers of Pointer Brand work and streetwear.