Nothing average about Nigel Lee Ledford. He was raised in an area steeped in southern rock and bluegrass tradition. Growing up in a music scene soaked in Lynyrd Skynrd, music was
omnipresent in his life. His neighborhood would regularly gather for what he calls “pickin’ parties,” jam sessions that scattered throughout the house. He remembers walking from jam to jam as a kid and taking it all in. The music of Earl Scruggs to John Prine influences his sound today along with his brothers favorite Jimi Hendrix.
Nigel started playing his first instrument at age 4, the organ with a quick segue into keyboards. By the time he was 19 years old, he was playing bass, guitar and banjo. Six years ago he picked up the mandolin to add to his musical repetoire. Nigel entered the Navy but was medically discharged after he sustained an injury during basic training. After recovering he made a name for himself playing bass with regional punk and metal bands until eight years ago when he put his focus on the banjo. There is a spiritual relationship between Nigel
and his banjo and it propelled his creativity and music forward as he joined The Firewater Tent Revival Band and found home.
Joining the band and taking on a leadership role has pushed his musicianship to the next level. Blending the three-finger method of Earl Scruggs with the bluesy/psych rock he had grown to love gave him a distinct and infectious sound. It was the inclusion of a compressor and an auto wah that kicked down the doors of what he previously thought possible for the instrument and allowed him to play less traditionally. His musicianship and performance is what strikes anyone who sees him play. It seems effortless and inspired. This man can play a banjo but he also plays his crowd. He has a natural ability to reel his crowd into his performance and attend his party. Without trying he has an inate ability to draw the attention to his work on stage.
Off stage he is well diverse and celebrates life. He likes to play barefoot standing on his coffee bean bag. He loves art in all its forms, sailing and knot tying. He’s an amateur glass blower. It’s not his favorite thing to do but he can also fix a car well. Plus, he loves Broadway theatre. He’s a humble man of many talents and blessings. He drives a Prius. I mean come on.. he is truly one of a kind.
Nigel is touring, offering his musician skills in studio sessions, creating and inspiring.