Brett Smeltzer makes his home in Charles Town, WV just outside of Northern Virginia and Maryland. Though Brett’s earlier days of music influences was mostly Rock of the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s he later became a fan of 80’s Country music. But what caught Brett’s ear, to what would be the beginning of his love for Bluegrass music was first heard through the earlier Country music recordings of Ricky Skaggs, which featured banjo and mandolin in many of his chart hitting tunes.
A Musician Emerges
It was then that he ventured into the Bluegrass music realm and acquired his first mandolin in 1985. His further influences of bluegrass music were from the likes of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, JD Crowe & the New South, Virginia Squire, Hot Rize, Lonesome River Band, Johnson Mountain Boys, Nashville Bluegrass Band and New Grass Revival to name a few. These artists, along with many others had also developed his love and appreciation of Gospel Bluegrass Music.
He was once quoted in June’s 1995 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine by Freelance Writer, Penny Parsons as a “smooth tenor vocalist” and noted for his penned original, “I’m Only Dreaming” while with former Maryland based bluegrass band, (the late) Jack Sanbower & No Leeway on their project, “Thinking Of Old Memories” (1993) with Special Guest, Fred Travers (formerly of Paul Adkin’s Borderline Band and currently with The Seldom Scene) on Resophonic Guitar.
Brett can also be heard on recordings made with West Virginia based, Stoney Creek Bluegrass Band. The Cd’s include “Hot Off The Press”(2009), “LIVE in Concert” (2011), an all Gospel Bluegrass project, “Are You Ready”(2012), an all original project “Memories & Tears” (2016) and currently, their New, 2 Disc “Live On Location” Cd of 2017. All, in which receives radio and internet radio airplay worldwide. Videos for “Are You Ready” (Title Track), two videos, “Come Stay Awhile” and “Never Tell Me” (from Memories & Tears) as well as “The Traveling Song” (from “Live On Location) can all be viewed on www.youtube.com in the Stoney Creek Bluegrass Band search.
In 2007 Brett picked up an endorsement for his custom built “Davis” F5 mandolin hand crafted by (the late) John “Buddy” Davis of Bluemont, Virginia. Other endorsers of Davis Mandolins include Larry Stephenson (The Larry Stephenson Band), Norman Wright (Legends of the Potomac), Jimmy Kounts (Lonesome Highway), Ben Stevens (Stevens Family Bluegrass), Charlie Smith (former Bill Monroe Fiddle player) and (the late) Mike McDonald (Circa Blue) as well as his endorsement for Martha Crow’s mandolins straps in which he custom designed and personally endorses it as, “The most comfortable mandolin strap I’ve ever used !” through https://www.etsy.com/shop/MBCCustom
From Live Music to Live DJ
During the early part of 2012 he decided to break away from the “live” music scene to pursue other interests, including spending more time with his family. He later became a “live” DJ Host of his own show heard on The Bluegrass Mix. In April of 2013 Brett returned to his mandolin and vocal duties with Stoney Creek and is still playing area venues and festivals while still hosting his Friday evening “live” broadcast heard now on The Bluegrass Jamboree. Occasionally, a special “featured artist” is often interviewed to share information regarding a new recording project and current updates on their band during his broadcasts. On an invite Brett also Host/Emcee’s a number of area concert events and festivals.
Brett is also self-taught with other musical talents. He played drums, piano, bass and guitar and recently, a ukulele (which originally was intended for his youngest daughter). Basically, anything with strings Brett will pick it up and try to figure it out.
Today, Brett proudly presents to you, “Bluegrass Retrospect, featuring the Finest in Area and Mainstream Bluegrass Music!” He’ll do his best to get your favorite Bluegrass Artists of “yesterday” and “today” as well as your favorite rising Bluegrass Artists of “tomorrow” aired for you right here, on The Bluegrass Jamboree ! Be Sure To Tune In !