Close Kin, Our Roots Run Deep Featured Artist - Jared Boyd
Jared Lane Boyd, born March 13, 1996, lives in a small town on the easternmost end of Carroll County, Virginia called Laurel Fork. At the age of eleven, Jared enrolled in the first Virginia J.A.M. (Junior Appalachian Musicians) program at the Blue Ridge Music Center in September of 2007 with claw-hammer banjo instructor Ray Chatfield from Grayson County as his teacher. In February of 2008 he won his first blue ribbon in a banjo competition and has continued to win awards in Virginia, North Carolina, and West Virginia in youth and adult claw-hammer banjo categories. He earned a Wayne C. Henderson music scholarships in 2010, and a Houston Caldwell scholarship in 2012 and 2013. Learning the banjo was just the start of many instruments to be played: fiddle, guitar, mandolin, bass, and almost anything with strings. Even after performing in front of hundreds of people many times, Jared thinks playing in front of his classmates for the first time at school was the most nervous he has ever felt. Jared entered two bands for the 2010 Galax Fiddler's Convention: OldGrass, which played in youth completion and won first place, and the WillowShade Drifters as an adult old-time band. OldGrass has continued to perform at many events in North Carolina and Virginia, even though the lineup has changed a little. The band's name came from the different styles of music the band members played: OLD-time and blueGRASS. Members of the WillowShade Drifters include mentor musicians that Jared enjoys performing with at local nursing homes and fiddlers conventions.
Jared has inherited his musical talent from both sides of family. His grandfather, Jimmy Boyd, has taught him many banjo tunes and also founded the Dry Hill Draggers in 1982. The band is still going strong today with second-generation musicians. Jared said that the 2013 Galax Fiddler's Convention has been the best of all so far even though he dropped from third to fourth place in the banjo competition. Despite this, he took the stage as banjo player for the Dry Hill Draggers to bring home a fifth-place win. It is an honor to carry on a family tradition of old-time music. Jared's not just an old-time musician he enjoys playing and singing a variety of music.
Jared is a Honors student at Carroll County High School, and has received many awards for academic excellence. While in the 9th grade, he set a goal to be valedictorian of the CCHS Class of 2014, and so far is set to achieve this when graduation comes around. Jared has been an active member of the Carroll County FFA chapter since the 8th grade and is now serving as the 2013-2014 President of the Skyline Federation, which consists of Grayson County, Carroll County, and the city of Galax. He is also a Forestry team member that has traveled and won first place at many events. Being part of the new Close Kin: Roots Run Deep recording project is a great way to start a new year with many wonderful things to come in 2014 and years to come.