ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Randy Saxon
“I guess one of the best gigs I ever had was the honor of playing banjo for the late Doc Watson. I think back on that even today and still can’t believe it.”
If broken strings could talk, they would all agree that Randy Saxon is the most talented picker around. This multi-instrumentalist has mastered the 5-string banjo, tenor guitar, tenor banjo, 6-string guitar, baritone, mandolin, and the mandola. From a young age, there was always a song in Saxon’s head. One day his mother shared with him how his grandfather played the banjo at barn dances in the 1930’s. This fueled the fire that has been burning up fretboards since the mid-70’s. By age 15 (only two years after getting his first banjo), Saxon was playing in local competitions and festivals. His influences are rooted in great studio session players such as Stuart Smith, Kenny Vaughan, and Buddy Miller, but also range from the likes of Earl Scruggs to Jimmy Page. Randy Saxon has a long resume of musical accomplishments, including playing banjo for Doc Watson and serving as a stagehand for Earl Scruggs’ performances in Shelby, NC. In addition to these legends, Saxon has opened up for Grammy nominees and winners such as Ricky Scaggs, New Grass Revival, Rodney Crowell and Shooter Jennings! Saxon has also toured with Austin, TX based band, The Gourds. His band even served a few months accompanying a tour with the Avett Brothers, early in their career. He is a first call accompanist for artist such as Jim Lauderdale, David Wilcox, Beth Wood, Michael Jonathan (Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour), Christian Bush (Sugarland) and has met world famous American songwriters Odetta, Nancy Griffth, and Loudain Wainwright in his two appearances on West Virginia’s Mountain Stage. Not only has Saxon mastered playing instruments, but also he is also a talented luthier for S&S Instrument Company, his stringed instrument repair service in Shelby, NC. He holds a degree in electrical engineering, and credentials from the Martin Guitar Company and Stewart MacDonald Lutherie. However, his time for repairs is limited by his busy playing schedule. A master of every aspect of his trade, Randy Saxon should be noted as one of Cleveland County’s finest living legends.
Calling all students songwriters, musicians and singers! We are looking for submissions to be showcased in our Cleveland County Artists feature: