Marc Pruett | Balsam Range Marc Pruett | Balsam Range

Marc Pruett

balsalm_range-177Marc Pruett grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  This Southern Appalachian Region has long been a hot-bed for traditional arts and folk music.  When Marc was first learning to play mountain string-band music, artists like Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers and Jimmy Martin regularly played the area to well attended audiences. These and other great mountain folk artists were the ones to which Marc Pruett listened and tried to emulate.

“The day I got the 45 (rpm) of Flatt and Scruggs playing “Mama Don’t Allow,” I spent 5 and 1/2 hours on the banjo breaks until I had them down pretty close!  That little climbing 7th run that Earl did in the second break covered me up!”

In high school, Marc Pruett played his 5-string banjo at many programs of the day…talent contests, fiddlers conventions, churches, street dances and the like. When he was 15 years old, he accepted an invitation to play his first professional job.  It was at Ghost Town in Maggie Valley, NC in the late 1960’s that Marc tenured for three summer seasons with the staff band at the Red Barn Playhouse that was headed up by the legendary Pan-Handle Pete (James Howard Nash) of the “one-man-band” fame.

“Pete was a master showman!  I learned so much from studying his stage work…like how to pace a show and match presentation and material to an audience in ways that make entertainment happen effectively.”

Marc Pruett “picked” his way through college at Western Carolina University, and while earning a B.S. Degree in Geology, he had a chance to work for a season with James Monroe, son of Grand Ole Opry star, Bill Monroe.

“I played on some fun programs with James….got to meet a lot of people.  I remember it was at Ralph Stanley’s in McClure, Virginia in 1973 that I had the chance to visit with Ricky Skaggs and get to be buddies with him.  That next year (1974), we went to Silver Springs, Maryland, and I helped Ricky record his first album called That’s It.”

In June of 1973, Marc Pruett had a great break into “bluegrass” music.  “Well….we went to Bill’s (Monroe) festival at Bean Blossom, Indiana, and MCA Records had it set up to record a live album that weekend.  It was kind of Bill’s answer to Will The Circle Be Unbroken.  Lester Flatt was on it…Jimmy Martin…Jim and Jesse…Carl Jackson…a lot of folks.  I got to record there on James Monroe’s segment and in the final festival segment with all the great fiddle players like Paul Warren, Kenny Baker, and Big Joe Green.  James introduced me on the record when I played TRAIN 45…a lot of people heard that because the album did so well for Bill.”  BEAN BLOSSOM was released in CD form and is still a classic bluegrass recording.

After graduating from WCU, Marc and his brother, Matt, opened a music store in Asheville, NC that was associated with Pick ‘n’ Grin of Knoxville, TN.  During his ~12 year stay in the retail business, Marc Pruett taught hundreds of folks to play the banjo.  He also helped promote many local shows and still kept a lively presence on the bluegrass music scene. He continued to work some with artists like Jimmy Martin, the Whites, the Kingsmen, Billy Edd Wheeler and Ricky Skaggs.

“The first time I played on the Grand Ole Opry was with Jimmy Martin.  It was an honor to perform with a man so knowledgeable in bluegrass music.  He had done so much for the music I love, and he had a way of bringing out the best in banjo players like JD Crowe and Bill Emerson.  To learn from him and to play songs he had in the Country Music Hall of Fame was really fun!  The first time I played at Lincoln Center in New York was with Jimmy Martin.

When I worked with The Whites, they were a bluegrass act and fantastic to work with…I did quite a few programs with Buck and the girls.  They are lifelong friends and solid class, and I am so proud of the success they’ve had as a featured group in the hit movie Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

I really enjoyed recording and performing some with the great gospel group, The Kingsmen. The neatest date I played with them was a TV show in Knoxville when Squire Parsons was with them.  That show was hosted by the great comedian Archie Campbell of Hee Haw and Grand Ole Opry fame.

Also, I’ve been able to write and record with Billy Edd Wheeler.  What a creative guy!  One of the songs I co-wrote with him was used on a National Geographic Society project called SONGS OF CUMBERLAND GAP-THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DANIEL BOONE.  He and I have been working on several songs since late 2009.  Billy Edd is a genius!  Now you know what “genius” is don’t you…it’s perpetual audacity!”

Through his association with Pick ‘n’ Grin of Knoxville, Tennessee, Marc Pruett took his local band to Europe in 1976 as part of a cultural exchange tour in that American bi-centennial year.  The band consisted of Earl Cowart, Boyd Dills, Sam Parker, Boyce Reeve (Corky) McCorkle, Tut Taylor and Marc.  This trip was a predecessor to the North Carolina international folk festival Folkmoot.  Dr. Clinton Border of Waynesville, NC was instrumental in organizing this cultural exchange, and the tour included a widely acclaimed mountain clogging group, The Carolina Cloggers directed by legendary dancer, Red Ivester.

“We played in front of old castles, on town squares, in schools….and right before we were set to come back to the states, Tut Taylor stuffed his resonator guitar with Polish sausage to bring back .  We kidded him about his guitar sounding “full”!

For five years, from September 1974 to September 1979, Marc Pruett played on every show the “Southern Lawmen” had booked.  This was the official corporate band of the old Southern Railway that performed for many public relations events, operations meetings and railroad-endorsed programs (public and private).  During his tenure with the Lawmen, Marc performed for and became friends with a lot of folks from railroad company presidents such as D. W. Brosnan, Harry DeButz, W. Graham Claytor, and Harold Hall as well as executives to CEO’s of companies like ATT and Remington Arms.  Marc played on TV in Kentucky and traveled to South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia performing with The Southern Lawmen.  With the railroad band, Marc Pruett made many lasting professional friendships and learned much of the entertainment needs for corporate clients at facilities like Brosnan Forest in St. George, SC.

“I was honored when I was chosen to replace the legendary entertainer George Pegram in the railroad group.  He had been with them so long and was such a great performer.  After Mr. Pegram died in 1974, Captain J.R. Perkins contacted me.  We talked…picked…and struck up a friendship, and I joined the band.  I really enjoyed working with “the Lawmen” and being associated with the railroad.”

In 2000-2002, I had the chance to do a lot of performances with the new version of THE LAWMEN.  We were in Kansas City for the National Sheriff’s Association…in Salt Lake City for the national meeting of OPERATION LIFESAVER…and in Pennsylvania for The Make A Wish Foundation.  I played with the group in Atlanta for a national meeting of State Highway Patrol Agencies.  It has truly been wonderful to rekindle old friendships at meetings like the Norfolk-Southern Board of Directors meetings, the Georgia-Pacific Board of Directors meeting, the Brosnan Forest programs and at the Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia.

In October 1979, a newly formed MARC PRUETT BAND began a nine-year “stint” as the house band at Bill Stanley’s BBQ and Bluegrass Restaurant in Asheville, N.C.  The band included legendary bassist, Randy Davis (the man Bill Monroe introduced as, “Randy Davis from Asheville, North Carolina…a man with perfect timing,” stunning mandolin player, Mike Hunter, widely noted fiddler, Arvil Freeman and guitar and banjo whiz, Steve Sutton.  Bill Stanley’s historic facility could accommodate 400 folks and served up some dandy BBQ, bluegrass music and Southern mountain clog dancing in its time.  At Bill Stanley’s, Marc used every opportunity to hone his skills in performance, and through those years, he further developed his playing ability and song writing.  Hundreds of thousands of people were entertained and fed through Bill Stanley’s business, and the Marc Pruett Band was at the entertainment helm! The list of influential and well-known folks entertained by the Marc Pruett Band at Bill Stanley’s include Lewis Grizzard…Ben Wright…Frank Whittaker…Tim Conway…Pat Sumerall…Dinah Shore…Yogi Berra…Al Gore…Douglas Kiker (NBC)…Gail E. Hailey (Caldicott Award Winner)…President Jimmy Carter………the list seems endless!  About the time he left Bill Stanley’s, Marc and his wife, Anita started their family.  Anita is a talented musician in her own right, but she left a vacancy as banjo player with Whitewater Bluegrass Company.  Marc helped out in this capacity through the 1990’s, and he enjoyed the many programs he helped present with his pickin’ buddies Ted White and Bill Byerly in Whitewater Bluegrass Company.

In 1995, Marc’s old friend, Ricky Skaggs called needing a banjo player for a MARTHA WHITE BLUEGRASS NIGHT AT THE RYMAN.  After the show that night, Ricky asked Marc to help out on some more of his bluegrass dates, and this led to a 2 1/2 year association with Skaggs and his band Kentucky Thunder.  On weekends and time off from work, Marc traveled and played with Skaggs’ group from British Columbia to Maine….from the Grand Ole Opry to California.  Of his involvement with the Ricky Skaggs organization, Marc says, “It was truly a musician’s dream.  I feel like I had the chance to learn so much…and to play some of the best music in my life!  It was wonderful to be able to perform at that level and get a chance to record with that band. Since BLUEGRASS RULES received the GRAMMY from the American Association of Recording Arts and Sciences, I have been deeply touched by the many congratulations I’ve had for my contribution to that project.  From my heart, I say a sincere thank you to all the folks who enjoyed that album!”

Through 1998 and 1999, Marc Pruett performed a lot with Rock Springs Reunion.  This was a bluegrass gospel group that played regional Christian programs.  One of the songs Marc co-wrote with his brother, Matt, went to the number 7 spot on the BLUEGRASS NOW chart in the summer of 1999 (JOHN SAW ME).

Marc Pruett has been described by Nashville Network producers as “having the hands of Earl Scruggs and the heart of Lester Flatt!”  Marc Pruett plays the banjo with power and an intuitive feel!  It has been said that “the reward for scholarship, persistence, determination, practice and passion is the priceless quality of ease….ours only when we know we know!” It is on this commanding level that Marc Pruett strives to present the 5-string, bluegrass banjo.  His cumulative years of experience in entertainment support a well-paced and tight-laced program, and the reverence he has for music tradition is well balanced in his current programs by his appreciation for and presentation of the new music of Balsam Range.

Marc Pruett has performed literally thousands of shows with mountain cloggers.  Marc says “When we performed at THE SHOWBOAT in Las Vegas, I took my high school buddy, Skip Parker, with us to clog.  On the show card, I had the promoter bill him as the world’s greatest buck dancer!  Old Skip glued taps to a pair of running shoes and had people dancin’ in the aisles!  I love good cloggin’….and that was one time we really had it!”

Marc has long admired the sincerity, the honest approach, and the humor of the M.C. style of the late Lester Flatt. “He (Flatt) always seemed so believable…so approachable…that’s something I never quit working toward.” On banjo playing, Marc says “…the first time I heard Earl Scruggs, I heard a completeness I’ve never heard equaled anywhere.  To me, it was and still stands as the total thing that banjo pickin’ should be!  Humbly I say….every time I pick my banjo up….in my own way, I try to breathe a little breath of that wonderful feeling that  “he” had into my own playing.”  For his lifetime efforts to further the banjo, for his talents, and for his dedication to “bluegrass” music, Marc Pruett was honored by being featured in the definitive book on banjo players…MASTERS OF THE FIVE STRING BANJO written by Tony Trishka and Peter Wernick.

Marc Pruett is a native Southern Mountain performer with a list of credentials a mile long and a day’s walk wide!  His enthusiasm and solid stage presence coupled with his “power-pickin'” and interaction with an audience help deliver a fresh, appealing mountain performance.  Marc says, “I’ve had some neat things happen to me.  One was when Ricky Skaggs introduced me at the Ryman Auditorium as AMERICA’S BANJO PLAYER!    Another one was when my wife, Anita, and I performed at the College Of West Virginia with the legendary Bluegrass musician, Everett Lilly who played for years with his brother Bea as The Lilly Brothers.  I’ve studied Everett Lilly’s great mandolin playing and tenor singing all my life…especially the classic recordings he made with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys in the fifties.  That night backstage, we rehearsed a while, and I thought it went pretty well.  After we finished one of the tunes, Everett Lilly gave me one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received.  In that quiet spot at the end of the song…while the instruments were still ringing…and everyone in the room was still intently listening…Everett Lilly looked over at me and said…”THAT’S THE WAY A BANJO SHOULD BE PLAYED!”

Marc Pruett has appeared on many nationally released albums, and he has appeared on a large volume of regional releases.   His music was (for over a dozen years) used as the square dance theme for Unto These Hills…the outdoor drama about the removal of the Cherokee Indians from North Carolina.   Marc has contributed to the documentation of cultural resources in Western North Carolina.  He worked with his friends Ted White and Susan Armstrong in the mid-2000’s to obtain a grant from the state of North Carolina to produce (in association with Haywood Community College) a folk life documentary called Spirit of the Mountains, the Stories of Uncle Albert Burnette.  This film was presented for a statewide preview at Haywood Community College in 2004 during the college’s 40th anniversary festival knows as “Mountain Echoes.”  As part of his interest in promoting and preserving mountain music and the heritage arts, Marc Pruett has recorded and produced dozens of album projects for many mountain performers.

On banjos, Marc says, “I currently use three different banjos. I still play the old ‘parts’ banjo I used on Bluegrass Rules with Ricky Skaggs, and I have really enjoyed playing one of the new Sullivan banjos made by the Sullivan family of First Quality Music Supply in Louisville, Kentucky.  Also, my friend, the late Scott Sheridan willed me his Tennessee Crafters banjo, and Warren Yates has really spiced it up with his ‘banjo magic.’ My friends know that I love ‘the old five’ with all my heart, and I am looking forward to a great stretch with Balsam Range!”

Honorary Doctor of Arts

On Saturday May 8, 2010, Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina conferred upon Haywood County (NC) native, Marc Pruett an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts.  That day, Marc was one of two people chosen by WCU to receive that honor for that year.  Dr. John Bardo, Chancellor of Western Carolina University read his conferring speech that is mirrored in the presentation document that accompanies the university’s Doctor of Arts degree presented to Marc.  It reads as follows:

Doctor of Arts

Honoris Causa

Marc Reagan Pruett

Marc Reagan Pruett – musician, songwriter and alumnus of Western Carolina University – you have earned your reputation as on of the great masters of the five-string banjo throughout a stage and recording career that has spanned more than four decades.

Growing up in Haywood County, you acquired an intense love of bluegrass while listening to the pioneers of that style of music, and you naturally gravitated toward life as an entertainer.  You developed your skill with the banjo and gave your first professional performance at 15 years of age.

Your association with Western Carolina began in the fall of 1969, when you enrolled and started work on your bachelor’s degree.  As a WCU student, you began performing with James Monroe, son of bluegrass originator Bill Monroe, and that association led to other opportunities to take the stage with many of the genre’s biggest stars, including a show with bluegrass giant Jimmy Martin at Nashville’s most famous showplace, the Grand Ole Opry.

You received your bachelor’s degree in geology in 1974, and the next year you began your close association with Mountain Heritage Day, the university’s annual celebration of mountain culture.  You performed at the first Mountain Heritage Day, held in October 1975, and since then you have continued to strongly support the festival with your talents – not for financial compensation or other personal gain – but because of the intense love you possess for the traditional culture of the region.

Your talent and fame continued to grow over the decades as you played your banjo at classic venues such as New York’s Lincoln Center and toured across Europe as part of a cultural exchange associated with this nation’s bicentennial year.  In 1995, your friend Ricky Skaggs asked you to join his band, Kentucky Thunder, and you received that most coveted musical honor, the Grammy Award, for your work with Skaggs on the album “Bluegrass Rules.”

Also in the 1990’s, you began to display your considerable talents with the group Whitewater Bluegrass Company, and since 2007, you have performed as a member of Balsam Range, which unites you with four of your fellow Haywood County natives, two of whom also are WCU alumni.  Now, with your critically acclaimed stage performances and recordings with Balsam Range, you continue your quest to advance bluegrass music by reaching new fans here at home and all over the world.

Marc Reagan Pruett, your musical accomplishments alone are exemplary and worthy of great acclaim, but let it be noted that during your musical career you truly have been an ambassador with a banjo as you have traveled the world, representing your university, your mountains and your people with outstanding humor, warmth and personality.  You have carved your own niche as one of Western North Carolina’s great cultural icons and as a beloved son of the mountains.

In recognition of your many achievements as a professional musician, and in appreciation for your support and love of the traditional culture of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, the Board of Trustees of Western Carolina University is pleased to award, and the Chancellor to confer upon you, the Degree of Doctor of Arts, Honoris Causa, at this Commencement Ceremony, May 8, 2010, with all the rights and privileges thereto appertaining.

Upon receiving his honorary degree of Doctor of Arts, Marc Pruett was asked to address the Spring 2010 graduates as well as all those attending the spring Graduation Ceremony at the Liston B. Ramsey Center on the campus of Western Carolina University.  Marc’s speech follows in entirety:

Thirty six years ago, I stood excitedly at WCU as a graduating senior. My dreams included a life filled with purpose…a life meeting challenges…and a life rising to the highest positive potential I could envision for myself.  The preparation I received here at Western was invaluable toward shaping me as a person, in guiding me through my life’s work, and in helping me find many of the goals I envisioned in my youth.

Why we do what we do in life is not always a mystery.  Propensity can often be observed at an early age.

Once, when I was a small boy, I was riding in the car with my Dad and listening to the radio.  A song came on by the late Lonnie Irving…one he had written and recorded that was saturated with the emotions of a troubled life.  The significance of that moment lives for me in the comment my Dad made when he saw I was moved by the message in that song.  He asked me if I liked what I heard.  Too overcome to speak…I simply nodded my head affirmatively.  Then he said…“Son, that’s country music”.  He made that statement with a pride that told me… “We…are county people…and it’s OK to feel those emotions.” Our lives are sprinkled with a few defining moments…and I felt at that moment, whatever country music was would be a part of my life.

When I was a child, my Mother knew I liked country music, and she would let me listen to the radio when I got home from school.  I’d have snack…then I would have to do my homework.  Back then, the local radio station had a country show they called “The Cornbread Matinee”.  I loved it…and I listened.  One day…the station featured a band known as Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys.  That day, the boys played songs like…Earl’s Breakdown…Dim Lights and Thick Smoke…and the Flint Hill Special.  It was that day I heard the perfection in Earl Scruggs’ banjo playing.  It spoke to me in ways I still find hard to explain.  That day…I felt a small voice inside of me say, “That’s part of who you are too.”

Through caring support and thoughtful participation, many people have contributed greatly to any efforts I have made that may be deemed worthy of recognition.  Some of those people are here today, and I want to give my heartfelt thank you to my family…for they are the ones who saw the banjo come to the hill, and they are the ones who continue to encourage me to grow…even as they continue to make sacrifices for that to happen.

My mother and father, Ray and Mickey Pruett and my wife Anita have been my most giving supporters through the years.  Without their love and understanding, I would never have been this far in my adventure with Appalachian Heritage music. I love you, and I thank you.  As well, to my mother Mickey and to my wife Anita…happy Mother’s Day from your family.

In my gratitude, I cannot let this moment pass without the warmest symbolic hug to my brother, Matthew…and to my children: Elizabeth, Zachary and Callie Marie.  As well, let me extend my gratitude to the others in my family of lifetime friends and associates who are here today in my support.

Also, let me express appreciation to my family of this great Western Carolina University…my Alma Mater.  In particular, I want to recognize Dr. Billy Ogletree and Dr. John Bardo who were instrumental in spearheading this effort and moving it forward on my behalf.  I also would like to recognize the support and friendship of Dr. Scott Philyaw who is Director of the Mountain Heritage Center.

To everyone here, I hope to continue to share enjoyable trails of music with you. In parting…let me offer you my verbal photograph.  Remember me through this:

Pray that you are given “passion.” Use it to mold your aptitudes into talent.  Grow your talents to the fullest positive expression.   And then…share yourself with the world in ways that will give you the most noble of attributes…and that is compassion.”

Thank you.

Support player and entertainment provider for the following clients and venues:

  • NAFSA Association of International Educators (Global Summit)
  • The American Waterworks Association
  • The National Folk Festival
  • The North Carolina Apple Festival
  • NCNB/Nations Bank
  • South Carolina State Peach Festival
  • The Grand Ole Opry
  • Lincoln Center
  • The Capitol Children’s Center (Washington, D.C.)
  • The Bitteroot Valley Bluegrass Festival (Montana)
  • The Appalachian Festival Of Humor (Berea College)
  • National Public Radio’s “MOUNTAIN STAGE” (Charleston, WVA)
  • The Nashville Network”s TRIBUTE TO BILL MONROE
  • The Medical University Of South Carolina
  • Kiawah Island Inn
  • The World Music Festival (CA)
  • The Omni in Atlanta
  • The Kemper Open (Pinehurst)
  • Showcase America (Branson)
  • Clay Electric Co-Op (Keystone Heights, FL)
  • The National Crime Commission Convention (Bethesda, MD)
  • The University Of Illinois (with George “Goober” Lindsay)
  • Southern Safari (for Gundlach Bundschu)
  • Unto These Hills (outdoor drama/Cherokee, N.C.)
  • VMI Americas
  • The General Electric Corporation
  • Freedom Escape Lodge
  • The Trial Attorneys of North Carolina
  • The Philadelphia Folk Festival
  • The Governor’s Western Residence (N.C.)
  • Blue Boar Lodge
  • The Dupont Company Picnic
  • The Olin Company Picnic
  • Kellwood Company
  • Champion Timberlands (at Lake Logan Lodge)
  • The Smoky Mountain Folk Festival
  • Cronland Warp Roll Company
  • Bristol Brother’s Lumber Company
  • Bob Evans Farm Festival (Ohio)
  • The OX Roast
  • Richard Petty
  • Kentucky State Horse Park
  • The Digital Corporation
  • Bell-Atlantic Mobile
  • Fishburn International
  • Schwitzer Turbochargers
  • Steelcas
  • The Country Music Fan Fair
  • The North Carolina Soil and Water Conservation Districts Annual Meeting (Charlotte)
  • The Homestead (Hot Springs, VA)
  • The Grove Park Inn  (many events)
  • ASHTO Conference
  • Merlefest
  • High Hampton Inn
  • Frymont Inn
  • The Jarrett House
  • ACC Tourney (halftime show in Charlotte, NC)
  • The Rhododendron Festival
  • Greystone Inn
  • Meridith College
  • The University Of North Carolina
  • Western Carolina University
  • Mars Hill College
  • Appalachian State University
  • Clemson University
  • The University Of Tennessee
  • Belle Chere Festival
  • The Country Palace (Ohio)
  • The Ernest Tubb Record Shop
  • Wolftrap
  • Thomas Pointe Beach Bluegrass Festival (Maine)
  • The Carter Fold (Hiltons, VA)
  • The Biltmore Estate
  • Champion Hills Country Club
  • The World’s Fair (Knoxville)
  • Okechobee Bluegrass Festival (FL)
  • The Tennessee A & I Fair
  • The Tommy Faile  Show
  • Brosnan Forest (St. George, S.C.)
  • Wythville Community College (VA)
  • The Stringbean Memorial Festival (Annville, KY)
  • The International Bluegrass Music Association’s Awards Show (Owensboro)
  • The Hattiesburg Bluegrass Festival (MS)
  • The Snuffy Jenkins Festival (backing Grandpa Jones)
  • The Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival (PA)
  • WCU’s Mountain Heritage Day (founding performer)
  • Warren Wilson College
  • Kenmure
  • Georgia Pacific Corporation Convention
  • Bill Monroe’s Bean Blossom Festival
  • The Ryman Auditorium
  • The Carolina Theater (Greensboro)
  • The Paramount (Ashland, KY)
  • Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff (company picnic….Boone, NC)
  • Christie….the play at Townsend, TN
  • Taylor Ranch
  • Biltmore Forest Country Club
  • Cedar Creek Country Club
  • Pisgah View Ranch
  • The Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • The National Convention of State’s Attorneys General
  • TNN’s Fire on the Mountain
  • TNN’s The Grand Ole Opry Live
  • Northwestern Mutual Life
  • BiLo Food Fair (Palmetto Expo Center)
  • Town of Columbus, NC 4th of July Celebration
  • Town of Santeetlah, NC 4th of July Celebration
  • Memorial Mission Hospital (Dedication of the Ruth and Billy Graham Children’s Health Center)
  • Farm and Forest Equipment Company
  • Bruce Machinery (John Deere Customer Appreciation Day)
  • Mascot Homes
  • Broyhill Children’s Home
  • Waynesville Country Club
  • Canton Hardwood Company
  • Laurel Ridge Country Club
  • Mercury Records (private party)
  • Deer Park (many events)
  • Gold City
  • Maggie Valley Golf and Country Club
  • Fairfield Sapphire Valley
  • United States Congressman Lamar Gudger
  • Judge Ron Howell
  • The Mountains At Lake Lure
  • Governor Jim Hunt
  • NCDOT Maintenance Conference (with the Secretary of Transportation, Norris Tolsen)
  • Tanglewood
  • 52nd NC State Evangelical Conference
  • Ingles (as TV actor for commercials/food fair entertainment/private parties)
  • The Lost Sea
  • Tri-Cities Airport (TN)
  • Haywood Tech
  • Southwestern Tech
  • Mountain Aire Golf and Country Club
  • The River Ridge Shopping Center
  • Kanuga Watercolor Workshop
  • Belks
  • The Boy Scouts of America
  • Haywood County Fox Hunters Association
  • Highland Lake Conference Center
  • Kanuga Conference Center
  • Elizabeth Dole
  • United States Senator John Edwards
  • the Vance-Aycock Diner
  • United States Senator Robert Byrd
  • United States Senator Robert Morgan
  • Tipper Gore
  • Proffits
  • The World Association of Nuclear Operators
  • The Nascar Hall Of Fame
  • Silver Dollar City
  • …and many, many more.

Record and/or appeared in concert with:

  • The Whites
  • Ricky Skaggs
  • Marty Stuart
  • Bill Monroe
  • Jimmy Martin,
  • Archie Campbell
  • James Monroe
  • Lester Flatt
  • The Kingsmen
  • Peter Rowan
  • Jerry Douglas
  • Tony Rice
  • Emmy Lou Harris
  • Tim Surrett
  • Chris Hillman
  • Bernie Leaden
  • John R. Bowman
  • Frank Wakefield
  • Eric Weisberg
  • Mac Wiseman
  • Ralph Stanley
  • Bryan Sutton
  • Billy Edd Wheeler
  • Terry McMillan
  • Adam Steffy
  • Barry Bales
  • Patty Loveless
  • Bobby Hicks
  • Rob Ikes
  • Joe and Jeanette Carter
  • Everett Lilly
  • The Isaacs
  • George “Goober” Lindsey
  • Rhonda Vincent
  • Chubby Wise
  • Josh Graves
  • Buddy Melton
  • Darren Nicholson
  • Caleb Smith
  • …and many more, including a host of regional bands and artists


Marc Pruett is pleased to be associated with and endorsed by First Quality Music Supply and Sullivan Banjos.  Marc has been a customer and friend with FQMS for over 30 years, and he is pleased with the fabulous progress the Sullivan Family has made over the years in the delivery of music product and in instrument development.

“The Sullivan’s have helped lead the industry in quality music product sales, and I am extremely proud of the great progress they have made…especially with the new, killer-sounding VINTAGE 35 banjos!  The Sullivan Family are “first quality folks” who love music, and they are devoted to offering great products and great service!  In the words of the late family patriarch, Bill Sullivan…”We are all Bluegrass Friends!”  And I am glad to call his sons, Eric and Jeff my “bluegrass friends.”


You may contact Marc through his e-mail address: or his Facebook page.