Five-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year award, Dale Ann Bradley is acknowledged as one of bluegrass music’s greatest contemporary singers, with an angelic voice and “nothing doctored up” personal songwriting that bring listeners to the heart of bluegrass music.
Bradley was born in Pineville, in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. As the daughter of a Primitive Baptist minister, Bradley grew up with limited exposure to secular music. When she got her first guitar at the age of 14, she says, “I made a pick from a milk jug. Drove everybody crazy.” In high school she began performing locally with Back Porch Grass. In 1991, Bradley joined the New Coon Creek Girls, and became a regular on the venerable Renfro Valley Barn Dance. Over the past 20 years, Dale Ann Bradley has built an international solo career with the backing of her stellar band, leading to her first Grammy nomination for 2016’s Pocket Full of Keys.
In regards to her more traditional approach to bluegrass, she commented, “The kids today in bluegrass, it’s a wonderful energy, but it’s a different energy. And I think people my age might be the last of that generation that really lived those songs hardcore.”