Meet the Judges for the 2015 State of Tennessee Old-Time
We at the State of Tennessee Old-Time Fiddlers'
Championships take great pride in having the finest judges available for our
music and dance competitions. All our judges, led by Judging Coordinator Boge
Quinn, are championship-caliber musicians or dancers who bring a lifetime of
experience to our event.
(click pictures for a larger version)
Boge Quinn - Judging Coordinator
A mandolinist, guitarist and Old-Time banjo player, Boge was raised
in Clarksville, TN and grew up around the State of Tennessee Old-Time
Fiddlers' Championships. Boge has won many contests across the
Southeastern United States over the years, and has served for many years
as a judge at the Uncle Dave
Macon Days festival in Murfreesboro, TN. Boge currently plays
and sings Gospel and Old-Time Country/Western music as a solo act, leads
singing at a small country church where his late dad completed his long career as Pastor, and plays and sings Blue Grass and Country music
in local groups.
Fred began playing the guitar as a teenager and learned many styles. After becoming interested in acoustic music, he concentrated on the flat top guitar. In the 80's he played with
Wynn Osborne, and also worked the Grand Ol' Opry with Mike
Snider, as well as the Nashville Now TV show. Fred later met a musician named
Danny Roberts and they started the band The New Tradition. The band played the Grand Ol" Opry and had a number one video on
CMT called "Seed Of Love". After playing many festivals nationwide. Fred left the band in the 90's and started playing with
Tim Graves. In the last several years, Fred has placed at the National
Flatpick Guitar Championships at Winfield, KS, and won the State
of Tennessee Old-Time Fiddlers' contest in guitar and Blue Grass band, as well as many other contests. He resides in Nashville Tn, and owns a recording studio,
Carl was born in the mountain community of
Princeton, W.V. He started playing guitar at 9 years old, and soon
discovered Bluegrass and Old Time Music through local Fiddler’s
Conventions. He became an accomplished guitarist, winning the
prestigious Galax Fiddler’s Convention for the first time at
He has toured and performed with Kevin
Williamson and Shadow Ridge, Dale Ann Bradley, Clarence Kelly, Dave
Evans and several other groups.
In addition to playing mandolin, guitar, bass and
some banjo and fiddle, Carl is an accomplished songwriter as well. He
penned “You Gotta Dig a Little Deeper” which became a
title cut, video and a number one chart song for Doyle Lawson in
2005. He newest recorded project of original songs, “Down
Another Lonesome Highway” features Carl on most all the
instruments and vocals, with some help from some very talented friends.
Carl and his family reside in Brentwood, TN.
J. Sam Vance began playing banjo at age 12.
By the time he graduated high school, Sam had cut his performing
teeth on the contest circuit around Middle Tennessee and at square
dances, picking parlors, high school performances, and church functions.
Beginning in 1982, he played southeast Tennessee and regional
events and toured with the Tom Morgan Family band.
During this period, Sam helped record Benny Williams’ Tribute
to Bill Monroe project. An
unexpected phone call came from Music City Bluegrass in late
2001. He stayed with MCB
until 2004 and then graduated to the much-heralded Fast Forward band,
a Nashville area super-group with over 35 band contest wins under its
belt. Between 2004 and
2007, Sam split his playing time with the Memphis-based Tennessee
Gentlemen, touring the USA, Canada and Europe. Encouragement from
Sam’s fellow band members was his impetus to record his Banjo
Crossing project in 2005. After the FF and TG stints he became Old
Hickory’s charter banjo player in early 2008.
The band currently operates under the moniker of Blue Hollow.
Ed Carnes - Head Fiddle Judge
Ed was born and grew up in Leitchfield, Kentucky, and has been
playing the fiddle since 1977. He began playing as a charter member of
the Grayson County school orchestra and learned to play fiddle with
several other students who also became champion fiddlers.
Ed has won fiddle championships in 5 states - Tennessee, Kentucky,
Indiana, Alabama and Ohio, and placed as high as Runner-Up in
the Grand Master Fiddler Championship. He has won numerous other
championships, such as the Mid-America Championship (5 times), Empire
State Championship, Western KY. Championship and many others.
Ed has fiddled all over the US, and also in Canada. An accomplished and
Nationally certified fiddle judge, Ed has judged the KY State
Championship several times, the IN State championship, the U.S.
National Contest in Weiser, ID, the Western Open Contest in
Redding, CA, and many other contests. Ed has two solo recordings of his
music available, and has been featured on several collections. Ed is
also one of the organizers of the new Grand
Master Fiddler Championship Competition, which restarted in
2005, and serves on its Board of Directors.
Bobby is a fourth generation West Virginia fiddler and he has played
fiddle for more than 40 years, starting at the age of 13. He was the
1977 West Virginia State Fiddle Champion. In 2003, Bobby received
the Footbridge Award, presented by FOOTMAD (Friends of
Old-Time Music and Dance) for his contributions to old-time music.
He has been coordinator of many prestigious contests across the U.S.,
including West Virginia's Vandalia Gathering
contests, the Appalachian Open Contest, and the Appalachian String Band
Music Festival contest. Bobby has judged the Ohio,
Kentucky and West Virginia State Championships, the Galax (VA) Fiddlers Convention,
the Grand Master Fiddle Championship,
Jana Jae’s Grand Lake National
Fiddle Fest, the Western
Open Fiddle Championship, and the
Grand National Fiddle Championship in Weiser, Idaho. He's a
consultant regarding the rules, guidelines and selection of judges for
various fiddle contests throughout the nation. He has taught fiddle
workshops at the Augusta Heritage Center and Allegheny Echoes.
Bill was born and raised in Nashville, TN. He started playing
classical violin at age 10 with the 5th grade strings program in the
Nashville public school system. Shortly after that he joined the fiddle
world, playing Old-Time, Irish, and Blue Grass. At age 14, he competed
at the Smithville Jamboree for his first fiddle contest; he
considered it a victory that he did not fall off the stage, considering
how nervous and shaky he was! From then on, he competed at every contest
that his dad would take him to; his dad played rhythm guitar for him for
Bill has won or placed in the top 3 at many contests, including: Tennessee
State, Georgia State, KY State, Indiana State, Alabama state, Grove OK,
Walnut Valley, & Western Open. In 2009 he was invited to judge
the World Championship Fiddle Contest in Crockett, TX. Freshly
inspired from the great fiddling, the next week he went to Weiser, ID
and won the young adult division at the National Fiddle Contest.
Bill graduated from Tennessee Tech in Cookeville,TN with a
B.S. in Chemical Engineering and an MBA. He is currently a business
center manager for Carlisle Tire in Clinton, TN. Bill and his
wife Heather are raising their first son, Weston. With
career and parenting responsibilities, Bill rarely competes any more
since he doesn't have time to keep his chops up; however, he will pick
up a 6-string or tenor guitar at a moment's notice to jam or play rhythm
for fiddle players.
Susanne has been dancing her entire life. Her
father and mother danced with the Cedar Hill Square Dancers, a
group that appeared regularly on the Grand Old Opry in the early
1950s. She grew up a dance floor as her father called dances most
every weekend including being the caller for Roy Acuff’s Dunbar
Cave. Susanne has team danced and entered single competitions
since her early 20s. She was on the 1992 State of Tennessee
Old-Time Fiddlers' Championships and is a former individual Champion
here also. She’s judged at different events for a number of
Dianne is the daughter of the late Robert Spicer, recipient of
the National Heritage Award for the Endowment of the Arts for old
time flat foot dancing. She’s been dancing since she was eight
years old. Every Saturday night she and her family could be found
at one of the local community centers, dancing and having a good time.
Dianne has danced on several local square-dance groups throughout the
years. She thoroughly enjoys dancing and “doesn’t plan on
giving it up any time soon.” In addition to her dancing
abilities, Dianne also plays a bass fiddle.
Jewel has been dancing all her life. As an adult, she’s
entered single competitions and usually placed. She’s danced on
several teams and, like the single competitions, has usually been on a
team that placed. This includes being on the 1992 team (with
Susanne) that placed first here at the State of Tennessee
Old-Time Fiddlers' Championships. Jewel has been judging at
different events since 1993.
L-R: Dianne Franklin, Jewel Proper, Susanne Buttrey