The Kennedy Center

James Alan Shelton


A Virginia native, James Alan Shelton was born on November 3, 1960 and took up the guitar at the age of 12, with his maternal grandfather as his teacher. At about the age of 13, he took up the banjo and at 15 became the banjo player for a band called the Bluegrass Travelers. He also played banjo for the Larkin Brothers, dobro and guitar for Flint Hill and banjo and mandolin for Blue Ridge.

In 1994, Shelton became lead guitarist for bluegrass master Ralph Stanley's highly respected group, The Clinch Mountain Boys. A multi-instrumentalist, Shelton has also released a handful of solo albums including "Half Moon Bay" which was nominated in 2005 for "Bluegrass Instrumental Album of the Year" by the International Bluegrass Music Association.
James Alan Shelton