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|Jim Van Cleve|
Jim VanCleve, born October 12, 1978 in Canton, North Carolina is an American fiddle player, songwriter, session musician, and producer. He is a founding member of the popular band Mountain Heart, and a Grammy winning session musician and Grammy nominated solo artist.
VanCleve won many fiddle contests as a youth. While still in high school, VanCleve became a member of Ric-o-chet and Lou Reid and Carolina, prominent bands in the national bluegrass scene at the time.
In 1997, bluegrass and gospel legend Doyle Lawson invited VanCleve to join his group, Quicksilver. VanCleve left college (UNC-Greensboro) to become the band's new fiddle player.
In 1998, banjo player Barry Abernathy, singer/guitarist Steve Gulley, and Grammy-winning mandolinist (formerly of Alison Krauss and Union Station) Adam Steffey began plans to form a band. VanCleve came on board and the band Mountain Heart was formed. VanCleve has played a major role in the success and popularity of the band, as well as a driving force in creating more complex musical arrangements.
Jim has become highly regarded and much sought after both as a session musician and as a record producer in the worlds of Country and Americana music. VanCleve has quickly built a broad-ranging and artistically acclaimed body of production work. A partial list of projects VanCleve has produced:
The awards nominations for "No Apologies" were many. The lead track, "Nature of the Beast", was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2006 for "Best Country Instrumental Performance". The first single from the album, Let The Big Dog Eat, was the No. 1 Song in Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine for three months. The album topped out at number 5 in the Billboard Bluegrass Sales chart. The project won "Album of the Year" in the Folk category of the Indie Awards. The album was nominated for "Instrumental Project of the Year" in 2007 at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards. Jim was also nominated for "Fiddle Player of the Year" in 2007 for his work on "No Apologies", and the many other recordings he played a part in that year.
Jim was recruited to write an instrumental track for a studio project by Sierra Hull, the young mandolin and vocal prodigy seen on television, either sitting in with Alison Krauss, or as an actress in the new Billy Graham movie. Ron Block (of Alison Krauss and Union Station), and Sierra produced her debut solo project and commissioned Jim to write the song, which eventually was entitled SMASHVILLE. Sierra's album, Secrets, is now available on Rounder Records.