James Alan Shelton
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James Alan Shelton
James Alan Shelton, 2009

James Alan Shelton (November 3, 1960 - June 3, 2014) was an American bluegrass guitarist. Shelton was a solo musician, released 10 albums,[1] and performed with the Clinch Mountain Boys.[2]


Shelton was born in Kingsport, Tennessee and raised in Gate City, Virginia. A major influence musically on Shelton as a youth were the Stanley Brothers, who were from nearby Dickenson County, Virginia. When he was 12 years old he saw Ralph Stanley perform and was inspired to learn the guitar and banjo. His father bought him his first guitar which cost $89.95. Shelton worked for his father, at $1.25 an hour, to repay him for the instrument. He also found influence in the Carter Family, Flatt and Scruggs, and Bill Monroe. It was in the records of the Stanley Brothers where Shelton heard the guitar playing of George Shuffler, who had developed a style of crosspicking. Shelton would go on to idolize Shuffler, and eventually play with him during his professional career. Shelton lived in Church Hill, Tennessee,[2] until his death on June 3, 2014.

Professional career

Shelton went on to play with Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys. His guitar playing was unique, mixing aspects of George Shuffler's crosspicking style, Doc Watson's flatpicking and a blues finger-style of picking.[2] He later played dobro and guitar with the Flint Hill band.[3]

Solo career

Shelton recorded 10 solo albums:

  • Blue in the Blue Ridge (Freeland FRC-CD 645, 1992)
  • Clinch Mountain Guitar (Freeland FRC-CD 650, 1995)
  • Road to Coeburn (Copper Creek CCCD 0154, 1997)
  • Standing Room Only - 1999
  • Song for Greta (Rebel REB-CD 1785, 2002)
  • Guitar Tracks - 2003
  • Half Moon Bay (Rebel REB-CD 1809, 2004)
  • Walking Down the Line (Sheltone SR 1961, 2007)
  • Gospel Guitar (Sheltone SR 1960, 2008)
  • Copper Creek Sessions (Sheltone, 2012)


  1. ^ Johnny Lawless (2010). "James Alan Shelton - Where I'm Bound". Bluegrass Today. Retrieved 2012.
  2. ^ a b c John Lupton (2002). "James Alan Shelton clinches his dream". Country Standard Time. Retrieved 2012.
  3. ^ Shelton profile, Allmusic.com; accessed June 5, 2014.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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