Gene Watson’s Peers within the country music industry believe in the sheer talent of this unassuming man from east Texas, so much so that Gene is regarded by many of them as ‘the singer’s singer’ – and rightly so!
All of Gene Watson’s Peers, who were contacted during 2018, were most gracious with their time and words.
It is here, within this special part of The Gene Watson Fan Site, that you have an opportunity to read a quote from Scott Vestal, which he submitted to this site on Monday 2 April 2018.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to Scott Vestal who made a special contribution to this unique part of this online ‘celebration of a Lone Star Hero’.
This quote was submitted on Monday 2 April 2018.
‘Yes, I’ve always loved Gene’s singing.
Gene is an all-time favourite.
One of the best!’
Thank you, Scott Vestal, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Scott Vestal…
Scott Vestal was born on Tuesday 8 May 1962 in Duncan, Oklahoma.
The older of two children, music was a constant from Scott Vestal’s early age.
His Grandfather, Famon Self, an old time country fiddler, with lots of patience, showed Scott Vestal his first chords on the guitar.
Scott Vestal and his brother, Curtis, would play and sing with their Grandfather at various events ranging from parades, to nursing homes, to bluegrass festivals.
At the age of thirteen, Scott Vestal got his first 5-string banjo and began learning from the records his father had around the house, ranging from Lester Flatt (Friday 19 June 1914 – Friday 11 May 1979) & Earl Scruggs (Sunday 6 January 1924 – Wednesday 28 March 2012) to New Grass Revival, and everything in between.
When he was fifteen years old, Scott Vestal was playing all over the United States with TJ Rogers’ family band, which eventually led to an audition with Larry Sparks.
After performing and recording with Larry Sparks for a year, Scott Vestal struck out on his own and helped form Southern Connection, which toured the Midwest and East Coast for three years.
In 1985, Scott Vestal joined Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, performing in the United States, Canada and Europe, as a member of the critically acclaimed quartet.
Four years and five award-winning albums later, in 1990, Scott Vestal once again struck out to broaden his musical knowledge with his own group, Livewire, spent six months touring Japan with an acoustic jazz ensemble, and had a starring role in Phyllis McBride’s critically acclaimed original musical production, ‘Cowboy Cafe’.
Upon returning home from Japan, Scott Vestal received a call from singer / songwriter, Harley Allen (Monday 23 January 1956 – Wednesday 30 March 2011), who invited him to move to Nashville and form a band with him and David Parmley.
Harley Allen (Monday 23 January 1956 – Wednesday 30 March 2011) soon found that his writing schedule would not allow him to be on the road, thus the beginning of David Parmley, Scott Vestal & Continental Divide, who went on to record three award-winning projects and tour the United States and Canada over the next five years.
During this time, Scott Vestal was awarded ‘Banjo Player of The Year’ in 1996 by The International Bluegrass Music Association, and ‘Banjo Player of The Year’ in 1998 by The Bluegrass Now Magazine Fan’s Choice Awards.
While working on a Johnny Staats project for Sony Music, Scott Vestal had a chance to hang out with John Cowan and decided they should hook up and play some music together.
This situation gave Scott Vestal an opportunity to really stretch out and broaden his musical horizons, not just playing banjo, but incorporating his solid body electric midi banjo into the show and onto the two albums they recorded together as The John Cowan Band.
In 2006, Scott Vestal had the opportunity to record and work with rock star David Lee Roth on a media tour of all the late night and daytime talk shows, as well as a concert in New York City at Nokia Theater.
Scott Vestal is an in-demand session player around Nashville, and has his own recording studio, Digital Underground, where he engineers, produces and plays on various projects, including an award-winning series of instrumental recordings for Pinecastle Records.
Scott Vestal has worked with numerous artists over the years, including the following:
• Bill Monroe (Wednesday 13 September 1911 – Monday 9 September 1996)
• Sam Bush
• John Jorgenson
• Tim O’Brien
• Jim Lauderdale
• Shawn Camp
• Ricky Skaggs
• Pat Flynn
• Jerry Douglas
• John Cowan
• Tony Rice (Friday 8 June 1951 – Friday 25 December 2020)
• Vassar Clements (Wednesday 25 April 1928 – Tuesday 16 August 2005)
• Larry Sparks
• Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
• Continental Divide
• Donny & Marie Osmond
• Chris Thile
• Paul Craft (Friday 12 August 1938 – Saturday 18 October 2014)
• Jon Randall
• Hank Williams III
• Laura Love
• Kenny Chesney
• Ashton Shepherd
• Del McCoury
• Dierks Bentley
• Dailey & Vincent
• Daniel O’Donnell
• Joe Nichols
• Billy Ray Cyrus
• Alan Jackson
• Dolly Parton
In addition to being an outstanding musician, Scott Vestal is also a composer, writing nine of the thirteen compositions on his first solo project, ‘In Pursuit of Happiness’ (Scott Vestal self release, 1992), and nine out of twelve compositions on ‘Millennia’ (Pinecastle Records, 2000).
Along with his busy recording schedule, Scott Vestal has been touring with Sam Bush for a number years and has his own banjo company, Stealth Banjos, which he has designed and developed over the years.
In 2017, Scott Vestal was awarded the Steve Martin Prize for ‘Excellence in Banjo & Bluegrass’.