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James Reams, Walter Hensley & The Barons of Bluegrass

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Biography

Walter Hensley is a cult figure in bluegrass. Born in Virginia, in 1936, he grew up as did James in eastern Kentucky (Pike County) when his father moved the family there for work in the coal camps. He learned to play along with his brother and by 1952 was playing on the radio in Pikesville. A few years later Walter moved to Baltimore, Maryland, and became a central figure in the bluegrass scene there, a place and time that was the epicenter of the bluegrass world from the mid 50s through the 60s. Along with Walter, such luminaries as Earl Taylor, Red Allen, Buzz Busby and Del McCoury frequented the clubs and informal jams throughout the city.

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