About Reno & Harrell

Bluegrass Today Magazine Article
Don Wayne Reno on the Adcocks
John Lawless | July 7, 2014 |

We received a note over the weekend from Don Wayne Reno, son of banjo legend Don Reno, and a fine five string stylist in his own right. He wanted to share a few words in response to our piece last month on the financial struggles Eddie and Martha Adcock are currently experiencing.

As we mentioned in June, a combination of Eddie’s medical issues and an unexpected drop in bookings for 2014 have put he and Martha in a tenuous position. They tell us that things look much better for next year, but that keeping their heads above water this summer will be difficult. We can’t have a banjo legend living like that.

Here’s Don Wayne’s plea for the Adcocks…

Eddie Adcock and Don Wayne Reno“Hello friends, I wanted to say a few words about some very dear friends of mine, Eddie and Martha Adcock. I met them when I was just 13 years old at Camp Springs, North Carolina and we have been family ever since.

Eddie is a living American treasure, as we all well know. He has contributed to some of the best banjo music that has ever been played

Aside from being excellent musicians, they have proven to be two of the most compassionate people I know. They were always the first to help me when I was struggling to get by, and I owe them a great debt for that. They have been hosting a benefit for the homeless here in Nashville for the last 14 years and have participated in numerous charitable events throughout their careers.

Eddie and Martha AdcockNow I could talk all day about these fine people and all of their accomplishments, but there’s another reason for writing this. Eddie and Martha need help from their fans and the bluegrass community. Eddie’s health has slowed him down and medical bills have put an enormous strain on their finances, but he is still determined to push forward.

I am asking for contributions to see them through this tough time. If we all gave a little, it would mean a whole lot.”

If you can spare a few dollars, it will be greatly appreciated.

Checks can be sent, made out to the Eddie and Martha Adcock Fund, to the following address:

Eddie and Martha Adcock Fund
PO Box 941
Franklin, TN 37065

Bluegrass Today Magazine Article
Reno Bound – Reno and Harrell
John Goad | December 23, 2013 |

For most bluegrass fans, the name “Reno and Harrell” instantly brings to mind the 1960s band fronted by bluegrass legends Don Reno and Bill Harrell. However, some folks may have caught that name popping up once again at bluegrass shows, such as the recent Wide Open Bluegrass street festival in Raleigh, and wondered who exactly was going to show up onstage.

No, it’s not some sort of tribute band – not exactly. Instead, the 2010s version of Reno and Harrell is Dale and Don Wayne Reno with Mitch Harrell, longtime musicians and friends since childhood who are following in their fathers’ footsteps. They’ve recently released their first album, Reno Bound, featuring classic covers from Don and Bill as well as a few newer tunes.

The twelve tracks on Reno Bound are, for the most part, strongly traditional and performed with an ear towards the original Reno and Harrell. The album opens with the title track, an upbeat Bill Harrell-penned number about a man who is picking up and heading out of town after the one he loved cheated on him. This is a toe-tapper that fans of the traditional, driving sound are sure to enjoy. Gold Digger is another Bill Harrell original about a cold-hearted woman. This time, she’s used the singer for his money, and he wishes her “a fate worse than death – a gold digging man.” The song has a nice guitar opening and fine harmonies.

Don Reno’s songwriting talents are also represented, with pieces like the sweet love song Gift of Love, which has a classic country sound and tasteful banjo throughout from Don Wayne Reno. There’s also Mountain Road, an enjoyable classic number in the “you can’t go home again” vein.

Black Diamonds is a bouncy coal mining song about the hard life of a miner, which was also recently recorded by another legend’s son, Ralph Stanley II (on his Born to Be a Drifter album). One of the most lonesome tracks on the album is Mister Bottle, an ode addressed to the only thing in the singer’s life that never lets him down.

Mitch Harrell has contributed two new originals to the album. Verizon to Verizon is not the novelty song its title might suggest, but a tender piece with a ’90s country sound about a man who knows he can’t be with the one he loves right now, but plans to keep their love alive through the telephone. Watchin’ NASCAR, on the other hand, is a humorous come back from a husband who won’t let anything, especially a nagging wife, get in the way of his favorite pastime.

All of the musicians in the 2013 version of Reno and Harrell are certainly talented, and they’ve included excellent traditional touches throughout this album. Mitch Harrell offers smooth lead vocals, while Don Wayne Reno contributes banjo and Dale Reno plays mandolin and guitar. They’re joined by Robbie Wells’ fine fiddling and Ron Spears on bass. Special guest Clay Jones joins in on guitar for the title track.

Bluegrass fans who still love spinning Reno and Harrell records from the 1960s should enjoy Reno Bound and its numerous classic tracks. These sons of bluegrass know their fathers’ music, and do a fine job interpreting it.

For more information on Reno and Harrell, visit their website at www.renoandharrell.com. Their album can be purchased from several online retailers.


Bluegrass Today Magazine Article
On This Day #25 – Dale Reno
Richard Thompson | February 6, 2014 |

On This Day …………

On February 6, 1961, Dale Reno was born in Roanoke, Virginia.

The second son of banjo ace Don Reno, Dale Reno fell in love with musical instruments at the tender age of ten. Initially he built his first set of drums using old paint cans found in the garage.

At the age of 11 his father began teaching him how to play the guitar.

A year later, Dale Reno attended a Bill Monroe Festival where he saw Marty Stuart playing a mandolin with Lester Flatt and he took up the instrument with a deep passion.

At about the same time he joined The Tennessee Cut-ups fronted by dad Don and his partner Bill Harrell. Growing up on the road he was blessed with being around some of the greatest musicians in the world and he was able to learn from a host of great mandolin players, Red Rector, Frank Wakefield, Jimmy Gaudreau, John Duffey and Sam Bush included.

Since the Tennessee Cut-ups folded when Don Reno passed away (1984) Dale has played with his brothers Ronnie and Don Wayne in the Reno Brothers band; Lonesome Standard Time; Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers; actor and country singer Tom Wopat; and Grass to the Bone.

Dale "Deacon" RenoStarting in 2000, using the moniker “Deacon,” Dale Reno played mandolin and guitar in the bluegrass-rock music fusion band Hayseed Dixie. The band, which began as a comic tribute to rockers AC/DC in a bluegrass style, developed a strong following, especially in Europe.

Most recently he has, with Don Wayne and Mitch Harrell, formed the 21st century version of Reno and Harrell, Sons of the Legends. Their first album, Reno Bound, was released in 2013.



Bluegrass Today Magazine Article
"A Dollar Down" from Reno & Harrell
John Lawless | June 7, 2013

Reno & Harrell: Ron Spears, Dale Reno, Mitch Harrell, Don Wayne Reno, Robbie WellsThe new, 21st century version of Reno & Harrell, consisting of Don Reno’s sons Don Wayne and Dale, along with Bill Harrell’s son Mitch, have released a first music video.

The song is A Dollar Down, which will be included in their debut album for the John Boy & Billy label, expected later this summer. It was recorded in 1967 by the original Reno and Harrell on their Yellow Pages album, and performed as something of a novelty song on stage.

Joining Mitch on guitar and the Reno boys on banjo and mandolin, are Ron Spears on bass and Robbie Wells on fiddle.



Bluegrass Today Magazine Article
John Lawless | May 31, 2013

Reno & Harrell to John Boy & Billy

John Boy & Billy, Inc. have announced the signing of the new Reno & Harrell to their label.

No… not the classic bluegrass pioneers from the 1960s, but the next generation of Reno & Harrell. Don Reno’s boys, Don Wayne and Dale, along with Bill Harrell’s son Mitch, have created the new group to keep the music their famous fathers’ created alive for a new generation of bluegrass lovers.

The label is run by the Charlotte, NC-based company that produces and manages The Big Show with John Boy & Billy, a widely-syndicated morning radio program that mixes a lot of humor and talk with a little bit of music. While the program is primarily targeted for the classic rock radio format, the show’s hosts (John Isley and Billy James) are bluegrass fans, and the company’s financial guru, Ed Lowe, is a banjo picker.

They also syndicate Knee Deep In Bluegrass with Cindy Baucom, and released In A Groove, the first solo project for banjo man Terry Baucom, in 2011. A new Baucom CD is expected later this year.

CEO Lowe says that they are proud to work with Reno & Harrell.

“This is a perfect fit. The guys (Dale and Don Wayne) made frequent appearances on the John Boy & Billy Show as members of Hayseed Dixie. We are thrilled they have teamed up with Mitch Harrell to move forward in traditional bluegrass, and that they chose the John Boy & Billy label to help do it.”


Reno & Harrell Sign to John Boy & Billy Label
Bluegrass Nation Magazine May 2013

Reno & Harrell, featuring Dale and Don Wayne Reno and Mitch Harrell, recently signed to the John Boy & Billy Label with CEO, Ed Lowe. A recording is underway with an August release slated.



Bluegrass Today Magazine Article
John Lawless | November 27, 2012

Reno & Harrell Ride Again!

Don Reno and Bill Harrell had quite a run in the 1960s, with Harrell stepping in for Red Smily when Red retired in 1964. Red rejoined the group in ’69, and stayed until his death in ’72, while Don and Bill continued together until Don passed away in 1984. Bill went on performing with his own group, though more sporadically as he aged, leading up to his passing in 2009.

Don’s sons, Ronnie, Dale and Don Wayne, have been active in bluegrass all their lives, working together as The Reno Brothers for many years. Ronnie also toured with Merle Haggard for a time, and now hosts a number of popular shows on Bluehighways TV. Dale and Don Wayne were part of Hayseed Dixie, a hilarious group that started as an AC/DC bluegrass tribute band, who built a worldwide following.

Not as many fans are familiar with Bill’s son Mitch, who plays guitar and sings in the manner of his iconic dad, even keeping the band name that Bill used, The Virginians.

We heard last week from Mitch, with exciting news for Reno and Harrell fans. He, Dale and Don Wayne have assembled a new group, billing as Reno & Harrell. They are headed into the studio in January with plans to record a mix of their fathers’ hits and their own original songs. A debut CD is expected in the Spring of 2013.

Several festivals have already booked the band for next year. The show is expected to draw on both the Reno & Smiley and original Reno & Harrell catalogs. Mitch mentioned that they are considering reprising the Saturday Night/Sunday Morning theme mined so often in bluegrass.

The trio have been friends since childhood, and have played music together for years. Mitch says that all three of them are eager to get this party started.

More details about other band members will be announced soon. It is hoped that a live performance on December 8 in Annapolis, MD will yield some live audio or video we can share with our readers



Reno and Harrell