home | show dates | news | photos | video | band | CDs | contact us | remembering Jim Steptoe | myspace | facebook

E   L   D   R   E   D       H   I   L   L


- mandolin, lead and harmony vocals.

Eldred was first exposed to bluegrass while growing up in Richmond, Virginia. Reno & Smiley had an afternoon television show that was broadcast on a nearby Petersburg station and Eldred was intrigued by the speed and drive of the music, and the entertaining antics of "Chicken Hotrod" (Reno's comic alter-ego). The folk music revival brought an acoustic guitar into the house. Eldred's father took some lessons for a while, but the guitar soon found its way into a closet. At the age of ten, Eldred pulled out the guitar and learned some chords from a Mel Bay instruction book he found in the case.

Eldred started playing bluegrass while attending college at American University in Washington D.C., where Gary Henderson hosted a radio program on the college radio station (WAMU). Henderson was generous enough to let a college kid hang around the station and learn about the music. Washington was rich in live bluegrass music, and after being exposed to several area mandolin players including John Duffey, Jimmy Gudreau, and Doyle Lawson, he took up playing the mandolin.

Eldred is also a gifted songwriter, writing much of Patent Pending's material through the years, including a number of well received gospel songs and several new ones that are on the new CD, Not a Day Goes By.