- Type: Signature Artists
Kevin Arrowsmith was born and raised in a musical family in Nashville, TN. He started playing the violin at age 5, cello at 6 and finally found his path at 10 when he picked up the guitar. He was raised mostly on classical music but had some rock n' roll, jazz and pop radio to round out his listening experience.
Arrowsmith started playing guitar after being introduced to bands like Guns N' Roses, Van Halen, Ozzy, Metallica and Jimi Hendrix. It was through teenage years that he played guitar most of the time and listened to music that he wanted to listen to. He became entranced by heavy metal, and all he wanted to do was play music.
Toward the end of high school, Arrowsmith started listening to a wider variety of music including jazz, blues, funk and classic rock. Even though he was from Nashville, country music and bluegrass were not yet on his radar other than what he had heard from his sister's stereo, on Hee Haw and at Opryland. It was on Thanksgiving night his freshman year of college that everything changed. He was invited to a "pickin' party". He had no idea what that meant or what to expect. His friend told him that it was a bluegrass jam, and all he could think about was the square dancers at Opryland and what he had seen on Hee Haw as a kid. That was not what he experienced. What he experienced was a house full of world-class musicians playing the coolest music he had ever heard. It was that night too that he first played and fell in love with the mandolin. He had seen mandolins in passing before but had never really given it any thought. What a cool instrument.
After that night, Arrowsmith started learning fiddle tunes on a violin that was still at his parent's house. He spent half the time playing it with a pick as if it were a mandolin. Soon after, He got his first mandolin and began diving into the instrument. He enjoyed playing the fiddle as well and was learning tunes on guitar along with his other guitar studies.
Arrowsmith went to Middle Tennessee University to study music where he majored in theory and composition with classical guitar as his instrument. Outside of school he was playing all kinds of music, though. He was definitely more focused on playing gigs than he was on going to class.
MTSU had a great recording program that he took advantage of while he was there. Arrowsmith played guitar, bass, fiddle and mandolin on countless student projects as well as playing gigs around Murfreesboro and in Nashville. He played in several bands playing rock, country, jazz, bluegrass and Celtic music. He kept busier playing with those groups than he did going to school.
Arrowsmith started paying attention to the scene in Nashville, which is what got him into country music. Musicians like Buddy Spicher, Mark O'Connor, Sam Bush, Brent Mason and Stuart Duncan were his new heroes. He started meeting studio execs and touring musicians and finally realized that the opportunity to play for a living was very real, and school was only getting in the way. He left school after three years to play music professionally and got his first touring gig with country trio SheDaisy a few months later. They didn't tour a whole lot, which left plenty of time to play in bands locally and regionally. He picked up any work I could on the side playing on Broadway in Nashville, playing showcases and studio sessions. Anything to keep busy. He played in bands with recording and publishing offers. He worked on writing and recording his own music and continued honing his craft to establish himself as a utility musician.
Arrowsmith has now been playing music professionally for over 15 years and in that time toured with acts like SheDaisy, Dierks Bently, Josh Gracin, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Goose Creek Symphony, Jessica Simpson and Luke Bryan to name a few. He's been on countless TV shows, music videos, and studio recordings and have never run out of time to work on music for himself.
Currently, you can find Arrowsmith on tour with Luke Bryan playing fiddle, viola, mandolin and guitar. He has made a career of being a utility musician and still gets to enjoy writing, working on his own music and playing and listen to all the music that got him to where he is now. It has been good.