Joe Newberry was raised in Missouri but likes to say that he got to North Carolina just as fast as he could. Joe has been a part of the PineCone family since its earliest days as an organization.
Joe is perhaps best known as a clawhammer banjo player but is also a powerful guitarist, singer and songwriter. He was a frequent guest on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor and was a featured singer on the Transatlantic Sessions UK tour in 2016.
In 2019 he assembled a show for PineCone called “Heroes and Friends” that filled the AJ Fletcher Opera Theater with song and fellowship. He was joined by Jim Watson, Alice Gerrard, Mike Compton and other musical friends cherished by the PineCone community.
Joe Newberry likes to tell people, “My job is to play hillbilly music for people who don’t know they love it yet.” He is a tireless ambassador for the music having toured the world as a solo artist, with Compton & Newberry and with fiddler and flatfoot dancer April Verch.
Joe is also a prolific songwriter. He told a 2022 PineCone songwriting workshop that he had a breakthrough with his craft when he “…decided I could write conversationally. I said if I could write simply that’s where I wanted to head.” He told that same workshop group that he’s always looking for songs, “…there are some songs where the muse taps you on the shoulder and says you should write this down as it’s a gift and I’m only going to say this once…”
His song “They Call it Music” was adopted by The Gibson Brothers and was a finalist for Song of the Year in 2018 at the IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards in Raleigh.