6 February 1947, Medford, Massachusetts, USA. This singer-songwriters early influences were Gordon Lightfoot, the Weavers, Woody Guthrie, Ian And Sylvia Tyson, and Peter La Farge. He grew up in the Boston area absorbing and listening to the music of the early 60s, and started playing professionally in 1965. Although largely playing guitar in concert, Staines also uses autoharp and banjo for recording work. In 1975, he won a National Yodelling contest at the Kerrville Folk Festival, Texas. The contest was built around the fact that Jimmie Rodgers, the singing and yodelling brakeman, was from Kerrville. Staines successfully blended traditional and contemporary themes into a style that is highly original. His songs have been recorded by other artists, including Nanci Griffith, who included Roseville Fair onThe Last Of The True Believers. As well as touring regularly, Staines has published four songbooks and a memoir.
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