Ray Legere is one of five inductees to be selected for this year’s honour and will receive the award at a gala ceremony in Florenceville-Bristol on Oct. 15.
Legere said he is honoured to have been chosen among such respected musicians.
“When I receive an award or recognition like the induction into the NB Country Music Hall of Fame, I take it quite seriously,” he said. “It is quite flattering to be honoured with such a reward and to know that my 35 plus years of music making has made a mark, especially in my hometown province. It is very much appreciated.”
Legere was born in Amherst, NS, but has spent most of his adult life in Moncton and Sackville. His father taught him the basics of mandolin when he was 10 and he gained instant notoriety in 1982, at age 16, by winning a hurried audition to replace the ‘Father of Bluegrass music,’ when the legendary Bill Monroe became suddenly ill at a Nova Scotia festival and had to be rushed into Halifax to a hospital. Legere won even though there were several older, more seasoned mandolin pickers vying for the honour; and he did the master's mandolin and singing part with his Blue Grass Boys at that evening’s performance.
Since then, Legere’s unique music talents have opened many doors for him and he has played alongside most of his early Nashville music heroes – Dave Grisman, Tony Rice, Jerry Douglas, Doc Watson, Bela Flack, Sam Bush – performed on the Grand Ole Opry stage and Carnegie Hall, and in Canada with Roch Voisine, the Band, Rankin Family, Rita MacNeil, the Barra MacNeils and many others.
Legere has toured Australia, Canada and the US with Michele Shocked and Tony Rice, and California with Allison Brown and her band. He won both fiddle and mandolin state championships in the US south during a long tenure there. And now, back in Sackville for over a decade, has toured with Scottish tenor John McDermott, the virtuoso violin group Bowfire and is the house band fiddler for the NB French country TV show Pour L'Amour Du Country.
He has been the recipient of the BCMA Bluegrass Artist of the Year Awards twice and is a five-time winner of the Eastern Division Bluegrass Awards as Mandolin/Fiddle Player of the Year and most recently was the recipient of a Masters for best fiddle player at the Central Bluegrass Awards. He has released six solo albums over the years and appeared as a sessions player on countless Nashville recordings.
The 33rd New Brunswick Country Music Hall of Fame Gala will get under way on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 4 p.m. with a banquet, speeches and the inductions, followed up by a concert starting at 8 p.m., featuring the four living 2016 inductees and a cross-section of previous inductees.
This year’s other inductees include Ronnie Vautour, Claude (CJ) Gallant and Reid Merritt. This year's posthumous inductee was for many years one of NB's most beloved entertainers, the late Stirling Nickerson.
Legere, along with longtime musical partner Frank Doody, will perform during the Sackville Fall Fair on Saturday, Sept. 17, and his band Acoustic Horizon will play at the Sackville Music Barn on Sept. 18.