Cindy Baucom

I love a hard-driving bluegrass jam…
Interview with Cindy Baucom, bluegrass radio DJ.
© Lilly Drumeva-O’Reilly

I choose music based on quality and songs that fit the ‘theme’…

Cindy Baucom is a well-known bluegrass radio presenter. For many years she has been hosting the program “Knee Deep in Bluegrass ” ( She is also a board member of IBMA and is married to renowned banjo player Terry Baucom.

I met Cindy in Raleigh, NC during IBMA’s World of Bluegrass conference. She is an elegant confident lady. I was thrilled to meet her, after being familiar with her show for many years. Cindy kindly agreed to help with my research and here is what she shared with me.

– When and how did you start “Knee Deep in Bluegrass”?

When I was 17 years old, I started doing a bluegrass radio show in my hometown as my after school job. That was in 1983. By 2003, I had the opportunity to put the radio show into national syndication, so it could be heard every week on multiple radio stations.

– How do you choose the music? Is it strictly bluegrass?

My music selections are based on quality of the performance, quality of the production and songs that fit the ‘theme’ of that week’s show. While I program bluegrass for the most part, I might venture out a bit, if it is appropriate for the show.

– What is your background? Are you a musician as well?

I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina and my father was a musician and instrument builder. I was often around the music growing up and fell in love with it early. As a teenager, I joined my father’s band, playing bass and singing. I also play guitar and piano. Growing up around bluegrass festivals I enjoyed jam sessions with other young people who played…and I also took a lot of pictures!

– What do you like about bluegrass music?

I like the sounds of the instruments and the honesty of the lyrics, but mostly, I love how bluegrass music brings people together and creates a bond that cannot be easily broken.

– Why do you think people get hooked and feel that it is their mission to treasure it and spread it?

There is just something about how bluegrass music makes you feel….the sound of banjo or fiddle…and it’s a really good feeling. We want others to experience how happy this music makes us and want to share with as many who will listen!

– How would you describe bluegrass to a foreigner/newcomer?

Bluegrass music is music that has many different styles, played mainly on banjo, fiddle, guitar, bass, mandolin and dobro, though it can sometimes include other instruments, as well. The singing is from the heart and the harmonies can often bring one to tears with its beauty.

Lilly Drumeva