Riley Baugus was born and raised in North Carolina and started playing banjo at age 10, inspired by traditional Appalachian music played in his community in the Blue Ridge mountains, and on records cherished by his family. He learned from Tommy Jarrell, Dix Freeman, Robert Sykes, and many other old time musicians. Riley has played with numerous old-time string bands, and often performs with Dirk Powell, Ira Bernstein and Kirk Sutphin. Banjos he built appear in the Academy-Award-winning Cold Mountain. His singing is featured on that soundtrack, and on recordings by Robert Plant and Alison Kraus, and Willie Nelson. Riley has toured throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Australia.