Strictly Clean and Decent is an acoustic trio which features Patrick Crouch, Ron Shuffler, and Kay Crouch whose blend of brilliant vocal harmonies tops a solid instrumental foundation. They are dedicated to performing a variety of musical styles in an acoustic setting. Their eclectic repertoire includes modern folk songs by American, Canadian, and Irish songwriters, the fiery breakdowns and songs of family and home found in both traditional and contemporary bluegrass settings, and centuries-old Celtic airs and dance tunes. All of this is peppered with a healthy dose of popular jazz standards, swing and western swing music, and a few classic country tunes thrown in to provide a program certain to be enjoyed by all.
Ron Shuffler plays the upright bass with Strictly Clean and Decent. Ron is a veteran of the early Top 40 and beach music scene but also is well known in country and bluegrass circles. He has toured with David Peterson and 1946, the Dale Ann Bradley band, and Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper. His solid bass playing and impeccable harmony vocals are without equal. Ron was raised in a musical family and his eldest brother, George, virtually created the cross-picking style of guitar playing while working with The Stanley Brothers, a first-generation bluegrass band, in the 1950s and 60s.
L ro R: Kay Crouch, Patrick Crouch,
Shuffler (and Lester)
(See PR section for full-res
Kay Crouch performs on the guitar, flute, piano, and tin whistle with Strictly Clean and Decent. Kay has a widely varied musical background that includes symphonic and solo percussion work and musical theatre as well as popular and folk music. Her interpretive vocals are an asset to the trio that she joined in 1991.
Patrick Crouch handles the mandolin, banjo, dobro, fiddle, and guitar for the trio. Patrick has been performing acoustic music since 1977 when he founded New River Reign, a staple at Blowing Rock’s P.B. Scott’s Music Hall. He turned to country music with Long Time Gone and, in 1989, created Strictly Clean and Decent with Ron Shuffler and Reggie Harris. Patrick’s intense, often pyrotechnic but always tasteful, instrumental skills are the highlight of every Strictly Clean and Decent show. In addition Patrick is a member of Red Rocking Chair (along with Jack Lawrence, Tom Kuhn, and Dale Meyer) and he is much in demand as a freelance musician.
Area reviewers have been unanimous in their acclaim for the trio. The Hickory News claims that “what really sets this trio apart is the bluegrass/swing/pop/country influence of three musicians whose talents take them to virtually every style of music ever conceived!” The Morganton News-Herald states that “the music is quite lively and, while there are many intense selections, the band maintains a jovial rapport with the audience.” Of the trio, Focus says their “on-stage patter is refreshingly self-effacing and laid-back, and the band comes off as extremely likable… Don’t miss this band, because they are a truly unique listening experience.”
Since 1989, Strictly Clean and Decent has completed ten tours of Ireland. It has performed three times at the Cobh International Folk Music and Dance Festival, the Bluegrass and Olde Tyme Music Festival in Cork, and twice at the Irish Bluegrass Music Association’s festival in Athy. Stateside, the trio has opened for noted performers such as Doc Watson, Ralph Stanley, J.D. Crowe, Vassar Clements, Tim O’Brien, Tony Rice, Lee Greenwood, John Cowan, Jerry Clower, and Rhonda Vincent. The trio has performed at a variety of venues including Duke Gardens, the Biltmore House, Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music Concert Series (Boone), Summer Sunday Concert Series (Beech Mountain), Red White and Bluegrass Festival (Morganton), FreedomFest (Charlotte), WinterFest (Blowing Rock), MerleFest (Wilkesboro), and at many colleges and auditoriums throughout North Carolina.
In 2000, Strictly Clean and Decent proposed a project to record one hundred Caldwell County traditional musicians over a ten-year period; 128 musicians were recorded with the trio provided instrumental and vocal backing for all artists on It Must Be Something in the Water (2001), I Do Re Mi (2002), and Caldwell Roots and Branches (2003), Playin’ Hooky (2004), Good Old Boys Like Me (2005), Lights of Home (2006) , Rear View Mirror (2007), A Story to Tell (2008), Winter Star (2009), and Fresh Tracks (2010). These recordings were funded by grants through the Grassroots Arts program of the North Carolina Arts Council, through the Caldwell Arts Council. Additionally, the trio has three CDs: Boomer Breakdown, Crazy Quilt, and How High the Moon.
Strictly Clean and Decent performed Beautiful Star: An Appalachian Nativity with Foothills Performing Arts in December 2014. It also has hosted seventeen annual Caldwell Traditional Musicians Showcases and will host the eighteenth in February, 2016.
Strictly Clean and Decent is included in the traditional artists directory of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area and in the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina.