Darren Nicholson is a bluegrass and Americana musician based in Haywood County, in the mountains of western North Carolina. A Grammy nominee and a recipient of multiple International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, Darren has appeared countless times on WSM's Grand Ole Opry, at the Ryman Auditorium, CMT, GAC, and many of the world's most famous venues and networks. Currently, he records and tours as a full-time, founding member of Balsam Range, with all sorts of collaborative efforts each year. Darren is also renowned as a solo artist, session musician, and songwriter.

  • Entertainer of the Year - 2014, 2018 (Balsam Range)

  • Vocal Group of the Year - 2014, 2015 (Balsam Range)

  • Album of the Year - 2013, 2017 (Balsam Range)

  • Song of the Year - 2011, 2015 (Balsam Range)

  • Album of the Year - 2006 (Alecia Nugent)

  • Balsam Range's latest album Aeonic debuted at #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass chart

  • Played on 37 #1 songs

  • Awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2015 as a member of Balsam Range

  • Grammy Nomination (2006)

  • Performed multiple times on the Grand Ole Opry

  • Performed on countless national TV events: GAC, CMT, ESPN, Charlie Chase Show, Nashville Now, Song of the Mountains, & more

  • Performed on dozens of national #1 songs and albums

  • Given “keys to the city” in Canton, NC where Balsam Range was honored with an official declaration of “Balsam Range Day” in their home county for positive contributions to our community.

  • Voted Best Old-Time/Bluegrass Band of 2012 in Asheville’s Mountain Xpress (with Balsam Range)

  • Performed for entire living cast of The Andy Griffith Show at Grand Ole Opry 2004

  • Inducted into the NC Folklife Institute in 2008

  • First band to ever perform at the NASCAR Hall of Fame (with Balsam Range)

  • Toured as part of the Zac Brown Band’s Southern Ground Music Tour

  • Toured with Merle Haggard




To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key.

  • 2002 Gibson F5-G

  • 2018 Duff A5 

  • 2009 Metcalfe F5

  • 2010 Doug Clark A5

  • 2016 Sorenson “Big Dog” Octave Mandolin 

  • 2010 Jbovier Electric Mandolin 

  • 1995 D-35 Martin

  • 1995 Fender Telecaster (American)

  • Fender Princeton Amplifie

  • GHS Strings 

  • Blue Chip Picks

  • Strains of Music (Waynesville NC)