ETSU student joins The Boxcars
July 30, 2014East Tennessee State University junior Gary Hultman has become the newest member of acclaimed bluegrass band The Boxcars.
Hultman, a 20-year-old dobro player from Birchdale, Minn., is majoring in bluegrass, old-time and country music at ETSU, where he has played in the Bluegrass Pride Band and received a Benny Sims Memorial Scholarship. Before coming to ETSU, he performed with his family's band, Sloughgrass.
"I am so excited for this opportunity that I have been given," Hultman said. "This band is my favorite to listen to, and the guys are all my heroes and role models. I am honored to be joining this band. It's like a dream come true."
As a student, Hultman caught the attention of The Boxcars' Adam Steffey, a mandolin player who previously performed with Alison Krauss and Union Station, The Isaacs, Dusty Miller and Mountain Heart and who serves as an instructor in ETSU's bluegrass, old-time and country music studies.
"Although he is young in age, Gary has talent beyond his years," Steffey said in a press release from the band. "He has the great ability to play what each song needs – never overplaying or showboating, always sensitive to the song and the dynamics that it requires. This is a rare quality in a young player, but it seems to come quite naturally to Gary."
Hultman's addition to The Boxcars comes following the departure of John Bowman, who will focus his energies on a solo singing and preaching ministry.
Most recently, The Boxcars won the International Bluegrass Music Association's 2013 Instrumental Group of the Year Award, with Steffey earning IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year honors for the 10th time. The group's album, "It's Just a Road," was nominated for Best Bluegrass Album in the 56th Grammy Awards earlier this year.