Alison Brown

Alison Brown is an American banjo player.

Brown learned to play guitar at eight and banjo at ten. When she was twelve, she met fiddler Stuart Duncan. In the summer of 1978, Brown traveled across the country with Duncan and his father, playing festivals and contests. She won first place at the Canadian National Banjo Championship, which helped her land a one-night gig at the Grand Ole Opry.

In 1987, Alison Krauss asked Brown to join her band, Union Station. Brown spent three years with Krauss. In 1990, she moved to Tennessee, and was named International Bluegrass Music Association Banjo Player of the Year in 1991.

In 1992, Brown became the band leader for Michelle Shocked. This experience led Brown to merge bluegrass with jazz and folk idioms, in a manner similar to those of Béla Fleck and David Grisman.

In the early 1990s, Brown and her husband, bass player Garry West, started their own record label, Small World Music. This company eventually led to the launch of Compass Records in 1995.