Rod McCormack / BIO
Rod McCormack grew up on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia. He started playing the guitar at the age of 5 and then at age 11, was given a banjo by his parents.
Rod says “At the time I was playing and singing all the folk music of the day – Lightfoot, Dylan and Pete Seeger, so the banjo was a natural progression. With the banjo came an amazing LP –‘ Carl Jackson - Banjo Player’, and wow – didn’t that change my world! This was my introduction to the sound of bluegrass, and then over the next few years I back tracked to discover Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, and eventually all the bluegrass greats. But when I heard Tony Rice and then New Grass Revival, my mind was officially blown.”
After winning the Australian Banjo and Guitar Championships 3 times each, Rod decided to head to the US and hear his favorite music live.
“This was 1985 and I spent 4 months going from festival to festival across America– a tourist through the week and a bluegrass enthusiast on the weekend. By then I had an Ome banjo sponsorship and they looked after me really well with a few instruments. I got to hear some amazing music and was lucky enough to win the West Virginia, East Tennessee, Rocky Mountain and Colorado Championships, but mostly it allowed me to hear ‘live’ how the music should sound. Up until that moment I was just a kid reading about a new album in Frets Magazine, then importing it into Australia, which could take 3-6 months back then. When it finally arrived I would listen and listen, slowing down the vinyl to half speed (an octave lower) so I could figure out how to play it!”
Over the years Rod went on to become one of Australia’s most in demand session musicians and Producers. Rod still has his own recording studio “The Music Cellar” on the NSW Central Coast, which has hosted the cream of Australia’s musical talent, bringing to life numerous Gold and Platinum albums.
As a songwriter, Rod has written over 30 number one country hits, along with theme songs and background music for a number of successful TV shows and documentary series, and has won numerous awards. He has over 500 titles currently recorded and released by artists in Australia and overseas.
As a musician Rod gained the reputation of one of Australia's finest, and is one of Australia’s most recorded artists, appearing on thousands of albums and soundtracks ranging from KD Lang, Leo Sayer, Tom T. Hall and Kasey Chambers.
In recent years Rod has toured the US and Europe, playing guitar with Grammy nominated US based The Greencards, and Kasey Chambers.
As a producer, Rod has been responsible for many high selling and award winning albums and was named CMAA Producer of the year in 2004, 2008 and again in 2010. Rod was also awarded the huge honor of CMAA’s inaugural Musician Of The Year Award.
In 2019 Rod embarked on his first ever a solo album, recording in Nashville, where he assembled his favorite bluegrass musicians. The result is “Fingerprints” a beautiful acoustic landscape mostly recorded live, all in one room, old school, allowing Rod’s acoustic guitar to stay front and center, weaving in and out of the incredible musical tapestry created by Aubrie Haynie - fiddle, Dave Pomeroy - upright bass, Andy Leftwich - mandolin and Rob Ickes and Justin Moses – Dobro.