Award Winning Touring Musicians
The Duttons are international touring and recording artists that play everything from bluegrass to classical in their shows, featuring a variety of instruments: violin, guitar, bass, viola, banjo, mandolin, keyboard, harmonica and drums among others. The Duttons have not only won recognition in national fiddling contests, and as studio musicians but have also garnered praise and awards in classical violin competitions.
Audience Pleasing Production
In addition to their instrumental virtuosity, the Duttons are accomplished singers and dancers and have been recognized as superb vocal talents. Behind the scenes, The Duttons collaborate to create unique production ideas for their shows which delight audiences. The show is self produced by the family including choreography, musical arrangement, technical support, production, and marketing, the end result of which is the audience streaming from the theater proclaiming, “This is the best show I have ever seen in my life!”
A Musical History
Inspiration for this amazing group has come from various sources. Some performers that are favorites with the family members are The Eagles, Ricky Skaggs, Rascall Flatts, Nickel Creek, Kronos Quartet and James Taylor among many others. The true source of inspiration, however, lies with Dean and Sheila Dutton, aka Dad and Mom to The Duttons.
Dean and Sheila Dutton were not professional musicians and they certainly weren’t planning on raising their children as such, but when they realized that this was going to be their lifestyle, they came on board wholeheartedly. In Sheila’s case, it even came to the point that she had to go completely outside of her comfort zone and learn how to play an instrument with no musical background whatsoever. In Dean’s situation, as a tenured economics professor, it meant giving up his chosen career and completely supporting his children in another.
Since that decision was made in 1991, The Duttons as a whole have not looked back and have gone on to a successful touring career and music business. Today, they own their own theater in Branson, Missouri where they perform over 300 shows a year, as well as their own hotel and restaurant.
Big Plans Ahead
What the future holds is anyone’s guess. Projects on the table include a new album of original songs composed and arranged by the members of the family. Additionally, hundreds of people have asked Sheila to write a book of the group’s adventures like how to travel with 15 people in a converted van for over a million miles and the day to day lifestyle of a family of professional musicians.
Last, and most fascinating with this family is how The Duttons’ love for each other and their love for what they do is immediately obvious. “I, for one, have never witnessed anything like this instant rapport between performers and ticket buyers – and I’ve been in attending concerts for almost six decades,” says critic Mike Kerverlas of the Sumter, S.C. Item. “In short, The Duttons are showmanship personified.”