Up and running

This web site is dedicated to raising funds to offset medical expenses for one of the best musicians anyone has ever had the pleasure to share a stage with, listen to or record with.

Billy has been diagnosed with a lump on the lower portion of his brain which has been causing increasingly frequent seizures.  He is currently seeing medical specialists and gathering evaluations.  The expense is certain to be high, and Billy is without medical insurance.  We are coming together here, as friends and fellow musicians, to help offset those costs.

You can leave comments on the pages and posts here – The first one you leave will be delayed until your email address gets registered in the database – after that you can leave comments any time you like.  The delay is in place to prevent the site from being overrun by spam.

Please direct any questions you might have at this point to Dave Ruch at the email address shown in the sidebar above the donation button.

27 thoughts on “Up and running

  1. I am so sorry to hear of your situation. I lost my husband, Randy, 2 1/2 years ago to T-Cell Lymphoma. He spent almost 4 months in Roswell and without insurance we couldn’t have done it. I will definitey try to help, but I don’t know how much at this point. A benefit concert would also be a good thing.

    Be strong Billy. They are getting better all the time at treating this stuff. But it’s not cheap.

  2. My dad is Jeter Griffith he was hoping to maybe get an email address for Billy. His circumstances make it impossible to comment on this site or donate any funds. However i will make a contribution for my dad. it really tore him up to hear Billy is sick. He does have access to email and if Billy is interested in hearing from an old friend i can pass dads email address on to Billy thanks and good luck.

  3. I am so sad and disturbed to hear this awful news about one of the best friends/pickers/humans I have ever had the pleasure and honor of knowing and playing music with. If good thoughts were enough, Billy would be cured already…..much love to you, and speedy recovery, my friend.

  4. Hey Billy, my thoughts and heart are w/ you. Use all your heart-muscle to get thru this, i know you will. I’m sending you some material help as well. As Canadians we just don’t know what it is like to mount such crucial care w/ no social assistance. Hope to get down there and see you soon . Grier

  5. Hey Billy, and Dave, I miss seeing you guys. You will get over this hurdle, and I hope sometime soon we can all jam again together !! Lotsa love and positive energy!

  6. Billy! What gives, brother? This must suck for you and I am very sorry to hear of it, but I am sure you are going to mend up and be right as rain in the end. Perhaps there will be some sort of benefit show? I am sending you some healing rays along with some loot and a lot of love. Get well buddy.


  7. I just wanted to say thank you for creating this site for my uncle Billy, and thank you to all who are able to donate/send well wishes/say a prayer. :)

  8. hey billy,
    billy gilmore here. i just found about about your situation from john stineman two weeks ago when he was in florida, we played the farm to family concert.i had no idea this was happening till then… i am so sorry to hear about this, and hope that you will be ok. i know there are so many friends and loved ones thinkin bout you right now. the power of prayer and healing vibes can and will work for you, as it should be. jane and i want to make a donation(and will) and send some love your way. keeping you in our prayers buddy. we will pick again hopefully not too long from now.i miss all the asheville pickin sessions we have had in the past and look forward to more once you are healed up.please let us know if there is a benefit in the works, and when it happens, i want to be there. we love ya man. keep your spirits up.

  9. I’m in WNY and could put together a benefit at Nietzsche’s. Is anyone else working on this? Dave, you can message me on Facebook if you have something in the works, otherwise I’ll get the ball rolling myself. I’m guessing that a well advertised weekend show would do well, getting the musicians would be a snap. It’s the very least I can do for one of the very best friends I have ever had. Wish I could give you a hug right now Billy .. wish I was there to split your wood and sit with you at the kitchen table. You’ll get through this, we’ll all hear that banjo ring again soon. Love you my brother.


  10. I love you billy. being in a band with you was the highlight of my life. if you don’t get better i am boycotting the world. stay strong and explore all the possibilities. my family and i are sending mounds of prayer your way.

  11. Our God is an awesome God. No tumor is too big for Him nor any surgery too complicated. I pray God’s peace to surround you Billy. I pray your awareness of His presence. I sure missed you at Galax this past year. Next year we will sit down and have a cup of Java together. God bless and keep you!

  12. We’ve put together a benefit event in Boone, NC at Murphy’s Pub on Oct. 26 th with Big Daddy Love, Boss Hawg, Lost Ridge Band, and Upright & Breathin’. If anyone is in the Boone area, please come by we’re trying to do all we can for Billy!

  13. Billy – you were more of an influence on my banjo playing than you’ll ever know, brother. I know you can beat this – me and my family will be praying and sending all positivity toward you. I will also send a donation to help with the bills. Hang in there man and maybe one day you can give me that banjo lesson you always promised me! Lots of love – Dave

  14. Billy’s family and friends in his hometown of spruce pine are promoting an event to raise funds to assit with his expenses. There will be a spaghetti supper, items for auction and lots of music. We have 5 bands so far who have agreed to perform. The event will be Saturday November 12th at the Cross Street Commerce Center in Spruce Pine starting at 4:00 pm. If you are in the area please plan to come visit with us.

  15. Hi Everyone,
    We are putting together a compilation album of Billy’s playing that we can post to the Bandcamp website and people can download for donations that will be placed into a paypal account that will go straight to Billy. So I need everyone to see if they have any good recordings of Billy. Studio or Live, it doesn’t matter. As this is a compilation cd for charity we don’t have to worry about copyrights. if you find something please email me at brianswenk@gmail.com
    Thanks so much!!

    • i’ve got a whole sassagrass cd somewhere…parham might also have it easily accessible, maybe has already gotten it to you – if not, let me know and i’ll start looking for mine, can’t be too far.

  16. So, this compilation CD that Brian suggests has got me thinking … I did some recording on high quality multitrack of Sassagrass at Billy’s house a few years back, probably 7 or 8 finished tracks, the playing is amazing, featuring Billy, Mark, Ryan and Big Ed on bass. I never mixed them but could get it done soon .. just need to know that Billy is ok with releasing them. Can anyone contact him? Tell him it’s David from Redheaded Stepchild, he’ll know what tracks I mean. Contact me at davidjnanni@live.com

  17. Hey Bluegrass Buddy, Ruth and I want to express our heart felt love and concerned to you and wish you a sucessful surgery so you can get back on the bluegrass trail with that banjo! We will also be sending some pictures of those dead presidents that we all like so much. I think you done a most wonderful job on the Big Daddy Bluegrass Band CD, you rocked man! Lots of love, Curtis and Ruth

  18. Hey Billy ~ Mark filled me in a couple weeks ago, been thinkin’ and prayin’ ever since. Drove through Burnsville/Spruce Pine yesterday and felt the Constable vibes ringin’ strong. You are in my thoughts, prayers, and heart ~ Much love to you ~ WILL see you soon ♥


  19. Hi Billy, I am so sad that you are having to go through this. I have a friend who had a similar problem a few years ago but after the surgery he is now 100% okay. With modern medical technology and the miracle of prayers and love you will be back to playing “anything with string” before you know. I am sending prayers your way!

    Debbie & Devon

  20. Hey Billy,
    I jut went throughout the exact situation.
    I had no idea anyhing was wrong until I had a car wreck on May 22.
    Went to the ER and Doc says I have a broken neck and a brain tumor.
    I had no insurance and applied to Blue Cross/Blue Shield and was denied due to a pre-existing condition (brain tumor). There is an insurance program for people in that situation. I got insurance through a state program called California Pre-existing Condition Plan. Please check it out, hopefully NC has the same thing. http://www.pcip.ca.gov. I got everything done for less than $2,000. (a few months premiums and $1,500 deductable)
    I had a walnut sized tumor on my cerebellum. I went in for surgery on a Thursday morning and walked out under my own power on Monday afternoon. It took about a week to get my balance back to where it was and I went in for my 1st post-op visits and learned that my tumor was benign.
    I hope this info helps and I will be praying for you brother. Hang in there!

  21. The Boone Billy Rally was a great sucess, with a full house and amazing music. We dropped by Billys on the way to pick up Kenny Jobe, and got to talk with Bill and his family.
    When we arrived, Billy was raking leaves and fretting ’bout the dogs. He’s on drugs to prevent anymore seziers, and was moving slowly and cautiously. He looked good and had a positive outlook for the upcoming surgery this friday or saturday. He told us to thank everyone at the Murphys benefit for their efforts, and that he appreciates all the help.
    They are going to Duke today for prep work. His surgon is the same doctor that removed the tumor on Ted Kennedy’s brain, so he’s in good hands.
    We will be praying x-tra prayers for the next week as Billy undergoes his surgery and rehabilitation process.
    We love you Dill!

  22. Update on Bill. I talked with his brother Andy who advised the surgery went well according to the doctors. Billy is moving about and had lunch yesterday with his family. Won’t know the status of the tumor for a week or so. Not sure when he will be released to come home. If you are interested in more information on the Benefit coming up in spruce pine on the 12th call jody at 828.766.0551

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