Born in Norman, Oklahoma, Munde learned banjo from a well-regarded Oklahoman banjo player, Ed Shelton. He frequently played amateur gigs around the state where he first met Byron Berline at the University of Oklahoma. Shelton introduced Munde to three fine Dallas bluegrass players – Mitchell Land, Louis “Bosco” Land and Harless “Tootie” Williams – and the four of them joined to form “The Stone Mountain Boys” in 1965. Alan moved to Kentucky in January 1969 after he had graduated from college to play with Wayne Stewart and Sam Bush in a group called Poor Richard’s Almanac.
“Wayne Stewart had this idea for a group with this kid he knew in Kentucky named Sam Bush, who was probably 15. So I moved to Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and we formed Poor Richard’s Almanac. Not long after, I got my draft notice, but before I left, Sam, Wayne and I made this tape, later released by Ridge Runner Records, called Poor Richard’s Almanac, that was a lot of the instrumental things we were doing. I then went back to Oklahoma, was rejected by the Army, and worked in Norman that summer.”
Munde joined the legendary bluegrass musician Jimmy Martin in 1969. He played with Martin as one of the Sunny Mountain Boys from October 1969 to October 1971, and in the meantime earned his living by working as a school teacher in Nashville.
In 1972, Munde became a member of the Flying Burrito Brothers, performing with Byron Berline. After a European tour, the Burritos split up and Munde joined Country Gazette, then consisting of Roger Bush on bass, Kenny Wertz on guitar, and on the fiddle, Byron Berline, who had formed Country Gazette earlier in the year. Country Gazette went on to record their first album “Traitor In Our Midst” in 1972. For the next twenty years Alan remained a central figure in the Country Gazette, playing with notable musicians such as Roland White, Clarence White, Joe Carr and Gene Wooten.
In 1977, Alan Munde and mandolinist Sam Bush recorded “Together Again for the First Time” with Roland White, Curtis Burch and John Cowan (both members of legendary New Grass Revival with Sam Bush).
Alan currently serves on the Board of Directors of the International Bluegrass Music Association. He taught full-time in the Bluegrass and Country Music Program at South Plains College from 1986 to May 2007.
Munde wrote and hosted a monthly 5 string Banjo column for Frets Magazine during the 1980s
His current band is called Alan Munde Gazette. The band features Alan Munde-Banjo, Elliott Rogers-Guitar/Vocal, Bill Honker-Bass/Vocal, Steve Smith-Mandolin/Vocal, Nate Lee-Fiddle/Vocal.
Click here to see the Alan Munde Package of Munde-Style Solos!