Bluegrass singer and guitarist David Peterson takes a distinctly traditional approach to playing his music, possibly because he came to it indirectly. He was born in Boston and grew up in Massachusetts, but was introduced to the Southern musical style by the deacon of his family's church in his early teens. He at first determined upon a religious vocation and studied for the ministry in Texas, but later decided to follow his interest in bluegrass and moved to Nashville to become a professional musician in 1995. In 1999, he formed 1946, naming the quintet after the year that Bill Monroe, backed by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, first recorded bluegrass music. The first edition of the group was a casual aggregation of enthusiasts that included Nashville session musicians like fiddler Aubrey Haynie and mandolinist Mike Compton, but by 2000 Peterson had formalized the lineup and begun touring, and in November 2001 he released their first album, David Peterson & 1946. As of 2003, when the second album, The Howling Blue Winds, was released, the lineup was Peterson on vocals and guitar, Shayne Bartley on mandolin, Elmer Burchett, Jr. on banjo, Matthew Arnold on fiddle, and Preston Rumbaugh on bass. The band's traditional style runs to the wearing of vintage clothing on-stage and the use of a single microphone. Following the release of The Howling Blue Winds, David Peterson & 1946 joined Brooks & Dunn's Neon Circus Tour. When the band released its third album, In the Mountaintops to Roam, on April 11, 2006, banjo player Charlie Cushman and mandolinist Mickey Boles were described in the liner notes as "the regular members" of 1946.