Dennis began his musical career singing with his siblings under the loving guidance of his mother and father. The Jewel Tones traveled Ashe County and beyond to share their love of the Lord through this blessing. In 1963, the Severts moved to Winston-Salem where they met Larry Campbell. Dennis was selected to fill the slot of mandolin player, while his father and brother David joined The Country Playboys
bluegrass group as well.

Encouraged and strongly influenced by his brother David, Dennis continued to hone his talents at numerous contests and fiddlers conventions where ribbons and trophies came regularly and were modestly welcomed. Herb Lambert, John Duffey, Sam Bush, and David Grisman had quite an influence on Dennis over the years, as he developed his unique style of pickin' he is still recognized for today.

In 1974, Dennis began playing music with Rebel Recording artist, Southbound, along with Jimmy Haley, Lou Reid and others. South Bound delivered their hard driving style of bluegrass up and down the east coast, and two tours of Switzerland in 1976 and 1978. The group relocated to South Carolina in 1978 and disbanded the following year upon the formation of Doyle Lawson's first Quicksilver band.

Returning home to the Winston-Salem area in 1989, allowed Dennis and David to continue their musical journey with The Severts and Little Cedar until 2005 Dennis joined Rain Check in 2007, where his ability to preserve the tradition of bluegrass music while stretching it to new limits continues to amaze and excite us all.