New Addition to the Academy-Russ Barenberg

2008 Grammy nominee ( Best Country Instrumental Performance for his tune “Little Monk” from the album When At Last) Russ Barenberg will be teaching at the Wintergrass Academy. Russ is not just a great bluegrass guitar player but an accomplished Nashville session player. Russ has played in bands ranging from Country Cooking & Heartlands in the 70’s, Fiddle Fever in 79 through the 80’s, Laughing Hands in the 80’s, Barenburg, Douglas and Meyer in the 90’s and all the while playing on a variety of performers recordings including Randy Travis, Emmy Lou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, Tim O’Brien, Sam Bush, Paul Brady, Darryl Scott, Joan Osborne, Bryan Sutton, Aly Bain, Phil Cunningham, Eddi Reader, Natalie McMaster and Sharon Shannon. He has also done recording on four different Ken Burns films: The Brooklyn Bridge, The Shakers, Huey Long, The Civil War. His biography is really to long to post everything here so check out his web page for more info.



Wintergrass Sponsors

Wintergrass would not be possible without the support of some great sponsors. When it comes time to make your music purchases don’t forget to support them. And don’t forget the City of Tacoma and what it has to offer aside from the great music that is the focus of the week of Wintergrass.

The Gibson Company, C.F. Martin & Co Guitar, The City of Tacoma, Collings Guitar, D’Addario, Beard Guitar, Deering Banjo, Rayco Resophonics, Santa Cruz Guitar, Fretboard Journal, Ted Brown Music, Fender, Guild Guitars and Dusty Strings.

Some of the sponsors have donated cash, while others have donated some custom built instruments for the Wintergrass Raffles and others will be auctioned off.

Great Northern Planes

Always a fun band to see Great Northern Planes is back at Wintergrass 2008. Based out of Portland the band was put together from members of the popular band Pumpkin Ridge. This band features both traditional bluegrass songs and some non-traditional material in a perfect blend for every taste. And they are some of the best dressed musicians in bluegrass as you can see at their website!

Rob Hakanson-mandolin, Jim Hancock-banjo, Doug Hancock-guitar, Steve Bond-bass

Black And Bluegrass

Thursday night will have a special roots of bluegrass music show. This show was put together by Laura Love. This show will be exploring the sounds that Bill Monroe would have heard in his childhood growing up in Rosine, Kentucky. Joining Laura on this night will be the The Ebony Hillbillies, Ruthie Foster and others. Black And Bluegrass should be entertaining and educational!

Laura’s latest cd is Negrass (pronounced “KNEE – grass”) a collection of original and traditional Negro spirituals, field hollers and bluegrass music.

Laura has played Wintergrass a few times before with Jo Miller and they have been amazing shows each time. I am sure this will be another unforgettable performance.

Packway Handle Band

Based out of Athens, GA The Packway Handle Band has been playing hard driving bluegrass since 2001. This band proved that  bluegrass done right can beat out 72 rock bands in the in the 2003  Miller Lite “Locals Only” 2003, they won the Athens hosting of the Miller Lite “Locals Only” Battle of the Bands using a single microphone format.  These guys lean to the faster songs of the music. Aside from the faster songs the band does some great gospel music also showing off their vocal harmonies.  Prior to playing Wintergrass 2008 the band is on tour in Europe from Jan 25th to Feb 17th and it looks like Wintergrass will be their first US performance after the European tour. 

Band Members:

Tom Baker – banjo, vocals                                                          Josh Erwin – guitar, vocals
Andrew Heaton – fiddle, vocals
Zach McCoy – bass
Michael Paynter – mandolin, vocals