Wintergrass 2014 Performers-The Kruger Brothers

In an ever-expanding body of work, Jens Kruger (banjo, vocals), Uwe Kruger (guitar, lead vocals), and Joel Landsberg (bass, vocals) personify the spirit of exploration and innovation that forms the core of the American musical tradition.
Although initially staying fairly closekruger_uwe_111512_130-2565271593-o to a traditional repertoire, the Kruger Brothers later turned to song writing and composition in order to draw more closely from their personal experiences. The result is a catalog of songs and music distinguished by its rich detail and an insight into the delicacy and complexity of everyday life.
The honesty of their writing has become a hallmark of the trio’s work. Another is the banjo playing and composition of Jens Kruger. Happy Traum has described Kruger as “one of the world’s most musically sophisticated and technically accomplished five-string banjo players.” Kruger plays in a melodic style that, while it may stem from the three- finger bluegrass style popularized by Snuffy Jenkins and Earl Scruggs, is also differentiated by long melodic passages and a more complex compositional foundation, often building on jazz or classical themes and techniques.
The recording that cemented the Kruger Brothers’ sound and song writing, Up 18 North, was released in 2002 on the Double Time label. Included were a number of tracks that signaled the direction that the band was to take in future projects. The title track “Up 18 North” is an instrumental piece, with banjo clearly in the foreground, that remains a prime example of the type of close ensemble playing that characterizes the trio’s work. The vocal track “Carolina in the Fall” is an early example of the very personal, resonant, and mature song writing that they continue to this day.
Most recently their music has ventured further into the themes and forms of classical music, most obviously in their 2011 release, Appalachian Concerto. Through their numerous CD releases, radio and television performances, workshops, and collaborative efforts, the Kruger Brothers continue to provide a unique voice in the world of folk, Americana, and classical music.

Jens Kruger has been named as the fourth recipient of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music. Kruger is known for his innovative banjo composition and performance that integrates folk music with European classical music.  Kruger is the first North Carolina resident and first winner born outside the of United States.


Wintergrass 2014 Performers-The Kathy Kallick Band

There is a tendency to think of West Coast bluegrass as being softer, jazzier, and somehow “other” than traditional. This can be the case, but there is also a school of bluegrass in Northern California which has, from the beginning, been steeped in Monroe-based tradition—as well as welcoming to women and original songs.  Kathy Kallick (guitar, vocals) has been leading bands in this traditional brand of West Coast bluegrass since co-founding the internationally-acclaimed band, Good Ol’ Persons, in 1975. She continues to evolve as one of the music’s extraordinary composers and vocalists, now releasing her 17th album, recordings which include over 100 of her original songs. Along the way, she has: – won a Grammy and two IBMA Awards for her part on True Life Blues: The Songs Of Bill Monroe … – had five title tracks and albums — Call Me A Taxi, Walkin’ In My Shoes, Warmer Kind Of Blue, Between the Hollow and the High-Rise, and Time — each spend a year in the upper echelon of the national bluegrass charts … – performed and recorded with the Frank Wakefield Band … – written and recorded award-winning music for children and families … – appeared on three high-profile Rounder collections of bluegrass songs by women, as well as noteworthy compilations of songs about baseball, trains, spiritual matters, families, broken hearts, Christmas, and mothers … – toured throughout North America, Europe, and Japan … – received a Lifetime Membership award from the California Bluegrass Association … and … – collaborated with the country’s top acoustic musicians – including her fabulous current band:  KKB-brick-wall-3-533x180

Tom Bekany (mandolin, fiddle, vocals), who has been playing and singing with Kathy since 1996, is among the most adventurous mandolinists in the music, creating thrilling solos as well as solid backup by using influences ranging from his thorough grounding in blues to his mastery of Jesse McReynolds’ “split string” technique. Tom is a veteran of Laurie Lewis & Grant Street and Done Gone, and has been the fiddler in High Country, the west coast’s premier traditional bluegrass band, for over 20 years. Tom also plays in a jazz trio, Bill Evans’ “Bangers & Grass,” has released a mandolin instruction DVD, and recently released “Jazzolin,” a collection of jazz standards played by Tom on electric and acoustic mandolin with bass/drums accompaniment.

Annie Staninec (fiddle, clawhammer banjo, vocals) has been playing gigs for more than half of her 25 years, beginning with the award-winning Donner Mountain and Lost Coast and the old time band, All Wrecked Up. She’s guested with Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings, played with David Grisman’s Gypsy Caravan, won numerous Fiddle Player of the Year awards from the Northern California Bluegrass Society, as well as the 2006 Outstanding Young Musician award at Djangofest Northwest. Annie has also recorded and toured with Town Mountain (from Asheville, NC), and plays with other bands ranging from gypsy jazz to ragtime boogie bebop. Her collaboration with the KKB showcases her fiery soloing (think Scotty Stoneman meets Benny Martin), and gives her the chance to express lyrical, sensitive backup and charming singing.

Greg Booth (dobro, banjo, vocals), lives in Anchorage, where, for many years, he’s played pedal steel guitar in country groups—as well as banjo (which he first learned from Bill Emerson) and, more recently, dobro in legendary Alaskan bluegrass bands like Fault Line and Rank Strangers. Winner of the RockyGrass dobro competition in 2006 (after playing that instrument for only one year), regular participant in ResoSummit and Resomania, and star of YouTube (aksliderdobro), “Greg’s innovative, expressive dobro playing is even more remarkable” says guitarist Joe Karson, “when you consider that he employs no ‘licks.’”

Cary Black (bass) has played acoustic bass in perhaps the widest range of musical styles of anyone else on the planet. Among those he has accompanied: Laurindo Almeida, Ernestine Anderson, Tex Beneke, Cheryl Bentyne (Manhattan Transfer), The Boys of the Lough, Petula Clark, Bob Crosby, Kenny Edwards, Nokie Edwards (The Ventures), Nina Gerber, Dan Hicks, The Kingston Trio, Laurie Lewis, Rose Maddox, Mark Murphy, Mollie O’Brien, Eddie Pennington, Johnny Ray, Paul Siebel, Kay Starr, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Ernie Watts, Claude “Fiddler” Williams, … and, now, the KKB. His inventive and melodic bass lines never get in the way of his perfect timekeeping, and he’s pushing the band to new levels of creativity and drive. Cary has toured extensively, and is one of the country’s most in-demand instructors.

Wintergrass 2014 Performers-Front Country

Front Country formed in 2011 as a collective of the Bay Area’s finest young acoustic talent, Adam Roszkiewicz, Jacob Groopman, Jordan Klein, Leif Karlstrom, Melody Walker and Zach Sharpe joined forces to play a monthly gig with friends infront-country-press-2 San Francisco’s Mission District. They quickly found a musical rapport that was open to challenging arrangements, unique covers and original songwriting. They have continued to expand their repertoire and push the boundaries of bluegrass on the local and national scene. This year, Front Country vocalist and writer Melody Walker won the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest, and mandolinist Adam Roszkiewicz was nominated for a Grammy with the Modern Mandolin Quartet for their album “Americana”.

On July 29, 2012, Front Country won the RockyGrass band competition, and on June 22, 2013 they became the third band ever to win at both RockyGrass and Telluride. Enjoying their first summer of major festival bookings, Front Country is looking forward to recording an album in 2014 and playing the Telluride main stage next summer.

Wintergrass 2014 Performers-Dailey and Vincent

Dailey & Vincent is one of the top Bluegrass bands in America. From the very beginning of their partnership in late 2007, Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent quickly established themselves as fresh voices in their genre. The concoction of their fantastically powerful vocal blends, 4 award-winning studio albums, and heavy touring schedules has gained them well-deserved attention from bluegrass, country, and gospel critics and fans alike.dailey and vincent


Dailey & Vincent has been recognized as 3-time IBMA Entertainer of The Year, 3-time IBMA Vocal Group of the Year, 2-time Grammy nominee, and Dove Award winners. Equally at home with material from any of the aforementioned genres, Jamie and Darrin continue to expand on the possibilities of what kinds of music can become “Dailey & Vincent” music.

The band has also become a perennial favorite on the touring and festival circuit: they play over 115 shows per year to sold out crowds in the United States and have developed a strong international following.

Young but seasoned veterans of bluegrass, traditional country, and gospel groups themselves, Dailey and Vincent have built on the experience and knowledge gained from working with Doyle Lawson (Dailey) and John Hartford and Ricky Skaggs (Vincent) to forge their own distinct career path. Darrin Vincent began his career onstage at age two with his family band, The Sally Mountain Show (and has been singing with his sister Rhonda for most of his life). Jamie Dailey also comes from a musical family: his father, guitarist J.B. Dailey, was a founding member of The Four J’s, a regional gospel quartet. Jamie started singing when he was just three years old. By the time he was nine, he was learning to play bass and guitar, and within a few years, he added banjo to his repertoire.

The duo’s two most recent albums, Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers and The Gospel Side of Dailey and Vincent, both garnered Grammy nominations, but each had a very specific focus. With Brothers Of The Highway, Dailey & Vincent made a conscious attempt to take stock of their careers so far, a sort of look “Back To The Future,” heeding the admonition of their friend and mentor Ricky Skaggs, who advised them “you can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been.”

While Dailey and Vincent continue to draw on the lessons they learned over the years about respect for musical integrity and the importance of tradition, they have certainly planted their own flag deeply and permanently into the soil of American music.

In the world of acoustic traditional music, “sibling harmony” is special. It’s no accident that the best harmonies in bluegrass, dating back to its earliest days, have been by siblings: the Monroe Brothers, the Stanley Brothers, the Osborne Brothers, Jim & Jesse, and Dailey & Vincent’s contemporaries the Gibson Brothers. In traditional country music, the Delmore Brothers and the Louvin Brothers both left their unique mark.

Although Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent aren’t related by blood, the instinctive vocal blend they have achieved rivals that of any singing siblings: it’s no accident that they titled an earlier album Brothers From Different Mothers, and with Brothers Of The Highway, the ties they’ve forged grow ever stronger.


Awards and Honors

International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA)

Entertainers of the Year – 2008, 2009, 2010

Vocal Group of the Year – 2008, 2009, 2010

Male Vocalist of the Year – Jamie Dailey, 2008

Album of the Year – Dailey & Vincent, 2008 – Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers, 2010

Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year – “By The Mark”, 2008 – “On The Other Side”, 2009

Emerging Artist of the Year – 2008

Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA)

Gospel Group of the Year (Contemporary) – 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Bluegrass Band of the Year (Overall) – 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013

Vocal Group of the Year – 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Entertaining Group of the Year – 2011

Entertainer of the Year – Jamie Dailey, 2012

Male Vocalist – Jamie Dailey – 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Bass Player of the Year – Darrin Vincent – 2010, 2011, 2012

Bluegrass Album of the Year – Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers, 2011

Song of the Year – “By The Mark”, 2009

Dove Awards – Gospel Music Association (GMA)

Bluegrass Album of the Year – Singing From The Heart, 2011

Bluegrass Album of the Year – The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent, 2013

Country Song of the Year – “From My Rags To His Riches”, 2013 (recorded with Devin McGlamery)


Nominated: Best Bluegrass Album for The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent, 2013

Nominated: Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for “Elizabeth” from Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers, 2011

Wintergrass 2014 Performers-The Duhks


“It turns out that absence does make the heart grow fonder. At least, it does in the case of The Duhks, who have reunited after a three-year “semi-hiatus.”

Founded in 2002, the GRAMMY winning Canadian acoustic roots band boasts a diverse collection of musical influences, including old-time, jazz, Celtic folk, and even punk; for nearly a decade, they blended these disparate genres into an irresistible sound that simultaneously feels both traditional and modern. That sound—found on four stunning studio albums—captured the hearts of numerous fans and has received extensive critical acclaim: The Duhks’ 2005 self-titled record won the Best Roots & Traditional Album Juno Award, and, in 2007, they were nominated for a GRAMMY in the Best Country Performance category.

Earlier in their career, the band spent up to ten months each year touring, a punishing pace that led to what Podolak wryly refers to as “a series of Spinal Tap-esque obstacles” and a band-wide case of burnout. All five members went their separate ways in 2010, pursuing other project that ranged from luthiery (McConnell qduhks wintergrassuite literally knows his guitars inside and out) to theater. However, they’d come together for the occasional show, and have such a great time performing with one another that calling an end to their hiatus seemed only natural.

Although they’d spent most of their self-imposed break scattered across North America, The Duhks were able to pick up where they left off after just two rehearsals. Some bands might be content to trot out their old favorites for festivals, but all the members of The Duhks agreed that new music would be an essential element of their reunion. “It’s important to us to be creative instead of rehashing something that was ten years ago,” explains Podolak.

The band has scheduled several show dates and is currently working on material for an EP release this spring, which will be followed by the release of their fifth full-length studio album later in the year. After their time apart, The Duhks are approaching their music with a renewed energy and a passion that’s nearly palpable. “It’ll be great to bring the last few years of our lives and musical journeys into what we’re doing now,” Podolak says. “We’ve all grown as musicians and as people, and I think that’s really going to come out in the music.”

With the explosion of the neo-folk scene and the increasing popularity of bands like The Avett Brothers, The Duhks are excited to return to stage and studio and share their sound with their extensive fan base. “The way folks reacted to our music is a big honor, and sharing stages with our heroes isn’t something we take lightly,” Podolak says. “But we’re not going to be that 200 gig a year band anymore. This is a way to honor and continue something we’ve been doing for a long time, but now in a healthy, more sustainable way so we can enjoy it as much as the fans do.”

Jessee Havey – vocals
Tania Elizabeth – fiddle
Leonard Podolak – banjo, vocals
Kevin Garcia – percussion




Wintergrass 2014 Performers – Mike Marshall and Chris Thile

Mandolinists Mike Marshall and Chris Thile will perform their varied mandolin duets at Wintergrass 2014. They will be performing two sets on  Sat March 1st 2014.  Together they have recorded two album on Sugar Hill records, ” Chris Thile and Mike Marshall Live Duets” and “Into the Cauldron” . Tunes covered by the duet often include traditional bluegrass tunes,Bach classical mandolin pieces, jazz standards like Charlie Parker’s Scrapple from the Apple, and of course original tunes. Mike Marshall & Chris Thile

Mike’s career has been a long and varied. Starting out playing bluegrass in FL and soon moved to San Francisco to join the David Grisman Quintet at age 19. After leaving the Quintet in the early 80’s Mike formed the Montreux Band and played classical mandolin with The Modern Mandolin Quartet. In the mid 90’s Mike started to study and perform the Brazilian Choro style of music recording with Brazilians including Hamilton de Holanda and Danilo Brito who both have performed at Wintergrass.Mike also is a member of Psychograss and has toured for many years as a duo with Darol Anger.  Mike founded a one week mandolin camp for in 2002 with  David Grisman. The Mandolin Symposium takes place the last week of June at U.C. Santa Cruz.

Chris  began playing the mandolin at the age of five and by eight, Chris and his family joined with Sara and Sean Watkins to form Nickel Creek At age twelve, he won the national mandolin championship at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. Chris recorded his first solo album at age 12 for Sugar Hill “Leading Off”  Chris continued to play with Nickel Creek until 2006 when they decided to take an extended haitus. Since then Chris has toured with a variety of projects including his current band The Punch Brothers, The Mutual Admiration Society, a duet with Edgar Myer, The Goat Rodeo Sessions, Chris Thile and Michale Daves.

In 2012 Chris was a recipient of a Macarthur Foundation Grant also known as “The Genius Awards”





Wintergrass 2014 Performers-Darrell Scott & Tim O’Brien


tim and darrellDarrell Scott and Tim O’brien are touring with some new material from their new album Memories & Moments.  Memories & Moments is the second studio album from highly regarded writer/singer/multi-instrumentalists Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott, released on their newly formed Full Skies imprint, a compound of O’Brien’s Howdy Skies and Scott’s Full Light labels. Comprising five songs apiece from O’Brien and Scott plus one memorable collaboration in their timely “Turn Your Dirty Lights On,” along with a pair of chestnuts from Hank Williams and George Jones and a spirited rendition of the John Prine classic “Paradise,” with its author guesting on guitar and vocals, Memories & Moments is a face-to-face record by design.

Tim spent twelve years playing mandolin and fiddle with the popular bluegrass band Hot Rize. After leaving Hot Rize in 1990 Tim started his solo career and has recorded over 15 albums including two with his sister Mollie O’Brien (Mollie is a Wintergrass 2014 performer also)

Fans of bluegrass have seen Darrell touring with Tim, and Steve Earles Bluegrass Dukes. Darrell also toured in 2010 with Robert Plant (of Led Zeppelin) in the Band of Joy.

Some highlights of Darrell’s career include:

Grammy Nomination for Best Country Song – “Long Time Gone” Dixie Chicks 2003 Grammy Nomination for Best Country Instrumental Performance – “The Second Mouse” 2001 Americana 2007 Song of the Year – “Hank Williams’Ghost” Rolling Stone Magazine listed Theatre of the Unheard as one of the 2003 Critics Top Album ASCAP Songwriter of the Year 2002 NSAI Songwriter of the Year 2001

His songs recorded by over 70 artists including: Dixie Chicks, Keb Mo, Faith Hill, Guy Clark, Sam Bush, Maura O’Connell, Kathy Mattea, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, Garth Brooks, Patty Loveless, Trace Adkins, Tim McGraw.

In 2010, Brad Paisley’s cover of the song “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” was the closing song played on the TV drama “Justified” during the final scene of the final episode of the first two seasons.