Wintergrass 2017 Sponsors-Taylor Guitars

We are happy to welcome back Taylor Guitars. These folks down in San Diego build beautiful guitars and have a very impressive roster of artists including Zac Brown, Nanci Griffith, Jonathan Edwards, Leo Kotke and a whole lot more. We are pleased we’ll be hearing the sounds of Taylor Guitars as we stroll through the Wintergrass halls. And if you’re lucky, you may just take one home from the Wintergrass raffle!



Headquartered in El Cajon, California, Taylor Guitars was founded in 1974 by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug, and has grown into the leading global builder of premium acoustic guitars. Taylor employs over 900 people and currently produces hundreds of guitars per day in its state-of-the-art factory complexes in both El Cajon and in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico. The company maintains an active dealer network, with Taylor guitars sold through hundreds of retail locations in North America and with international distribution to 60 countries, including a distribution warehouse and factory service center in the Netherlands.

Renowned for blending modern, innovative manufacturing techniques with a master craftsman’s attention to detail, Taylor guitars are widely considered among the best-sounding and easiest to play in the world. The company was a pioneer in the use of computer mills, lasers and other high-tech tools and proprietary machinery, and today, Bob Taylor is widely recognized throughout the musical instrument industry as the visionary acoustic guitar manufacturer. Among the company’s many innovations are its patented Taylor Neck, the first major innovation in the construction of the acoustic guitar in the last 100 years; the award-winning Expression System® 2 (ES2) pickup, a groundbreaking approach to amplifying an acoustic guitar; and the T5, the first, true hybrid acoustic and electric guitar that can produce amplified acoustic tones, full-crunch electric, and everything in-between with the flip of a five-way switch.

In addition to its forward-thinking approach to guitar design and manufacturing, Taylor has applied that same approach to its wood sourcing and environmental sustainability initiatives. Taylor is dedicated to the pursuit of best practices in forest management, new models of reforestation, and bringing ethically harvested tonewoods to market. This approach, together with outstanding playability, flawless craftsmanship, and stunning aesthetics, are just a few of the reasons that many of today’s leading musicians make Taylor their guitar of choice. The company’s artist roster numbers in the thousands, and includes the likes of Taylor Swift, Jason Mraz, Zac Brown, and many other established musicians.




Wintergrass 2017 Performers-Hot Buttered Rum

Stunning instrumental and vocal virtuosity.”

 – Relix Magazine

“Few things rejuvenate the soul like a warm fireside drink after an exhausting day in the snow. Hot Buttered Rum has that effect. Their original songs are instantly familiar and inviting, and their easygoing versions of timeless classics (the Beatles, Hank Williams) belie the intricacy of the arrangements.”

San Francisco Chronicle

A-HBR selections- lechphoto -9354Hot Buttered Rum lives for a good time, and a mindful recklessness settles in whenever these five guys step on stage. From Anchorage to Miami, the group’s onstage chemistry fuels the lovefest that is a live Butter show. Rooted in the trajectory of west coast bluegrass, Hot Buttered Rum plays what has been described as California’s own acoustic music.

HBR’s years of touring have given the band the chance to work and play with a wide cross-section of musicians, people like Peter Rowan, Phil Lesh, Chris Thile, Brett Dennen, and Robert Earl Keen. Seasoned veteran Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), acoustic guru Mike Marshall, and left-coast rocker Tim Bluhm (Mother Hips, Nicki Bluhm) have all produced studio albums for the band. Each guided HBR towards the next step in its evolution. It’s a sound that is tough to describe and easy to love, and it has found its way to the most prestigious pop, folk, and bluegrass stages in the country: Telluride, Newport, Bonnaroo, Strawberry, Hardly Strictly, Kate Wolf, Horning’s Hideout, String Summit, Grey Fox, Merlefest, All Good, High Sierra, Wakarusa, and many more.

The next step in Butter’s evolution involves recording three 5-song EPs, each focusing on a part of music that Hot Buttered Rum loves and is inspired by, and each with a different producer. The first EP was recently recorded with Railroad Earth’s Tim Carbone and will be released this fall. The second will be a collection of Ralph Stanley old school bluegrass standards, to be recorded in September with producer Sally Van Meter. The third will be Hot Buttered Rum’s latenight throwdown music, to be recorded in November with SCI’s Kyle Hollingsworth. Together, the three collections of songs will explore Butter’s roots and express Butter’s present passions.

At the center of Hot Buttered Rum is the enduring camaraderie of old friends. The band was conceived on a backpacking trip of high school and college buddies in the High Sierra. What was dreamed up on mountaintops and around campfires has found its way into the hearts, minds, and bodies of thousands.

Bryan Horne
double bass & vocalsBryan began his musical adventure at age 10 with the cello. He grew up listening to mostly rock ‘n’ roll groups like Men at Work, Rush, Yes, and Led Zeppelin. It was in the Tamalpais High School Orchestra that he first met Aaron Redner, future fiddler for Hot Buttered Rum.

In college, Bryan began playing electric bass in the jamband Oversoul. While playing in Oversoul, Bryan became more interested in acoustic music; he eventually transitioned from electric to acoustic bass and never turned back. His musical influences include Old and In the Way, Edgar Meyer, Phil Lesh, Stanley Clarke, and Gonzalo Rubalcaba. Coming back to the Bay Area after college, Bryan played in some musical groups with the members of Oversoul, eventually connecting with Nat Keefe and Erik Yates.


Erik Yates
banjos, guitars, woodwinds & vocalsErik spent his musical youth trying nearly every instrument and style he came across. Growing up in the auditory carnival that is northern California meant that this included just about everything: piano lessons, saxophone quartets, garage bands and folk songs had all weaseled their way into his life by the time he hit high school. College in Portland, OR brought new musical horizons, including studies with composers Vince McDermott and Joe Waters, flutist Nancy Teskey, editor John Callahan and poet Vern Rutsala. It also brought him new conspirators (including classmate Nat Keefe) and a new project, Hot Buttered Rum, which would soon gleefully take over his life.

After graduation and enough time in the non-profit and teaching worlds to know that playing music was the world’s only sensible job, Erik hit the road with HBR to change the world “one bar at a time.” The group has become a platform for all his various trades, musical and otherwise. It pushes his banjo and guitar picking and his songwriting, which he now combines with his knack for wind instruments (flute and saxophones) to give HBR its unique musical palate. Erik has appeared with songwriters Peter Rowan, Tim and Nikki Bluhm, and banjoist Bill Evans (also his teacher). When not on the road with HBR, Erik can be found playing around the Bay Area in support of other local artists or with one of his many side projects.


Nat Keefe
guitar & vocals

Nat’s panoramic songwriting and baritone vocals play a defining role in Hot Buttered Rum’s sound. In the course of a decade of playing professionally, Nat has written hundreds of songs, including collaborations with Zach Gill & Dave Brogan (ALO), Brett Dennen, Tim Bluhm (Mother Hips), Fred Torphy (Big Light), and his bandmates. He’s produced nine albums of his own and others’ music. He’s produced almost a dozen Concert Carnival variety shows, bringing together artists to create new work. Most importantly, he’s performed over a thousand times, singing and playing guitar to the best fanbase in the world.

When not touring, rehearsing, and recording with HBR, Nat lives in the Hayes Valley district of San Francisco. Outside of music, Nat enjoys the same things he’s liked since he was a boy: flyfishing, backpacking, backcountry skiing, urban-adventure bikeriding, and SF Giants baseball.

Recently, Nat lead a group of American musicians to Ghana, West Africa and produced a ten-day program of workshops, jam sessions, and recording with Ghanaian music and dance masters. The resulting recording is Girl Thursday. It features Bonnie Paine (Elephant Revival), Kate Gaffney, Erik Yates & Lucas Carlton (HBR), Jeff Coleman (Big Light), Simon Kurth & Murph Murphy (Huckle), in collaboration with the Local Dimension Highlife Band and Ocherema Praa. This was Nat’s third trip to Ghana, and second recording project there.

Shane Schlick12642837_1120081404691589_5264274643868990968_n-1drums & percussion & mandolin

Shane’s musical journey began with violin and piano at age 10. He describes his early training on both of these instruments as “rigid”. He desperately wanted to find a way to play music creatively and “in-the-moment”, with no strict guidelines. When he sat down to play his first drum set at the ripe age of 14, it was love at first beat. He started teaching himself as much as he could on his own, gravitating towards 90’s grunge, punk, and roots reggae. He joined 2 bands during his senior year (The Antics/Supply and Demand), and also formed a punk band called Victims Amid Ruins. Between these 3 bands, Shane found himself playing house parties, small clubs, and Activist fundraisers every weekend.

After high school, Shane left the suburbs of Southern California to pursue a career in music. He studied at Globe Recording Institute in San Francisco, where he received an Associates Degree in Audio Production; with minors in Music Business, Sound Healing, and Recording/Engineering. After graduating college, he moved to Petaluma, CA to form a rock band known as Hillside Fire, who went on to win a number of prestigious awards in the Bay Area.

Shane became inspired to pick up the mandolin and banjo after hearing the new Indy-Folk sound that was emerging in the mid 2000’s. He then formed a band known as The Highway Poets. 4 more years of touring and recording followed, including performances at South By Southwest, sold-out shows at The Mystic Theatre, and many more awards.

Shane is currently an active music instructor at Tall Toad Music, The Phoenix Theater, Speed of Sound Music, & Petaluma School of Music; and a co-creator of the “Rock 101” music class at Old Adobe Elementary School. He is an on-call session drummer for Prairie Sun Studios, owns a home studio where he does additional drum tracking, and has recorded drums of every style from Rock, Funk, Hip Hop, Jazz, Blues, Reggae, Indy, R&B, Folk, Bluegrass, to even Dubstep! You can catch him on his off-time gigging locally around the SF Bay Area, or check out his YouTube channel packed with live drum-cam footage, drum covers, and studio session footage.

Shane’s infectious live energy and forward momentum on the drums and mandolin has been a fresh new addition to HBR’s sound. We are very excited to have him on board for 2016! Welcome to the family!

Wintergrass 2017 Sponsors-Eastman Guitars and Mandolins


Eastman Guitars will once again sponsor Wintergrass this year and we are beyond happy to welcome them back. We have some juicy news too—thanks to Eastman, some lucky raffle winner will go home with a very cool MD814 F-style mandolin. It could be you!

Good luck and thanks to Eastman for their generosity!eastman-guitar-head

In 1992, Qian Ni, who had come to the United States from China to study music, founded Eastman Strings. In the beginning, he and his two musician colleagues bought instruments from Western-trained violin makers from their home town in China, but before long, they saw that a different approach was needed.

Mr. Ni hired a group of established master violinmakers, and with their help, he established a large master violin workshop devoted to the handcrafting of instruments—one of the first the world had known since the first half of the 20th century. In the short time since this workshop was founded, the reputation of Eastman Strings’ instruments for tonal quality and craftsmanship excellence has become a worldwide standard.

After establishing the instrument making workshop, Qian Ni went on to found a bow making workshop based on the same principals. In both workshops, master makers train and oversee talented woodworkers to create some of the world’s finest student, step-up, and professional instruments and bows. Today, the instrument and bow making workshops of Eastman Strings operate in precisely the same manner as late 19th century European workshops. They have virtually no power tools aside from the band saws used to cut out the necks and the outlines of the tops and backs of instruments. Chisels, knives, gouges, and scrapers, in the hands of outstandingly gifted craftspeople, are the primary tools used to create these modern instruments and bows, using methods centuries old.

Eastman Guitars will once again sponsor Wintergrass this year and we are beyond happy to welcome them back. We have some juicy news too—thanks to Eastman, some lucky raffle winner will go home with a very cool MD814 F-style mandolin. It could be you!

Good luck and thanks to Eastman for their generosity!

The story of Eastman does not stop with stringed instruments. In addition to fine violins, stringed instruments, guitars and mandolins, Eastman has become a major name in the band instrument business. Eastman builds woodwind and brass instruments and has continued the tradition of high quality at a low cost.

Most recently, Eastman became the owner of Haynes flutes, one of the most regarded brands ever and continues to operate that company in the tradition of Haynes. In the future you can be sure that Eastman will continue its fine tradition of craftsmanship and exceptional value in every Eastman instrument produced.

Wintergrass 2017 Performers – Flatt Lonesome

FLATT LONESOME is a young, new group of pickers fresh to the scene. While deeply-rooted in bluegrass music’s historic classics, they also have an energetic flair for country sounds, progressive jams, and soul-stirring gospel music while never forsaking their traditional essence. If you love high lonesome harmony, soaring sibling vocals and powerful bluegrass music, then you will love FLATT LONESOME!

FLATT LONESOME was born from the Robertson family’s bluegrass gospel band, Sandy Creek Revival. Pastor Dolton charlieRobertson, his wife Lisa, and their three children Kelsi, Buddy, and Charli began playing as a group just a few years ago because of their love of bluegrass and the desire to play music together as a family. This quickly grew into a passion for the Robertson children with a great longing to travel, write, and record. So, in January 2011, Kelsi, Charli and Buddy teamed up with friends Dominic Illingworth, Michael Stockton, and Paul Harrigill (who is now married to Kelsi as of September 21, 2012) and became FLATT LONESOME. In February of 2011, the band entered the SPBGMA International Band Championship in Nashville, TN and placed 3rd – not bad

kelsifor the band’s very first time on stage! To commemorate the band’s first anniversary in 2012, they once again entered the SPBGMA Band Championship where they were awarded 1st place! What a way to celebrate!

FLATT LONESOME has performed at many exciting places during their short time together as a band. Some of those highlights include performances at: Joe Val Bluegrass Festival (Boston, MA), California Bluegrass Association Festival (Grass Valley, CA), Summergrass (San Diego, CA), IBMA FanFest, The Grand Ole Opry’s
paul87th Birthday Bash, The World Famous Station Inn, Red, White, and Bluegrass(NC), and The Lakes Festival(Minnesota). Also, while performing with their friend and mentor, Barry Waldrep, the band has played Music City Roots where they received a thunderous standing ovation and garnered many new fans as well as opening for Marty Stuart and having Zac Brown join them on stage while performing in Georgia.

FLATT LONESOME loves to mentor and teach kids and has done so while instructing at kid’s bluegrass camps at Summergrass (San Diego, CA), the Wabash River Bluegrass Camp (IL), and Red, White, & Bluegrass (NC). The individual band members also give dominicprivate lessons as well.

In August of 2012, FLATT LONESOME signed a recording contract with Pisgah Ridge Records (a division of Mountain Home Records) and with much excitement recorded their very first CD. The self-titled recording was released on January 29, 2013 and has been one of the highlight bluegrass recordings of the year, hitting the radio charts on more than one occasion. Flatt Lonesome has recently signed with Mountain Home Records for their latest release (July 2014), Too. This September, they won the 2014 IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year Award in
Raleigh, NC.

Although, FLATT LONESOME is a young band (both age of the michael2band and its members), you won’t find six people with more desire, dedication, and determination. When you add that to three incredible lead singers, magical harmony, and impeccable musicianship – well, you’ve got FLATT LONESOME!

Kelsi Robertson Harrigill – mandolin, vocals
Charli Robertson – fiddle, vocals
Buddy Robertson – guitar, vocals
Paul Harrigill – banjo
Dominic Illingworth – acoustic bass
Michael Stockton – resophonic guitar

Wintergrass 2017 Sponsors-The Oregon Bluegrass Association

Our friends to the south in Oregon have a very active bluegrass community, thanks in part to the Oregon Bluegrass Association. We are thrilled to have their support and look forward to their very happening Jam Suite during Wintergrass. They invite us all to come pick with them at their hospitality suite and to share the love! annual-meeting-2016


Take a look at their website which includes a bluegrass calendar, band directories, learning opportunities and festivals information among other features.



Wintergrass 2017 Performers-The David Mayfield Parade

If you’ve seen David Mayfield perform with The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, Jessica Lea Mayfield, or at Bonnaroo, you’ve caught the charisma, the heart, and the comedy, and it’s likely you’ll come back for more.

This singer-songwriter, band leader, and Grammy nominated producer stepped out of the sideman shadows with his 2011 album david-mayfield“The David Mayfield Parade” his follow-up “Good Man Down” was self released and funded with a surprising succesful Kickstarter campaign that more than doubled its initial goal of $18,000. On the heels of that sucsess, Mayfield has partnered with Compass Records. A label that Playboy Magaizne calls “Nashville’s hippest alternative label” 

STRANGERS, Mayfield’s first album with Compass, is a tour de force, stretching from the avant-garde to Mayfield’s musical roots, which are buried deep in the bluegrass tradition from a childhood of touring with his family’s band. Tracks range from the Celtic-inspired opener “Caution,” which features Mayfield’s deft ability in orchestrating complex instrumentation, to “The Man I’m Trying to Be,” a sharply honest song that is as dark and it is tender. Mayfield is truly a wordsmith, forging the mundane into the evocative in each track, most notably with “Ohio (It’s Fake),” whose innovative lyrics are propelled from acoustic beginnings into a pure pop finish, Mayfield’s trembling tenor rising above the grooving band.  With the release of Strangers, David Mayfield is clearly going places, fueled by a deadly combination of infectious energy and songwriting chops that only come around once in a blue moon.

“Acoustic, beardy goodness.” —American Songwriter

“Anyone with a craving for rustic Americana—frayed edges and all—will find Mayfield and company effective practitioners.” —Blurt

“A massively skilled picker and singer with a knack for stagecraft.” —Nashville Scene

“…his songs are sturdy enough to work in any format, because his tunes are that lovely and his words that understated.”
– Washington Post

“…a dynamic combination of music and comedy worthy of a traveling vaudeville act”
– The Boston Globe

“…the wild man of Americana!”
-The Independent

“this abundantly bearded multi- instrumentalist/songwriter impresses with a sound on the cutting edge of indie folk- rock”
-Spirit Magazine

David Mayfield grew up playing bass and touring with his family’s bluegrass band. As a teenager he established himself as a hot picker collecting national awards for his dexterity on guitar and mandolin. His knack for colorful performances was evident as a backing player in his sister Jessica Lea Mayfield’s band including their appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman.” He oozed personality on stage – a trait that makes him a natural frontman. He took his skills and personality when he joined the bluegrass outfit Cadillac Sky, playing sold out shows with British folk revivalists Mumford and Sons. Around then Mayfield began writing songs after hearing artists like Randy Newman and Simon & Garfunkel. Encouraged by his sister Jessica, & friend Seth Avett, to record his original material, Mayfield did just that, to much acclaim. Since that time he has toured almost non-stop. Conscious of not just being a musician, but an entertainer – something his father instilled in him in the family band – he certainly makes an impression live. But it’s the strength of his songwriting and musicianship, combined with that charm and personality that keep audiences consistantly lining up to join the parade.