Wintergrass 2011 Performers-Michael Doucet

Cajun fiddler Michael Doucet will be performing a set this year on the Twisted Cork stage this year in addition to guesting with the Wintergrass Youth Symphony on Sunday along with Darol Anger & Laurie Lewis. Michael who in his “day job”  is the fiddler and a singer for the past 34 years in BeauSoleil has also recorded with Wintergrass 2011 performer Darol Anger as part of the group Fiddler’s Four. Michael was a 2005  recipients of the National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA award,, is the highest honor in U.S. folk and traditional arts. Doucet received Grammy Awards in both 1998 and 2009 for work with Beausoleil.


Wintergrass 2011 Perfomers-Joy Kills Sorrow

Boston’s Joy Kills Sorrow‘s will be at Wintergrass 2011 on Thursday and Friday. Their Wintergrass performance will be their first US performance after a month long European tour. The bands name is taken from WJKS, a radio station that broadcasted the Monroe brothers’ show in the 1930s.   This bands style is a blend of new songs including many originals based in bluegrass roots featuring banjo,mandolin,guitar and bass. Two of the musician Jacob Jolliff and Wes Corbett have NW ties prior to their moving to Boston. Jacob Jolliff originally from Oregon is Berklee’s first full-scholarship mandolin student and a veteran performer, having toured professionally since age eleven.Wesley Corbett originally from Bainbridge Island is  a banjo who was featured in the August 2008 issue of Banjo Newsletter and has toured nationally with Crooked Still,The Biscuit Burners and The Bee Eaters.Founding member Matthew Arcara the bands founder and  guitarist, was the 2006 winner of Winfield’s National Flatpicking Championship and has performed  Darol Anger Vocalist  Emma Beaton was the 2008 Canadian Folk Music Awards’ Young Performer of the Year. Bassist,vocalist and songwriter Bridget Kearney was the  winner of the 2006 John Lennon Songwriting Contest.

Wintergrass 2011 Performers-Darol Anger & The Republic of Strings


A Wintergrass favorite, fiddler Darol Anger returns to Wintergrass 2011 with his band The Republic of Strings for two days. For those of you that have seen the Republic of Strings before may have not seen this configuration of string players. Darol was an original member of the David Grisman Quintet where he played his blend of jazzy,classical,gypsy fiddle style for 10 years. Darol went on to play in a variety of instrumental groups including The Duo (with Mike Marshall), Montreux , Turtle Island String Quartet and Fiddlers Four. Along with his performing Darol has been very involved with violin education.

Anger helped found the String Resource Board of the International Association of Jazz Educators. He has led seminars at the Stanford, Oberlin and Amherst Jazz Worshops, regularly teaches at the Berklee School of Music and the Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp, and at workshops and clinics from Campo Do Jordao, Brazil to the Music Conservatory at Bremen, Germany. He has released two popular instructional videos for Homespun Tapes, is a Contributing Editor for Strings magazine, and serves on the ASTA Editorial Board.

The recipient of a 1995 California Arts Council Composer Fellowship, Anger was nominated in 1997 for the CalArts Alpert Award in the Arts. He is a McDowell Fellow and received a Composers’ Residency from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He has been a featured soloist on a number of motion picture soundtracks, and he wrote and performed the score for the Sundance Award-winning film Best Offer. He was the winner of the Frets Magazine Readers’ Poll for Best Jazz Violinist for four years running. he is the Music Director of the StringNation Festival, an annual contemporary music festival hosted by Rutgers University.
Darol always surrounds himself with stellar musicians and The Republic of Strings features some great players.   Mike Block on cello has been
hailed by Yo-Yo Ma as the “ideal musician of the 21st Century”  Mike is the singer, cellist and composer for the Mike Block Band, which features a unique mixture of original songs and instrumentals drawing upon multiple genres. In addition to the MBB, Mike performs with the Triboro Trio featuring contemporary arrangements of traditional and new folk music from around the world. While studying at the Juilliard School, Mike joined Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble as its youngest member, and upon graduation in 2006, joined Mark O’Connor’s Appalachia Waltz Trio. In addition to Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings, Mike also plays in the Absolute Ensemble, Sirius String Quartet, and New York Arabic Orchestra.

Guitarist Scott Law a brilliant and versatile instrumentalist, Law has connected onstage with many of the foremost in contemporary American music – among them Phil Lesh & Friends, String Cheese Incident, Melvin Seals, Bill Nershi, Yonder Mountain String Band, Tony Trischka, Railroad Earth and many others.  Scott has scored and performed music for film and television, including an original song for the CBS primetime feature “Viva Laughlin” in 2007 and scores for 2 full-length documentaries by The Columbia Land Trust and Tom’s Of Maine. Like Darol he is an experienced music educator, having taught at workshops, camps, schools, festivals and private sessions throughout his career.

Violinist Lauren Rioux also performs with  Scott Nygaard and Crow Molly, and the StringNation Orkestra. A classically trained violinist and violist, Lauren discovered traditional fiddle music in 2001 at the first National American String Teachers’ Association Convention.  Her powerful sound, vibrant rhythmic sense, fluency in old-time, Celtic and Scandinavian fiddle styles, and her tremendous personal charm add depth and interest to any ensemble. Lauren plays an active role in her native state of Maine’s music education network and served two terms as the state president for Maine ASTA. She is a highly sought teacher and workshop clinician, leading classes at Mark O’Connor’s Fiddle Camps as well as National and State Conferences held by the American String Teacher’s Association.

Wintergrass 2011 Performers-Cliff Perry & Laurel Bliss

Seattle area folk & bluegrass fans have been familiar with the duo of  Cliff Perry & Laurel Bliss for over 20 years. The duo features their great harmony singing accompanied with guitar and dobro instrumentation. Leaning towards the older traditional style songs which work perfect in the duo setting. They both were featured members of the band Southfork that toured the West Coast quite awhile back. Their recording “Old Pal” was chosen  “Best Old-Time Recording” in 1994 by County Sales of Floyd, Virginia.

Wintergrass 2011 Performers-Rio Con Brio

Wintergrass 2011 will have some Choro music offered again. This year the Portland,OR based Rio Con Brio will be playing on Friday and Saturday. The duo of Tim Connell on mandolin and Mike Burdette on guitar formed in 2005 to play choro music which is  the early 20th century street music of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Influenced by Afro-Brazilian rhythms and the cafe music of Italy, France and Portugal.

Tim is an experienced teacher and workshop presenter,teaching mandolin workshops and leading the choro jam at previous  Wintergrass festivals,  teaching at the annual River of the West Mandolin Camp, leading the choro jam at  annual Mandolin Symposium in Santa Cruz, CA.  Mike has been playing Brazilian choro and gypsy jazz guitar for the past five years with many of Portland’s best, including Jason Okomoto, David Stassens, Joseph Appel. Guitarist in the Portland area might be familiar with his luthier skills at Portland Fretworks.

Wintergrass 2011 Performer-Dale Ann Bradley

Returning to Wintergrass in 2011 is 2007,2008 and 2009 IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year,Dale Ann Bradley.  A former New Coon Creek Girl and mainstay at Kentucky’s Renfro Valley Barn Dance.   A Primitive Baptist preacher’s daughter out of the hills of Kentucky where no musical instruments were allowed, Bradley grew up in a self-described “backwoods holler” down a rural road where electricity and running water weren’t available until she was in high school. She writes and sings songs that tell the story of the people and places of her childhood. Songs of like “East Kentucky Morning” “Longing For The Mountains” and “Old Southern Porches”. The band also covers songs from outside the bluegrass area but still puts her own sound to popular songs like “Me & Bobby Mcgee” & “Stuck in The Middle With You”.

Dale Ann’s band includes Shade Cobb who’s background includes country singer Mark Wills band ,the Osborne Brothers, Mike Snider, and John Cowan’s band. Mike Sumner on banjo. Mike has won quite a few banjo contests including:  Merlefest, Rockygrass and the Winfield National Banjo Championship twice. Ron Shuffler is on bass, Ron comes from a musical family (brothers George and John both played with the Stanleys among others) Ron spent 4 years playing with David Peterson & 1946 prior to joining Dale Ann’s band. North Carolina’s Chris Harris is the bands mandolinist. Chris has been playing bluegrass for many years with a variety of bands including Larry Cordle’s band and Ronnie Bowmans.

Wintergrass 2011 Performer-The Sam Bush Band

The Sam Bush Band is back at Wintergrass 2011. They will be performing only one set this year on Friday night. Photo By Eric Frommer

Sam Bush started his musical career at  age of 11 with his first mandolin,during his he took first place three times in the junior division of the National Oldtime Fiddler’s Contest in Weiser, ID.  He went from there to form Poor Richard’s Alamanac with Wayne Stewart and Alan Munde and recorded the classic self titled instrumental “Poor Richard’s Almanac” back in 1969. For a couple of years Sam was in the progressive band the Bluegrass Alliance. The breakup of the Bluegrass Alliance let to the formation of the  New Grass Revival The New Grass Revival featured Sam, Curtis Burch & Courtney Johnson with John Cowan joining in 1974. In 1981 the band had couple of changes and Pat Flynn & Bela Fleck replaced Burch & Johnson. Through all of this the band became a fixture at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival with Sam becoming basically the Kin of Telluride. Sam is known to spend much time with a variety of bands over the 4 days of the festival.In 1989 Sam formed the band Strength in Numbers at Telluride with Bela,Mark O’Connor,Jerry Douglas and Edgar Meyer.
Once the Revival split up in 1989, Emmylou Harris formed a new band with Sam, The Nash Ramblers. Sam led the Nash Ramblers for 5 years before forming his own band, The Sam Bush Band.

In 1989, Bush and Fleck joined Mark O’Connor, Jerry Douglas, and Edgar Meyer in an all-star bluegrass band, Strength in Numbers, at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado. When the New Grass Revival dissolved in 1989, Bush joined Emmylou Harris‘ Nash Ramblers, touring and recording with Harris for the next five years.

In March 2010, Legislation passed in Kentucky that officially named Bowling Green the “Birthplace of Newgrass” and Sam Bush the “Father of Newgrass.”

Sam’s current band includes  Scott Vestal on banjo. Scott background started with bluegrass legend Larry Sparks,his own band Southern Connection,Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver for 4 years. Scott left Quicksilver to form Livewire, spent six months touring Japan with an acoustic jazz ensemble, and had a starring role in Phyllis McBride’s critically acclaimed original musical production, Cowboy Cafe. Scott then moved on to form the band of David Parmley, Scott Vestal, and Continental Divide, During this time Scott was awarded Banjo Player of the Year in 1996 by the International Bluegrass Music Association, and 1998 Banjo Player of the Year by the Bluegrass Now Magazine Fan’s Choice Awards. Scott has been with Sam now since 2005.

Steve Mougin is the bands guitarist.Steve started playing music at age of 6 when his father showed him three chords on an old Madera guitar. He moved on to Mandolin two years later. After earning his bachelors degree in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Stephen became the Choral Director at the Mahar Regional School in nearby Orange. Teaching Chorus, Theory, General Music, and Producing/Directing the Musicals  Steve moved to Nashville in 2002 to join the Valerie Smith band and has since played with Jim Lauderdale, Melonie Cannon, Randy Kohrs, and Audie Blaylock.

The newest member of the band is Todd Parks on bass. Added to the band in 2010, Todd’s    earned his undergraduate & Masters degrees in String Performance and Jazz Studies from University of Tennessee/Knoxville.Todd has been a member of  Gran Torino, Robinella and the CC Stringband, JT and Saltines and the Superfly Soundtrip. In 2003 Todd Parks moved to Nashville and quickly established himself as an in demand sideman for such diverse artists as Jack Pearson, The Nashville Jazz Orchestra, Justin Thompson, Daybreak, Bee Gee Adair, Jody Nardone, Steve Kovalcheck and Shane Roberts. Spring of 2006 Parks became a member of The Jerry Douglas Band and served as assistant musical director to Jerry Douglas for the BBC/RTE Television series TRANSATLANTIC SESSIONS, series 3 & 4.

The bands drummer is Chris Brown who has been with Sam for many years.