Mark Cosgrove continues to be a busy performer, teacher, and session player. The past year has brought solo appearances as well as dates as a regular member of The David Bromberg Quartet and Big Band, his own band Good Medicine, performances with the DePue Bros Band, Roberto Dalla Vecchia, and fiddle and dance team John Kirk and Trish Miller. His recent recordings include a CD with three time national guitar champion Steve Kaufman and his fourth solo CD entitled "Unencumbered" which features some of acoustic music's most notable players as well as some rising young stars. Mark is known for his hard-driving and versatile guitar styles, showing equal abilities in bluegrass, jazz, rock, and as a tasteful sideman. He continues to teach and perform at guitar camps and workshops around the country.
Rich is widely regarded as the leading exponent of mandolin blues, has written articles for Blues Revue, Living Blues, Mandolin Magazine, Frets, Sing Out! and Il Blues. He has published a blues guitar instruction book and three mandolin books for Hal Leonard. His latest, Mandolin Blues: From Memphis to Maxwell Street explores the music and the history of the mandolin in the blues, and his Blues Guitar Lesson Anthology is a compilation of his favorite lessons and columns from his years with Blues Revue. He has presented workshops on mandolin and guitar across the country, including Mandolin Symposium in California, L'Accademia Internazionale del Mandolino Italiano in Italy, the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop in WA, the Country Blues Workshop in Port Townsend, WA., Euroblues in the UK and Augusta Heritage Arts: Bluesweek in WVA.
"...he lets his fingers do the talking, and his beautiful, clear tone and fluid technique are a delight..." -Living Blues
Peter, Paul and Mary; David Wilcox; John McCutcheon; Sally Rogers; Lui Collins; Garnet Rogers; June Tabor, (and many more) all sing and record Bob's music. Seasoned veterans and novices alike are drawn to the complex, warm-hearted spirituality and captivatingly clear-cut melodies of Franke's songs. "There is an affection for Bob's work that is really palpable," says Noel Paul Stookey, of Peter, Paul and Mary. "It's like everybody thinks that they're the one who discovered him - and they're all right! People know he has given them something rare and powerful, real and uncompromising. I have felt a lot of power in the appreciation people have for him."
Bob, the writer of ""Hard Love," "For Real," "Thanksgiving Eve," and "The Great Storm Is Over," has been bringing out the best in his students and fellow artists in songwriting workshops and classes.
Martin Grosswendt, once described by U. Utah Phillips as "a rumor in his own time," has been a performer, session musician, and teacher for more than three decades. As a more recent writer has said, "While his name is not a household word, among musicians and fans of country, blues and folk, he is sort of an underground legend, a musician of extraordinary talent." A multi-instrumentalist and singer long known as an interpreter of '20s and '30s blues, Martin is equally at home playing the old-time music of the Southern Appalachians or the Cajun and Creole music of Southwest Louisiana. He plays six- and twelve-string guitar, five-string banjo, mandolin, fiddle, bass, Cajun accordion, and Dobro. Martin is music teaches at and is co-director of Banjo Camp North and Old Time Music Camp North, and has performed and taught at numerous festivals.
Anne Hills has become one of the better known voices of the contemporary folk music scene, receiving awards and recognition for her live performances (2009 Bound for Glory live radio show favorite- Ithaca, NY), her unique solo and collaborative recording projects (2001 WAMMIE for duet CD with Tom Paxton, Under American Skies), and her overall artistry and benefit work (2002 Kate Wolf Award, Carole Robertson Award & Kerrville Female Vocalist of the Year 1997). Her song “Follow That Road” was the title cut of the Martha’s Vineyard Songwriter Retreat and has enchanted audiences for over a decade. Whether she is singing her own song, the words of 6 year old Opal Whiteley, or the Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley; accompanied with her guitar, banjo, or simply a Tibetan bell, she puts her whole heart and soul into the moment. So, even if you haven’t become familiar with her voice (featured often on XM/Sirius Folk Radio, The Midnight Special & many other folk shows) you won’t want to miss a chance to hear her songs and stories in person. She’s just begun touring more extensively, winning over audiences with her warm, lively and humorous performances. The AllMusic Guide says, “A stunning soprano tone has made Anne Hills one of contemporary music’s premiere vocalists … Her knack for writing heartfelt songs [has] brought her to the upper echelon of her craft.” and Tom Paxton says, “Anne Hills is such an exquisite singer that it’s understandable that people might be swept up in the pure beauty of her voice and thereby overlook her writing. That would be a mistake. For me, Anne’s writing, in songs like ‘Follow That Road’ and many others, is as direct, melodic and deep as any work being done today. She is quite simply one of my absolute favorite songwriters.”
Rev. Robert Jones, Sr. is an inspirational storyteller and musician celebrating the history, humor and power of American Roots music. An award-winning multi-instrumentalist, he plays guitar, harmonica, mandolin, banjo and fiddle. His deep love for traditional African American and American traditional music is shared in live performances that interweave timeless stories with original and traditional songs.
For more than twenty-five years Robert has entertained and educated audiences of all ages in schools, colleges, libraries, union halls, prisons, churches and civil rights organizations. At the heart of his message is the belief that our cultural diversity tells a story that should celebrate, not just tolerate. Acclaimed photographer James Fraher writes about Robert: “Perhaps the world’s most highly educated blues musician, an ordained minister, a longtime DJ, and a living encyclopedia of blues history, the Reverend Robert Jones is comfortable among juke joint loud talkers, fancy-hatted church ladies, and PhDs alike."
John Kirk is from upstate NY, near Saratoga Springs. His lyric voice, good sense of humor and versatile instrumental skills, have earned him widespread recognition in folk and traditional music circles. On fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo, keyboard and ukulele, John demonstrates a vast knowledge of musical traditions. He is also a dance caller, dancer and composer. John has several recordings, and he has contributed to over one hundred more. In addition to performing, John teaches music at Bennington College, VT, and at Skidmore College, NY. He has always made his living as a musician and songwriter. In addition to his work with his wife, Trish Miller and neighbor, Ed Lowman, he’s part of the band, Mountain Quickstep, the Susquehanna Stringband, and the Dawnland Singers. The Dixie Chicks recorded John’s song, “Long Roads,” and he has numerous theater, television and soundtrack credits.
Trish Miller plays guitar, banjo, dances and sings in the band, Quickstep. She teaches banjo at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, and with her husband, John Kirk, she has been a touring artist, performing throughout North America and internationally. Trish teaches, calls and choreographs country dances. She has an encouraging repertoire of circle, square, contra and couple dances. Her stepping style is rooted in the southern mountains with a mix of traditional clogging and more modern percussive steps. Performance highlights include SAMW in New Hampshire, Great Camp Sagamore in the Adirondacks, the Flurry Festival in Saratoga, Old Songs Festival near Albany, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival and several more. She and John have focused their careers on music and dance in educational settings.