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
John Doerschuk has been in the sound business for over 25 years. He was attracted to waves and electrons while playing in bands in the seventies, and somehow continues to make a living as an "audio guy." He lives with his artist wife Bessie and daughter Sophie in Cambridge, Massachusetts. John plays piano and guitar and is trying to tame a Dobro.
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.
Bennett is the sort of finger-picking guitar player you can listen to all day- The Shetland Times. He started playing in 1957 and began teaching in 1960, debuted as a virtuoso soloist in 1980 - on the In-Bound platform, Harvard Square Station - and has played above ground, at home and abroad ever since. Early influences include an EP side of folk and cowboy songs with guitar accompaniment his sister Lucy made in 1951, recordings of Etta Baker, Mike Seeger and Duane Eddy, and of course the Three B's - Bach, Bluegrass, and Bo Diddly.
Bennett's classes focus on developing students' individual skill and style, helping you to play like yourself, only more so.
Lorraine Hammond is the most versatile dulcimer player I know, observes North Carolina dulcimer wizard Don Pedi. Lorraine's numerous credits as a traditional singer, songwriter, teacher and instrumentalist include her groundbreaking Shanachie release with fiddler Gerry Milnes, "Hell Up Coal Holler", a Homespun dulcimer instruction series, and two elegant Appalachian dulcimer books with Yellow Moon Press.
Lorraine also plays, performs on and teaches five string banjo, mandolin and harp. Lorraines new CD, "The Opal Ring", on the Snowy Egret label, combines the traditional New England ballads of her childhood with her own songs drawn from that childhood in the Connecticut Berkshires. Reviewer Mark Flanagan observes: " Lorraine Lee Hammond opens her latest CD with some of the sweetest notes ever produced on the mountain dulcimer".
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."
Maura Kennedy has been touring, writing and recording for two decades with WUMB favorites The Kennedys. Along with husband Pete, she has also spent the last two years touring the US and the British Isles with legendary songstress Nanci Griffith. Maura co-produced Griffith's latest CD, and they have written a number of songs together. A vocal graduate of Ithaca College's School of Music, Maura combines her knowledge of singing and live performing with a unique songwriting technique based on dream imagery, and she is an enthusiastic and energetic teacher who loves to see and hear her students tap deep into their own creativity.
Pete Kennedy's main gig is songwriting duo The Kennedys, with his wife Maura. His broad experiences in the folk world include two decades of working closely with Nanci Griffith as lead guitarist and record producer, and prior to that touring nationally with Mary-Chapin Carpenter and Kate Wolf. As a freelance guitar slinger, he's gigged with Doctor John, Taj Mahal, Jackson Browne, and sat in with The National Symphony. His own mentors include Tony Rice, Doc Watson, Chet Atkins, rockabilly legend Danny Gatton, and jazz greats Charlie Byrd and Joe Pass. Pete loves teaching just as much as playing, and he loves to impart traditional techniques in a way that helps each student find their own unique guitar voice.
John Kirk's lyric voice, good sense of humor, and versatile instrumental skills have earned him folk music recognition on an international scale. He plays fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo, dulcimers, keyboard, tin whistle, traditional and original songs and tunes. Themes of many selections are rooted the Adirondacks and northeast woodlands where John calls home. He demonstrates a vast knowledge of musical traditions, teaching at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, and at Bennington College in Vermont. In addition to steady work at the colleges, Johnâ€™s been working as a teaching artist for primary and secondary school residences for three decades. In duet appearances with his wife, Trish Miller, they teach music, dance and entertain for concerts festivals and special events. He is music director of Quickstep, their larger fiddle ensemble with musicians whom John and Trish have worked with for many years. Jazz at Lincoln Center and the U.S. State Department selected the band, Mountain Quickstep (John, Trish Miller, Sara Milonovich & Greg Anderson) for the 2011-12 season of The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad. As a musical ambassador, In addition to performances, he directed workshops and music exchanges with bands from many countries.
John works part-time with the Susquehanna String Band, the Dawnland Singers and the Vanaver Caravan. For almost ten years he worked with Walt Michael & Co. There are ten recordings where he is the featured artist and John's been guest performer on over a hundred more. He can be heard on Ken Burns, â€œThe Westâ€, with Jay Ungar, Molly Mason and on other TV, video, radio and theater projects. The Dixie Chicks recorded his song, "Long Roads". Sing Out magazine said, "John Kirk is a fine player on all his instruments and he sings quite well. With such a widely varied repertoire, there's really something here for everyone. This is one that's worth seeking out."
Trish Miller has been performing and teaching Appalachian clogging since her college days in Virginia. She plays guitar, banjo and sings in the band, Quickstep, with her husband, John Kirk. Ralph Stanley said, "You sound just like my Mother playing that old-time dancing style". She also teaches banjo at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. Trish and John are teaching artists in school music and dance residences and they have led workshops at many camps and festivals. They have several recordings and videos available. Their award winning children's music CD, Big Rock Candy Mountain, has been especially popular on internet radio.
Trish is a dance caller and country dance choreographer. She has a warm encouraging set up for circle, square and contra dances that manages to get all ages moving together in intricate patterns with each other and with the music. Her stepping style is rooted in the southern mountains and mixed with some steps from tap and Celtic repertoires. While working with the Green Grass Cloggers, from Asheville, N.C., Trish was strongly influenced by their mix of traditional clogging and more modern percussion steps. With that ensemble, as well as with John, she has performed throughout North America and internationally. Trish has been awarded numerous grants for teaching opportunities, performances and for organizing folk events. For more information please go to the web site www.johnandtrish.com