Artist Bios

The Barn Owls are an old-timey, country trio from Seattle. One late summer evening, Brittany Newell, Hanna Traynham and Kate Lichtenstein spent hours trading tunes around the woodstove. By the end of the night, they were a band. The Barn Owls bring an intuitive and inventive and bent to the old-time music and early country tradition, mixing high energy dance tunes with tight three-part harmonies on traditional and original songs.

Laurel Bliss and Cliff Perry ©Mike Melnyk

Cliff Perry and Laurel Bliss began as a singing duo in the late 80’s and are now recognized veterans in the bluegrass and old-time music communities. Together they formed the heart and soul of Southfork, a legendary Northwest bluegrass band in Washington and up and down the West Coast. Respected by their peers and beloved by their fans, Cliff and Laurel always deliver a wonderful collection of old-time country duets. When listening to them, you can tell they are greatly influenced by the Carter Family, however, they’ve also internalized and taken their own approach to the material. Old-time country music encompasses a myriad of styles and Perry and Bliss opt for a composed, straightforward approach that, like the Carters’ music, suggests an earlier era.

Based in Seattle, The Tallboys are a hard-working group of musicians well-rooted in traditional stringband music. Their dynamic performances range from busking, concerts, honky-tonk & square dances, and entertaining at weddings and parties. Their long running dance series at the Tractor Tavern is regarded as one of the best in the world for vibrant traditional square dance. Joe Fulton plays fantastic driving fiddle, influenced by early Appalachian &
Mid-western players. Charlie Beck plays dynamic clawhammer & 3-finger style banjo, and is also a great songwriter. Charmaine Slaven holds the rhythm with solid guitar back-up and energetic flatfoot dancing. This band will surely bring the party to this year’s Hermit Music Fest!

Veteran rocker, folker, songwriter, producer, and engineer Mike Coykendall has been workin’ it making audio bliss patties since the early 80’s. He is most well known for his collaborations with M Ward (Transfiguration of Vincent and every album since), She & Him (Volumes 1 & 2), Blitzen Trapper, Sallie Ford, Beth Orton, Jolie Holland, Richmond Fontaine, etc… He was the founding member of acclaimed San Francisco Americana legends The Old Joe Clarks in the 90’s. His own solo records are lo-fi wild rides that are worth checking out. These days Mike combines his engineering and performing skills into exciting and moving “one man band” style live performances, tweaking the guitar and vocal tones and driving the beat home on a tin can kick and oversized lo-hats. You never know what will happen.

The Oliphants are Acoustic Americana Jam - Acoustic music generating enough juice to electrify your boogie! Trunkadelic! The Oliphants are Lee Penn Sky, Guitarist, singer and songwriter, who is a veteran of folk festival stages across the West, brings unbridled energy, boot stompin’ happiness, easy listening grooves, contagious humble-pie vocals and heartbreaking lyrics.  Troy “Rosie” Ferguson on the Standup Bass with pulsating smooth rhythms mixed with classical jazz abandon.  Jake “Gizmo” Englehorn also brings classical jazz training to percussive polyrhythmic funky-funky- get-down.  Bennett Larson Barr on the squeeze box, occasionally plunking on his Banjo or adding to the funk on Djembe and Heather Roberts who’s fiddling is so unbelievable you’ll wonder why her violin does not burst into flame.  This eclectic group brings home what playing music is all about…The Oliphants – Keeping it Trunky!

Slim Guitar Riggins photoGary Eller learned dozens of event ballads growing up in West Virginia and  has writing them for decades. He sings and plays guitar and five-string banjo.  He directs the Idaho Songs Project, plays banjo for the progressive bluegrass group Chicken Dinner Road and presents programs of early Idaho songs as a member of the Idaho Humanities Council Speakers Bureau.

Neil Nelson began his music career on the Oregon music scene in the early 80’s with performances ranging from small clubs to live radio shows and the Oregon bluegrass festival. After relocating to Idaho Neil released his first CD Double Shot Of Whiskey in 2005. Early in 2006 the Neil Nelson Band was formed and released its first CD, It Ain’ t Over Yet. The Neil Nelson Band is now in the process of recording its second CD and has performances throughout Idaho at fairs and special events.

As folk as any alternative musician and as alternative as any folk artist, singer/songwriter Gregory Rawlins is tougher to pin down than a feral cat.  His inventive compositions, austere command of language, and homegrown honesty translates to what one coined as, “Alternatively Bestial Truck- stop Folk.”

The Hi-O Revelers are Devin Champlin and Katy Harris from Bellingham, WA.  They play old time music with a good mix of fiddle breakdowns, mandolin rags, guitar blues and singing duets.  While farming in North Carolina, Katy learned to play back up Cajun guitar for her accordion playing landlord.  She has since moved back out West and keeps herself busy playing guitar and bass in a number of bands.  Devin has spent much of the last decade playing and touring with bands like The Gallus Brothers, The Crow Quill Night Owls, and Maria Muldaur’s Garden of Joy Jugband.  Not a slicked up, modern take on an old thing, nor an archival reproduction, this is simply two people playing music they absolutely love with a passion.  They are equally at home playing a square dance, for a honky tonk, on a festival stage, or sitting on a cooler in a field.

The Roe Family Singers are a Good-Time, Old-Time Hillbilly band from the tiny community of Kirkwood Hollow, MN. Led by wife & husband Kim Roe (Best Female Vocalist, City Pages/Village Voice) and Quillan Roe (Accident Clearinghouse), the band marries old-time sounds from barn-dances, fiddle pulls, and county fairs with the rock & roll passion of youth. Featuring banjo, autoharp, guitar, and Appalachian clogging, the band and family of fans have been regularly filling Minneapolis’ 331 Club every Monday night since 2005. They’ve shared the stage with Doc Watson, Ralph Stanley, Mike Seeger, Del McCoury, the Grascals, and Jim Kweskin & Geoff Muldaur. In 2011 the band was awarded the prestigious McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians; they won the title of “World’s Best Jug Band” twice, in 2010 & 2012 at the annual Battle of the Jug Bands; and, in 2012, won the Minnesota Duet Contest at the MN State Fair. The Roe Family Singers mix original music and contemporary takes on old-time, traditional, and gospel tunes into one roiling & rollicking river of fresh yet familiar American music. Every performance raises a ruckus.

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AUGUST 29th-31st, 2014


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