Paul Brown is a respected traditionalist and innovator in old-time music. He started playing banjo at age ten. He spent years learning directly from some of the last southern mountain fiddle, banjo, and guitar players to emerge before the age of radio and recordings. His mentors include banjoist and fiddler Tommy Jarrell, banjoist Gilmer Woodruff, guitarists and singers Paul Sutphin and Fields Ward, fiddlers Robert Sykes and Luther Davis, banjoist Matokie Slaughter and mandolinist Verlen Clifton. He played for three decades with fiddler Benton Flippen, and has been a member of bands including The Smokey Valley Boys, Robert Sykes & the Surry County Boys, The Toast String Stretchers, and The Mostly Mountain Boys. Paul maintains a love of the old ways of playing, but also heeds his mentors’ shared belief in creating one’s own signature sound. He explores tunings, techniques and repertoire constantly on banjo and fiddle. A multiple-time first place winner at the Appalachian String Band Music Festival (often referred to as “Clifftop”) and other events, he has been teaching at music camps and festivals across the U.S. and abroad since the early 1970s. His latest fiddle album is Red Dog (2018), and he’s the banjoist on a new album featuring Tennessee fiddler Mike Bryant.
John Herrmann learned the Round Peak style of clawhammer from its original masters: Fred Cockerham, Kyle Creed, and Tommy Jarrell. He was also influenced early on by the playing of such contemporary old-time pickers as David Winston, Al Tharpe, Blanton Owen, and Steve Slottow. He was part of the Upstate New York old-time avant guard of the mid 70’s, and is responsible for many, now widespread, rhythmic innovations inspired by that style. John’s specialty is playing with the fiddle. He has played all over the world – and in fact is known in Japan as the Father of Old-Time Music in that country. He has performed and recorded with most prominent contemporary old-time fiddle players, including Dirk Powell, Tom Sauber, Rayna Gellert, Rhys Jones, Rafe Stefanini, and Tim O’Brien; he also toured widely with traditional fiddlers Ralph Blizard and Art Stamper. John has played and taught at most major festivals and music camps in the US. As a teacher, he specializes in getting people to play tunes they don’t know, has developed many innovative teaching techniques, and is often credited for having both invented and created a name for “the slow jam.”
Terri McMurray studied banjo intensively with the legendary “Round Peak” player Tommy Jarrell. She’s played with many other great banjoists including Earnest East, Benton Flippen, Fields Ward, Dix Freeman and Kyle Creed. She co-founded the Old Hollow Sting Band (with Riley Baugus and Kirk Sutphin) and currently plays with the Mostly Mountain Boys. She excels as a string band banjo player, and has taught at camps from Pinewoods in Massachusetts to FOATMAD in England. For 2019, Terri will head up our old-time banjo novices’ program.
Lukas Pool is a multi-instrumentalist and luthier known for his innovative playing style and respect for Old-Time tradition. He grew up in Mountain View, Arkansas, in the Ozark Mountains where he started playing banjo at the age of 12, spending most evenings on the courthouse square with friends and family, learning and growing with the music. In 2008, Lukas left Arkansas to attend Berklee College of Music. Since finishing up at Berklee, Lukas has performed alongside comedian/banjo enthusiast Steve Martin, recorded with fiddling legend Darol Anger, and performed at a wide array of venues and festivals including the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN. Lukas is a two-time National Old Time Banjo Champion and a returning guest professor at the Berklee College of Music, and is in high demand as an instructor at camps nationwide. He and wife Eden run the Ozark Banjo Company.
Joe Newberry is a Missouri native and North Carolina transplant who has played music most of his life. Known far and wide for his powerful banjo playing, he is also a prize-winning guitarist, fiddler, and singer. Joe was a frequent guest on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, and was recently featured on the Transatlantic Sessions tour in the United Kingdom with fiddler Aly Bain and Dobro master Jerry Douglas. In addition to performing solo, Joe plays in a duo with mandolin icon Mike Compton, sits in the banjo chair with old-time music legends Mike Craver, Bill Hicks, and Jim Watson, and also performs with the dynamic fiddler and step-dancer April Verch. The recipient of the songwriting prize for Gospel Recorded Performance at the 2012 IBMA Awards for his song “Singing As We Rise,” and co-writer of the 2013 IBMA Song of the Year for “They Called It Music,” Joe writes songs that consistently show up on the Bluegrass charts, does solo and studio work, and teaches and performs at festivals at home and abroad.
Perhaps the best-known exponent of the “melodic” clawhammer style, Ken Perlman is known where-ever banjos are played as a master of clawhammer technique and an expert teacher of clawhammer mechanics. He has been a Banjo Newsletter columnist since the 1980s; he has written several books on clawhammer instruction including the well known works Melodic Clawhammer Banjo and Clawhammer Style Banjo, he has recorded several series of audio and video banjo instruction, and he has taught at well over a dozen music camps including Augusta Folk Heritage, Common Ground on the Hill, the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, the Swannanoa Gathering, and the Tennessee Banjo Institute; he has also been music or co-director of several banjo camps including American Banjo Camp, Banjo Camp North, the Bath International Banjo Festival, Maryland Banjo Academy, and Midwest Banjo Camp. Ken toured for nearly fifteen years with renowned Appalachian-style fiddler Alan Jabbour (1942-2017), and recorded two CDs with him: Southern Summits and You Can’t Beat the Classics. His most recent solo recording is Frails & Frolics, and his most recent banjo book is Everything You Wanted to Know About Clawhammer Banjo. In the summer of 2017, Ken was invited to offer a Master’s Showcases at the Appalachian String Band Festival, popularly known as “Clifftop.” According to organizer Bobby Taylor, these Masters’ events are set up to “showcase the legends who have dedicated their lives to the preservation and presentation of old-time music.” Ken has recently completed work on a book of over 100 arrangements called Appalachian Fiddle Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo, to be published by Mel Bay in 2020.
Native Floridian Scott Anderson has been performing in professional bluegrass bands since the late 1980s; his first groups were Tom Henderson’s Bluegrass Parlor Band and a band he co-founded called Endless Highway. He has since toured in the US and abroad as banjoist and vocalist with the Jim Hurst Band and Keith Sewell; and he has performed or recorded with such well-known bluegrass figures as Claire Lynch, Vassar Clements, Larry Rice, Byron Berline, Adam Steffey, Clay Hess, Newtown, Chubby Wise, Allen Shadd, and Chief Jim Billie. He has also played banjo with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra. Scott has been a featured artist in Banjo Newsletter, for which he also writes features and conducts interviews. He now fronts Medicine Springs and The Scott Anderson Band and teaches private banjo and guitar lessons from his home in Gainesville. His recordings include Endless Highway, Rivers, Another Day (with his daughter Amanda), and his most recent, Tales from the Swamp.
After spending a decade in Nashville, Casey Henry now plays and teaches banjo in Winchester, Virginia. She started out as a bass player for her family band and then went on to play banjo with Uncle Earl, the Dixie Bee-Liners, Tennessee Heartstrings, and her own band, Casey and Chris and the Two-Stringers. Casey has taught at Kaufman Kamp, Banjo Camp North, Midwest Banjo Camp, American Banjo Camp, Augusta Heritage Bluegrass Week, and many other instructional events. She has done several instructional DVDs for the Murphy Method and co-hosts three camps a year in Winchester with her mom, Murphy Henry; she teaches the Murphy Method way: by ear (no tab)! Casey’s newest instructional DVDs are Scruggs Style Fiddle Tunes, Banjo Backup for Fiddle Tunes, and Beyond Vamping: Fancy Banjo Backup. She has a banjo CD entitled Real Women Drive Trucks. http://www.caseyhenry.net
Banjo For Dummies author Bill Evans has taught thousands of players in both group and one-on-one instruction for forty years. He has authored five books, nine DVDs and also teaches beginning and bluegrass banjo courses online at Peghead Nation. His instruction is down-to-earth, highly organized and hands-on with detailed tab examples designed for the adult learner. His mentors include Sonny Osborne, JD Crowe, Bill Keith, Tony Trischka, Ben Eldridge, and Alan Munde. As a performing artist, Bill has performed and recorded with David Grisman, Peter Rowan, David Bromberg, Dan Crary, Norman Blake, Fletcher Bright, and Dry Branch Fire Squad, among others. His 2012 CD In Good Company topped both folk and bluegrass charts as well as making many best of year lists. Former students include pro players Chris Pandolfi (The Infamous Stringdusters), Jayme Stone, Wes Corbett and Erik Yates (Hot Buttered Rum).
Ned Luberecki has been teaching and playing bluegrass banjo for over 25 years, having been part of Paul Adkins’ Borderline Band, Radio Flyer, the Gary Ferguson Band, and the Rarely Herd (the latter won SPBGMA’s Entertaining Band of the Year award several times). Ned has appeared on recordings with Paul Adkins’ Borderline Band, the Rarely Herd, Jim Hurst, Bull Harman, and New Strings. Bluegrass Unlimited has declared, “Ned’s banjo captures that killer tone and technique banjo players die for.” Now residing in Nashville, he is the banjoist for the Becky Bullard Band, teaches private lessons at World Music Nashville, and is a radio personality on Sirius Radio’s Bluegrass channel. His uncomplicated teaching style and fresh, wacky sense of humor has made him a favorite at music camps and workshops, such as NashCamp and Camp Bluegrass.
Alan Munde needs no introduction to long-time Bluegrass fans. From his early creative work with Sam Bush in Poor Richard’s Almanac to his traditional bluegrass apprenticeship with Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys to his 21-year stint anchoring the landmark Country Gazette, Alan has blazed a trail as one of the most innovative and influential banjo players of all time. Along the way, Alan has recorded and contributed to numerous instrumental recordings, including the 2001 IBMA Instrumental Album of the Year — Knee Deep in Bluegrass. Alan has supplemented his recorded work with several instructional publications for the banjo; from 1986-2006 he taught Bluegrass and Country Music at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas.
Jeff Scroggins is an internationally known performer and teacher; he has taken his fiery banjo style to stages in Europe, Asia and North America, and won numerous contests and awards – from state, regional, and local banjo contests to the prestigious National Bluegrass Banjo Championship. He has performed and recorded with many of the top names in bluegrass and his work has been featured in movies, television and radio in both dramatic works and commercials. A well-known banjo instructor, he taught for years at the Swallow Hill Music School in Denver, and teaches regularly at music camps around the world. Jeff now tours extensively with his own band, Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, which also features award winning players Tristan Scroggins, Ellie Hakanson, and Greg Blake.
Pete Vigour has enjoyed playing old-time music since his childhood in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, and has won first place ribbons in both fiddle and clawhammer banjo at numerous fiddlers’ conventions in Virginia and West Virginia. A highly experienced music teacher, Pete has been on staff at Augusta Folk Heritage, Pinewoods Music Camp, Sierra Swing, and Blue Ridge Old-Time Music Week; he is also director of Front Porch String Band Camp, an event held near his home in Charlottesville. Nowadays he plays with the old-time string band, Uncle Henry’s Favorites (which also includes his wife Ellen), with the Lovell Coleman Band and also with Zuzu’s Hot 5. For more on Pete go to VigourMusic.com and UncleHenrysFavorites.com
Fiddle classes will also be taught by Paul Brown and John Herrmann. Check the Program Schedule for offerings.
Jim Hurst Jim Hurst’s mastery of bluegrass guitar is revered by guitar students and widely respected by his musical peers. His eclectic career has made him a remarkable performer, an experienced instructor and a highly sought after session musician. His affability and gregariousness make him one of the most approachable musicians of his caliber. The product of a musical family, Jim was also influenced by the likes of Tony Rice, Clarence White and Jerry Reed. He got national exposure with Holly Dunn’s Rio Band, and had several high profile television and radio appearances while touring with Trisha Yearwood Jim also performed with Travis Tritt and Sara Evans, and then joined Grammy-nominated Claire Lynch and her Front Porch String Band in 1995. Later he formed a duet with bassist Missy Raines; in 2001 and 2002 they earned IBMA Guitar and Bass Player of the Year, respectively. Jim left the Claire Lynch Band in 2010 to embark on a solo career, and has five solo CD’s to his credit: Open Window, Second Son, A Box of Chocolates, Intrepid and his newest: Looking Glass. He performs his show full time and teaches at guitar workshops and music camps throughout North America and Europe. While he occasionally collaborates with other bluegrass notables, he is best known as a soloist.
Guitar classes will also be taught by Alan Munde and Joe Newberry. Check the Program Schedule for offerings.
Susie Coleman of Pegram, Tennessee, has over a dozen first place singing awards from major regional music contests, such as the Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree, the Indiana State Folksinging Competition, Uncle Dave Macon Days and Bluegrass Along The Harpeth. An avid fan of old time music, she co-hosts the PegramJam.com website (offering free audio samples of hundreds of old time tunes) and publishes the popular PegramJam Chord Chart Book. She’s served multiple years as a judge at the Tennessee Valley Fiddlers Convention in Athens, AL,and Hillbilly Days in Lafayette, TN. Susie teaches at home and on the road, giving courses in beginner to intermediate old-time rhythm guitar. She has authored a three-book series of beginner-to-intermediate level guitar songbooks for women called Fabulous Folksongs Every Girl Should Know along with a ukulele edition written with Charlie and Nancy Hartness. At SBC 2019, Susie will help out as a “jam assistant” at the faculty run jams. Also a web and graphics designer, she is the webmaster for SuwanneeBanjoCamp.com! Her own website is www.folkslingers.com.
A vibrant young fiddler, Eden Pool has dug deep to find a wealth of ancestral bones in which she pieces together her particular blend of Old Time fiddle and traditional folk music. Born to a family of musicians while growing up in the Boston music scene, she was steeped in traditional music at a very young age. Eden has studied the fiddle from California to the Isle of Skye with a deep seated love of roots music. Graduating from Berklee College of Music, Eden has found herself equally at home performing and teaching.
Ellen Vigour has been playing fiddle and mandolin since the 1970’s, and has taught at many camps and workshops including Augusta and Blue Ridge Old Time Music Week. She and her husband Pete are the organizers of the summertime Front Porch String Band Camp. Ellen plays regularly around Charlottesville, VA with her bands, Uncle Henry’s Favorites and the Lovell Coleman String Band. She loves teaching fiddle and mandolin, jamming with her students and calling dances. Recently retired from her career as a Special-Ed teacher, Ellen is now happy to have more time for music-making.
Additional guest instructors are TBA.