As a banjo player, Christopher is noted for his enthusiastic and slightly unconventional clawhammer playing. He has developed his own rousing and driving playing technique by spending hours working on the banjo, even when he was supposed to be doing other things! His style has been greatly influenced by the masterful Cathy Barton and the infamous Dana Hamilton.
As a hammered dulcimer player, Christopher has received various awards, including 2014 Lone Star State Hammer Dulcimer Champion. He also finished 3rd in the same competition in 2012 and in 2013 finished 3rd to our other dulcimer player! He has also competed in the National Hammer Dulcimer competition at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS. He is noted for his haunting, slow pieces as well as his powerful and driving cuts on the more up-beat songs. His style has been influenced by dulcimer masters Scott Jackson, Dana Hamilton (the first two-time National Hammered Dulcimer champion), Bill Spence, Randy Marchany, Wes Chappell, Cathy Barton, David Lindsey, Walt Michael, Tina Bergmann, and Christopher's brother Luke, our other dulcimer player.
As a piano player, Christopher was trained for many years by Mrs. Marie Graham, a masterful teacher and musician who has received three degrees in music. He is noted for his energizing piano accompaniment and his moving lead cuts. He has been under the influence of pianists such as Yanni, Fernando Ortega, Randy Marchany, Toby Stover, and Annette Lindsey.
Christopher is the band leader and serves as the main music arranger. As band leader, he also serves as spokesperson at the group's concerts. His quick and easy rapport with audiences makes for a relaxed, enjoyable (and sometimes humorous!) experience.
"I would play the banjo all day
if I thought I could get away with it!!"
Our Banjo Player
Providing the foundation for the band is our guitar player, Nicholas. He is known for his powerful playing style, his steady beat, rousing bar chords, and harmonizing bass runs. He has been influenced by Dana Hamilton, Scott Jackson, Joe Morgan, Dave Para, Aódan Coyne, and Alex Beaton. He has provided accompaniment for 2 Lone Star State Hammer Dulcimer champions, 5 third place finishers of the same competition, one second and 3 third place finishers in the Lone Star State Mountain Dulcimer Competition, and three top ten finishers in the National Hammer Dulcimer Competition. He has also played on stage with various established performers.
In addition, he also plays the piano and mandolin.
As was stated above, Nicholas is the rhythmic and chordal foundation of the band. He provides the band with bass-end volume and body as well as driving metronomic pulse. He is also one of the main chord adaptors.
As Chief Loadmaster and Packing Engineer, he has the ominous task of loading the band's transportation vehicle.
"We have so much fun
it is a wonder it is not illegal."
Our Guitar Player
Taking up the hardest to play of all of our instruments, Joel has worked VERY hard to become the fine fiddle player he is today. Joel has been interested in the fiddle since he was quite young. He finally got the chance to play the fiddle for the first time when he was lent the fiddle of a dear family friend at the age of eleven.
He has been influenced by Larry Wheat, Lloyd Wright, and Brad Leftwich.
Joel started playing the piano when he was nine and was also trained for many years under the watchful eye of Mrs. Marie Graham. When the brothers started playing together, he slid right into the piano accompaniment role and has since taken it over. He provides the band with more powerful bass and drive.
His piano playing has been influenced by his brother Christopher, Annette Lindsey, and Toby Stover.
Joel is also the band's pennywhistle player. The pennywhistle is a instrument that is very common in Irish music and adds a really nice touch to the group's sound.
He also enjoys playing the bones.
Joel is known for his contagious smile and for greeting and visiting with the audience.
"I love Old-Time music!"
Our Fiddle Player
As the "lead" hammered dulcimer player, Luke is known for his incredible talent and ability to learn songs very quickly. Among his many dulcimer accolades, he is the 2013 Lone Star State Hammer Dulcimer Competition champion. In addition, he is the youngest winner of the competition, winning it at age 9. He is noted for impressive improvisation and his love for playing fast!
He also plays the pennywhistle, the piano/keyboard, the harmonicas, the stand-up bass, the leaf and the jaw harp.
Luke has been greatly influenced by Scott Jackson, Dana Hamilton, Randy Marchany, Wes Chappell, Bill Spence, David Moran, Cathy Barton, David Lindsey and Russel Cook.
Luke is our official "Song Learner", and his role is to learn songs and then teach them to the slow members of the band ("slow" being the rest of the band!).
WAY too slow!"
Our Hammered Dulcimer Player