The Artists

Alison Brown

No Boundaries Photo by Russ Harrington She has been called a Renaissance woman and a trailblazer and Alison Brown’s groundbreaking accomplishments certainly live up to those claims. While she is widely known as a banjo player, calling her a banjo player is like calling Picasso just a painter.  Over the course of her distinguished career,…

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Walkin’ in My Shoes

Photo by Irene Young Maybe there really was something in the water in San Francisco back in the day. “The City,” as it’s called throughout northern California, is different from other American cities in countless ways: historically, culturally, politically, demographically and on and on. The poet Dylan Thomas once wrote, “You wouldn’t think that such…

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What Are They Doing in Heaven Today?

Dodi Kallick, Kathy’s mother, was a prominent folk singer in Chicago in the 1950s and 1960s. Playing guitar and dulcimer to accompany her singing, she was among the handful of performers and enthusiasts who established Chicago as a folk music mecca at the time. She was an early instructor at the Old Town School of…

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After 15 years, Montz Matsumoto (Montz) has released a new recording titled Missing Home. Who is Montz? He is one of the premier banjo players in Australia. Missing Home is an eclectic mix of Montz originals, old-time and bluegrass standards, and Irish-flavored tunes. For example, Montz plays “Jerusalem Ridge” with his Nechville LC banjo in open E tuning while staying true to the Monroe melody. The title cut “Missing Home” features a wonderful flute accompaniment that follows the melody line beautifully.

Missing Home

Photo by Melanie Lunden Montz is a fascinating character. He lives off the grid, four miles up a mostly gravel road on Cradoc Hill, which is approximately 30 miles southwest of Hobart, Tasmania. His one-room house with a loft is solar powered, and he uses a rocket stove for heat when needed. Montz is a…

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Lovin’ of the Game

Photo by Amy Richmond Michael Cleveland is a well-recognized bluegrass fiddle master. Originally from Henryville, Indiana, Cleveland was born completely blind. Later, a childhood ear infection caused him to lose 80% of his hearing in his left ear and some in his right. Even with this diminishment in hearing, to paraphrase Vince Gill, Cleveland hears better…

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The Petersens (left to right): Matt Petersen, Ellen Petersen Haygood, Julianne Petersen, Katie Petersen, Karen Petersenm and Emmet Franz

Petersens

Photo by Aaron Clark Photography Some family musical partnerships are marked as much by personal conflict as by blood harmony. This is not the case with The Petersens, a family bluegrass band that has become a favorite in Branson, Missouri. With four siblings as the core of the band, anchored by their parents, both musicians,…

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