Brad Leftwich has long been considered a gold standard for traditional old-time fiddling, and a highly regarded banjo player and singer as well. He grew up in Oklahoma and took up the banjo and fiddle as a teenager, inspired by the banjo/fiddle duets of his grandfather and great-uncle and the guitar-playing and singing of his father. He learned directly from such legendary masters as Tommy Jarrell, Melvin Wine, Violet Hensley, and the Hammonds family. In more than 40 years as a performer, he has released 12 feature recordings, appeared on dozens of anthologies, and created teaching materials that define the genre. He has entertained at the White House, backed up Doc Watson on stage, and counts the late Buck Owens and John Hartford among his admirers. For more about Brad, go to www.bradleftwich.net and also see the Brad Leftwich youtube channel.
Linda Higginbotham is best known for her musical collaboration with Brad, beginning in the early 1980s when they traveled extensively, learning traditional music from the last surviving practitioners of the art and performing at major folk festivals. Linda grew up in a musical home and learned to play guitar from her father, a Tin Pan Alley songwriter. Although born into a family proud of its long pioneer heritage, she was first introduced to old-time music by Miles Krassen while living in the tenements of the lower East Side of New York! In 1971 she moved to Bloomington, Indiana, where she helped start an active community based on old-time music and dance. She began playing clawhammer banjo and banjo ukulele after meeting Brad and is widely known for her part in popularizing the banjo uke in old-time music.
Abby Ladin grew up immersed in the East Coast traditional folk music revival of the 1970s. As a dancer Abby was clogging by the age of 6, performing with her sister Evie by age 10, and touring nationally at 18 with the renowned dance and music company Rhythm In Shoes. As a musician, she has played bass with some of this country’s finest fiddlers, lending her percussive strength and blending harmony vocals with sweet simplicity. She has won several top honors in the traditional band competition at the Appalachian String Band Music Festival. Abby is also a member of The New Mules, founded by the late Garry Harrison, with whom she recorded the now legendary Red Prairie Dawn album in 2000.
Sam Bartlett is a nimble, irrepressible performer on guitar, banjo, and mandolin. His original compositions have been profiled on NPR’s All Things Considered, Salon.com, and The Thistle & Shamrock. His evocative musicianship has been featured in the Ken Burns documentaries, Prohibition and The Dustbowl. Sam is known as one of this country’s most engaging dance musicians, and has been crisscrossing the States playing for dances for 30 years. He is also the author of a best-selling book on pranks and parlor tricks, The Best of Stuntology (Workman Publishing.) More information can be found at stuntology.com.