Power-house fiddler and vocalist, Laura Orshaw, has toured throughout the United States and Canada with Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass, Alan Bibey and Grasstowne, the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, and Jenni Lyn, mandolinist of Della Mae. Laura has also performed with Del McCoury, Ricky Skaggs, John Scofield, Sarah Jarosz, Tony Trischka, and Darol Anger among others. Her music has been featured on Del McCoury’s SiriusXM radio broadcast, Hand Picked with Del, and in Bluegrass Today, Vintage Guitar Magazine, Sing Out!,andDirty Linen. According to Bluegrass Unlimited, “Laura Orshaw has firmly established herself as a significant emerging artist in the arena of traditional American music… [she is] an extremely talented musician with unlimited potential.” Laura is also a highly sought-after instructor who has taught numerous camps, workshops and kids academies, and started teaching weekly lessons to adults when she was just 12 years old.
Marcy Marxer is a multi-instrumentalist, studio musician, performer, songwriter and producer with 40 years of experience and a shelf of impressive awards. She has played acoustic music on Emmy Award winning National Geographic specials, platinum shipping Eva Cassidy CD’s and on over 50 recordings and instructional materials created with her partner, Cathy Fink. Marcy is a two-time GRAMMY Award winner and fourteen-time GRAMMY nominee whose guitar playing spans a variety of styles- swing rhythm and lead, bluegrass, old time, Celtic fingerpicking, folk fingerpicking and some of the most tasteful backup you can hear. She plays a signature Martin guitar, signature National Steel Tenor guitar and signature KALA tenor ukulele. She is a well-loved instructor at many camps including Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Camp and she teaches online via Truefire, Homespun Tapes and Peghead Nation.
“It is the power of her playing that keeps listeners coming back.” – the alternate route
Glenn Nelson, resident instrument specialist, has been building, restoring and repairing instruments for 20 years. Glenn and his wife Barbara own Mockingbird Music in Berlin, Massachusetts where they build custom stringed instruments and specialize in the repair and restoration of vintage instruments. Glenn teaches five string banjo and performs with Wide Open Spaces and Acoustic Planet, encompassing world music, folk, jazz and bluegrass. At Banjo Camp North he will be available to do minor setups and repairs on site and to accept instruments for more extensive work.
Howie Bursen is best known for his gravity-defying, triplet-filled, fiddle-tune variations and is certainly one of today’s foremost practitioners of clawhammer banjo style. He has taught clawhammer at the Maryland Banjo Academy, Common Ground and the California Traditional Solstice Festival, and his eclectic recordings contain quite a number of stellar clawhammer solos. Speaking of eclectic, Howie is also an excellent singer, song-writer and guitarist, and he makes his living as manager and head wine-maker for a Connecticut vineyard. Howie is working on his new solo recording “Spring on the Swamp”.
Raised on a tobacco farm in the Piedmont of North Carolina, Beth Williams Hartness began singing and taught herself to play guitar at the age of twelve, developing her own unique finger-picking style. Beth was first introduced to old-time music in the 1980s while living in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she became a founding member of the Charlotte Folk Music Society, serving as vice president and festival organizer. Beth has been a vital part of numerous award-winning string bands, and she has won ribbons of her own in competitions for back-up guitar. Her playing is featured on many recordings including The Young Fogies II, Uncle Henry’s Favorites, In Good Company, A Tribute to the Appalachian String Band Music Festival, and several Adam Hurt projects including his most recent release, Artifacts.
Janie Rothfield is an award winning clawhammer banjo player and fiddler who has been playing old-time music “forever.” She has toured professionally for over 35 years, during which she has also been a composer, recording artist, band leader, teacher, and event organizer, with fans around the world. Her clawhammer banjo style borrows heavily from both the traditional and inventive aspects of her fiddle style, and is characterized by great power, drive and in-the-pocket rhythm. She has taught all levels of clawhammer banjo at Banjo Camp North, Janie’s Jumpstart, FOAOTMAD (UK old time group) Welsh Music Weekend, Portland Old Time Music Gathering, and weekends in Germany, Holland, and in Australia! Janie performs with numerous old time and dance bands, and currently tours with the innovative Old Time duo, Hen’s Teeth. Her latest solo CD, “Out of Thin Air,” features 15 of her own compositions.
Beginning his mandolin career in the Carolinas and making his way up to New England via Washington DC, Ben Pearce has played bluegrass mandolin all over the East Coast. Currently playing with multiple regional bands, Ben is also the sole proprietor of the Outlier Workshop (www.outlierworkshop.com), where he toils day and night to create some of the best mandolins and flattop guitars available today. Don’t let his youthful appearance fool you! He knows a huge variety of tunes, songs and mandolin styles as a result of his careful study of many contemporary players as well as first- and second-generation mandolin giants.
Rich Stillman has taught literally hundreds of students to play banjo, both face-to-face and worldwide through Internet lessons. He played and recorded with New England bands Southern Rail, Adam Dewey and Crazy Creek, The Bogus Family and WayStation, and has memorably (at least for him) played sets with Peter Rowan, James Monroe and even the Arlington High School orchestra. Rich wrote “Bluegrass Banjo from All Sides” for Mel Bay, and one of his BCN workshops was turned into a chapter in the book “Banjo Camp”. He is a two-time New England banjo champion, a one-time New Jersey banjo champion, and a six-time bluegrass banjo winner at the Lowell Banjo and Fiddle contest. Rich teaches banjo at Tufts University, Concord Conservatory of Music and Concord Academy and at The Music Emporium in Lexington.
Pete Kelly has played and taught bluegrass and acoustic music for three decades. As an alumnus of The Dale Ann Bradley Band and Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, his recording credits include the IBMA’s 2006 Instrumental Album of the Year, Michael Cleveland’s Let ‘Er Go, Boys! and Bluegrass Now magazine’s 2006 Album of the Year, Dale Ann Bradley’s Catch Tomorrow. His column for Banjo NewsLetter called “Jimmy Martin Banjo,” explored the playing of many of the great banjo pickers who have been part of Jimmy Martin’s band, the Sunny Mountain Boys. In addition to private lessons, Pete has led workshops at festivals throughout the U.S. and U.K.
Dave Kiphuth began playing banjo and guitar in 1962, deeply involved in the New Haven bluegrass and folk scene. By 1963, he was playing with Billy Hamilton’s New Haven based band The Ohio River Boys and later helped found the seminal CT group Apple Country. After moving to Saratoga Springs NY, he had a seven-year stretch with John Rossbach’s Chestnut Grove, and was a member of Bluegrass Union with Phil Rosenthal, Phil Zimmerman, Stacy Philips and Beth Sommers. Equally influenced by hard line Bluegrass pioneers like Earl Scruggs and Ralph Stanley, and the greats of Round Peak clawhammer style, he formed the bluegrass/old time fusion band Red Hen with Jane Rothfield, Alan Carr and his late wife Linda Schrade. Dave is currently a core member of Cecil Abel’s New England Bluegrass Band, and bluegrass-synthesis band Bolt Hill, both based in the Maine/New Hampshire seacoast region. He’s also a professional artist/illustrator, happy in the woods of Eliot ME with his cat family.