Past Instructors

James Mckinney – Banjo

James McKinney - BanjoJames McKinney is a true Master of the 5-string banjo. One of the most advanced players anywhere and a Scruggs and Reno style expert, James is also considered a leading expert in jazz and theory in the banjo world, having been mentored by renowned jazz educator, David Baker, and Mr. Henry Ferrel (teacher of Chet Atkins and Jethro Burns).

In his early days James played often with legends such as Bill Monroe, Vassar Clements, and John Hartford. James won the South U.S. Banjo Championship at age 15 and in 1982 he won the National Banjo Championship at Winfield, Kansas, as well as first-place in dozens of state and regional championships. He made the first of several appearances on the Grand Ole Opry, The Porter Wagoner Show, and the stages of Opryland at age 19 as part of
“Smoky Mountain Sunshine” combining his talents as a banjoist with those of musical arranger.

In the 1980’s he lived in Dallas and recorded and toured with his band “Danger in the Air” and later moved to Nashville to do full-time touring and studio work.

James spent many years as a popular studio musician in Nashville and performed/recorded with the likes of Porter Wagoner, Barbara Mandrell, John Hartford, and Johnny Cash in addition to a long and close friendship and professional relationship with legendary fiddler ,
Vassar Clements,  with whom he toured and performed as “The Vassar Clements Band”.

James has recorded on many projects and taught at many major banjo camps including SPGBMA workshops and other Master workshops all over the USA and in Australia.

Ivan Rosenberg – Dobro

Ivan Rosenberg - DobroIvan Rosenberg
Since releasing his first solo album in 2001, Ivan has gained a dedicated following for his recordings of melodic, expressive acoustic music on dobro and clawhammer banjo. His original songs have appeared in the background of over 300 television programs and films including The Daily Show, Oprah, Call of the Wildman, History Detectives, HBO’s Making Deadwood, the Special Edition DVD of Serenity, and the Hollywood blockbuster Kangaroo Jack. In recent years, he earned an IBMA Award for co-writing the 2009 Song of the Year; played on the CD Southern Filibuster: A Tribute to Tut Taylor (produced by Grammy winner and Dobro legend Jerry Douglas); engineered and co-produced recordings for Pharis and Jason Romero, John Reischman, The Breakmen, and the Evie Ladin Band among others; and performed throughout North America with musicians such as Chris Coole and Chris Jones. Ivan is also in high demand as an instructor, having taught hundreds of private lessons plus a combined 40 weeks at music workshops such as Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamp, The California Bluegrass Association Music Camp, 108 Mile Cabin Fever Bluegrass Workshop, NBCMS Acoustic Music Workshop, the British Columbia Bluegrass Workshop, SoreFingers, and the Grand Targhee Music Camp

O.J. Laier – Oldtime

O.J. LaierMusic has been part of O.J. Laier’s life from his early days playing trumpet in high school and a U.S. Army band to a busy teaching and performing schedule in Austin, Texas. Inspired by Earl Scruggs-style three-finger picking, O.J. first picked up a 5-string banjo in the early 70s. He was first introduced to frailing when he toured Europe in a Kingston Trio-type trio as part of his Army stint. About five years ago, while teaching guitar, dobro and banjo to students in Austin, he fell in love with playing oldtime clawhammer banjo. It didn’t take him long to get plugged into the amazing picking styles of Adam Hurt, Richie Stearns and many others. He enjoys learning fiddle tunes as a way to hone his banjo chops.

“The traditional style of playing is very addictive,” O.J. says. “If you apply yourself —and do it a lot! — it can get kind of Zen. I am a firm believer in using any and all available material to help me get where I want to go. By ear, tabs, video…it’s all good.”

Alison Brown – Banjo

Alison Brown - BanjoAlison Brown has taken an unlikely path in establishing herself as an internationally recognized banjoist.  A former investment banker (she has a bachelor’s degree in History and Literature from Harvard and an MBA from UCLA), she toured with Alison Krauss and Union Station and Michelle Shocked before forming her own group, The Alison Brown Quartet.  She has recorded 10 critically-acclaimed banjo solo albums, received 4 Grammy nominations and a Grammy award.  Alison has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR’s All Things Considered and in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times among many others.  She is also co-founder of the internationally recognized Compass Records Group which oversees more than 600 releases from the Compass Records, Green Linnet and Mulligan Records catalogs and which has been called by Billboard Magazine “one of the greatest independent labels of the last decade.” Alison currently serves on the board of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce as well as on the adjunct faculty of Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music.


Keith Yoder – Guitar / Mandolin

Keith Yoder performs on and teaches guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, resophonic guitar, bass and drums. He has taught at music camps including Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamp, British Columbia Bluegrass Workshop/NimbleFingers, and the Walker Creek Music Camp. He has performed with bluegrass legends from Bobby Hicks to Dan Crary, and has recorded several CDs, the most recent featuring him playing all the instruments and singing all the vocal parts.

George Anderson – Bass

George AndersonGeorge Anderson is a local musician, composer and producer with a background in jazz, gospel, r&b and classical music. He attended the University of North Texas music school, performed in the acclaimed One Oclock Lab Band. He is a former member of the Ft Worth Symphony and have performed in concerts with the Dallas Symphony. George also toured with the Woody Herman Big Band and has performed in concert with artists, including Marvin Hamlisch, Ella Fitzgerald, Chuck Berry, Willie Nelson, The Eagles, and Doc Severinsen. George was on the production team for the record-breaking “To The Extreme” cd by vanilla Ice. In 2003, George produced his solo debut album, Faces, which was in the running for a Grammy Award in the “Best Contemporary Jazz Album” category.

Currently George is recognized as one of the busiest studio session bassists in the Dallas/ Ft. Worth metroplex. He has recorded numerous local and national radio and television commercials including ESPN, CNN, Coors Light, and Coke. He is also playing on Channel 8 News and Channel 11 News. He has also played on many local, national and international artists’ recordings. George worked as a writer, producer, and bassist on the “To The Extreme” CD by Vanilla Ice. As a music producer, songwriter, composer/ arranger he has worked with many diverse artists. He is the leader of his own private party group The Signature Band ( He has worked as music director for many corporate functions, which include awards banquets for Dr. Pepper, Frito Lay, and Sally’s Beauty Supply, national conventions for Kawasaki, Century 21, Caldwell Banker, and for six consecutive years was the music director for Mary Kay National Conventions. George has also directed the music for sporting events such as the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame and Dallas Cowboys pre-game activities at Texas Stadium.

His work also includes movie soundtracks and documentaries. He also played on several “Barney” videos and is the featured bassist in the “Let’s Go To The Farm” video. He also played on Chucky Cheese Shows “in-house” soundtracks.

George has also done volunteer work with community groups such as the Boys and Girls Club by writing and producing the “Say No To Drugs” song. He has also been a guest speaker for Black History Month.
He has performed for numerous charity events such as the Cattleman’s Ball and Limbs For Life.

George realizes that his talent is a gift from God and has used that talent to honor Him by performing in churches across the metroplex. He currently plays on Sundays at Prestonwood Baptist Church.

In 2003 George wrote, produced and released his own smooth jazz/ funk CD titled “Faces” which was recorded at his own digital recording studio. In 2003 it was in the running for a Grammy Award in the Best Contemporary Jazz Album category

Dale Morris Sr. – Fiddle

Dale Morris Sr. - FiddleDale Morris Sr. was born in Sanger, Texas, a small town north of Denton and is the oldest of six children born to Laverne and Louise Morris. Dale grew up in a musical environment and developed an interest in music at a very early age. Dale’s first instrument was piano, however, through the years Dale later began playing guitar, then fiddle, Dale’s main instrument. Although Dale had been playing several years before reaching age eighteen, it is ironic, that until this time he had not been aware of the numerous great Texas style fiddlers who lived within a fifty-mile radius of him! Prior to this point in time, Dale played with various “bluegrass and country bands” around the Fort Worth – Dallas area.

Dale became aware, however and will forever feel a debt of gratitude to the great legendary Texas fiddler, Sleepy Johnson for his vital part in this. Dale will never forget the night, while playing at a nightclub in north Fort Worth, when a couple in the audience introduced themselves as Sleepy and Sally Johnson. Sleepy, of course, was a famous fiddler, having worked with Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys for many years. Also accompanying Sleepy and Sally were Drew and Jewell Garner. Jewell was the sister of legendary Texas fiddler Louis Franklin! Sleepy invited Dale to a “jam session” that was to be held at the home of Werner Cain. Sleepy went on to tell Dale of the different fiddlers who were likely to be there; Norman and Vernon Soloman, Benny Thomason, Orville Burns, Texas Shorty, Major Franklin, on and on. Ironically, Dale was unfamiliar with most of them at this time, except for Texas Shorty, of whom Dale had recordings (by, the way, when asked Dale will quickly tell you that one of his very first heroes was Texas Shorty).
Dale had no idea, of course, at how important it would be for him to attend this jam session. It is very possible that Dale might not have attended this jam session had it not been for the persistence of Sleepy, who came by the Ford dealership in Fort Worth where Dale worked and insisted he attend. Sleepy knew how important this would be to Dale.

Dale did attend the jam session and to say it was a “revelation” would be an understatement! NEVER HAD DALE heard so much great fiddling! Not only was his hero, the legendary Texas Shorty in attendance, so were great fiddlers such as Norman and Vernon Soloman, Benny Thomasson, Major Franklin, Orville Burns, Dick Barrett, Louis Franklin, Garland Gainer, Claude Henson, etc. etc. on and on. While many current fiddlers, at the time of this writing, know of the past greats only via tape or other media, Dale feels very fortunate in the fact that he has personally known many of them.

Dale won his first fiddling contest in 1967 and being really ” bitten by the bug”, so to speak, Dale became an avid participant in fiddling contests across Texas and in 1972, won his first Texas State Championship. He went on to repeat in 1973 and also won again in 1978 and 1979. Also, over the years Dale has won several other prestigious contests, among these, the World’s Championship, Crockett Texas, in 1979, The Super Bowl of Fiddling in 1979, Colorado State Championship in 1986, The Western Open Old Time 1990.
He has also had the extreme honor of serving as judge in many of our nations most prestigious fiddle contests.

Dale’s love for his music, however, was not limited to strictly contest fiddling. By the early 1970s, Dale was working in the band of Billy Gray and the “Cowtowners”. Working in this band afforded Dale the opportunity to work with the likes of Wynn Stewart, Sammi Smith, Johnny Rodriquez, Carl Smith, Leon Rausch and Red Stegall. By 1975 Dale moved to Nashville Tennessee and became a member of Stonewall Jackson’s “Minutemen”. Since then Dale has also been a member of The Marty Robbins’ band, Ray Price’s Cherokee Cowboys and Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys. In 1981 Dale was named the 17th member of the legendary “Sons of The Pioneers”, the group founded by Roy Rogers in the early 1930s.

Dale became a “full-time” music teacher by the early 1990s and at present he and his wife Tobi own and operate a teaching studio in Boyd Texas. They currently have a clientele of students, ranging in age from 2 years of age to 72, of whom they are very proud.

Dale Morris Jr. – Fiddle

Dale Morris Jr. - FiddleDale Morris, Jr. began playing violin at age three. By the time he was ten years old, he began his professional career performing with the Bar-D Wranglers at the Bar-D Chuck Wagon Supper and Western Show in Durango Colorado. He performed there for the next three summers alongside his father, Dale Morris, Sr. As a teenager, he competed in many fiddle contests, winning numerous championships in the United States, including the Texas State Championship, Grand National Title and the Grand Masters Championship. Upon graduation from high school, he went to college on a music scholarship and performed with the jazz band at Weatherford College, in Weatherford, Texas.

In 1987, Dale went to work in Branson, Missouri, with the World’s Favorite Hobo, Boxcar Willie. He would spend the next three years with Box performing at his theatre, as well as touring the United States and Europe. A few years later he began working with Marty Stuart and The Hot Hillbilly Band touring the United States and Canada. In 1992, Dale was part of the No Hats Tour with Travis Tritt. He then took a brief hiatus from the road and worked at Cowboys Night Club in Dallas, Texas, for the next six years. In 2001, he started touring with country music legend, Ray Price. Thus far his work with Ray has led to numerous television appearances and tours with Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson as part of the Last of The Breed Tour.

At present, Dale is teaching workshops and master classes around the nation. He has been teaching for over 30 years. In addition to violin, he also teaches guitar and mandolin. He is in constant demand for live performances as well as studio work. Dale has played commercial jingles for Miller beer, Justin boots, TDMV and many more. He has also recorded with many artists including Charley Pride, John Mayall, Marty Stuart, Ray Price, Bob Wills Texas Playboys, Chuck Rainey and a host of other artists.

His latest CD is titled, First Noel, which is a collection of Christmas songs he arranged and played in a whole new way. It is a mix of Jazz, Swing, Country and Folk music. It is not your average run-of-the-mill Christmas music! Dale is currently working on two new CD projects due to be released in 2012. Come see Dale perform at a city near you and experience the magic of this world-renowned artist!

Dale Morris Jr.

Dale Morris Jr. was born November 13, 1965, in Ft. Worth, Texas, to Dale Morris Sr. and the late Anita J. Hardgrave. He currently resides in Ft. Worth, Texas. He began playing fiddle at the age of three with his earliest influence being his dad. They would attend jam sessions at the homes of Werner Cain or Bill Gilbert, the best fiddlers around would attend. With these jam sessions Dale considers himself self-taught, learning from tape recordings and vinyl LP’s, never having formal lessons.

Dale grew up around the contest circuit influenced by Benny Thomasson, Orville Burns, The Solomons, The Franklins, Joe Venuti, Keith Coleman, Buddy Spicher, Tommy Jackson, and a few others. He attended the Fiddlers’ Frolics for the first time at the age of six and remembers the encouragement given by Cliff and Velda Fryer in his early contest years. Dale has competed in many fiddling contests, winning numerous championships; including the Texas State Championship, Grand National title, as well as the Grand Master Fiddle Championship. Dale treasures the opportunity he had being around Benny Thomasson, in the early 1980’s, when Benny moved back to Texas from Washington State. Benny is probably his biggest influence in contest fiddling. Dale’s uncle, Terry Morris, was also a big inspiration to him. In Dale’s own words, “Terry certainly raised the bar for all of us in the fiddle world.” Dale also remembers a day he got to spend in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with Orville Burns in 1999, “What a treat that was! We went and picked him up at the nursing home, then went to his son, Orville Jr.’s home and fiddled the rest of the day.” By the time Dale was ten years old, he began his professional career performing with the Bar-D Wranglers, at the Bar-D Chuckwagon Suppers and Western Show in Durango, Colorado. He performed there for the next three summers alongside his father. Upon graduation from high school, Dale went to college on a music scholarship and performed with the jazz band at Weatherford College in Weatherford, Texas.

In 1987, Dale went to work in Branson, Missouri, with The World’s Favorite Hobo, Boxcar Willie. He would spend the next three years with Boxcar performing at his theatre, as well as touring the United States and Europe. A few years later he began working with Marty Stuart and The Hot Hillbilly Band touring the US and Canada. In 1991, Dale was part of the No Hats Tour with Travis Tritt. He then took a brief hiatus from the road and worked at the Cowboys Night Club in Dallas, Texas, for the next six years. In 2001, he started touring with country music legend, Ray Price. Thus far his work with Ray has led to numerous television appearances and tours with Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson as part of the Last of The Breed Tour. His music has appeared on motion picture soundtracks, television jingles, and music videos. Dale is a highly sought after studio musician and has recorded with such artists as Charley Pride, Deryl Dodd, John Mayall, Bob Wills Texas Playboys, Ray Price, Marty Stuart, Chuck Rainey, and many others. In addition to his studio work, Dale teaches at workshops, seminars, and private lessons. He also enjoys judging fiddle contests around the country. Dale is an avid musical instrument historian with a passion for vintage instruments. Dale is extremely proud of his four children Marcus, Michael, Shaun, and Allison, who are all musically inclined and will carry on the family tradition.

Bill Evans – Banjo

Bill Evans - BanjoBill Evans is an internationally known five-string banjo life force. As a performer, teacher, writer, scholar and composer, he brings a deep knowledge, intense virtuosity and contagious passion to all things banjo, with thousands of music fans and banjo students from all over the world in a career that spans over thirty-five years.

In Bill’s solo concert presentation “The Banjo in America,” he presents the banjo from its West African roots to the New World, performing musical examples from the 1700’s to the present day on a variety of vintage instruments, ranging from an African ekonting to a mid-19th century minstrel banjo, a modern bluegrass banjo and even an electric banjo. From an 18th century African dance tune to the music of the Civil War, and from early 20th century ragtime to folk and bluegrass banjo styles to Bill’s own incredible original music,The Banjo in America illuminates as well as entertains, exposing audiences to over 250 years of American music.

Bill also assembles first-rate progressive acoustic ensembles to perform music from his CDs at major festivals around the world. Acoustic luminaries Todd Phillips, Josh Williams, Don Rigsby, Matt Flinner, Barbara Lamb, Jim Nunally, Chad Manning, Mike Barnett, Lincoln Meyers, Missy Raines, Steve Smith, Joe Walsh, Tashina & Tristan Clarridge, Mike Witcher and Sharon Gilchrist are just some of the folks who have shared the stage with Bill in a moving musical feast he calls “The Bill Evans String Summit.”

Bill is the author of “Banjo For Dummies,” the most popular banjo book in the world and has been a Banjo Newsletter columnist for over fifteen years. He has also performed with acoustic legends David Grisman, Peter Rowan, David Bromberg, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Tony Trischka, Jody Stecher, Laurie Lewis, James Nash and Kathy Kallick, among many others.

Bill has appeared at many bluegrass and folk festivals all across North America, including appearances at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (San Francisco, CA); FreshGrass (North Adams, MA) and Wintergrass (Bellvue, WA). In 2012, Bill performed in 12 states, Canada, Germany and participated in a U. S. State Department-sponsored tour of Russia. Venues played in 2012 include the Birchmere Restaurant, VA; Banjo Camp Munich, Germany and an appearance with the San Francisco Symphony.

Bill will make his debut appearance on “A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor” in February 2013.

Bill’s 2012 CD “In Good Company” features 26 guest artists, including The Infamous Stringdusters, Tim O’Brien, Joy Kills Sorrow, Stuart Duncan, Rob Ickes, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, David Grier, Todd Phillips and many others. “In Good Company” was the #1 CD on the Roots Music Report national Bluegrass Charts for the first two weeks of November 2012 and was the #1 CD on the Folk DJ-List charts for May 2012.

“In Good Company” occupied either the #1 or #2 chart position on the California Roots Music Report charts from May to October 2012. This project received a Spotlight Review in the August 2012 edition of “Bluegrass Unlimited” magazine. “In Good Company” has been named to many “Best of 2012” CD lists, including Pop Matters, Folk Alley, Kansas Public Radio, Engine 145, Prescription Bluegrass, and WDHX-FM.

Bill has a Master’s Degree in Music from the University of California, Berkeley with a specialization in American music history and he has been a scholar/artist in residence at many universities across the United States. He has served as a consultant to the National Endowment for the Arts and is the former Associate Director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owenboro, Kentucky.

David Hamburger – Fingerstyle Guitar

David Hamburger - Fingerstyle GuitarFingerstyle Guitarist David Hamburger has appeared at Merle Fest and the Kerrville and Philadelphia Folk Festivals, toured with Joan Baez and shared the stage with Dave Van Ronk, Jorma Kaukonen, Tony Trischka, Duke Robillard, Cindy Cashdollar and many others. His guitar, slide guitar and dobro playing can be heard on his solo albums Indigo Rose and David Hamburger Plays Blues, Ballads & a Pop Song and with the Grassy Knoll Boys on their debut CD, Buckeyed Rabbit. David is also a contributing editor to Acoustic Guitar and the author of several books, including the award-winning Beginning Blues Guitar and The Acoustic Guitar Method, also available on DVD from Homespun Tapes. He lives in Austin, Texas.

When I want to sound like I come from a musical background, I tell people that my grandfather was born in Harlem and learned to play stride piano by ear in the Roaring Twenties, all of which is true, if slightly misleading (Harlem used to be a Jewish neighborhood, my grandfather ran an ad agency, not a speakeasy, and he picked up his “popular piano” chops as a freshman in college). My father played piano as well, mostly Tin Pan Alley tunes, Mozart and Chopin, although one of my earliest musical memories is of running around in circles while he played “Malaguena,” until I threw up. (The other is of watching monster muppets on Sesame Street sing “Lulu’s Back in Town.”) I started on the violin in the fourth grade, discovered clawhammer banjo at a groovy New Hampshire summer camp at age 12, and was subtley re-directed towards the guitar by my mom, who thought I’d stand a better chance at parties that way. My first guitar teacher was Lucille Magliozzi, a bluegrass freak and brother to the Car Talk guys, so while my friends were decoding Van Halen’s “Eruption” I was learning fingerpicking and fiddle tunes, rendering the whole guitar/party thing a bit of a wash.

At Wesleyan University I fell in with a bad lot and, to quote Dave Van Ronk, “I wanted to play jazz in the worst way – and I succeeded.” I did, however, also have my first noteworthy gig, backing up Allen Ginsburg at a packed poetry reading my senior year. He was only going to sing a handful of tunes, but when I asked if I should leave the stage in between, he told me, “no, just stay up here and…meditate.” So I did. He was Ginsburg, after all, and gave me a big smooch on the cheek afterwards (very furry, as you might expect).

On to New York City, where I spent the first couple of years gigging with Freedy Johnston and playing on his first record, The Trouble Tree, before embarking on a decade of playing guitar, pedal steel and dobro in the city’s 1990s alt. country scene and serving as de facto house session musician for a couple of indie folk/singer-songwriter labels. Around the same time I wrote an instructional book, Beginning Blues Guitar, which led to me writing for Guitar Player, cranking out a handful more books, becoming a contributing editor to Acoustic Guitar and interviewing people like John Leventhal, Jerry Douglas and Keb’ Mo’. (That first book also wound up selling over 100,000 copies and being translated into French and Japanese, which I thought was pretty cool. After all, who doesn’t want to be known as the author of “Debutante Blues Guitar”?) After a brief stint as a Broadway pit musician and a season playing on the Food Network’s Emeril Live, I headed for Austin, Texas in 2000, where I helped start a hardcore bluegrass band, the Grassy Knoll Boys, and went on tour playing guitar for Joan Baez.

In 2004 I did my first jingle for Austin music house Tequila Mockingbird, a Krispy Kreme radio spot. Since then I’ve continued to freelance for Tequila and for Duotone Audio Group in New York, scoring commercials for Wendy’s, Autozone, Milkbone, Breakstone’s and AARP, while working directly with agencies and directors on spots and PSAs for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the Texas Department of Transportation and others. In 2009 I began working in film, scoring When I Rise, a feature-length documentary which premiered at the 2010 South By Southwest Film Festival, and Wild Texas Weather, which has been screening six times a day, six days a week at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum since the fall of 2009.

In 2010 I began working with the Austin-based production company Megalomedia, scoring the one-hour reality show pilot Quintuplet Surprise, which aired on TLC in April of that year. Since then I have worked with Megalomedia on two seasons of the resulting series “Quintuplets By Surprise,” also on TLC, the first season of “Heavy” and, most recently, the first season of Shipping Wars (both on A&E) . I can also be heard every week playing banjo on the theme to the History Channel show “Swamp People,” and my music is frequently heard on the Outdoor Channel, the Green Channel, Discovery Science and, of course, the Playboy Channel’s “Search For The Perfect Girlfriend.”

But more to the point, I once played on a Springsteen remake of “The Ghost of Tom Joad.” Now me and the Boss are like this, despite the fact that, through the magic of the studio, we’ve never actually met.


Andy Ball – Mandolin

Andy Ball - MandolinAndy Ball is a mandolinist, mostly known for his work with Mark Newton (2005-2006) and the Lonesome River Band (2006-2011). Born and raised in Metropolitan Detroit, he is third generation of Appalachian immigrant and was brought up playing Bluegrass music with his father and grandfather. As a college student, Andy worked for renowned Bluegrass songwriter, Pete Goble, mostly by recording demos of many of Pete’s songs. Later on, Andy recorded “Hillbilly Hemingway” (2006) with Mark Newton as well as “No Turning Back” (2008) and “Still Learning” (2010) with the Lonesome River Band. He holds degrees in philosophy and is currently finishing a PhD in philosophy at the University of Alberta in Canada where he also works as an undergraduate lecturer.

Andy with the Lonesome River Band

Jack Lawrence – Guitar

Jack Lawrence - GuitarJack Lawrence has been called a “flatpicking powerhouse.” His recordings and performances combine exciting, high spirited and innovative guitar solos with tasteful phrasing in his own inventive style. Well known as Doc Watson’s partner since the early 1980’s, Jack’s inspired playing and smooth vocals provide listeners with performances that span musical traditions. Jack grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and his musical odyssey began at age ten when his father took a job as sound engineer for a local music hall. Backstage at the Lake Norman Music Hall, Jack had access to many of the top acts in the Country, Bluegrass and Gospel fields as well as the local R’n’B bands. As a youngster, Jack took this opportunity to meet and learn from some of the finest players in the business. Performers of the day such as Buck Owens, Don Rich, Bill Monroe, Leon Rhodes, George Shuffler, and Flatt and Scruggs exposed Jack to a variety of styles emerging in the 1950’s and 60’s.

From these early experiences, Jack developed his own talents and found his major influences to be Doc Watson, Clarence White and Django Reinhardt. By the late 1960’s, Lawrence was playing in local Folk and Bluegrass groups and soaking up as much music on the professional level as possible. An after school job with luthier C.E. Ward in Charlotte proved a tremendous learning ground for the sixteen-year-old. Through Ward’s association with Bluegrass Gospel legend Carl Story, Jack started doing guest spots on Carl’s TV show and making other public appearances. In 1971, three days after his high school graduation, Lawrence set out on his professional career.Jack’s professional experiences over the next several years provided a wealth of opportunity and associations that continue to fuel his talents today. In the fall of 1971, Lawrence joined one of the pioneer bands of modern bluegrass, The New Deal String Band. Within months, he was off to Louisville, Kentucky to join forces with The Bluegrass Alliance. After a second stint with the New Deal String Band, Jack spent several years honing the electric guitar playing in rock and country bands. In 1978, Jack tired of the rock scene and he teamed with Joe Smothers in a relaxed folk duo. Smothers and Lawrence successfully toured and recorded throughout the country in the 1970’s and 80’s.


Through Joe, Jack met Doc and Merle Watson and he began to tour with Doc in 1983 as Merle pursued other interests. Since that time, Jack has been playing side-by-side with Doc and the opportunity to partner with one of his most important musical influences has been an infinitely rewarding experience. Over the years, the two musicians have developed a brilliant guitar partnership, capitalizing on both their strengths. Lawrence tours extensively with Watson and also as a solo artist throughout the US and Europe. Jack’s talents are featured on many of Doc’s recordings, including the Grammy winner “On Praying Ground.” The solo project “About Time,” released in 1997, showcases Jack’s amazing guitar style and rich, warm vocals. In 2001, he assembled some of the friends he most admires for an exciting recording project. These sessions resulted in the April 2002 release of “I Don’t Need The Whiskey Anymore” featuring Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Tony Williamson, The Del McCoury Band and, of course, his old friend and partner, Doc Watson. Running the gamut from “Honky-Tonk Bluegrass” to “Gut Bucket Blues,” this recording documents Jack’s musical influences such as Doc, Mississippi John Hurt, Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs and the Allman Brothers.Jack has three children – now grown-up or “nearly” grown and he is very proud of Matthew, Adam and Jenny. Jack lives in Harrisburg, North Carolina with his wife Katie.

Tim May – Flatpicking Guitar

Tim May - Guitar / Dobro

For fifteen years, Tim performed with the progressive bluegrass band Crucial Smith, playing most of the high-profile festivals in the country including Telluride, Winfield and Winterhawk.  In 2002-2003 he toured with Patty Loveless in support of her bluegrass albums Mountain Soul and White Snow: A Mountain Christmas.  In 2005, he recorded on Charlie Daniels’ album Songs from the Long Leaf Pines, and was solo guitarist on the Grammy-nominated track I’ll Fly Away.

Tim has also toured with John Cowan Band, performed at the Grand Ole Opry as a member of Mike Snider’s Old Time String Band and recently played on the all-star Rounder recordingMoody Bluegrass: a Nashville Tribute to the Moody Blues, of which Mark Hurley of Higher and Higher, the Moody Blues fan magazine, said “The jaw-dropping guitar solo on The Voice would cause Eddie Van Halen to weep from insecurity.”

Besides our camp, Tim’s taught at Nashville Guitar College, South Plains College and Nashcamp, and is a national clinician for Breedlove guitars.

Of his playing, Pat Flynn said “Tim always says that I influenced him, but the truth is that I’ve learned something every time I play with him.  I owe him a lot,” and Dan Crary said simply, “Tim May has just become one of my favorite guitar players.”

Uwe Kruger – Flatpicking Guitar

Uwe KrugerUwe (Oo-vay) Kruger, lead vocalist and guitarist, has been playing music since early childhood. When they were very young, Uwe and younger brother Jens placed a guitar on the floor between them and played it together, one brother taking the upper three strings and the other the lower three. Uwe was introduced to American folk music through the brothers’ father, who would return to Switzerland from business trips to the United States with folk music records. For more than twenty-five years Uwe has been playing guitar and singing as a professional musician. Performing in Switzerland’s relatively limited music market required Uwe to develop versatility, and he became proficient on other instruments including the electric guitar and the banjo.

Today, Uwe astonishes audiences with his blend of guitar styles. His rich, resonant, and mellow baritone voice has an uplifting affect on all who hear him sing. Diverse influences range from Doc Watson, Jerry Garcia, and Eric Clapton, to Beethoven, Bach, and Brahms. Uwe’s unique style, a blend of flat picking and finger picking, is an experience to behold.

For more information about Uwe, visit:

Robert Bowlin – Guitar

Robert BowlinAs a Blue Grass Boy: Robert Bowlin was the last fiddler to join the Blue Grass Boys. He plays on the recording of “Boston Boy” that closes the boxed set “Music of Bill Monroe, 1936-1994”

Recording Sessions: 1/9/1994

Before and After: A multi-instrumentalist, Bowlin won the 1979 National Guitar Championship. He has created audio lessons in twin guitar and twin mandolin playing for Musicians’ Workshop, and has recorded as a sideman with many bluegrass and country artists. He has been a member of the Osborne Brothers’ and Kathy Mattea’s bands, and currently plays lead guitar and fiddle with the group Shady Mix.

For more information about Robert, visit: