Originally from Kingston, New York. Moved to Alabama at age 12.
1974, formed The Front Porch String Band in Birmingham, Alabama with husband Larry. Disbanded the group in 1982 to start a family.
Has sang on albums by Linda Rondstadt, John Starling, Pam Tillis, Ralph Stanley, Skip Ewing, Dolly Parton, Kathy Mattea, Emmy Lou Harris, Patty Loveless, many others.
Has written many songs recorded by such artists as Patty Loveless, the Whites, Kathy Mattea, The Seldom Scene, Pierce Pettis, Valerie Smith, others.
1990, began touring again with a reorganized Front Porch String Band.
Friends for a Lifetime album (Brentwood Music). Re-released in 1998 on Rounder Records. 1997, released
Silver & Gold album (Rounder), nominated for a Grammy in the Best Bluegrass category. 2000, disbanded the Front Porch String Band once again to spend more time at home with her family.
Lovelight album (Rounder), nominated for a Grammy in the Best Bluegrass category. 2000-2002, toured with Dolly Parton, providing background vocals.
2005, returned to performing and recording with her own band.
New Day album (Rounder). 2007, released
Crowd Favorites album (Rounder). 2009, released
Whatcha Gonna Do album (Rounder). 2013, released
Dear Sister album (Compass). 2013, won her third IBMA award for Female Vocalist of the Year (also won in 1997 and 2010).
Holiday! album (Thrill Hill). 2014, won IBMA awards for Song of the Year (for “Dear Sister,” co-written by Louisa Branscomb and Claire Lynch) and Recorded Event of the Year (for “Wild Montana Skies” with the Special Consensus and Rob Ickes).
2019, won IBMA Award for Gospel Recording of the Year for “Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout,” written by Rick Lang.