Category: K

Kahn, Jonathan (Jon David)


  • From Hollywood, California.
  • He also goes by the name Jon David Kahn.
  • He is not the same John Kahn who played bass with Old and In the Way (and the Grateful Dead).
  • He is a screenwriter and country musician who has worked in the Hollywood film industry. His credits include a film called “The Chili Con Carne Club” and the movie “Girl” which was released in 1998.
  • He also has a country band called The Color Green, with three albums to their credit.
  • 2009, he wrote a song called “American Heart” which became an anthem embraced by the conservative wing of the Republican party (The Tea Party Movement). To protect his identity, he changed his name to Jon David.
  • 2016, after performing the song in Washington D.C. with The Blinky Moon Boys, he decided to release a bluegrass version of it (produced by Aaron Ramsey at Mountain Fever Studios).

Kahn, Si


  • From Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • A folksinger/songwriter who is also a social activist in the South. He is executive director of Grassroots Leadership, an organization that works for civil rights, labor unions and the abolition of for-profit prisons. He is also a writer and public speaker on these issues.
  • 2000, released first bluegrass album Been a Long Time (Sliced Bread) with Laurie Lewis, Tom Rozum, Peter Wernick, Sally Van Meter, others.
  • 2002, released Threads album (Strictly Country) with the Kruger Brothers.
  • 2013, released Aragon Mill – The Bluegrass Sessions album (Strictly Country).

Kane’s River


  • From Belgrade, Montana.
  • Formed in 1995 as “Deep River” by John Lowell and Nancy Padilla, formerly with Wheel Hoss. Lowell also worked with the Wyoming band Loose Ties.
  • 1998, added Jerry Nettuno (formerly with Highstrung). Former Wheel Hoss and New Vintage banjo player Julie Elkins also joined the band.
  • 1999, changed name to Kane’s River because they found that another group was performing under the name Deep River. Named after an eccentric mountain man in Montana named Kane Fisher.
  • 2001, released Kane’s River album (Snake River)
  • 2002, Ben Winship (formerly with Loose Ties) joined the band, replacing Jerry Nettuno.
  • 2003, released Same River Twice album (Snake River)
  • John Lowell continues to perform as a solo artist.

Kallick, Kathy


  • From the San Francisco Bay Area (She is originally from the Chicago area. Her Mom was a prominent folksinger there. She moved to the Bay Area in 1973.)
  • 1975, co-founded (with Laurie Lewis) The Good Ol’ Persons (disbanded 1995). She also worked and recorded at various times with the Frank Wakefield Band.
  • 1991, recorded a duet album with Laurie Lewis titled Together (Sugar Hill).
  • 1993, recorded first solo album, Matters Of The Heart (Sugar Hill Records).
  • 1994, formed “The Little Big Band” with Keith Little (banjo), plus John Reischmann (mandolin), Sally Van Meter (Dobro™) and Todd Phillips (bass).
  • Won two “Parents Choice” awards for her children’s albums “What Do You Dream About” (1990) and Use a Napkin, Not Your Mom! (1995, Sugar Hill).
  • 1996, released Call Me A Taxi album (Sugar Hill)
  • 1997, received two IBMA awards and a Grammy for her part on “True Life Blues: The Songs Of Bill Monroe.”
  • 1998, released Walkin in My Shoes album on her own label (Live Oak Records).
  • 1999, formed the Kathy Kallick Band and released What Do You Dream About album (Live Oak Records).
  • 2002, released My Mother’s Voice album (Copper Creek Records).
  • 2004, released Reason & Rhyme album (Copper Creek Records).
  • 2005, released Warmer Kind of Blue album (Copper Creek Records).
  • 2009, fiddler Annie Staninec and bassist Greg Booth join the Kathy Kallick Band. Other members include Cary Black (bass) and Tom Bekeny (mandolin).
  • 2010, released Between the Hollow & The High-Rise album (Live Oak Records).
  • 2011, released a gospel collection, Count Your Blessings (Live Oak Records).
  • 2012, released Time album (Live Oak Records).
  • 2014, released Cut to the Chase album (Live Oak Records).
  • 2014, released a duet album “Laurie Lewis and Kathy Kallick Sing the Songs of Vern and Ray” (Spruce and Maple).
  • 2015, released “Foxhounds” album (Live Oak Records).

Kaufman, Steve


  • From New York City. Lives in Maryville, Tennessee.
  • Three-time winner of National Flatpick Guitar Championship in Winfield, Kansas (1978, 1984, 1986).
  • Writes guitar instruction books for Mel Bay Publications and instruction videos for Homespun Tapes. He is known as the “World’s Guitar Instuctor.”
  • Also conducts guitar workshops and hosts “Acoustic Music Kamps” featuring instruction and mentoring from top musicians. There are “Kamps” for just about every acoustic instrument in bluegrass and folk music.
  • Started his own record label, Sleeping Bear Records.
  • Owns and operates the Palace Theatre in Maryville, an acoustic music venue.


  • “Breaking Out” (1990, Sleeping Bear)
  • “Arkansas Traveler” (1994, Sleeping Bear)
  • “Bullet Train” (1997, Sleeping Bear)
  • “Circles” (2001, Sleeping Bear)
  • “Stylin” (2004, Sleeping Bear)
  • Mystique (2007, Sleeping Bear)
  • “Acoustic Stomp” (2009, Sleeping Bear)

Kawabata, Maro


  • From Kyoto, Japan.
  • At age 12, saw Bill Monroe on Japanese TV.
  • Learned guitar and formed “The Riverside Brothers” with his brother Takaharu.
  • “Riverside” is a direct English translation of Kawataba.
  • 1997, toured with Randy Howard, Don Rigsby, Missy Raines and Kaz Inaba as “The International Band.”
  • 2001, released first solo album, “Carolina Blue.”
  • 2007, released second solo project called “Rippling Water.”
  • 2010, released third solo project “Sunset Drive.”
  • 2013, died at the age of 51.

Keel, Larry


  • From Glasgow, Virginia.
  • Keel is a 2-time winner of the Telluride Flatpick Guitar Championship (1993, 1995).
  • Early days: had a group called McGraw Gap. Also worked as a contract musician at Disney World in Tokyo.
  • 2000,formed a band called The Larry Keel Experience. This band included Curtis Burch, an original member of the New Grass Revival.
  • 2006, formed a band called Natural Bridge with Mark Schimick (mandolin), Will Lee (banjo) and wife Jenny Keel (bass).
  • 2012, recorded “Classic” album.
  • Has a website called Fishin and Pickin combining his love for music and fishing. He hosts various music events for fisherman such as Bass and Grass (Georgia) and Trout and Tunes (West Virginia).

Keen, Robert Earl


  • From Houston, Texas.
  • He is one of the founding fathers of the Americana music movement. He is best known as a singer-songwriter who performs a mix of folk, country, bluegrass and rock.
  • His songs have been recorded by George Strait, Joe Ely, Lyle Lovett, The Highwaymen, Nanci Griffith, and the Dixie Chicks, to name a few.
  • 1984, released first album “No Kinda Dancer” (Sugar Hill Records).
  • 2012, was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame along with Lyle Lovett and the late Townes Van Zandt.
  • 2015, released his first bluegrass album Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions (Dualtone).


Keith, Bill


  • From Brockton, Massachusetts, near Boston. Lived in Woodstock, New York.
  • Popularized a melodic style of playing the banjo which came to be known as “chromatic” or “Keith-style” banjo. His performance of “Sailor’s Hornpipe” recorded by Bill Monroe (1965) while he was with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys is a good example of this style.
  • Inventor of the “Scruggs-Keith tuner”, a device which improved on the original “Scruggs Peg” (designed by Earl Scruggs) allowing banjo players to change the pitch of a string in the middle of a song without having to re-tune their instrument. Keith’s device made it possible to add this feature to a banjo without drilling additional holes in the banjo’s peghead.
  • Learned to play banjo from a Pete Seeger instruction book on a $15 banjo.
  • While at Amherst College, he met Jim Rooney, who was running the college radio station and Manny Greenhill, who later became Doc Watson’s personal manager. Together they organized the Connecticut Valley Folklore Society to promote folk music in New England. That organization played a key role in the folk music revival of the 1960’s.
  • Worked with Red Allen and the Kentuckians, Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys (1963-65), Jim Kweskin’s Jug Band, Muleskinner, the Woodstock Mountain Revue, and other groups.
  • He transcribed many of Earl Scruggs’ banjo tunes into tablature (a form of musical notation which describes finger positions) which later became a best-selling banjo instruction book titled Earl Scruggs and the Five String Banjo.
  • While with the Blue Grass Boys, Bill Monroe would introduce him as “Brad” Keith—because, as Monroe put it, “there’s only one Bill in my band.” (Keith’s middle name is “Bradford.”)
  • Founded the Beacon Banjo Company—which continues to manufacture and distribute the Scruggs-Keith banjo tuner and other parts for banjos.
  • 1976, released Something Auld, Something Newgrass, Something Borrowed, Something Bluegrass album (Rounder).
  • 1984, released Banjoistics album (Rounder).
  • 1993, organized a new band with Jim Rooney and Eric Weissburg (of Dueling Banjos fame) in a band called The New Blue Velvet Band.
  • 1992, released Beating Around The Bush album (Green Linnet).
  • 1993, worked with Richard Greene’s band “The Grass is Greener.”
  • 2002, gave speech inducting the Lilly Brothers and Don Stover (one of his banjo heroes) into the IBMA’s Hall of Fame.
  • 2014, was presented with the IBMA’s Distinguished Achievement Award.
  • 2015, was inducted into the IBMA’s Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. Although he was very ill with a form of cancer, he was present in Raleigh, North Carolina for the induction ceremony.
  • 2015, died at the age of 75, less than a month after being inducted into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

Keith-Hynes, Bronwyn


  • From Charlottesville, Virginia. Lives in Nashville.
  • Began playing fiddle at age 3.
  • 2014, won the National Fiddle Championship at Winfield, Kansas.
  • 2014, was a founding member of the group Mile Twelve, playing fiddle.
  • 2018, won IBMA Momentum Award for Instrumentalist of the Year.
  • 2020, released solo project “Fiddler’s Pastime” (Sugar Petunia).

Kelley, Irene


  • From Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Lives in the Nashville area.
  • A prolific songwriter, her songs have been recorded by such artists as Alan Jackson, Trisha Yearwood, Loretta Lynn, Pat Green, Brother Phelps, Rhonda Vincent, Claire Lynch, Darrell Scott, The Whites, the Osborne Brothers and others.
  • 1989, recorded a solo project on MCA Records which was never released except for one single “You Are a Rock.”
  • 1999, released Simple Path (no label).
  • 2003, released Thunderbird (no label).
  • 2014, released Pennsylvania Coal (Patio), her first bluegrass album.
  • 2018, released These Hills album (Mountain Fever).
  • 2019, released Benny’s TV Repair album (Mountain Fever).

Kendall, Jeannie


  • From St. Louis, Missouri.
  • 1969, began performing with her father Royce in a popular country duo called “The Kendalls.”
  • 1977, scored first number one hit record, “Heaven’s Just a Sin Away.” Won a Grammy (Best Country Vocal Performance) and a CMA Award for Single of the Year.
  • Recorded for now-defunct Ovation Records, also Mercury and MCA/Curb Records.
  • 1998, the Kendalls signed with Rounder Records to record a bluegrass album but Royce died before the album was finished. Jeannie finished the album on her own and Jeannie Kendall was released in 2003.

Kentucky Colonels, The


  • A legendary California bluegrass band of the 1960’s featuring the White Brothers—Roland, Eric and Clarence.
  • The White brothers were born in Maine to French Canadian parents. (There were 17 White children altogether.) They moved to Southern California in the 1950’s.
  • Originally called themselves The Country Boys (1956).
  • As youngsters, they won a talent contest which landed them a job as regulars on a Los Angeles television show called “The Town Hall Party.”
  • 1957, banjo player Billy Ray Lathum joined the band which was re-named The Kentucky Colonels.
  • 1959, began playing regularly at the Ash Grove, one of L.A.’s most prestigious folk clubs. Fiddler Scott Stoneman was added and Eric White was replaced by Roger Bush on bass. LeRoy Mack (McNees) also joined the group, playing Dobro™.
  • 1960, appeared on one episode of the Andy Griffith TV Show. (Replaced in later episodes by the Dillards.)
  • 1964, released Appalachian Swing album (World Pacific).
  • 1964, released Long Journey Home album (reissued on Vanguard in 1991).
  • 1964, released Livin’ in the Past album (live recordings released 1975 on Sierra Records).
  • 1966, broke up.
  • 1973, they reunited for a European tour, with Herb Pederson playing banjo.
  • Clarence became a session musician in L.A. and later joined the Byrds. He died in 1973 at the age of 29 in an auto accident. He is credited with bringing the guitar into prominence as a lead instrument in bluegrass. Tony Rice was inspired by Clarence and now owns Clarence’s Martin D-28 guitar.
  • Roland went on to work with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass, The Country Gazette and The Nashville Bluegrass Band.
  • Billy Ray Lathum joined the Dillards in the 1970’s and worked with Herb Pederson in an L.A. band The Laurel Canyon Ramblers. He also had a San Diego-based group called Banjovi.
  • Roger Bush joined fiddler Byron Berline to form The Country Gazette.
  • LeRoy Mack formed a gospel group called Born Again Bluegrass and later, Gloryland. He has also recorded several solo projects and continues to tour, performing at festivals and churches.
  • 2016, Clarence White was inducted into the IBMA’s Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.
  • 2017, Roland White was inducted into the IBMA’s Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.
  • 2019, the Kentucky Colonels (as a band) were inducted into the IBMA’s Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

Kentucky Gentlemen, The


  • From Kentucky.
  • Formed in 1973 by Marvin Davis (mandolin), Dennis Barret (guitar, lead vocals), Ralph King (banjo), Avery Gabbard (bass) and Roger Smith (fiddle). Glenn Duncan also played fiddle with this band.
  • 1974, released “Headin’ South” album on Pine Tree Records.
  • 1975, released “True Bluegrass” album on King Bluegrass Records.
  • 1976, released “A Day in October” album on King Bluegrass Records.
  • 1977, released “Kentucky Heritage” album on King Bluegrass Records.
  • 1978, released “Most Requested” album on Old Homestead Records.
  • 1982, released “New Time” album on Old Homestead Records.
  • 1982, released “Who Will Open the Church Door” album on Old Homestead Records.

Kickin’ Grass


  • From Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Members: Lynda Dawson (guitar), Jamie Dawson (mandolin), Ben Walters (banjo), Patrick Walsh (bass), Matt Hooper (fiddle).
  • Formed in 2000, as backup group for the Chapel Hill Cloggers.
  • 2003, won a talent contest in Raleigh and used prize money to finance their first recording Backroads (2004, no label), produced by Steve Dilling of IIIrd Tyme Out.
  • 2005, released On the Short Rows album (no label).
  • 2008, released Kickin Grass Band album (no label).
  • 2012, released Walk With Me album (Superfan) featuring a more progressive sound.

Kilby, Cody


  • From Nashville, Tennessee
  • Two time Juvenile National Banjo, Guitar and Mandolin Champion.
  • Signed an endorsement contract with Gibson at age ten.As a teenager, won the Kentucky State Banjo Championship, the Georgia State Banjo Championship and both the Winfield National Guitar and Mandolin championships.
  • 1993, appeared at the IBMA Awards Show as part of the Bluegrass Youth All-Stars.
  • 1996, worked with the band High Lonesome at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta
  • 1997, appeared on TNN’s Prime Time Country with Dick Clark, Grandpa Jones and Loretta Lynn.
  • 1997, released Just Me (Rebel Records), playing all the instruments (guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass and Dobro™).
  • 2000, joined Sally Jones and the Sidewinders.
  • 2001, joined Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, playing lead guitar.
  • 2008, released solo project Many Roads Traveled (Rebel).
  • 2015, joined The Traveling McCoury’s.

Kincaid, Jackie


  • From Meadowbrook, West Virginia.
  • Plays mandolin with the Cumberland Highlanders TV Show. Has also worked with Larry Sparks, Mac Wiseman, Wayne Lewis, Tom Ewing, Josh Graves, James Monroe, other bands.
  • 1979, joined Larry Sparks’ band.
  • 1982, performed at the World’s Fair in Knoxville.
  • 2006-2012, joined Larry Sparks’ band a second time.
  • 2007, released solo project Second Time Around (no label).
  • 2008, released Where Did You Go? album (no label).
  • 2012, a benefit concert was held at the Station Inn in Nashville to help him with medical expenses following back surgery.

Kimmel, Dick


  • From Southcentral Minnesota.
  • Has played bluegrass music since the 1950’s with groups like Mountain Grass, Flint Hill Special, F&W String Band, Wild Turkey String Band, Southern Sounds of Grass, Kimmel, Rosenstein & Company, others.
  • Plays mandolin, guitar, and clawhammer banjo. Also a singer and songwriter.
  • Has written numerous articles and record reviews for Bluegrass Unlimited and other publications. Has written album liner notes for several artists, including Del McCoury.
  • Has a Ph.D in biology. Works as a wildlife biologist for Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources.
  • Hobby: wild turkey hunting.
  • Called “The Ambassador of Bluegrass” because of his international involvements in bluegrass music. He was chairman of the IBMA’s International Committee.
  • 1992, released “Wild Turkey Rag” album (Copper Creek).
  • 1994, released Road to Braemar album with Leo Rosenstein (Copper Creek).
  • 1996, released Ramblin Away album by Kimmel, Rosenstein & Co. (Copper Creek).
  • 1996, released 25 Year Collection album (Copper Creek), a collection of his recordings from 1969-1991.
  • 2000, released Fishin’ Creek Blues: Clawhammer Banjo Recordings album (Copper Creek).
  • 2005, released My Lord Keeps a Record album (Copper Creek).
  • 2007, released Somebody Loves You Darlin’ album with Jerrilyn Kjellberg (Copper Creek).

King, James


  • From Cana, Virginia but lived most of his life in Amelia, Virginia at the foot of Fancy Gap Mountain.
  • Started playing rock music at age 12. Was a big fan of Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Steppenwolf. Then at age 15, someone turned him on to the Stanley Brothers. “That music was in my blood all the time, I just didn’t know it.”
  • He was a furniture refinisher by trade.
  • His father was a fiddler. He was also strongly influenced by Ted Lundy.
  • 1982, played with a band called the Chesapeake Bay Boys.
  • 1983, joined Dealer’s Choice
  • 1985-8, joined the Blinky Moon Boys
  • 1985, recorded with Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys.
  • 1988, formed his first band: James King, Brian Wetzel and the Misty Valley Boys.
  • 1989, released “It’s a Cold Cold World” album (Webco).
  • 1991-1992, joined Big Country Bluegrass.
  • 1993, released These Old Pictures album (Rounder).
  • 1995, released Lonesome and Then Some album (Rounder).
  • 1996, played the Grand Ole Opry for the first time.
  • 1997, won the IBMA award for Emerging Artist of the Year.
  • 1997, recorded with Dudley Connell, Marshall Wilburn, Don Rigsby, Joe Mullins and Glen Duncan in a group called Longview.
  • 1998, released Bed By the Window album (Rounder).
  • 2002, released Thirty Years of Farming album (Rounder).
  • 2005, released The Bluegrass Storyteller album (Rounder).
  • 2008, released Gardens In The Sky: The Bluegrass Gospel Of James King album (Rounder).
  • 2013, released Three Chords & The Truth album (Rounder).
  • 2016, died at the age of 58 after a long illness.

King James Boys


  • From Cowpens, South Carolina (near Spartanburg).
  • Formed in 1994 at their home church, Mountain View Baptist Church. They became known as the King James 1611 Boys, named after the King James edition of the Bible that was first published in 1611 (which is still widely used today.) They later dropped the “1611” from their band name.
  • Original band: Randy Spencer (guitar), Jeff Dover (bass), Jarred Spencer (mandolin), Kyle Atkins (mandolin), Derrick Mabry (Dobro™), David Mabry (banjo).
  • 2015, released their “20 Year Compilation” album (no label) which featured highlights from their previous eight albums.
  • 2016, released The Little End of Something Big album (Son Sound West).
  • 2018 band members: Randy Spencer (guitar), Jeff Dover (vocals), Cole Spencer (bass), Milom Williams (mandolin), Curtis Lewis (banjo).
  • 2018, released Time to Go Home album (Pinecastle).
  • 2020, added Josh Greene (fiddle) to the band.
  • 2020, released Living on a Promise album (Mountain Fever).

King Wilkie


    • From Charlottesville, Virginia (although no one in the band is actually from Virginia. Individually, the original band members are from Ohio, Wisconsin, New York, Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee.)
    • Named after Bill Monroe’s favorite horse.
    • Formed in 2002 by Ted Pitney (guitar) and Reid Burgess (mandolin), both graduates of Kenyon College in Ohio.
    • Other band members: Abe Spear (banjo), Drew Breakey (bass), Nick Reeb (fiddle), John McDonald (guitar).
    • 2003, released True Songs album (no label).
    • 2003, released Broke album (Rebel Records).
    • 2004, won IBMA Award for Emerging Artist of the Year.
    • 2005, began their move towards a country-rock sound reminiscent of the Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers.
    • 2007, released Low Country Suite album (Zoe).
    • 2009, released The Wilkie Family Singers, a concept album featuring guests Peter Rowan, David Bromberg, John McEuen, Abigail Washburn and others.

King, Jody


  • From North Carolina.
  • Has played banjo with the Lost and Found, After Five, Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time, New Vintage, other bands.
  • 1998, joined New Vintage.
  • Toured with the Lonesome River Band as their sound technician.
  • 1999, released first solo album “Another Day.”
  • He is a luthier and has his own line of banjos and guitars.

Knopf, Bill


  • From Van Nuys, California.
  • Banjo player of many styles: bluegrass, swing, jazz, pop, rock and ragtime.
  • 1977, released Bill Knopf on Banjo with Hot Off The Press and Friends album (American Heritage).
  • 1979, released “San Andreas Quickstep” album (Ridgerunner).
  • 1993, released “Pacific Swing” album (First Inversion)
  • 1993, released “Bill Knopf Plays Scott Joplin on 5-string Banjo” album (First Inversion).
  • 1994, released “John Philip Sousa Marches Performed on 5-string Banjo” album (First Inversion)
  • He was a member of Doc Severinson’s Las Vegas show band (1979-1985) and was a regular performer at Disneyland
  • He has written several banjo instruction books.
  • 2019, he has been playing banjo with Phil Salazar and the Kin Folk.

Knoxville Grass, The


  • From Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • Formed in 1976. Early members were Jimmy Millsapps (banjo), Glenn Laney (guitar & banjo), Paul Brewster (guitar), Darryl Wolfe (mandolin), Mike Davis (bass). Mark Newton (mandolin), Gary Ferguson (banjo & guitar), Byron Doss (fiddle) and Karl Tomasso (bass) were later members of this band.
  • Home base: Buddy’s Bar-B-Q in Knoxville, where they performed regularly.
  • 1977, released self-titled album on Atteiram Records.
  • 1978, released “Darby’s Castle” album (Thunderhead).
  • 1979, released “Evolution” album (Thunderhead).
  • 1980, released “Live at Buddy’s Barbecue” (Vasari).
  • 1981, released “Painted Lady” album (Leather).
  • Newton left to form the Virginia Squires. He has since performed and recorded as a solo artist.
  • Brewster went on to work with the Pinnacle Boys, the Osborne Brothers and Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder.
  • 1997, Laney formed a new group called The Knoxville Bluegrass Band.
  • 2000, they re-united to play the Graves Mountain Bluegrass Festival (produced by Mark Newton).
  • 2001, Laney died of cancer.

Kohrs, Randy


  • From New Virginia, Iowa. Lives in Nashville.
  • Began performing at age 8.
  • Plays all the bluegrass instruments but is best known as a Dobro™ player. He is well known as a top Nashville session musician and producer. He has toured and recorded with many of the top country acts.
  • As a teenager, he played with a Missouri bluegrass band called Possum Trot.
  • 1995, moved to Nashville and got a job with Tom T. Hall.
  • 1998, joined David Parmley, Scott Vestal and Continental Divide.
  • 2000, joined the John Cowan Band.
  • 2001, released first solo album Crack in My Armour (Junction) and formed his own band The Lites.
  • 2002, toured with Dolly Parton.
  • 2004, released second solo project I’m Torn (Lonesome Day).
  • 2007, released Old Photograph album (Rural Rhythm).
  • 2009, released Quicksand album (Rural Rhythm).
  • He is also a recording engineer and producer, owner of Slack Key studios in Nashville.

Krauss, Alison


  • From Champaign, Illinois. Lives in Nashville.
  • Full name: Alison Maria Krauss.
  • Began playing country music when she was ten years old and bluegrass when she was 12.
  • Almost chose a career in the roller derby. “I couldn’t decide whether to play violin or roller-skate!” she said.
  • Won five state fiddle championships while she was in junior high school and the national fiddle championship at Winfield, Kansas at age 13.
  • 1985, played fiddle with a group called “Classified Grass.”
  • 1987, formed Union Station with bassist John Pennell.
  • 1987, signed with Rounder and recorded her first solo album at age 16 (Too Late to Cry).
  • 1989 (at age 17), toured nationally with “Masters of the Folk Violin” (also included Kenny Baker and Michael Doucet).
  • 1993, joined the Grand Ole Opry. She became the first bluegrass artist to join the Opry in 29 years (since Jim and Jesse) and the youngest at age 21.
  • 1994, toured with Garth Brooks and Dwight Yoakum.
  • 1995, Now That I’ve Found You: A Collection became the first bluegrass album to sell a million copies (certified platinum).
  • 1995, won her 4th IBMA Award for Female Vocalist of the Year (also won in 1990, 1991, 1993).
  • 1995, she won her second IBMA Award for Entertainer of the Year (also won in 1991).
  • 1995, performed at the White House for President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and other dignitaries.
  • She has appeared on soundtracks for numerous movies: “Twister” (1996), “Prince of Egypt” (1998), “O Brother, Where Art Thou” (2000), “Cold Mountain” (2004), others.
  • 2000, produced Nickel Creek’s debut album.
  • 2001, won an IBMA award for Gospel Recording of the Year (duet with Gillian Welch “I’ll Fly Away” from the “O Brother, Where Art Thou” soundtrack).
  • 2003, won an IBMA award for Album of the Year (Alison Krauss & Union Station – Live)
  • 2004, recorded “Whiskey Lullaby” with Brad Paisley which went to #1 on the country charts for several weeks.
  • 2005, she co-hosted the IBMA Awards Show for the third time (with Ricky Skaggs). She co-hosted previously with Dan Tyminski (2003, 2004).
  • 2005, won her sixth CMA Award. She has won awards for “Album of the Year,” “Female Vocalist of the Year”, “Single of the Year,” “Song of the Year,” “Horizon Award” and “Vocal Event of the Year.”
  • 2007, recorded and toured with Led Zepellin’s Robert Plant.
  • 2009 (July), performed for President Barack and Michelle Obama at the White House.
  • 2012, won her 27th Grammy Award, tying her with Quincy Jones for the most Grammy wins. She holds the record for the most Grammy wins by a female artist (she overtook Aretha Franklin in 2004).
  • 2019, was awarded the National Medal for the Arts by President Donald Trump in a ceremony at the White House.


Krüger Brothers, The


  • From Switzerland; Currently live in North Carolina.
  • Billed as “Americana from the Heart of Europe.”
  • The brothers are Uwe (guitar) and Jens (banjo). The third “brother” is bass player Joel Landsberg.
  • 1973, began performing together in Switzerland as teen-aged street musicians.
  • First band: “Undertaker Skiffle Company.”
  • 1981, recorded on CBS records as “Rocky Road.”
  • 1982, Jens played banjo with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys. Was the first European to play the Grand Ole Opry.
  • 1992-1995, hosted their own national radio program in Switzerland.
  • 1998, released Travel the Gravel album (Double Time).
  • 1998, released “Jens Kruger: Profile” album (Double Time).
  • 1998, invited by Doc Watson to play MerleFest for the first time.
  • 2002, released Up 18 North album (Double Time).
  • 2003, moved to North Carolina permanently.
  • 2007, realized a lifelong ambition when they performed with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra to present the world premiere of “Music from the Spring: A Romantic Serenade for Banjo, Guitar, Bass & Orchestra” (orchestrated by Jens Krüger).
  • 2010, released Christmas Magic With The Kruger Brothers album (Double Time Music).
  • 2011, released Appalachian Concerto album (Double Time Music).
  • 2012, released Best Of The Kruger Brothers album (Double Time Music).
  • 2013, Jens was awarded the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music.
  • 2015, a documentary film about the Krüger Brothers titled “Beautiful Nothing” (the name of one of Jens Kruger’s most popular compositions) was released.



  • From Moscow, Russia.
  • The group formed in 1975 as a Russian folk band. Their first exposure to bluegrass was an early eighties tour of the Soviet Union by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. At the time they were called Ornament. They later changed their name to Kukuruza, which means “corn” in Russian.
  • During their bluegrass music years, they featured the vocals of Irina Surina who joined the group in 1989.
  • 1992, released Kukuruza album (no label).
  • 1993, released Crossing The Borders album (Sugar Hill Records).
  • Made several tours of the US and played the Grand Ole Opry.
  • 1998, released Endless Story album (Gadfly Records).
  • The group eventually morphed into an electric band, playing the night clubs of Moscow and disbanded in 2006.

Kunimoto, Takeharu


  • From Tokyo, Japan.
  • Plays the a Japanese stringed instrument called the “Shami-sen” which resembles the banjo.
  • Studied bluegrass music for one year at East Tennessee State University (under the sponsorship of the Japanese government) and while there, recorded two albums (“Appalachian Shamisen” and “Sushi and Gravy”) with a band made up of ETSU faculty and students called “The Last Frontier.” He also performed on the 2005 IBMA Awards Show.
  • He is a well-known musician and storyteller in Japan. Owns and performs at the Tokyo Theatre in downtown Tokyo and was featured in the Academy Award nominated film “Mt. Head.” He is a regular on several Japanese TV soap operas and children’s programs.
  • 2015, he died on Christmas eve at the age of 55.

Kuykendall, Mark (Bobby Hicks and Asheville Bluegrass)

  • From Asheville, North Carolina.
  • His last name is pronounced KIR-ken-dall. He is not related to Pete or Kitsy Kuykendall (of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine.)
  • Kuykendall is a bluegrass veteran (guitarist and vocalist) who has worked with Raymond Fairchild, Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin and other bands.
  • Retired from full-time music in the late 1990’s to raise his family and devote time to his antique car business.
  • 2015, teamed up with fiddler Bobby Hicks and a band called Asheville Bluegrass to record an album titled Down Memory Lane(Rebel).
  • 2017, released Forever and a Day album (Rebel).