Performers at the 2022 Austin String Band Festival

We've got a stellar line-up for the 2022 Austin String Band Festival!

Spencer and Rains

Tricia Spencer & Howard Rains are both fiddlers, guitar-players, and singers who preserve and build upon the traditions of their home states of Texas and Kansas. The husband and wife duo are known for their distinct twin fiddling and close-knit vocal harmony. Both multi-instrumentalists, they are steeped in family musical tradition and are dedicated to the preservation, performance, and sharing of old time music. They are also both artists, Howard in watercolor and Tricia in pen and ink, and their artwork weaves in closely with their music.

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Women of Western Swing

The Women of Western Swing is an all female western swing band based out of Austin, Texas. Keeping the traditional Texas dancehall style of music alive and thriving, they feature two and three part instrumental harmonies, tight arrangements, and rippin' solos!

The Women of Western Swing are Sophia Johnson on guitar, Georgia Parker on upright bass, Katy Rose Cox on fiddle, Rose Sinclair on steel guitar, and Karen Biller on Drums.

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Belen Escobedo and Panfilo's Güera

Belen Escobedo plays rare and beautiful fiddle tunes in the Tejano (Texas-Mexican) tradition. Growing up on the South side of San Antonio and working as a professional fiddler since she was a teenager, Belen has preserved a unique style of fiddling that has all but disappeared from the Texas borderlands. Belen has a vast and unique repertoire, including tunes she learned from her grandfather’s whistling and a huge range of borderlands tunes from both sides of the river.

When Texas Folklife and the Festival of Texas Fiddling honored her with the 2017 Texas Master Fiddler Award, they praised her for “single handedly keeping alive” the tradition of conjunto fiddle, a style whose roots predate the arrival of the now dominant accordion in the region. Today Belen Escobedo is the foremost practitioner of this fiddle-led art form that expresses the deep roots of Tejano culture.

Backing up Escobedo are her husband, Ramon Gutierrez, on tololoche, the Tejano upright bass, and Bradley Jaye Williams on bajo sexto, a Mexican type of low-pitched twelve-string guitar. Belen’s first album Panfilo’s Güera was released by Spring Fed Records in May 2018 to much acclaim.

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The Hillsiders

From the shade of Austin’s live oak trees, bustling coffee shops and sloping back yards, four musicians paved their creative path playing the music they love.

Every string they played and note they sung as individual artists prepared them for the four-piece band they are now.

The Hillsiders have brought their respective talents to form a quartet able to heartily portion dulcet melodies and hard-driving breakdowns. Merging old-time and bluegrass genres, they hold firm in their esteem for songs long-handed-down and the artists that created them. Fans of Ralph Stanley, Doc Watson and Larry Sparks, The Hillsiders can’t help but put their own musical stamp on the classics.

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Charles Thibodeaux & Austin Cajun Aces

The Austin Cajun Aces has that authentic Cajun sound—sounds of that tough life of the farms and bayous yet that upbeat and happy sound that represents the The Joy of Life –Les Joire de Vivre.  Their repertoire consists of many of the older songs of Iry LeJeune, Nathan Abshire, Dewey Balfa, Lawrence Walker, Amadee Ardoin, Canray Fontenot, Andrew Cormier and many other Cajun and Creole Masters.  You are sure to “Pass a Good Time” when you come out and enjoy their music.

The band is made up of the soulful accordion and French vocals of Charles Thibodeaux; master fiddling and French vocals of Peter Schwarz, (formerly of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys), Steve Doerr on rhythm guitar (lead man of Leroi Bros. band) and Dale Dougay on drums.

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Chansons et Soûlards

Life in Cajun country is rewarding, but often hard. Cajuns frequently rely on family, friends, and music to make it through those tough times. Chansons et Soûlards plays the French dance hall music of South Louisiana. Music that you can drink to, cry to, and dance to!

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NorthFolk

In NorthFolk, Mira Dickey brings together talented musicians specializing in various northern folk music traditions to take the audience on a journey from Scandinavia all the way back to North America, making stops in Shetland, Scotland, and Ireland on the way. The band is keen to share their love for traditional Northern folk music and will introduce the audience to some lesser known types of folk music as well as more common types. In addition to being informative, the dazzling talents of these musicians will make for an entertaining and lively show; we hope to have the audience tapping their feet by the end.

The band features Mira Dickey (Norwegian fiddle) as leader, with Ian Files (Swedish fiddle), Sarah Lynn (Scottish fiddle), Kevin Kane (Irish guitar), and Evan Powell (keyboard).

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Funyun Creek

Funyun Creek string band is Mark Lewis, fiddle; Beth Chrisman and Joe Dobbs, guitars; Jerry Hagins, banjo; and Amanda Jo Chisholm, upright bass. They’re named after a small tributary that runs from Alaska to Austin by way of Terlingua. 

Christy & the Plowboys

From Texas' Violet Crown of the Hills to the banks of the rippling Yadkin River in Happy Valley, North Carolina, Christy & the Plowboys play music borrowed from old 78-rpm records or picked up brand new wherever old-time fiddling and singing is allowed! Christy Palumbo on guitar is joined by Dan Foster on fiddle, Jerry Hagins on banjo, and Phil Spencer on dog-house bass to bring you a selection of choice tunes old and new, close-harmonies from the hills, songs from a lost Austin and assorted surprises all the way from back east to way out west.

Raised on the banks of the old Mississippi, Christy Palumbo grew up charmed by the big Victrola down in the basement and the undiscovered joys of sweet music from distant times and places. Her partner, Dan Foster is a rabid tune collector influenced by Texas fiddlers like Bill Northcutt, Gordon Starrett, and others.Teaming up with Austin's trend-setting claw-hammer banjo master, Jerry Hagins, and the incredibly versatile and adventurous bassist Phil Spencer, Christy & the Plowboys will serve up a set of vintage fun from a past that you might not have known you had!

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Rosebud

Born out of a love for the traditional country music of the 40's, 50's, and 60's, Rosebud plays acoustic renditions of classic country tunes made famous by Hank, Loretta, Buck, Tammy and others. All the members of Rosebud come from old time and bluegrass backgrounds, and have applied their traditional sensibilities to the material they perform.

The father-daughter vocal harmonies of Robert and Rose Griffith are not to be missed!

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Mayday Mayday

Mayday Mayday is Everett Wren, fiddle; Jerry Hagins, banjo; Ethan Azarian, guitar; and Ginger Evans, bass. They’ve been playing together since May 1st, 2022 but separately since before the turn of the century.