2020 Instructors Bios

Kellie Allen

An accomplished old-time singer and sought-after backup guitarist and bass player, Kellie Allen hails from Kansas but now lives in Oxford, Pennsylvania with her husband, Pete Peterson. She started playing old-time tunes with her brother, fiddler and banjo player Greg Allen, while she was in her teens and was inspired to sing and play by her musical family. She served a stint in Pay Attention, a 1980s indie rock band, and later toured Europe playing old time music with the Delaware River Band. Known for her Riley Puckett-esque backup style, she sings old-time and early country duets with her partner Pete Peterson, teaches old-time guitar, bass, and singing at festivals and music camps, and has won prizes with the Orpheus Supertones and Waking Up Tillie, as well as individual awards in old time singing. She and Pete have a CD of duets titled “I’ll Never Forsake You.” http://www.mudthumper.com/orpheus-supertones.html






 Riley Baugus
Riley Baugus represents the very best of old time clawhammer banjo and song. His powerful singing voice and his expert musicianship place him squarely in the next generation of the quality American roots tradition.

He is a native of the southern Appalachians. His family roots lie in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, and he grew up learning the music of the region from older musicians in the area. In his performances, Riley focuses on old time songs, ballads and tunes from the Blue Ridge, and the stories that accompany them.
Riley has been called on to play and sing on many projects through the years, including for the Academy Award winning film, Cold Mountain, the multi-Grammy winning recording by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Raising Sand, and with Willie Nelson on his recording, Country Music.
He makes his home near Walkertown, NC, where, when not performing or teaching, he builds finely, handcrafted old time banjos.

Laura Boosinger

Laura Boosinger has been studying and performing traditional Southern Appalachian music since she was a student at Warren Wilson College. At WWC she began to learn clawhammer banjo, to call southern mountain square dances and teach Shaped Note singing. Laura performs solo, as one of David Holt’s Lightning Bolts, with the legendary Midnight Plowboys and with her duet partner Josh Goforth. Laura is also the Executive Director of the Madison County Arts Council and works as a consultant for The Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina.





David Bragger and Susan Platz

David Bragger is a Los Angeles-based old-time musician, instructor and founder of The Old-Time Tiki Parlour. After years of studying with his mentors Mel Durham and Tom Sauber and visiting old-time musicians including Dan Gellert, Charlie Acuff, Benton Flippen, Clyde Davenport and Joe Thompson, David has become a go-to-guru for learning old-time fiddle and bowing techniques as well as old-time banjo. He has students all over the world and is in great demand as a workshop teacher at traditional music festivals and camps. David is also the Old-Time String Band Ensemble director in the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology. In addition to teaching, he documents the greatest living old-time musicians for future generations through his critically-acclaimed label: Tiki Parlour Recordings.
Susan Platz, originally from Illinois, became a permanent member of the old-time band Sausage Grinder after years of studying fiddle with David Bragger. Her bowing rhythms and harmonies fit hand in glove with David’s fiddle and banjo. She is also a tremendously powerful singer whose is known to yodel on occasion. After experimenting with double fiddle arrangements for several years, Susan and David recorded the very first American old-time double fiddle album and have been in high demand as workshop instructors ever since.
“Bragger and Platz’s contrapuntal, droney playing winds through crooked, mysterious, and deeply groovy, minimalist jams that are just as likely to get you dancing as trancing.” –Dusted Magazine
Sally in the Garden – David Bragger & Susan Platz

Amy Buckingham

Amy Buckingham says she is living proof that life begins at 40.  That’s when she received a fiddle as a birthday present, and nothing has been the same since then.  Amy began music lessons on various instruments at a very young age (5) and has played many since then.  In her earlier adult life she played Celtic bouzouki and mandolin, with some old time mixed in.  Her deep love and appreciation for old time music also began at 40, and she has never looked back.  Amy learned fiddle and banjo from Dwight Diller and Marvin Gaster.  She met her husband Bob at a fiddler’s convention when she asked him to show her how to drop-thumb, and he has been her mentor since then on fiddle, banjo, guitar and mandolin.  Amy teaches bass, fiddle and mandolin in JAM programs and privately.  Bob and Amy play folk music, blues and old time together as The Blue Ridge Rounders, and Amy sings and plays fiddle, guitar and mandolin in the all-female, old time, BattleAxe Band, based in the Upstate of South Carolina.  Amy first attended Blue Ridge Old Time Music Week as a student in 1999 and has been on staff as co-director since 2017.

Bob Buckingham

Bob BuckinghamBob Buckingham (OTB): Bob Buckingham (OTB) has played banjo since the late 1960’s. For the past 15 years he has taught private lessons in Greenville, SC at 5th String Music and has taught at Blue Ridge Old Time Music Week in Mars Hill and teaches regularly at the John C. Campbell Folk School. He has appeared at festivals and contests winning numerous ribbons. He also has taught workshops throughout the South and Mid-Atlantic regions. He writes for Fiddler Magazine and Bluegrass Unlimited as well as occasionally for Banjo Newsletter.

Susie Coleman

On Susie Coleman’s living room wall hang eight first place singing awards from the annual Old-Time Singing competition at Middle Tennessee’s Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree, two from the Indiana State Folksinging contest, plus top awards at Uncle Dave Macon Days, Bluegrass Along The Harpeth and numerous other traditional music competitions. A lifelong musician and rhythm guitar player, she has since served multiple years as a judge at regional fiddlers conventions and written a series of four songbooks entitled Fabulous Folksongs Every Girl Should Know. Susie and fiddler-husband Kirk Pickering run the PegramJam.com website offering free audio recordings of hundreds of old-time tunes, and created the popular Pegram Jam Chord Chart Book. In addition to giving rhythm guitar and singing lessons, Susie is a web and graphics designer. Visit her website at folkslingers.com.



Hilary Dirlam

Hilary Dirlam learned to play clawhammer banjo over several years of listening to and playing with western North Carolina fiddler Gordon Freeman. Besides playing and teaching old-time tunes from the US, she works with Nepali musicians Parashuram and Achyut Ram Bhandari playing both Nepali and American tunes. With fiddler Mary Gordon, she is the co-author of several books of tunes for both fiddle and banjo, the All-in-One series. Hilary plays banjo locally with the North Carolina Chickpeas, and regionally and beyond with the Reed Island Rounders and the Orpheus Supertones. Hilary has taught banjo workshops at the John C Campbell Folk School, theAlabama Folk School and the Western North Carolina Banjo Clinic, among others. She has taught All-in-One workshops with Mary Gordon in North and South Carolina, Ohio, and in the UK.

With fiddler Mary Gordon, Hilary has co-authored several books in the All-In-One series, an innovative approach to old-time music including banjo tab and fiddle notation on facing pages. Her book Banjo Without Tears includes interesting tunes for aspiring banjo players. All books include CDs. To find out more, visit www.hilarydirlam.com. For information on the All-In-One books and workshops, visit the All-in-One Facebook page.


Kari Sickenberger and Laurelyn Dossett

Kari Sickenberger is a singer and songwriter from Asheville, NC. She and singing partner, Laurelyn Dossett founded the band Polecat Creek and they have made three records together with world class banjo player Riley Baugus. Kari has been leading singing classes and workshops for more than a decade. Kari draws on her vast experience as a Spanish and English teacher and her lifelong love for and experience with music to create a safe and encouraging environment for new and experienced singers alike.




Rachel Eddy

Rachel Eddy is a native of West Virginia who grew up in a musical family steeped in the traditions of Appalachian music and dance. Now based in Washington, D.C., Rachel is known throughout the world as both a dynamic, emotionally powerful performer and an engaging, thoughtful teacher. Rachel’s soulful singing and multi-instrumental finesse—including fiddle, banjo, guitar, and mandolin—may be heard on numerous solo and collaborative recordings as well as at dances and jam sessions, where Rachel is dedicated to fostering community and sharing a love of music with others.

Rachel’s performances, workshops, and festival appearances have featured both a creative range as a soloist and an energetic engagement with fellow musicians part of various ensembles, including the Ken and Brad Kolodner Quartet, the Early Mays, and a European tour with Uncle Earl. Rachel has shared a passion for music teaching at the Alabama Folk School, Augusta Heritage Center, Common Ground, Kauffman Kamp, Nashville Fiddle and Banjo Camp, Sore Fingers, and many others. While living in Sweden from 2008-14, Rachel invigorated the Swedish old-time scene and inspired dozens of people to take up Appalachian music and dance. Always up for new artistic challenges, Rachel collaborated on the soundscape for, and performed in, the Indiana Repertory Theatre’s 2019 performance of Amber Waves.

A passionate teacher, Rachel regularly teaches private lessons as well as workshops. Rachel is committed to ensuring an inclusive classroom, in which all students can succeed and experience the joy of developing their own musical talents—whether as beginners or long-time players. Indeed, Rachel’s students frequently remark on their teacher’s ability to lead them through a well-thought-out musical journey that leaves them more deeply connected with their instruments and inner creativity.

Rachel has four full-length albums: The Morgantown Rounders (2006); Hand on the Plough (solo, 2008); Chilly Winds (with Kristian Herner, 2010); and Nothin’ But Corn(solo, 2014). Among other recent projects, Rachel produced and performed on Roger Netherton’s eponymous debut album (2018), and was featured on Ken and Brad Kolodner’s The Swift House (2017). As part of the trio The Early Mays, Rachel has also recorded Chase the Sun (2017). Rachel has a variety of other projects underway for release in 2019 and beyond.



Charlie and Nancy Hartness

Charlie and Nancy Hartness have played old-time string band music together for more than twenty years. Some years ago Charlie tired of the way the guitar hurt his hand and he picked up a ukulele that a friend bought at the Goodwill. He sold his guitar in short order. Charlie and Nancy live in Athens, Georgia, where they are known as the duo Hawk Proof Rooster. www.hawkproofrooster.com





Evan Kinney

Evan Kinney grew up in a family of old time music in his native Kennesaw, Georgia. He learned from his father at an early age and has continued to hone his skills by studying the eccentric guitar playing of 20’s recording artists such as Riley Puckett, Slim Bryant and Melvin Dupree. Also a fiddler and banjo player, Evan has performed with bands such as The HickHoppers, Georgia Crackers and Dixieland Squirrel Skinners and has taught traditional music at John C Campbell, The Alabama Folk School, Festival of American Fiddle Tunes and The Brooklyn Folk Fest.



Mick Kinney

Mick Kinney has been playing traditional fiddle since the 1970’s, and is skilled in a multitude of instruments in an eclectic repertoire, which includes Cajun, blues, rags, and swing. Mick has taught old-time music at The Swannanoa Gathering, the Alabama Folk School, and the Blue Ridge Old-time Music Week, among others, and performs regularly with his string band, The Georgia Crackers. To learn more about his band and to hear them play, go to https://www.facebook.com/georgiacrackers/app_155326481208883







Nadine Landry and Sammy Lind

Nadine Landry was born and raised in a musical family on the Gaspe Peninsula on the east coast of Quebec.
In early 2000, she travelled to the Yukon Territory in northern Canada for what was meant to be 2 weeks and turned into 16 years. Little did she know she was going would fully immerse herself in music, lending her talents to various bands ranging from old time to honky tonk to swing and cajun. Equally comfortable on upright bass and guitar, she’s also known for her distinctively powerful and expressive singing. Relocated in her hometown of Pointe-à-la-Croix since 2016, she is a member of The Foghorn Stringband, The Cajun Country Revival and plays with Sammy Lind as a duo.

Born in Minnesota, Sammy Lind has established himself as one of the most critically acclaimed old time musicians anywhere. He spent many years in Portland, OR, where he co-founded the Foghorn Stringband in the year 2000 with some pals who shared a similar passion for traditional music. Sammy has traveled the world playing and teaching a vast repertoire of tunes from Appalachia and the Midwest. His playing reflects tremendous respect and passion for all the fiddle players and old recordings he spent countless hours learning from and a power that only comes from years of playing for dances. After a few years up in Whitehorse, Yukon, Sammy has settled in eastern Quebec, in the village of Pointe-Ă -la-Croix, with his wife/bandmate, Nadine Landry.


Sammy and Nadine have taught at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Augusta Old Time Week, Ashokan Southern Week, Minnesota Bluegrass and Old Time Festival Camp, Sorrento British Columbia Bluegrass Workshop, Nimble Fingers Bluegrass and Old Time Music Workshop, Yukon Woodshed, California Bluegrass Association’s Summer and Winter Camps, Sioux River Folk Festival, Indiana Fiddler’s Festival, Fiddle Fair in Ireland, Open House Festival in Ireland, Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysia, Harrietville Bluegrass Festival in Australia, Sore Fingers Workshop in England, and many more.

Nadine and Sammy have one album, “Granddad’s Favorite” and Sammy has two instructional DVDs available, ” Stephen ‘Sammy’ Lind’s Old Time Fiddle Tunes- Beginner and Advanced” that are available along with all of the albums by Foghorn Stringband from Foghorn’s website, foghornstringband.com



Emolyn Liden

Emolyn Liden is a Brasstown, North Carolina native, raised on a sheep farm a few miles from the John C. Campbell Folk School, where traditional music, dance and craft were, quite literally, all around.  She started clogging, morris and contra/square dancing at a young age.  Her dancing resume now boasts: present member of the Green Grass Cloggers of Asheville; past member of the Cane Creek Cloggers of Chapel Hill; percussive dance duo performances with renowned, Scottish fiddler Jamie Laval; member of Cape Breton step dance team Twistycuffs; 1st place flatfooting winner at Hoppin’ John Fiddlers Convention and 3rd place winner at Clifftop Appalachian String Band Festival.  She has learned from and continues the steps of Ira Bernstein, Robert Dotson, Phil Jamison, Rodney Sutton, Thomas Maupin, and others.  She plays old time fiddle and sings in her band The Puddle Jumpers String Band and is building her business specializing in hand knitwear design and instruction as The Roving Knitter (therovingknitter.com/emolynknits.blogspot.com).





Howard Rains

Howard Rains - BROTMWHoward Rains is a native Texas artist and fiddler, now living in Kansas. He comes from a musical and artistic family and his two obsessions are painting and playing traditional American fiddle music. The New York Times has said, “Rains has established himself as an authority on old Texas-style fiddling.” Howard plays rare, old tunes learned from friends, family, mentors, and old recordings. As much known for his painting as his fiddling, Howard has focused much of his work on documenting living traditional musicians in watercolor in his unique style. SpencerAndRains.com




Robby Robertson

Robby Robertson grew up playing music with friends and family around Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina.  He plays for dances and gatherings that aren’t too far from home and has taught old-time music to kids through the JAM program in Haywood County for the last 20 years.









Don Pedi
Don Pedi is known for developing a playing style for the fretted mountain dulcimer that can match a fiddle, note for note, while maintaining the rhythms and characteristics of traditional music.
Over the decades, he’s been recognized and honored for collecting, preserving and performing Traditional Appalachian music.
In addition to performing solo, beginning in 1982, Don has played with and absorbed tunes from his friend and music partner Bruce Greene.
Since 1985 Don has championed folk music as an on air host at NPR affiliate WCQS 88.1 in Asheville, NC.
Don has appeared in the motion pictures “The Song Catcher” and “The Journey of August King”, as well as a number of documentaries and music specials.




Tricia Spencer

Tricia Spencer is a Kansas fiddler who grew up learning the tradition of old-time music from her grandparents.  At an early age, she was perched up on some stage tapping her foot to the beat of fiddles, banjos, mandolins and guitars.  While growing up, her free time was spent traveling to festivals and fiddling contests throughout the Midwest where she learned from the likes of Pete McMahan, Cyril Stinnet, Lymon Enloe, Dwight Lamb, Amos Chase, and Lucy Pierce. Tricia is multi-instrumentalist who has studied with some of the great masters in old-time and is highly sought after as a performer, dance fiddler, and instructor. SpencerAndRains.com



Ellen Vigour

Ellen Vigour has been playing mandolin in old-time string bands since the late 1970’s (including the Crossroads String Band, the Blue Sky Girls, the Green Hills String Band, Country Ham, and Uncle Henry’s Favorites). She formed her band, Uncle Henry’s Favorites, over thirty years ago and the group is still going strong with all the original members. As well as performing at many festivals in the United States, she has performed with Uncle Henry’s Favorites in the UK, and on A Prairie Home Companion. Ellen has presented mandolin, fiddle, and string band workshops at various music camps and festivals including Augusta Heritage Center, Blue Ridge Old-time Music Week, Front Porch String Band Camp, The Woodfest, and Buffalo Gap. Ellen and her husband Pete have organized many string band camps and workshops in their local area. They have been performing traditional music together for 40 years.



 Pete Vigour

Pete Vigour has enjoyed learning and playing old-time music since his childhood in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.  He and his wife Ellen have resided in the Charlottesville area since the 1970’s.  Pete is an experienced music teacher, including teaching mandolin and other instruments in local schools for 25 years, and also at Augusta, Pinewoods, Sierra Swing, Blue Ridge Old-Time Music Week and his own music camps.  He has won first place ribbons in both fiddle and clawhammer banjo at fiddlers’ conventions in Virginia and West Virginia. With his wife Ellen, Pete has played and toured with the old-time string band, Uncle Henry’s Favorites, since 1985.  He enjoys jamming with his students at every opportunity.





Margaret Wright

Margaret Wright has been seriously playing the Mountain Dulcimer since 1994. A not-so-by-chance visit to the McSpadden Dulcimer Shoppe changed the course of her family’s life. Margaret teaches all around the country and loves to get folks started and direct them toward Old Time Music and jamming. She and her late husband, Jerry, organized the very popular Palestine (Texas) Old Time Music and Dulcimer Festival in 2002. She utilizes an enjoyable teaching style with a goal of getting you playing! Margaret is also the collector of tunes and author of the Twelve Tune Songbooks, a set of booklets devoted to transcribing tunes into a simple to read dulcimer tablature. She and her family, including sons, Hollis and Lloyd, have 8 cd’s to their credit. She would enjoy hearing from you. margaretgwright@yahoo.com