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The Lineup

Friday October 1st
Kentucky Shine 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Quite Literally 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
On The One 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Iron Horse 6:15 – 7:45 p.m.
Mama Said String Band 8:15 – 9:45 p.m.
Armchair Boogie 10:15 – 11:45 p.m.
Flatland Harmony Experiment 12:15 – 1:45 a.m.

Saturday October 2nd
Austin Sprinkle 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Cody Williams 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
The Hammer and The Hatchet 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
The Larry Keel Experience 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
The Gaslight Boys 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Armchair Boogie 10:00 – 11:30 p.m.
Horseshoes & Hand Grenades 12:00 – 3:00 a.m.

Sunday October 3rd
Matt Horton & The Wicked Ways 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Wood & Wire 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
The New Old Cavalry 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.
The Lonesome Narrows 4:45 – 6:00 p.m.
Henhouse Prowlers 6:30 – 8-30 p.m.
The Tillers 9:15 – 10:45 p.m.


Mama Said String Band

A four-piece collection of songwriters, David O’Neal, Taylor Shuck, Katie “Didit” Caudill, and Kaitlen Farmer, is Mama Said String Band. Based out of Louisville, KY and established in 2016, Mama Said String Band brings a refreshing reinvention to sounds once forgotten. Individually, each member’s background spans multiple cultures, genres, and styles. Together, they draw influences from Bluegrass, Folk and Americana while focusing on vocal harmonies and contemporary instrumentation to build an eclectic, eurythmic melody and tactfully delivered message.

Mama Said String Band released their debut self-titled album in February 2018, followed by their sophomore album, Carry the Water released June of 2019. Fans, old and new, and reviewers alike have boldly praised the up-and-coming four-piece. These guys have incredible stories and a true heart for the humanity shared through music. They will inspire and move you with their timeless melodies, vocal harmonies, and contemporary instrumentation.


Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

These guys are bluegrass at its finest.  Ten years together, five albums, and countless shows, festivals, and libations, this quintet truly blends ‘new-time old-time’ harmony with their legendary ripper tunes and their relatable, organic lyrics.  Each of the five band members - Adam Greuel [guitar, vocals], Davey Lynch [harmonica, accordion, vocals], Collin Mettelka [fiddle, vocals], Russell Pedersen [banjo, vocals], and Samual Odin [bass, vocals] – contributes to song writing and adds a unique signature spirit that fuels limitless creativity in the band.  They began playing together in college and set out touring to do and share what they love.  The time and depth of journey has strengthened deep friendships that are tangible throughout their music.
“Miles in Blue”, their most recent album, was released Thanksgiving, 2020.  It celebrates a decade long journey of making music together and ever-evolving lives.  Give these guys a listen and join in our excitement for the upcoming FCMF.


Quite Literally

We were so excited to hear that our good friend Katie Didit Caudill from Mama Said String Band was involved with a new group, Quite Literally, that we knew we had to get them on board!  Ladies and gentleman, your First City Music Festival Band Competition 2020 winners: Quite Literally.

Quite Literally is native to Appalachia and the midwest, and currently based in Louisville, KY.  This Swing inspired Folk band brings forth a fun and fresh outlook on modern songwriting. By combining an acoustic guitar (Katie Didit) that serves both rhythm and melody, an upright bass (Derek LaFountain) that warms the low tones, and a classic flare of violin (Emily Miller), you get Quite Literally.

From a non-profit art studio and gallery that benefits developmental disabilities to teaching in an Appalachian youth music program, this picturesque ensemble is widely inspired by Swing and Soul Songwriters.  They are driven by powerful lyrics and decorated with quick-witted instrumentation.


Armchair Boogie

Rising from the forests and rivers of central Wisconsin, Armchair Boogie's high-energy take on the Jamgrass genre fuses intricate arrangements of acoustic guitar and banjo with the funky back beats of electric bass and drums.  Augie Dougherty (banjo, vocals) and Ben Majeska (guitar, vocals) started playing together in the fall of 2014 while attending the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and within a year their musical collaborations led to the formation of Armchair Boogie. Eager to expand their sound for a bigger stage, Augie and Ben recruited bassist Eli Frieders and drummer Dan Waterman to fill out the band's four-piece configuration.

Armchair Boogie solidified their current line-up in the spring of 2017 when Denzel Connor took over for a departing Dan Waterman on drums. In conjunction with the release of their debut, self-titled album, the band moved to Madison, WI, a jumping off point from where Armchair Boogie has become a regular on the upper Midwest festival circuit while also sowing roots in theRocky Mountains

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The Tillers

The Tillers have their own distinctive sound of string band folk music.  Four studio albums and one live record have won them praise as modern folk storytellers of the national soundscape. Their tireless momentum launching tours has taken them throughout the East coast, the Midwest and West, the Appalachian south and to the UK and Ireland. 

From Cincinnati, The Tillers quickly won over their local scene with relentless gigging. Their signature treatment of classic folk songs is unique, mesmerizing, and fun: a hard-driving percussive strum and stomp that brought new pulse and vinegar to some very old songs. they floated from hard-tackle thumping to tender graceful melody, all the while topped by Oberst and Geil’s clear tenor harmonies. Over the last decade, they have become Ohio musical legends with a story to share.

Henhouse Prowlers

Henhouse Prowlers

Henhouse Prowlers find and spread the commonality we share as human beings through the universal language of music.  They do this performing live, presenting workshops, across the nation and the globe.  You can feel it at every show.  The group's electrifying performances share with audiences how much they love what they do.  On record, the band manages to explore their collective life experiences through songwriting and intricate instrumentation. Bluegrass is the undeniable foundation of the Prowlers music, yet the band bends and squeezes the traditional form into a unique sound and experience.  They are known for sets that include bluegrass covers from around the world, many of them learned during their time touring other countries through American Music Abroad, a State Department program for American musicians to travel and build relationships with other countries, cultures, and artists. 

In 2013, the band founded Bluegrass Ambassadors, a digital space for advocacy and education.  In response to the pandemic, an online Bluegrass Ambassadors Academy was added to connect professional musicians with learners.  Additionally, The Prowlers began livestreaming shows with artists around the world, and is dedicating a portion of their videos to teaching children about music. These online workshops are suited for audiences with or without instruments.  Their workshop topics include Bluegrass, Creative Writing/Songwriting, Bluegrass Ambassadors and Social Studies, Math and Sciences as they relate to music.


The Hammer & The Hatchet

Native to the southern rolling hills of Indiana, The Hammer & The Hatchet is a mesmerizing duo that fills empty space with gentle harmonies and humorous melodies sure to bring smiles.  John Bowyer & Jayme Hood have honed their skills and craft in the honest old-school tradition of hard work with themselves and with masters of the old/ new music business.

Their third album, “Road May Flood” is true to their deep Bluegrass/New-grass Americana roots.  They have been described as ‘delightfully original’, ‘innovative’, and ‘authentic’. 

These genuinely adept co-writers consistently deliver a deep well of originally introspective and heartfelt songs to a growing audience of music lovers.  Their endlessly appealing vocals and masterful tunes never cease to deliver an authentic musical journey of the heart to music lovers of all ages.

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Wood and Wire

Wood and Wire is local to southern Indiana, known for playing traditional country and pop tunes from the 40’s – 70’s.  Originally founded by the late Evan Twitty, a local guitar prodigy, the group now consists of Virgil Franklin, Bruce Hatton and Larry Marchino.

Virgil Franklin taught music at the high school level for many years and is currently chairs the Audio Recording Department at Vincennes University, as well as directs music at Christ Community Church.  Virgil plays all brass and woodwind instruments, the keyboard, and several string instruments. 

Bruce Hatton has played and sung classic rock, gospel and bluegrass all his life.  A member of The Presby Singers, he may also be seen playing stand-up bass with his brother’s (Ray Hatton) bluegrass group, Mariah Creek. 

Larry Marchino is an original member of Wood and Wire.  He played for 15 years with his father, brothers, and sisters in the Louie Marchino Family Band.  He has jammed classic rock and played in the local gospel group, Spirit Filled.  Larry is currently a member of Circle of Friends, a local southern gospel group. 


The Larry Keel Experience

The Larry Keel Experience is the mighty talented, energetic core band of Larry Keel, described by music critics as the most powerful, innovative and all-out exhilarating acoustic flatpicking guitarist performing today.  He is joined by the highly accomplished Jared Pool on mandolin and penetrating vocals, and his wife, Jenny Keel with her rock solid bass lines and tenor vocal harmonies.

Keel’s Bluegrass family upbringing, both sides deeply steeped in the rich mountain music culture and heritage of Southwest Virginia, integrated a solid musical foundation and natural-born talent.  In addition to his high-spirited energy playing amplified, acoustic guitar and composing original music, he has a knack for choosing interesting, appealing material from all realms of music.  Keel’s blazing guitar power, the deep rumbling voice, his earthy and expansive song-writing, and his down-home-gritty-good-time charm are perfectly matched in the Larry Keel Experience.

For Keel the musical mission is always clear: to let natural ability, finely-honed skill, honest emotion and fearlessness connect the playing and singing to audiences, to entertain and to thoroughly enjoy the experience of creating and sharing in music.

 “Larry is a true original, be it traditional, progressive, improv.. he does it all, and with such joy.  I love jamming with Keel. Enjoy the music. Larry does.” — Sam Bush


The Gaslight Boys

The Gaslight Boys are a 4 piece non-traditional string band from the heart of bluegrass country (Owensboro, Kentucky).  These boys cut their teeth on a variety of genres ranging from folk, bluegrass, rockabilly, classic country and even some good Ol punk rock.  

The band members include Brandon Heninger (Banjo), Ross Clark (Upright Bass), Eric Houtchen (Mandolin) & Jason Morris (Guitar).