Matthew Hornell & Andrew Sneddon
Matthew Hornell and Andrew Sneddon will take you on an exploration of the music they love; timeless traditional ballads, Old Time, Bluegrass, evocative original songs, and exciting instrumentals. Although both Hornell and Sneddon were raised far from the hills and hollers of Appalachia, they come to the music honestly, both born of that same Scottish/Irish lineage and raised in the lea of the Northernmost reaches of that ancient mountain range. Matthew Hornell provides the lead vocals and a driving rhythm guitar; Andrew Sneddon offers up a silvery counterpoint with his resophonic guitar and smooth tenor harmony that blends perfectly with Matthew’s rich melodious baritone and lead vocals.
This crossover banjo/bass duo formed when Noah Yanicki & Casey Holmberg met at UCLA. Both musicians shared a love for bluegrass and began to explore the space around the idiom. What has emerged is a form of classically informed roots music – a blend of the string arrangements on Nico’s Chelsea Girl and the banjo playing of Béla Fleck, perhaps. They are traversing coast-to-coast on tour to visit FreshGrass from Los Angeles, and we are thrilled to have their singular brand of bluegrass represented in our contest.
The Page Turners
FreshGrass Fiddle Award ‘15 alum Carolyn Kendrick returns with her new acoustic duo The Page Turners. Fresh off a slot at Grey Fox’s emerging artist stage, this will be one of their very first shows in public. Carolyn will then race off to fiddle on Aoife O’Donovan’s set!
Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers, grand prize winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, teams up with multi-instrumentalist Wendy Sassafras Ramsay as Pepper and Sassafras in this dynamic acoustic duo. Rodgers delivers masterful band-in-a-box guitar work while Ramsay, harmonizer extraordinaire, adds flute, clarinet, guitar, accordion, and her quirky originals to the mix.
The Punch Brothers’ Chris Eldrige says, “Robin Davis is the undiscovered champ of ballsy bluegrass guitar.” Born and raised in Durango, CO, Robin grew up playing in bands with current members of The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass, and the likes. His young career has already had many musical iterations, but the current project finds him teaming up with bassist and vocalist Jimi Giles in a sharply crafted bluegrass duo. With inflections of rough-around-the-edges blues, Robin & Jimi bring us a taste of the gritty front porch jams of the Rocky Mountains.
Petr Vošta and Lucien Holmes are both veterans of the European bluegrass music circuit, having played in nearly a dozen prize-winning ensembles. Together, they are known as Two Strikes, and they draw on over 40 years of professional music experience. Their unified sense of phrasing, timing and delivery is undeniable – and essential in the intimate format of the duo. Acoustic guitar, 5-string banjo, electric bass and piano blend together as they reinterpret classics, standards and hidden gems of rock, blues, country and jazz. This unique approach has earned them critical acclaim and enthralled audiences in Europe, North America, and aboard cruise ships on the ocean between.