2018 Finalists - FreshGrass



Hometown: Denver, CO
Bio: A lauded fiddle champion, a classical violinist, a veteran bluegrass mandolin player, an upright bassist, and a jazz guitar star reborn as a flatpicking sensation. Welcome to Masontown, purveyors of a sound as timeless as the Rocky Mountains they grew up around.



Kitchen Dwellers

Hometown: Bozeman, MT
Bio: These folks burst onto the bluegrass scene sharing their “Galaxy Grass” on stage with acts such as Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdusters and Twiddle. High energy and endlessly fun, Kitchen Dwellers will make your soul skip.



Ghost of Paul Revere

Hometown: Portland, ME
Bio: Traditional bluegrass instruments collide with the music these guys grew up on: Radiohead, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd. Fans of Ghost of Paul Revere describe the result as “holler-folk.”

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/30fXKjFrJ6I9tfwia1ZZMG?si=U_o5swWQSzOw7jFAi4nwAA



Man About a Horse

Hometown: Philadelphia
Bio: Man About a Horse has been making acoustic music that cuts across generational lines since 2014. With their blend of heartfelt originals, unique versions of popular tunes, and traditional bluegrass, the quintet has built a devoted northeast following and is on the rise, with a recent IBMA nomination.

Listen: https://manabout.horse




Clint Alphin

Hometown: Nashville, TN
Bio: Nashville-based with North Carolina roots, Clint’s rich vocal harmonies, heart-hitting lyrics, and pure instrumentation make him a James Taylor-like package — and brought him first prize in the 2017 Telluride Troubadour Contest.

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-971251312/sets/postmodern-man/s-tkUNY



Caroline Cotter

Hometown: Portland, ME
Bio: With a captivating soprano voice and award-winning songwriting, Caroline’s travel-inspired songs take listeners all over the world and into the depths of the human spirit.
Listen: http://www.carolinecotter.com/music.html



Heather Aubrey Lloyd

Hometown: Owings Mills, MD
Bio: After a stint backing Dar Williams and 15 years co-fronting ilyAIMY (i love you And I Miss You), Heather released a solo record featuring colorful characters and stories that mix journalistic detail with a poetic penchant for rhythm and slant rhyme.

Listen: https://heatheraubreylloyd.com/track/1175130/3-cast-off



Lauren Pratt

Hometown: Boston, MA
Bio: Commanding tradition while still proving herself an innovator, Lauren energizes her original ballads by employing lullaby-like fingerpicking and boot-tapping rhythm.

Listen: Live At Monster Studios EP by Lauren Pratt




Ryan McCauley

Hometown: Dundalk, Ireland
Bio: Growing up in Dublin, Ryan, 22, grew up in Dublin and performed regularly in the city’s extensive music scene. A clawhammer master, his music is steeped with old-time Irish flare.



Sam Z

Hometown: Denver, CO
Bio: Sam found a passion for Ugandan songs and music from Turkey, the Balkans, and East Africa while studying at Santa Fe University. His sound is the result of all these influences and an unrelenting urge to push the boundaries of bluegrass and roots.



Jordan Alleman

Hometown: Portland, OR
Bio: Jordan Alleman began playing banjo at the age of thirteen and hasn’t looked back. Initially beginning banjo as a bluegrass player, his music has evolved beyond that of bluegrass with influences of pop, classical, folk, blues, and rock. Thanks in part to a scholarship to Berklee College of Music, Jordan has been privileged to study under a growing list of such banjo luminaries as Peter Schwimmer, Mark Pettys, Wes Corbett, Lauck Benson, Tony Trischka, Chris Pandolfi, Ryan Cavanaugh, Alison Brown, and many more! He currently plays and tours the New England area with Damn Tall Buildings.



Alex Edwards

Hometown: Salisbury, NC
Bio: A mechanical engineer by day, Alex plays the banjo for the band The Trailblazers and, in 2017, was crowned banjo champion of both North Carolina and Georgia.




Natalie Padilla

Hometown: Lyons, CO
Bio: A fiddle professor at the University of Northern Colorado’s new Folk and Bluegrass program, Natalie is a musician of astounding depth and breath, fluent in both the fiddle and clawhammer banjo.



Avery Merritt

Hometown: Boston, MA
Bio: From the Berklee College of Music to the FreshGrass stage, Avery’s here after extensive training with FreshGrass mainstay Darol Anger.

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/amerrittfiddle/chinquapin-hunting/s-0L5me



Gabe Terraciano

Hometown: Brooklyn NY
Bio: Gabe has been playing the violin since the age of three. Now 25, he’s a versatile multi-instrumentalist and a musician who has been recognized for playing the violin “in a way that’s unlike anyone else” (Portland Phoenix).



Jordan Rast

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Bio: Jordan was trained classically with the Suzuki method, but in the decades since, his passion for classical music has waned and he spends his time playing in old-time and bluegrass combos. He’s released three records of original songs that blend a folk songwriting background with modern indie pop.

Listen: Cowboy Money by Jordan Rast