ATTENTION: The Delta variant has us once again rethinking how to safely do our business. The CDC recommends that vaccinated Americans return to wearing masks in indoor spaces in communities where coronavirus transmission is substantial or high, and Jefferson county, Wisconsin, is currently in the substantial category https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view, so we’ll do our part.
The small space of the listening room prevents any reasonable distancing. For the safety of everyone, and to protect the performers who cannot mask while performing, we will be requiring:
- proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid test
- mask wearing in the listening room, (and recommending it in all of our spaces when not eating or drinking.)
Keep checking for updates, as circumstances could require further measures, or even cancellation.
Hembree’s band combines powerful vocals and hot picking to bring a new sound to the bluegrass stage. Featuring MARK HEMBREE, PAUL KIENITZ, STARR MOSS, and MICHAEL FALK.
Mark Hembree started his music career in Wisconsin in the 1970s, and before long was hosting a live radio show from the Glenmore Opera House near Green Bay. After a couple of years in Denver with the Monroe Doctrine, he returned to Wisconsin briefly before an audition at a local festival netted a job with Country Music Hall of Fame legend Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass Music.
He became a Blue Grass Boy in 1979 and worked with Monroe for five years, then was one of the founding members of the Nashville Bluegrass Band. While in Nashville he recorded with several well-known artists, including the all-star band Dreadful Snakes (with Jerry Douglas, Béla Fleck, Roland White, Blaine Sprouse, and Pat Enright) and Peter Rowan (on the Grammy-nominated album “New Moon Rising”).
He returned once again to Wisconsin in 1989, played with local bluegrass groups the Rounders and Nob Hill Boys, and Western swing bands the Western Box Turtles (including Asleep at the Wheel steel guitarist Eddie Rivers) and his own group, the Best Westerns.
Additionally, he has appeared as a guest lecturer and instructor at various music workshops, seminars, and film presentations, as well as in Bill Monroe tribute shows on “A Prairie Home Companion” and at North Carolina’s MerleFest (performing with Del McCoury, Roland White, Blake Williams, Peter Rowan, and Bobby Hicks). He also appears in the feature-length documentary film “Powerful: Bill Monroe Remembered,” directed by Joe Gray and produced by the International Bluegrass Music Museum.
At Mark’s side; Paul Kienitz, well-versed in traditional bluegrass fiddling, has performed and recorded with a number of fine Wisconsin bands, including the Nob Hill Boys, where he first met up with Mark Hembree, resulting in future bands and projects. He was the featured fiddler in a special “Blue Grass Boys Reunion” Bill Monroe tribute featuring mandolin virtuoso Mike Compton and Blue Grass Boy alumni Bob Black, Tom Ewing and Mark Hembree. The go-to fiddler in the Badger State, he and Hembree are longtime partners in crime.
Guitarist and singer Starr Moss spent nearly four years with the Chicago-based Henhouse Prowlers, traveling in the U.S. and abroad. Two U.S. State Department tours afforded the opportunity to perform and collaborate with local musicians in Russia, Mauritania, Zambia, Nigeria, and Uganda. Other musical highlights include performances at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music and the International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual conventions. Starr’s fiery solos and solid rhythm power the ensemble.
On banjo is Michael Falk, a hard-driving traditional banjo style and agile lead and harmony vocalist. His versatile playing serves well whether it’s a high-speed breakdown, old-time fiddle tune, or lonesome ballad. Michael has been playing with the Squirrel Gravy Bluegrass Band for the past four years after relocating to Madison from Ohio for graduate studies at UW Madison.