Kansas State Fiddling & Picking Championship

Sunday Performers

Sunday, August 27, 2017 – Schedule TBA

@ South Park, Lawrence Kan.

Betse and Clarke

Explorers of Ozark Music — Betse & Clarke released their debut full-length album, “River Still Rise”, in July 2016. This collection of music is to be enjoyed as a musical adventure, much like the river exploration of the famous duo Lewis & Clark, an inspiration for the band’s name, and a part of their Kansas City home’s history. The album’s title comes from the journal of Meriwether Lewis, as the Corps of Discovery prepared to commence their epic journey. The self-released recording features the interweaving of fiddle and banjo, with Betse’s honest singing style and additional tracks including full string band Brushy Creek.

Betse Ellis & Clarke Wyatt formed their duo in the fall of 2014, after meeting and realizing a shared love of deep sources of traditional southern mountain music, along with the draw to create new music. In 2015, the duo was an official showcase act at Folk Alliance International Conference, and began their adventures on the road, touring in the Pacific Northwest and parts of the western States, from the Montana Fiddle Camp to the Portland Old Time Music Gathering. Their expedition continued in 2016 with more festivals and camps, including Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival, and a late summer tour in Ireland. 2017 appearances include Folk Alliance International Conference (as official selected showcase artists, and music camp instructors), the John Hartford Memorial Festival, The Walnut Valley Music Festival (Winfield), and new projects from recording to documentary work.

Julian Davis and the HayBurners

From humble beginnings, Julian Davis is a 17-year-old, flatpicking guitarist phenomenon and singer from Pittsburg, Kansas. He walks, talks, sings and looks like someone straight out of the 1940s or 50s, and his fast and fiery guitar playing encourages even seasoned professionals to want to step up their picking game.

Julian and his bluegrass band, Julian Davis and the Hay-Burners, were featured on season 11 of America's Got Talent, and they flew to LA a few times for the production. Julian left home at an early age to play music on the road, traveling to cities all over the country. He currently calls the Lawrence and Kansas City areas home. At 16 years old, Julian won first place in the Kansas State Flatpicking Championship and Mandolin Championship. Julian also won first place in the Hillberry Arkansas 2016 flatpicking and mandolin competitions.

Julian also has 2 albums released, "Who Walks In When I Walk Out" and "Make Americana Great Again," both featuring plenty of original songs to tap your foot to and covers of traditional (and not-so-traditional) tunes to switch it up!
His high energy show is one you absolutely can't afford to miss, including hot fiddle playing from either Shannon O'Shea or Dylan Hawf, special guests and plenty of acrobatic stunts and stage antics from his upright bass player, Seth Campbell, who brings rockabilly, jazz and classical influence to the mix while also singing.

Poke Salad Orchestra

The Poke Salad Orchestra is a string trio that is firmly rooted in American traditions of old-time, country and early popular music. This home-grown orchestra happens in the moment, based on musical winds that can lead them in any direction. The group’s rapport, combined with individual command of their instruments, draws listeners in and envelopes them in the sound of strings being coaxed to their limits.

Guitarist and vocalist Kelly Werts has appeared several times at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, and has performed regionally with ground-breaking acts like The Sons of Rayon, The Plaid Family and Connie Dover. Cellist Susan Mayo is on a tireless mission to bring the sound of her cello to varied musical settings. Appearances have ranged from the Wichita Symphony to Nikki Moddelmog, Bodo Ensemble, Plaid Family and World on a String. Rob Loren has toured as a fiddler with Ray Price, The Cherokee Maidens, Pavarotti and other nationally known artists, but is happiest while holding down jazz, classical and popular music gigs close to his home in Wichita.

All three members of the Poke Salad Orchestra have in common a desire to reach beyond the boundaries of musical styles to craft a personal interpretation of the tunes they love. Their performances have been met with smiles of recognition at their choice of songs, along with hearty approval of their spirited delivery.

Signal Ridge

Signal Ridge is a progressive bluegrass band out of Lawrence, KS that formed in the campgrounds of the Walnut Valley Festival 8 years ago. After years of touring through the heartland, the American southwest, and the rainforests of Costa Rica, the band found themselves with an abundance of new material and knew it was time to start/stop monkeying around. In 2013 they recorded their first studio album, Prairie Fire, and in 2015 they followed it up with Here Comes The Rain.

Drawing inspiration from the likes of John Hartford and Doc Watson these young pickers have grown up on the traditional road of bluegrass and are now ready to pave their own path in Americana folk music.





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