A 25-year professional who’s noted for his dazzling technique, originality and broad sense of humor, Ned Luberecki has served for over a decade with Chris Jones & The Night Drivers. His resume includes stints with Paul Adkins & The Borderline Band; Gary Ferguson; Radio Flyer and the Rarely Herd, frequent winners of SPBGMA’s Entertaining Band Of The Year award. He’s a popular banjo instructor at some of the most renowned instructional camps in the US, Canada and Europe as well as private lessons at his studio in Nashville and online via webcam. Ned is also a broadcaster on SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction, where he hosts the regular newgrass show, Derailed, and the popular Sunday Banjo Lesson. Since joining The Night Drivers, Ned has continued to make a name for himself as a guest on a variety of recordings and appearances, including tours with Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time and as the “other” banjo player with Tony Trischka’s Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular. In 2007, he released a popular solo project, Nedski, which included duets with friends like The Infamous Stringdusters’ Chris Pandolfi and Punch Brothers’ Noam Pikelny, along with comic favorites like “Cabin Of Death.” In 2010, he teamed up with the Sam Bush Band’s Stephen Mougin as Nedski & Mojo, releasing an acclaimed project Nothing More.
tunes and five covers performed with Circa Blue style. Special guests Mike Auldridge on resophonic guitar and Chris Sexton on fiddle can be heard throughout the album. In 2014 their sophomore effort, "A Darker Blue", was released to critical and audience acclaim. With guests Gaven Largent on dobro, Marshall Willborn on bass, and the return of Chris Sexton on fiddle, the band has continued to refine their sound, showcasing their musical chops on original songs and covers. "A Darker Blue" has held the radio charts for five months and continues to receive airplay throughout the US and abroad.
Brennen Leigh is a songwriter, multi instrumentalist and singer whose to-the-point storytelling style has elevated her to newfound cult status in Europe, across the United States, South America and most notably in her native Austin, Texas. Only slightly less famous for her musicianship, it's easy to see why she's caught the ear of greats like legendary Lubbock fiddler Tommy Hancock (widely regarded as the godfather of West Texas music), who was quoted as saying of Leigh's work; "It's great to hear music that affects you on an intellectual level as well as makes you want to dance". All musical and performing prowess aside, the thing Brennen has become most famous for is her whip-smart songwriting. Her songs have been recorded by the likes of Lee Ann Womack, Sunny Sweeney, and the Carper Family among others. She has collaborated with songwriting greats such as Jim Lauderdale, John Scott Sherrill and David Olney. Fans flock to hear her perform whatever new composition she has added to her already astounding catalogue of songs. When not on tour, Brennen Leigh splits her time between Austin, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee.
Americana’s jailbreak from sleepy town squares and the scratchier bands of the AM dial has been a welcome development in American music. And the renegade traditionalists of Mipso — Jacob Sharp on mandolin, Joseph Terrell on guitar, Libby Rodenbough on fiddle, and Wood Robinson on double bass — are doing their part to take three-part harmony and Appalachian influences into new territory. The three North Carolina songwriters have wandered off the path blazed by Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson to find a new clearing for their southern string band sound. In the process, they’ve kicked up a fuss. IndyWeek heralded the band’s role in the reemergence of southern roots music in North Carolina, crediting Mipso with “expanding the vocabulary of common touchstones” for bluegrass. WUNC hosted live previews of the band’s second album, Long, Long Gone. And all over the southeast, Mipso has been busy playing raucously fun live shows that veer from up-tempo original melodies to madcap acoustic covers of Michael Jackson. The group puts all the energy of a college club show into a form of music that predates clubs. And most colleges. For their October 2013 release, Dark Holler Pop, the group enlisted local hero Andrew Marlin of Mandolin Orange as producer and proceeded to assemble a team of other North Carolina mainstays in the studio: members of Chatham County Line, Town Mountain, and Megafaun add a dash of virtuosity to a rich and well-crafted release. Mipso will join other North Carolina luminaries on stage to support the album, such as four-time Grammy winner David Holt, as well as the recently Grammy-honored Steep Canyon Rangers. While making waves across their home state, it’s clear Mipso will be keeping good company. The idea for Mipso arose out of freshman year daydreaming at UNC Chapel Hill. After the usual band-making delays, Mipso quickly went from idle picking to a campus staple. By junior year, UNC’s Chancellor was a regular guest on keyboard. By graduation, Mipso sold out Carrboro’s legendary Cat’s Cradle — four times. Now, after a whirlwind tour through Japan’s bustling bluegrass scene and a host of sold-out shows across North Carolina, Jacob, Joseph, Libby, and Wood are making the happy adjustment from local favorites to global emissaries for a decidedly new sound. As for the name of their particular sound, well, they call it Dark Holler Pop.