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By skillfully complementing their deep roots in traditional American music with new ideas, songs, and arrangements, the "all g'Earl" stringband Uncle Earl has emerged as one of the leading lights in the ongoing old-time renaissance. After over a decade together, longtime Uncle Earl members KC Groves and Kristin Andreassen are leading a new formation of the band. Stephanie Coleman (fiddle) and Paula Bradley (banjo) have been playing with Uncle Earl since last fall, including a tour of Germany in 2010. Bradley is known to Northeasterners especially as a member of the honkytonk band Girl Howdy, in addition to being a highly-respected old-time multi-instrumentalist. The "new girl" on this tour will actually be Uncle Earl's original bass player Amanda Kowalski, returning to the band after a number of years studying photography and playing music, including her work with the new Boston-based bluegrass band Della Mae.
Uncle Earl started in 1999, created by vocalist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist KC Groves (mandolin, guitar, bass). The band's lineup evolved as its musical boundaries expanded. Kristin Andreassen joined in 2003, contributing her perceptive original songs in addition to vocals, rhythm guitar, fiddle, ukulele, and clog dancing. Two self-released EPs lead to a contract with venerable folk label Rounder Records, for whom they recorded She Waits For Night with producer Dirk Powell and Waterloo, Tennessee, produced by Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, who called the album "definitely one of the most enjoyable productions that I have ever been involved with." Their albums, combined with the group's infectious live shows, garnered rave reviews from such influential media outlets as the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Mojo, No Depression, The New Yorker, and Relix. Waterloo, Tennessee was named Folk Alliance Album of the Year in 2007.
Able to draw from a vast range of experiences, talents, and perspectives, the newest edition of Uncle Earl is versatile and powerful. Andreassen says "Everyone who plays with Uncle Earl has an exciting career in music outside the band as well. We come together to play because it's fun to keep this connection with friends and with the traditional music that's inspired us."