Big Bluestem Stringband

Artist Statement: 
Big Bluestem Stringband has delighted audiences at CU local and Central Illinois regional events for over seven years, including broadcasts on community and public radio stations. They perform an impressive array of musical styles and songs, vintage and new, that reflect a rich tapestry of human experience in the USA and neighboring countries. From Bluegrass breakdowns and country love songs to mining ballads and cowboy blues, Big Bluestem has power and timeless appeal that will balm your soul, make you smile, and set your toes a-tapping!
Bio / Description: 

Kathleen Everingham is a multi-instrumentalist who has fiddled in various bands and for local and regional contra dances for decades, inspiring and instructing several current CU fiddlers and others who have migrated away from the CU area. Her soul flows through her fingers. Extraordinary harmonist. Retired Graphic Artist.

Rebecca Grosser has sung and played in several groups over the years; her voice is poetry and her rock-steady rhythm guitar helps propel contra dancers through intricate figures and keeps the band in sync. A skillful and sensitive song interpreter. Day job: Parkland College Graphic Artist.

Jose Agusti has performed with many different bands on a variety of instruments. His multi-instrumental prowess and stylistic versatility on guitar, octave mandolin, mandolin, and mouth harp, provides great accent, color, and momentum. Retired U of I Student Counselor.

Drew Phillips is an adept fiddler as well as the band's primary mandolinist and procurer of bizarre, playful, quirky tunes, and incredibly wordy songs. Also a song and tune historian. Day job: Geologist, Illinois State Geological Survey. Grew up in NY state.

Todd Kinney is the band's Terra Firma, musically and otherwise. A gifted bassist (who also plays guitar), his contemplative perceptions of arrangements, tempos, and the band's overall sound are invaluable, as are his patience and sense of humor. Singing is not in his contract. Day job: Computer Configuration Specialist.

Big Bluestem Emeritus Members
Tom D’Avello, a founding member of BBsb was it’s banjoist from 2009 to 2011, when his job as software designer for CERL transferred him to W. Virginia. Tom is the banjo player on Big Bluestem’s first CD album: “Under The Prairie Moon.”

Randy Cordle is a Midwestern Renaissance Man who has performed with several groups, including Big Bluestem from 2011 to 2013, when an injury forced his retirement. He's also a talented song & tune composer, an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, and an instrument builder. Long-retired CU Sanitary District Maintenance Technician, he recently converted to Gentleman Chicken Farmer. Randy’s banjo and mandolin playing can be heard on big Bluestem’s 2nd CD: BBsb Contra-Culture
Air Max

(217) 382-0903
1404 S. Grove St. / Urbana, IL 61801
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