Karly Dawn Milner (Beginning Guitar) from Rowan County, Kentucky, began playing old time music with Jesse Wells, after years of studying classical music in voice and cello, and playing gospel and country music regionally. Her band, Karly Dawn & the Hillfolk, are currently working on recordings of her original country songs and early country favorites. She can be heard on Appalachia: Music from Home, Old Town School of Folk Music Songbook and Clack Mountain String Band Live. With a special penchant for teaching music to children, she spent many years working as the outreach musician for the Kentucky Folk Art Museum.
Russell Wright (Intermediate Guitar) is a Letcher County, Kentucky native and a versatile multi-instrumentalist. Russell took up the guitar in childhood and latched onto old time banjo largely through the influence of John Haywood. He performs solo at local venues and in duos with John Haywood and Kevin Howard. Russell taught and led jams at Hometown Music in Whitesburg and currently teaches guitar for Appalshop’s Passing the Pick and Bow afterschool music program.
John Schwab (Advanced Guitar) literally wrote the book on rhythm guitar –Old-Time Backup Guitar: Learn from the Masters. He has anchored the rhythm section of the Mostly Mountain Boys and the Hoover Uprights. John currently performs with Mac Traynham and Mark Campbell as the Sunny Mountain Serenaders. Their 2015 CD is Into Thin Hair on L-Century. John has appeared at Merlefest, the American Festival of Fiddle Tunes and the Gainsborough (UK) Old Time Festival and taught at numerous workshops and camps including Ashokan, Augusta and Mars Hill.
Nate Polly (Upright Bass) from Letcher County, Kentucky has anchored a number of old time and bluegrass string bands with his solid bass and guitar playing. Since 2006 he has performed with Rich and the Po’ Folks and his original songs and bass can be heard on their recording When the Whistle Blew on June Appal. Nate’s performance credits include the “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” series at the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Folklife Festival, Berea College’s Celebration of Traditional Music, the Morehead Fiddler’s Convention and Home Craft Days.