About us

 
 

The Hogwire Stringband presents an exciting and sophisticated brand of American roots music, blending rich vocal harmonies with superb fiddle-driven melodies backed by a dynamic rhythm section. Brad Leftwich anchors this new band on fiddle and vocals, with long-time musical partner Linda Higginbotham on banjo and banjo uke, Sam Bartlett adding powerful rhythmic support on guitar, banjo, and mandolin, and Abby Ladin completing the sound on stand-up bass and vocals. The band is based in Bloomington, Indiana, deep in the heartland of the U.S.A.


Brad Leftwich has long been the gold standard for traditional old-time fiddling, and he is a highly regarded banjo player and singer as well. He grew up in Oklahoma in a family with at least three generations of old-time musicians, and learned directly from such legendary masters as Tommy Jarrell, Melvin Wine, Violet Hensley, and the Hammonds family. In his nearly 40 years as a performer, he has released 12 feature recordings to stellar reviews, appeared on dozens of anthologies, and created teaching materials that define the genre. He has entertained at the White House, backed up Doc Watson on stage, and counts the late Buck Owens and John Hartford among his admirers. Brad also plays with Alice Gerrard and Tom Sauber in the band Tom, Brad & Alice. For more about Brad, go to www.bradleftwich.net.


Linda Higginbotham is from a family of musicians and colorful characters with deep roots in the pioneer heritage of Indiana, Kentucky, and Arkansas. She learned to play guitar from her father, a Tin Pan Alley songwriter, and was introduced to old-time music as a teenager in New York by Miles Krassen. She moved to Bloomington, Indiana, in the early 1970s where she helped start an active community based on old-time music and dance. She began playing clawhammer banjo and banjo ukulele after meeting Brad, and together they spent many hours visiting and learning from older musicians in the Appalachians and Ozarks. The pair collaborated throughout the 1980s as Leftwich & Higginbotham, and in the 1990s with the Humdingers. They now play together as a duo and in the Hogwire Stringband. She is widely known for her part in popularizing the banjo uke in old-time music. “If you are alive, Linda will make you want to get up and dance” (Don Stevens, All Music Guide).


Abby Ladin grew up immersed in the East Coast traditional folk music revival of the 1970s. As a dancer Abby was clogging by the age of 6, performing with her sister Evie by age 10, and touring nationally at 18 with the renowned dance and music company Rhythm In Shoes. As a musician, she has played bass with some of this country’s finest fiddlers, lending her percussive strength and blending harmony vocals with sweet simplicity.  She has won several top honors in the traditional band competition at the Appalachian String Band Music Festival. Abby is also a member of The New Mules, founded by (the late) Garry Harrison, with whom she recorded the now legendary Red Prairie Dawn album in 2000.


Sam Bartlett is a nimble, irrepressible performer on guitar, banjo, and mandolin. His original compositions have been profiled on NPR’s All Things Considered, Salon.com, and The Thistle & Shamrock. His evocative musicianship has been featured in the Ken Burns documentaries, Prohibition and The Dustbowl.  Sam is known as one of this country’s most engaging dance musicians, and has been crisscrossing the States playing for dances for 30 years. He is also the author of a best-selling book on pranks and parlor tricks, The Best of Stuntology (Workman Publishing.) More information can be found at stuntology.com.
 

Classic Americana

Rascal Fair


Fan comments on our new CD (from the Web)

“Absolutely splendid, epitomizes the beauty and excitement of old-timey Appalachian music”

“A shame there’s not six stars available”

“In my opinion some of the best music of this type ever recorded”

 
 

Brad Leftwich & the Hogwire Stringband