A band is the sum of its parts, and The Quarry Branch Boys have some darn-fine parts. Combine experienced and nationally recognized musicians and mix in some fine storytelling, and the result is a refreshing blend of traditional and contemporary bluegrass. The Quarry Branch Boys are gearing up for shows in the summer of 2016, so watch this space for details!
DAVID HANNERS -- guitar, vocals
David Hanners may be one of the few former oilfield roughnecks and gas station attendants you’ll meet with a Pulitzer Prize. The Casey, IL, native's songs are a slice of Americana, bluegrass and folk featuring vibrant storytelling and vivid characters. His first album, Nothing Town, was a Critic's Year-end Top Ten selection by the Minneapolis Star Tribrune. Minnpost.com said his follow-up record, The Traveler's Burden, was “like Townes Van Zandt doing Nebraska.” In 2014, David released There Are No Secrets in This Town, an album that "plays out like a musical version of a McMurtry novel," wrote Terry Paul Roland, a featured contributor to No Depression. David is a winner of the Minnesota Folk Festival's "New Folk" songwriting competition, and he's opened for the likes of Tom Paxton, Bill Staines, Ellis Paul and Garnet Rogers, among others.
SOLLY BURTON -- mandolin, vocals
Mention the name Solly Burton and words like "progidy" and "virtuoso" quickly come to mind. By age 12, he'd shared the stage with Ricky Skaggs. By 21, the Graysville, IN, native was a two-time winner of the prestigious Walnut Valley National Mandolin Championship and had won state mandolin championships in Indiana, Kentucky, Alabama and Tennessee. He's rooted in bluegrass and folk, but he also likes popular music -- as long as it is 1930's-era jazz and swing standards. That love led him to study the playing of mandolin innovator and Country Music Hall-of-Famer Jethro Burns. Solly has played on NPR (including "From the Top") several times. He's been featured with the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, and and he's performed Vivaldi's 'Mandolin Concerto in C' with faculty members of the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music.
RICHARD HIPPLER -- banjo, vocals
When you take a banjo solo with Bill Monroe and the Father of Bluegrass's banjo player tells you, "That's pretty good pickin', son," you know you've made it. Vic Jordan's words to Richard Hippler onstage at the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Music Festival marked the Newton, IL, native's bluegrass "arrival." Richard picked up the mandolin at 10 but his musical direction changed when a banjo player came to town. "He showed my brother a basic roll and he showed it to me and I was hooked on the banjo," Richard recalled. Richard's fine work on the banjo has driven a number of bands, including The Ambraw River Boys, who had a regular show on WKZI-AM. Always looking forward, Richard currently plays in Generation Gap, a band with his two grandsons. "Sharing music-making with them is very special," he said.
KARL BURKE -- bass, vocals
Karl Burke has been a key part of Minnesota's folk and old-time music scene for three decades. Whether playing solo -- where he earned the title of "troubadour" one road mile at a time -- or in a group, Karl's guitar and vocal skills have won him high praise. In 2002, he picked up the bass, first with the Wild Goose Chase Cloggers, and now plays with The Eelpout Stringers, a string band that has become a fixture in the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association festival scene. The California native has toured nationally and has shared the stage with folk legends Bill Staines, Priscilla Herdman, Jerry Rau and others. He spent more than a decade hosting the Twin Cities' premier open stage at the Ginkgo Coffeehouse, and his workshops in stagecraft and building set lists have become festival favorites.