Some of the advertised tutors for the original Easter 2020 Sore Fingers Week are unable to come over in December. These have been removed from the list. SFSS are in the process of recruiting replacements. These will be listed as soon as we are able to comfirm their appointment.

The 25th Sore Fingers Week


Les Gustafson-Zook - AUTOHARP

Les Gustafson-Zook Les Gustafson-Zook, from Goshen, Indiana, is a popular autoharp instructor and performer, appearing at many festivals and music schools in the U. S. since 1990. He began playing the autoharp when given an autoharp in 1985 as a wedding present by his wife’s sister who thought the two of them were collecting unusual instruments. Visiting the autoharp contest at Winfield, Kansas that fall gave a taste and vision of what the autoharp could sound like and soon, contests and jamming became a motivator for pushing the limits of the instrument. Les won the 1989 National Autoharp Championship and placed 3rd and 2nd four time each at Winfield before winning the International Autoharp Champion in 2001. Along the way, he discovered the joy of teaching and the joy of building musical community through playing with others.

Les began teaching autoharp in 1991 at Linn Benton Community College in Oregon. The desire to expose students to a variety of performers and styles led to the founding of the Willamette Valley Autoharp Gathering with a group of his students in 1994. He has taught at Augusta Heritage Center, John C. Campbell Folk School, Kentucky Music Week, Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering, Walnut Valley Festival and many other festivals across the U.S. In 2014 he was inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame, acknowledging his contributions to the autoharp world. He is known for his clear and encouraging teaching style, his fast, clean picking of fiddle tunes, his energetic performances and for his sensitive arrangements of hymns, waltzes and Christmas carols.

Les has recorded six Cds, including Cascade Noel and Gather at the River (with guitarist Jon ten Broek), Finger Pickin Pals (with guitarist Ray Frank), and two with his wife, Gwen joining him on guitar and vocals - Long Time Traveling and Home. In 1991 he began performing on multiple instruments in elementary schools, doing a program called Songs of the Pioneers. This led to a 10 year full time music stint, performing in hundreds of schools across the eastern U.S. His CD of that traditional American music is called, Skip to My Lou.

Les also hosts a two hour acoustic music radio show on Monday nights on a local college radio station, WGCS. You can hear his musical choices by streaming it on the internet at globeradio.org at 9-11pm EST. He’s also been a core member of a contradance band, called Band ‘o Goshen, which plays regularly for dances in the northern Indiana area, and performs regularly with Gwen and his daughter, Sadie.
When not doing music, Les works for Mennonite Central Committee, an international relief, development and peacemaking organization, and volunteers with a non-profit bicycle shop called Chain Reaction Bicycle Project.

Les enjoyed S.F.Week so much last time he came he asked to come back at the first opportunity. So here he is.



Ned Luberecki - BANJO 1

Ned Luberecki Want to learn Cripple Creek backwards? Ned’s your man… Amazing sense of humour, he’s man who suffers for his art but, believe me, it’s all worthwhile. Ned’s an amazing teacher and will run a fun class too. Is that possible with banjos only Ned knows if you follow him….

A 25-year professional who’s noted for his dazzling technique, originality and broad sense of humor, Ned Luberecki has served for over a decade with Chris Jones & The Night Drivers. His resume includes stints with Paul Adkins & The Borderline Band; Gary Ferguson; Radio Flyer and the Rarely Herd, frequent winners of SPBGMA’s Entertaining Band Of The Year award.

He’s a popular banjo instructor at some of the most renowned instructional camps in the US, Canada and Europe as well as private lessons at his studio in Nashville and online via webcam. Ned is also a broadcaster on SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction, where he hosts the regular newgrass show, Derailed, and the popular Sunday Banjo Lesson.

Since joining The Night Drivers, Ned has continued to make a name for himself as a guest on a variety of recordings and appearances, including tours with Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time and as the “other” banjo player with Tony Trischka’s Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular. In 2007, he released a popular solo project, Nedski, which included duets with friends like The Infamous Stringdusters’ Chris Pandolfi and Punch Brothers’ Noam Pikelny, along with comic favourites like “Cabin Of Death.” In 2010, he teamed up with the Sam Bush Band’s Stephen Mougin as Nedski & Mojo, releasing an acclaimed project Nothing More.

One of his latest projects is working with the Becky Buller Band – Becky is also teaching this year – and together they will lighten up the showcases.

You just can’t miss the banjo class with this guy around!


Leon Hunt - BANJO 2

Leon Hunt Leon makes his living playing alongside some of the world’s top musicians from a number of musical styles, backgrounds and disciplines.
Since graduating from his ‘Music and Music Technology’ degree in 2000 Leon has taken part in several notable ‘transatlantic’ recordings; Miles Apart (2004) Shuttle Diplomacy (2008) and Fishing Music (2009). These projects have included some of the biggest names in American traditional music; Viktor Krauss, Tim O’Brien, Stuart Duncan, David Grier and Matt Flinner to name a few.
Beyond proving his Bluegrass credentials, Leon has found himself in a diverse array of other musical settings; occasional live and/or recorded collaborations with Irish traditional music’s Michael McGoldrick and Flook, African Kora virtuoso, Sekou Kieta, and English Folk singer, Kate Rusby.
He has also enjoyed being part of several major theatre productions for The Royal Shakespeare Company, Birmingham Rep, and The New Vic (search the web hard enough and you’ll find a very funny picture of him in a powdered wig and tights!!!)
If all of the above name dropping means nothing to you then we’ll have to resort to Anchor Butter’s major 2008 TV advertising campaign (the series of commercials with the fuzzy felt cows), that was Leon too




Becky Buller Warning! This high energy entertaining fiddler and songwriter is coming back to inject some “je ne sais quoi” into the 25th Sore Fingers Week!
Fiddlers are guaranteed a great time with Becky she enormous fun and fits perfectly into the Sore Fingers spirit. Those who have seen her in action at previous events will testify…

Born to a musical family in Southern Minnesota, Becky soon persuaded her parents she wanted to learn to play the fiddle and very soon became a full time member of the family band. Music was a constant during her school and college days and she was soon trying her hand at song-writing winning awards and despite graduating from East Tennessee State university with a degree in Public Relations, it was career in music that beckoned.

Becky is frequently shortlisted in the top 20 nominees for IBMA’s Fiddler of the Year award and her songs have been covered by IIIrd Tyme Out; Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver; Rhonda Vincent & the Rage; David Parmley & Continental Divide; the Mark Newton Band; and Fragment, among others.

Her live performances with Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike have raised her reputation as a fine fiddler in this country and alongside her fabulous own band, she’s been taking the stage with the “First Ladies of Bluegrass” with Mollie Tuttle, Sierra Hull, Alison Brown and Missy Raines.

Becky is special, you’ll love her and she’ll teach you things you didn’t know were possible!!!



Todd Livingston - DOBRO

Todd Livingston Todd Livingston has come forward at short notice to replace Mike Witcher who has had to pull out of Sore Fingers Week 2020 due to unforeseen circumstances.
Todd Has been playing, teaching and touring professionally for over fifteen years and has shared stages with some of the greatest names on the circuit including Earl Scruggs, Jim Lauderdale, Missy Raines, Tim O’Brien Bryan Sutton Matt Flinner and many others. A distinguished list of American musicians.
Whilst growing up as musician with the traditional Bluegrass repertoire, Todd has never been afraid of stepping out of the Bluegrass box and spent six months in the theatre on Pullizer Prize winning play “A Particle of Dread” written by Sam Shepherd. Todd has also been involved the American Musicians Abroad Programme and played all over the world covering 40 odd countries.
Todd’s enthusiasm for the Dobro and music is infectious and there’s nothing Todd’s likes more than playing, teaching or talking about the resophonic guitar. You can tell, he’s always smiling….


Ross Martin - GUITAR 2

Ross Martin Guitarist Ross Martin has performed in concert halls, honky-tonks, theaters, rock clubs, living rooms, on festival stages, television programs and everywhere in between. He grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, TX, with brief stints in East Tennessee, attended the University of North Texas, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies, then headed west.
After ten years in the front range area of Colorado, he relocated to the east coast and has lived in Brooklyn, NY for the past ten years.
His musical path has covered as much territory as his physical one.
Reflecting his love of diverse genres like jazz, bluegrass, country, folk, experimental, and classical music, Ross has always felt at home with fellow musicians who seek to reconcile, through their music, the incredible wealth of styles available to listeners in this global and digital age.

He has toured and performed with a wide range of artists including Matt Flinner, Tony Furtado, Ron Miles, Mollie O’Brien, The Motet, Caroline Herring, Dwele, Sonya Kitchell, and many others.
Ross, along with bassist Eric Thorin, has been a member of the Matt Flinner Trio for the past eleven years. Known in acoustic circles for his groundbreaking mandolin work, Matt developed a unique concept for the group: All three band members write a tune each day while on tour and perform it that evening. After several tours, they picked twelve of their favorite tunes and recorded them. The result was “Music du Jour” which was released on Compass Records in April, 2009. Since then, the Trio has produced two more recordings of Music du Jour compositions: “Winter Harvest” (2012) and “Traveling Roots” (2016).

Music education plays an important role in Ross’s professional life. He maintains a private guitar studio, is a sought-after instructor at workshops and music camps, such as Rockygrass Academy and Alabama Folk Life School, and regularly facilitates clinics and teaches master classes at educational institutions across the United States.

Ross’ solo album, “Volley”, features his original compositions and electric guitar playing, and he recently released a duo recording with acoustic guitarist Grant Gordy titled “Year of the Dog”. He performs frequently throughout the New York City area, and tours nationally and internationally with various projects.

Anyone who is a friend of Matt Flinners’ is a friend of ours! This will be a first visit for Ross and those who have attended course with Grant Gordy will find Ross equally inspiring and adventurous. So let’s; give him a warm welcome!



Mike Compton - MANDOLIN 1

Mike Compton Mandolin Magazine calls him a player with "a worldwide reputation as one of the modern masters of bluegrass mandolin...one of the most recognizable and respected mandolin voices anywhere". He's Mike Compton--Grammy and IBMA award-winning recording artist; solo, duo and band performer; and as passionate a teacher and advocate for the mandolin as you're ever likely to find. The New York Times calls Compton, "a new bluegrass instrumental hero."

Born in Meridian, Mississippi (hometown to the legendary Jimmie Rodgers) in 1956, Mike grew up hearing old-time country music, and took up the mandolin as a teenager. Drawn to the powerful mix of old-time fiddle stylings, blues influences and pure creativity embodied in Monroe's playing, he moved to Nashville in 1977 and quickly found work with veteran banjoist and former Monroe sideman Hubert Davis with whom he made his first recordings. In the mid 80’s, he was recruited by Pat Enright and Alan O'Bryant to help found the Nashville Bluegrass Band, and the group quickly became one of the most prominent and admired in bluegrass.
Mike joined the legendary John Hartford, recording and touring extensively until Hartford's death in 2001. At the same time, he began to develop collaborative efforts in recording, performing, and teaching with other masters such as guitarist David Grier, with whom he has toured and recorded the IBMA Album Of The Year-nominated Climbing The Walls; renowned mandolinists David Grisman and Mike Marshall, at whose invitation he participates in the Mandolin Symposium in Santa Cruz, California; producer T-Bone Burnette, for whom he not only performed as a Soggy Bottom Boy on 2001's Grammy Album Of the Year, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, but on the following Grammy-winning Down From The Mountain soundtrack and tours, and on the cold Mountain soundtrack and tours; and, most recently, with up-and-coming mandolinist David Long, with whom he recorded Stomp, nominated for the IBMA's Recorded Event Of The Year in 2006. Adding to his full schedule, Mike was invited to rejoin the Nashville Bluegrass Band in 2000, where No Depression magazine noted in a 2004 review that "his contributions notably enhance one of the band's greatest strengths: its uniquely precise take on the blues."

Honored in 2002 with a special resolution by the Mississippi State Senate for his accomplishments, Mike Compton is in demand today at every level, from solo tours, treasured performances with the Nashville Bluegrass Band, appearances with Grier, and other duet partners, to instructional settings like the International Bluegrass Music Museum's wildly successful Monroe Mandolin Camp, to studio recordings with bluegrass legends such as Ralph Stanley and country stars like Faith Hill. In the end, there's no better way to say it than in the words of Mandolin Magazine--Mike Compton, is, simply put, "a certified mandolin icon."

Wearing his signature pressed blue overalls and rocking and weaving with fluid body motion, Compton stuns not by tricks or artifice, but through his singing, his ability to engage a crowd, and through decades of honing his technique into the unique, one-of-a-kind Compton signature mandolin sound. With his Gilchrist mandolin, this is a perfect match of a musician and his instrument.
Mike is another familiar face at Kingham Hill School and takes up his role as tutor for the fourth time since his first visit in 2000. No mandolinist should go through life without attending a course with Mike Compton!



Dirk Powell - OLD TIME FIDDLE 1

Dirk Powell Dirk Powell is a musician, writer, producer, composer, studio owner, and engineer residing in Southwest Louisiana. His roots in Kentucky and his commitment to Creole and Cajun culture have fused with early classical training to form an artistic palette and vision that are unique in today’s musical environment.

In addition to his own performances, he has toured with Eric Clapton, Joan Baez, Rhiannon Giddens, Linda Ronstadt, Jack White, Loretta Lynn, and many others. His work in film has found him collaborating with producers such as T Bone Burnett, and directors like Anthony Minghella and Ang Lee. In 2018, he will be touring with both Rhiannon Giddens and Joan Baez, while working on several projects in his studio on the banks of Bayou Teche, the Cypress House.

As this biography testifies, this man is busy and as a result, very hard to get hold of! I haven’t been shy of trying since Dirk’s last visit in 2013. So, it was like a light bulb coming on when I got an email from him expressing an interest in another visit for the great man. Dirk will bring along a bucket full of Old Time and Traditional American Music and lots of other things too. No one will have forgotten his showcase appearances with Mollie O’Brien turning Kingham’s main hall into ”Texas” Honky Tonk. Those in his class and the rest of the congregation have a lot to look forward to next Easter and it’s fitting that it’s the 25th S.F.Week.
A little footnote, at S.F. 2013, Dirk played so much, he left Kingham Hill School with…. You’ve guessed it Sore Fingers! You couldn’t make it up.




Wil Maring We first heard Wil with her then band “Shady Mix” in the mid-nineties. Shady mix were a rarity, a professional touring band based in Germany playing some 200 shows a year. There’s absolutely no doubt as to the success of this band Wil’s songs. Their albums were filled with great original songs all written by this talented songwriter. So, it’s long overdue that Sore Fingers Bring this lady to share her knowledge with you.

As Wil Maring sat for long summer hours as a teenager at her family's roadside vegetable stand, picking out self-made tunes on her Sears guitar to pass the time, she never dreamed of the path she would one day follow. Wil has become a highly acclaimed songwriter, a previous winner of the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest, and has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry with her original music, in addition to touring extensively in Europe and Japan. She honed her songwriting skills playing music professionally in Europe with her group Shady Mix.

Wil Maring and virtuose guitarist and fiddler Robert Bowlin have been recently combining talents to create beautiful original acoustic music which straddles the fence between bluegrass, folk and country music. Wil’s beautiful airy vocal style and heartfelt lyrics have raised the eyebrows of the acoustic music world in recent years with the release of her three solo cds and four band cds with her band Shady Mix.

Their music will leave audiences spellbound long after the show is over. For bigger venues, Wil sometimes appears with whole band, Shady Mix, which includes instrumental lineup of upright bass, fiddle, mandolin, and sometimes banjo.

Let’s make this lady welcome to Sore Fingers and if you take just a smidgeon of her creativity, you will be writing masterpieces before long!




Andy MacKenzie We ran this course as a two day pilot over the S.F. October Weekend, Autumn 2019. Was it a success? You bet. Student feedback has ben amazing and we are running this course over five days next Easter. So, let's start with a bit about your talented Tutor:
Andy Mackenzie has over forty years of experience as freelance recording and live performer covering a wide ranges of musical styles and still preforming up 150 live concerts a year!. Alongside his live and recording work, Andy is currently the Jazz guitar tutor at Bangor University and has delivered several classes in Jazz and improvisation including prestigious institutions such as LIPA. He also co-authored Masters of Jazz guitar published in 1999 and continue to write reviews for the music press.
And to top that all, Andy is a proficient Flatpick Bluegrass Guitar and banjo player!
His knowledge of music, scales, harmony and chord sequences equip him perfectly to deliver the great class we believe this new venture is going to provide!

Trevor Hyett is the instigator of this course with our full endorsement so here is his introduction:
Before we get in too deep, we must emphasize that this course is not instrument specific and will benefit all including singers.
This new course for this October’s Sore Fingers Weekend which we believe you might find tempting: essentially, it’s about developing advanced strategies for taking an instrumental break…IMPROVISATION.
We’ve developed a full-blown weekend designed to help players of any and all instruments to take a convincing and rewarding break over any chord changes…not just the 3-chord tricks that we all know and love. As such it might be more suited to higher intermediate and advanced, more experienced players.
As is implicit in the above paragraph, this weekend’s class/workshop will be open to all instrumentalists (and singers too, if you like to scat!). A unique departure from the usual instrument-specific classes we’re all familiar with.
The tutor will be one of my favourite players: Andy MacKenzie. Many of you will know him from Easter’s at Kingham as he has come along especially to take part in David Grier and Grant Gordy’s classes.. (BTW – check out his shredding Blackberry Blossom on YouTube…absolutely knock-out!!). Andy is a great, professional with, in addition to his bluegrass flat-picking skills, great swing and jazz chops…and a truly innovative improviser.
Uniquely this course, as part of the Sore Fingers October Weekend, will bring players of different instruments to play together collaboratively and creatively to take a giant step down the never-ending road of IMPROVISATION.
End of sales pitch…but I’ve booked already!! Come and join me!



We are very pleased to welcome back the "Bath Bluegrass School" to run the beginners/lower intermediate classes for 2020. Your tutors will be very familiar faces as Laura, Charlotte and John have been omnipresent at Sore Fingers for a long time. You could say that the event has contributed to their apprenticeship. Between them, they can play all the instruments found in Bluegrass and Old Time and real life experience having graced some of the largest stages on the British Folk Scene including Fairport Convention’s Cropredy and the Cambridge Folk Festival.

But, “apprentices” they are not. Based past successes on the British Acoustic Music scene and their work with super-band Midnight Skyracer, they are carving a descent reputation over the Atlantic at the heart of the Bluegrass homelands too, a fine achievement. I think it’s safe to say that our beginner tutors are full members of the world’s Bluegrass establishment.

All three have attended courses at Sore Fingers and know exactly what’s needed to set beginners and lower intermediate players on the road to successful musicianship. Between them, they cover all the instruments and have prepared a great programme. Lots of learning and a fair dose of fun too.

Their teaching plan includes both individual tuition on your specific instrument and group sessions where you will learn to understand how to play in groups and sessions. These classes are aimed at students who have little musical experience and have only been playing for a short time those who have had a long break from music (perhaps you learned a stringed instrument as a child but are now returning to music as an adult) or who have been learning for a few years but struggle with confidence and making the next step in your playing. Over the course of the week you will learn the right techniques avoiding those bad habits that can impede your playing if not tackled early on. The tuition will boost your confidence in playing and learn to play with others as well as working on your listening skills learning by ear and getting a string grounding in music theory.

Generally beginners feel more comfortable learning in a group setting before taking private one to one lessons or joining a main class w at Sore Fingers.

There is more information about Making the right choice on the “What Course should I go on” page of the website. For additional advice, you can also contact the tutors here: info@bathbluegrassschool.co.uk"


Charlotte Carrivick - GUITAR/MANDOLIN

Charlotte Carrivick If you’ve been to Sore Fingers Week before, you’ll have seen Charlotte Carrivick on stage completely at ease with some of the worlds most gifted flatpick guitarists or mandolin players.

Charlotte is one of Britain’s hottest players and can hold her own in the best of company! So you know she will be teaching you the right techniques to develop your playing skills. You will be learning from one of the best tutors in this country.



Laura Carrivick - FIDDLE/DOBRO

Laura Carrivick Laura Carrivick is an award winning and highly regarded fiddle and dobro player and is absolutely passionate about teaching people who are on the first rungs of the musical ladder.

She gets particular satisfaction out of watching students take huge leaps forward as they invariably do in the early stages of learning an instrument. Along with sister Charlotte, she isn’t easily phased in distinguished company whether it’s a Dobro of fiddle break that’s required, Laura just quietly rises to the occasion! So, you’re in good hands and will be taught the right way!



John Breese - BANJO

John Breese John currently teaches and performs full time since gaining distinction in his Masters Degree in Classical Guitar Performance from The University of Southampton. John has many years of experience as a workshop leader and in teaching one-to-one lessons to all ages. John currently performs with a number of bands, primarily Thunderbridge Bluegrass Band (banjo) and Cardboard Fox (bass). John is not only a brilliant musician, but also an excellent technician, something which he aims to pass onto his students.