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!


Missy Raines - BASS

Missy Raines Missy Raines is the most decorated bass player in the history of the International Bluegrass Music Association- with 7 Bass Player of the Year Awards to her credit.

A former member of the Grammy Nominated Claire Lynch Band, the acclaimed duo, Jim Hurst and Missy Raines, Missy is one of the most popular figures in the bluegrass community and a trailblazer in her field for as long as she’s been playing music. Her rich pedigree in the field reaches from legends such as Mac Wiseman, Kenny Baker, Josh Graves and Eddie and Martha Adcock, to contemporary artists like Peter Rowan, Laurie Lewis, Dudley Connell and Don Rigsby.

Missy also toured and recorded with the rootsy, edgy Brother Boys.

More recently she’s made wave with the band new hip and established herself as a songwriter a skill she continues to develop on her latest release Royal Traveller. This recording features the all-star line up of Missy, Alison Brown, Becky Buller, Molly Tuttle and Sierra Hull known as “The First Ladies of Bluegrass”.

Missy is becoming a familiar face at Kingham this being her third visit. We are delighted to bring her back to these shores a great lady and bass player.




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!!!



Mike Witcher - DOBRO

Mike Witcher Mike last came to Sore Fingers Week in 2012 after teaching two years running, a testament to his popularity! Time we got him back.

Mike’s hometown is “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula”, better known as Los Angles. As we say in Southern California, that’s so Michael—a lot beneath the surface, playful, cool, and deeply rooted. He grew up the youngest of five siblings (including a twin brother) in a musical and artistic family in the suburbs of Los Angeles, and began playing the resonator guitar at the age of fourteen. Influenced by the many styles of music he heard at home, he was soon playing with father Dennis and brother Gabe (who currently plays in the Punch Brothers) in the legendary SoCal-based bluegrass band The Witcher Brothers.

Now a much-in-demand session player in LA and Nashville, Michael has worked with such artists as Dwight Yoakam, Dolly Parton, Bette Midler, Peter Rowan, Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek), Laurie Lewis, John Paul Jones (bassist of Led Zeppelin), Joan Osborn, The Gibson Brothers, Willie Watson (Old Crow Medicine Show), and Fernando Ortega among others. He has played the Grand Ole Opry and Prairie Home Companion many times and you can hear him on hundreds of records, sound tracks, commercials and tv shows.

Michael is a gifted and caring teacher. Over the last 15 years he has developed an effective method of teaching the resonator guitar, one that allows the student to integrate complex concepts quickly into his or her playing. I’ve heard from those students about how valuable and fun his classes are. He has written two instructional books (Resonator Guitar— Tunes Techniques and Practice Skills, which has become a standard, and the recently released Resonator Guitar—20 Bluegrass Jam Favorites), and teaches at the top acoustic music camps around the world, including Rob Ickes’ Reso Summit.

But what sets Michael apart (and why he has such an impressive resume) is his sound. He has achingly gorgeous tone, dead-on intonation, and ideas and breaks that make you feel that thing deep in your gut when the music is just right. Every time I hear Michael play I hear something new, jaw-droppingly creative and tasteful. He is, simply put, one of the best resonator guitar players in the world.

So, get to know him: take a lesson, get one of his instruction books, listen to a recording, go see a band he’s playing with at a festival or even better, book on his class at next Easter’s Sore Fingers Week!



Peter McLaughlin - GUITAR 1

Peter McLaughlin Peter McLaughlin is an acclaimed acoustic guitarist, songwriter, vocalist, performer, recording artist and music instructor located in Tucson, Arizona. He plays many genres and styles, and specializes in acoustic flatpicking and fingerpicking techniques. He was born in Washington DC. Early on, his parents, Bill and Nancy McLaughlin, brought music into the lives of Peter and his brother David. They were introduced to all types of music through the family band.

Peter started playing the guitar at the age of eight and was very soon jamming at bluegrass festivals and fiddle conventions. He lived in Denmark in the early 70s, and attended a Danish high school. In 1974, Peter moved again, this time to attend Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where he played with Tom Rozum (mandolin, fiddle, and vocals), Roger Smith (bass and vocals), John Zarske (rhythm guitar and vocals), and Frank Dedera (banjo) in the group Flying South, an acoustic string band specializing in bluegrass and early swing era jazz. A later incarnation of Flying South included Kirby Mittelmeier (mandolin and vocals) and John Willis (bass and vocals).

In 1983, Peter moved to Tucson, where he played music with banjo player Ross Nickerson in various bands, including the 1988 Telluride Band Contest winners, The Titan Valley Warheads, who Peter still plays with on occasion.

In 1991, Peter had the opportunity to reunite with his long-time pal, Tom Rozum, and joined Laurie Lewis, touring nationally and internationally for six years as guitarist and harmony vocalist with her band. In 1992 Chris Brashear moved to Tucson. He and Peter struck up an immediate and lasting friendship and a strong musical bond and began performing and recording together.

In 1996, Peter released his first solo album, a CD entitled Cliffs of Vermilion, produced by Laurie. She, along with Tom, Chris, brother David, father Bill, and others appear on Peter's stellar debut CD, which is on Dog Boy Records.

In 1999 when Chris recorded his first solo CD, Wanderlust, an excellent new bluegrass band formed out of that project when producer, Jody Stecher, along with Bluegrass Boy banjo picker, Bob Black, bassist, Forrest Rose, Chris and Peter started Perfect Strangers. Their self-titled CD, released on Rebel Records in 2003, was also produced by Jody.

Since the late 1980's Peter has performed off and on with Bob Meighan, Earl Edmonson, Kirby Mittlelmeier and Brian Davies in a band affectionately known as The Dreadnutts. In 1991 they won the Telluride Bluegrass Band Contest.

In 2011 Peter's current band, The Sonoran Dogs, was formed out of a tour with the late Japanese guitarist, Maro Kawabata. The "Dogs" continue to perform regularly at various festivals and concert venues. Their first CD was released in 2014 on Dog Boy Records. In 2013 Peter was inducted into the Tucson Musicians Museum.

Peter is no stranger to teaching and has taught many camps over the years including Augusta, Great Plains and Rockygrass Academy. So, were in for a treat and a new face at Sore Fingers. Welcome to the club Peter!



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!




Rachel Eddy When Rachel was based in Sweden, she became a regular visitor to Kingham. Not far to come and she made many UK friends and collaborators. A true friend of the event.

Rachel was born and raised in rural WV just south of Morgantown, where her musical family inspired her to play and sing as a little girl. She grew up listening to local fiddlers, her father among them, going to old-time festivals, and attending square dances. The old-time bug bit her early in life and Rachel now performs and teaches full-time on fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin and bass.

She has recently relocated back to West Virginia after living the last 5 years in Stockholm. During that time, she invigorated the Swedish old-time scene, inspiring dozens of people to learn Appalachian music and dance. In addition to being a performer, Rachel is passionate about teaching. She has taught fiddle, banjo and guitar at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins WV, at Sore Fingers Summer school in the UK, and different various weekend workshops from the hills of West Virginia to Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, London and Wales.

Rachel’s love of music comes from the heart and she loves every part of her job from performing, to educating dedicated students, and the electrifying charge of playing in jam sessions around the world!

Over the years, she has had the honor of sharing stages, workshops and recording sessions with the likes of Tim O’Brien, Erynn Marshall, Dirk Powell, Adam Hurt, Rayna Gellert, Russ Barenberg, Bruce Molsky, Mark Schatz, and a month long tour in Germany with the g’earls from Uncle Earl!

She has four full length albums: The Morgantown Rounders (2006), Hand on the Plow (2008 solo), Chilly Winds (2010 duo with Kristian Herner), and Nothin’ But Corn (2014 solo).

We’ve lost count of how many times Rachel’s has worked at Sore Fingers be it the Easter week or the October weekend. All we can say is she’s well into the way we do things and will get straight in feeling quite at home at Kingham Hill School. Welcome back Rachel!



Dede Wyland - SINGING

Dede Wyland A native of Wisconsin, singer and guitarist Dede honed her bluegrass skills from 1975 through 1979 playing throughout the Midwest and Central states with the Milwaukee-based band ’Grass, Food & Lodging. She then moved to New York, where she became a founding member of Tony Trischka and Skyline, one of the leading progressive bluegrass groups of the 1980s. She toured internationally with Skyline through the ’80s. During those years her clear, powerful voice made her a perennial nominee in the annual awards poll of the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA). As one of the few women at the time who was performing in a high-profile touring bluegrass band, Dede was a role model and an artistic influence for a generation of female bluegrass musicians who would shape the music in the years to come.

After leaving Skyline in 1987, Dede moved to Tucson, Arizona, and then to the Washington-Baltimore area in 1990, performing regionally and concentrating on her work as a vocal coach. Since 1999, Dede’s singing has won her a shelf full of “Wammie” awards from the Washington Area Music Association. Her first full-length solo recording, “Keep the Light On” (Patuxent Music 189) was released in 2009, and her career is the subject of its own chapter in Murphy Hicks Henry’s 2013 book “Pretty Good for a Girl: Women in Bluegrass” (University of Illinois Press).Since 1994, Dede has helped countless amateurs express themselves through singing, and has guided professionals to their full vocal potential.

Her goal is to help singers find their natural voice, and their style, by teaching techniques that lead to greater range, flexibility, and overall vocal quality. Ultimately, she seeks to give her students tools to bridge the gap between what they feel and what they can express. With this goal in mind, Dede teaches her students basic vocal anatomy, posture, correct breathing, and breath support. Once that foundation is established, she moves on to address each student’s individual needs and musical styles.

Dede studied in New York City for 7 years with highly regarded singer and voice teacher Rona Klinghoffer, and has also worked with other celebrated coaches focusing on modern technique for non-classical styles of singing.

She studied the anatomy and physiology of voice production at the University of Maryland, is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and makes a point of staying abreast of developments in the world of voice teaching.

Dede last taught at Sore Fingers Week 2002, seventeen years ago! Times we asked this talented lady to come back we think...




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!