Writer biographies

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My name is Aaron Keith Harris, editor of LRR. I got the idea to start a music review blog after talking to Tim Walsh and Katy Leonard at the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass in the fall of 2006.

I was asked to conduct mentor sessions for those who wanted to start writing about bluegrass, and they were among those that came by. They needed clips and I always have more CDs than I have time to review, so here we are.

My mission here is to give good writers a chance to write about music in an honest, entertaining and enlightening way.

We’re gaining more readers every day and I think have done a good job fulfilling our mission

If you’d like to write for us or, more importantly at this point, help with the technical aspects of maintaining and promoting a Web site, e-mail me at lonesomeroadreview@gmail.com

Same e-mail if you’d like us to review your CD or live show.

LRR contributing writers (past and present):

Maria Morgan Davis was born in the bluegrass desert of Los Angeles, California, where she currently lives. She was raised on the sounds of “Hee Haw” and her guitar-playing dad’s weekend jams with friends.

A classically-trained flutist and vocalist, Maria specialized in the music of the Baroque in college. After doing studio work and playing in the pit bands of several local theater productions, she settled down to a career as an advertising copywriter.

After hours, she works on her flatpicking, and lends her vocal and instrumental talents to various projects. Most recently, she was a guest musician on the debut release of her husband’s band, Systems Theory, an international ensemble that fuses ambient, prog, and space rock.

Her genre experiments with other musicians have deepened her love of traditional bluegrass, but she enjoys other styles, too. Perennial favorite artists include The Beatles, The Buffalo Springfield, Georg Frederic Handel, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Los Lobos, The Decemberists, The Neville Brothers, Thad Cockrell, Sandy Denny, and Lyle Lovett.

When the telltale white earbuds aren’t crammed into her ears, Maria enjoys cooking, American movies from the 30s and 40s, spending time with her family, and her Akbash dog, Sammo.

Erin Faith

Erin Faith is a Nashville-based music business and journalism major at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn. Although trained classically on flute and voice, she has been surrounded by bluegrass music since before she was born in southwest Missouri. Erin comes from a musical family—her parents met playing in a bluegrass band, and her dad was a luthier and woodworker with his own line of hammer dulcimers. Erin’s mom, IBMA’s Nancy Cardwell, is also a freelance writer and musician. Erin’s musical tastes are as quirky and eclectic as her imaginative writing style. Faves in her car stereo and iPod (before it was recently stolen!) include: The Beatles, Nickel Creek, the Motion City Soundtrack, IIIrd Tyme Out, Sibelius and Shostakovitch. A gifted lead and harmony vocalist, Erin has been on stage and in the studio since age three. She’s picked up her Dad’s Guild guitar lately, and is busy learning Buddy Mondlock, Brandi Carlile and Patti Griffin songs. In addition to algebra textbooks, Erin is currently reading A Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde. When she’s not studying, playing the flute or reading, Erin enjoys writing poetry, cooking vegetarian delicacies, watching good movies (English humor is best), drinking strong coffee and tutoring underclassmen in music theory. She interned at Sugar Hill Records in Nashville last summer and enjoyed a foray into the world of producing and selling good music.

katy leonard

A former flute player of the Classical and Irish persuasion, Katy Leonard now spends her life listening to, studying, and writing about American vernacular music: bluegrass, blues, gospel, folk, Americana, country, with a splash of taiko drumming, Native American, and Tin Pan Alley thrown in. She is an amateur Ghanaian drummer and Javanese gamelan-er. An Atlantan to the core, she is currently completing a Ph.D. In Ethnomusicology from Brown University, while living, working, and concert going in Nashville, TN. Her previous research centered on Irish Bluegrass music, including a residence at the Irish World Music Centre in Limerick, Ireland. She now writes about bluegrass and politics, as well as American and multicultural musics in K-12 Education. Her “all time” favorite groups include Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, The Band, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Planxty, and the Del McCoury Band.

Larry Stephens was born and raised a few miles down the road from Bean Blossom, Indiana, home of Bill Monroe’s legendary bluegrass festival.
A descendant of several of the first settlers of this part of the state, I grew up in the country, attended a small school (graduating class of twenty-three people) and graduated from Indiana University. Through the years I’ve had several careers: policeman, truck driver, insurance adjuster. In 1985 I started my third tour of duty as an Indiana University employee – and I’m still there as Director of Risk Management.
Music has always been an important part of my life. I still bear the emotional scars of being an inept tuba player in my high school band (thirteen strong). I started learning guitar on an archtop f-hole guitar my dad had. Once he figured out I would never be a lead guitarist, Dad bought me a bass and what followed is now almost legendary (stressing the “almost”). At seventeen, I was playing and singing in the Starlighters with my dad and some of his friends, playing local clubs and VFW lodges. We played a mix of country and country-rock (like Credence Clearwater Revival).
As the years flew by I continued to write songs, played country and Southern Gospel and, several years ago, started playing bluegrass and added an upright bass or two to my instrumental collection. I’ve played – and play – in several local bluegrass bands and in my church praise team.
I like many kinds of music. A touch of classical, a little blues and jazz, whatever you want to call what Celtic Woman does, but most of my listening time is pre-Beatles rock ‘n’ roll, Southern Gospel, real country (Faron Young, Lefty Frizzell) and bluegrass. I like Grisman and Baldassari but I’m a traditionalist at heart.
My wife and I have five great kids and three fabulous grandkids. I’m a deacon in my church. I love hunting and fishing, hiking, horses, camping, ATVs and genealogy. I can be reached at Larry@WyandotteEnterprises.com .

Donald Teplyske was born in a small cabin in the hills of West Virginia….

Not really, but….

I spent my earliest years on a fairly ramshackle farm poised on the flats of the North Saskatchewan River south of Duffield, Alberta, the son of – I’m told- a not very competent cattle rustler. As one of more than a dozen kids spread across at least three families living on the property, an appreciation for the freedom of the fields and woods was established.

While a mightily needed matrimonial realignment on the part of my parents necessitated a move to the less quaint environs of the big city (and a name change), my love for rural life- as long as my hands didn’t get too dirty- and country-influenced music (Glen Campbell, Tom T. Hall, and Murray McLauchlan) was sent.

After high school (The Who, the Undertones, and Bruce Springsteen) and university (The Blasters, Lone Justice, and Marty Stuart), and a couple stops in increasingly smaller towns, my wife and I found ourselves settled in Central Alberta, and my love for bluegrass and roots music really started to flourish.

A regular Bluegrass Now contributor, I also write on roots music for the Red Deer Advocate newspaper and other publications. I’m a founder of the Waskasoo Bluegrass Music Society, and continue to book the concerts for that organization.

I listen to a wide variety of music, and the current contents of the mighty Taurus’s 6-CD pack reveals my tastes: The Jam- Sound Affects; Bound to Ride: The Best of Larry Sparks; Putumayo’s African Party; James Reams & the Barnstormers- Troubled Times; The Kinks- Arthur, and Dick Gaughan- Live at the Trades Club. That Rachel Sweet is not represented in this selection is only a cruel twist of chance. Who knew I’d be asked to write a biography this week?

When not procrastinating from really important tasks, I’m an elementary school vice-principal residing in Red Deer with my spouse and two distinctly personable cats, Misty and Mocha. We enjoy traveling the back roads of our province and RVing in the shadows of the Rockies. I’m currently completing a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Lethbridge.

Tim Walsh

Tim Walsh’s ideal world spins at 33, 45, or 78 rpm. He loves those shiny little discs too, and occasionally he’ll even listen to a compressed glob of ones and zeroes from the Interweb. Tim finds joy in the beauty and sheer power of a well-written or well-played song. He’s also partial to songs that feature singing animals, space aliens, or police sirens. Tim enjoys collecting music, grilling, working out, and hangin’ with his dogs. He is proud to be a staff writer for Bluegrass Now magazine and a contributor to The Lonesome Road Review. Tim lives with his dogs and records in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

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5 thoughts on “Writer biographies

  1. I just finished reading the review of Carolina Roads lasted release by Maria Morgan Davis. I really appreciate the very complimentary comments about the two songs, Can’t You Hear The Mountains Calling and Which Way To Go. I would like to send you a CD with more of my orginal material, not for review but just for you to hear. Of course, any comments would certainly be appreciated. Thanks again.
    If you would send me a mailing address, I will a CD out to you……………………………….Jerry Williamson

  2. hey all…
    thanks for posting the review of my band’s latest, “Last Good Kiss” by Last Train Home. really appreciate the attention and (of course) the high praise. Nice to be found worthy!
    thanks maria….
    Eric
    mail@lasttrainhome.com
    (send me a note and i’ll mail you some more of my stuff… and from my label, Red Beet Records… new CDs by Peter Cooper and Fayssoux that i’ve released are spectacular!)

  3. Wow this may be strange but I just stumbled on your great site I was stalking Donald Teplyske. He just wrote the liner notes of out new CD, “One Foot In The Honky Tonk” very nice notes. I won’t give out any more info on the album. It should be out in April.

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