Bluegrass is all in the family at the County Fair
Citizen Telegram Editor
RIFLE — Move over, Von Trapp family singers. Meet the Walker family tonight.
Redhead Express, a country and bluegrass band, is made up of four sisters from Nashville — Kendra, LaRue, Alisa and Meghan — who will be opening for Clay Walker tonight.
Kendra, the oldest, plays lead guitar and writes the band’s original music. She has been compared to the likes of Alison Krauss and Eva Cassidy. Kendra is also writing music with some big-name musicians in Nashville.
Next in line is LaRue, who is an accomplished banjo player in both the old claw-hammer and Scruggs’ three-finger style and adds her high-tenor voice to the band.
Alisa is the fiddle player whose voice has been compared to Loretta Lynn, singing low baritone with maturity beyond her years.
Meghan, the youngest, plays the bass and sings with a high-tenor voice, and is known for her beautiful smile.
But before they take the stage, their three little brothers, Sean, Joseph, and Ammon, who make up The Walker Boys, will take the stage.
The Walker Boys play bluegrass music that includes the fiddle, mandolin, banjo and bass, while singing three part harmonies with their young voices. The eldest, Sean, plays the drums for his sisters when they’re on the road.
The Walker family was originally from Alaska, but when the girls started playing together about seven years ago, they decided to follow their dream and move to Nashville.
“My mom taught piano when we were little, and we started as a band about seven years ago,” said Kendra. “We hit the road as a family band.”
They played some gigs in Branson, Missouri. Eventually the girls found agent and producer Liv Gregory of Gregory Talent and Gregory Productions in Nashville and have been with her for two years.
“They came to me and I watched them and said, ‘I want you guys in my stable,’” Gregory said with a laugh. “Then I discovered the little boys were pretty good, too. I’ll have the boys on one stage and the girls on the other, and sometimes the boys will come and sing with the girls. It brings down the house.”
The younger Walkers are home-schooled as the family performs about three shows a day. Redhead Express is also working on its first major album with renowned producer Paul Worley who has produced such acts as the Dixie Chicks, Martina McBride and Lady Antebellum.
“These are wonderful people,” Gregory said. “They live together, play together and sing together. And they’re really great to work with.”
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The first in-person local festival of the year has arrived with Dandelion Day making its return to Sopris Park in Carbondale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday.