The Wildmans, an acoustic string band from the hills of Floyd, VA, in the heart of the Appalachian mountain music tradition, take inspiration from the old masters like Bill Monroe, Kenny Baker and Doc Watson, as well as many modern and non-traditional artists such as Chris Thile and Lake Street Dive. From campsite jamming at festivals and fiddler’s conventions and classical music education comes the foundation for musical exploration that sets this group apart, taking the audience on a musical journey that reflects the growth and passion of these talented young musicians.
The band features the award winning talents of siblings Eli on mandolin and Aila on fiddle and vocals, family friend and banjo phenomenon Victor Furtado, all backed up by bandmom Deb Wildman on bass . Highly skilled instrumentals and soulful vocals applied to traditional bluegrass tunes with a smattering of old time, blues, and jazz combine to create a fresh new sound – old tunes fueled by young spirit.
Their set combines fiddle tunes, ballads and folk songs of the Appalachian tradition with twentieth century classics and modern fiddle compositions, with the ability to throw a classical Bach piece right in the middle of it all.
Mike Mitchell Trio
Mike’s fiddle has been in Mitchell hands since at least 1890, when his
great-great grandfather, DJ, carved his name in the one-piece back.
Mike learned his music from the voice of his mother,
the sound of her piano, and the harmony of Sunday hymns….
it was the most natural thing in the world
for him to take up “Grandpap’s” instrument.
A wild and unruly boy, Mike would not finish his classical training
with Maria Reidstra, or his music major at university.
Instead, he found his own voice with the DeadHeads,
the Jam Band scene, and the pre-Americana music of the last century.
“I find myself a man at peace, with a knowledge of self and of place which makes me the songwriter and musician I am today. Whether it is my own composition, or an old tune played on the Mitchell Family fiddle, or singing my heart out for the audience, my words and music come from the journey, singing of the destination. I look forward to sharing it with you.”
Mike Mitchell is an experienced educator in classical and traditional music and was a music teacher of The Wildmans for many years.