Courtney Hartman & Taylor Ashton
Courtney & Taylor are teaching a workshop on duets and harmony Saturday, Sept. 22nd from 11am-1pm. CLICK HERE for details.
Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Courtney Hartman started playing guitar at the age of eight, after having already spent several years on the fiddle and mandolin. Her early years were spent steeped in American Roots music, and today she has fused a diverse range of influences, creating music that acknowledges and pays homage to her roots, while pushing beyond its defined boundaries.
Courtney left her native Colorado for Boston, where she studied in the American Roots Music program at Berklee College of Music where she joined Della Mae, and began to grow as a songwriter. She appeared on the cover of Acoustic Guitar’s 2014 30 under 30 issue where her flatpicking prowess was lauded as “Staggeringly good” by the editors and the Fretboard Journal heralded Courtney as “…easily one of the greatest flatpicking guitarist performing today.”
Courtney now lives in Brooklyn and tours frequently, playing some two-hundred days a year, both at home in the states, and in countries as far off as Pakistan and Vietnam as part of the US State Department’s Music Exchange program. Courtney has also worked with a range of musicians including Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s Mike Campbell, Buffy St. Marie and Hot Rize’s Bryan Sutton. Her solo project, Nothing We Say, was released in September, 2016.
Born in the last year of the 1980s, Taylor Ashton grew up surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the old growth rainforests of Canada’s west coast. His songs are inspired by the primeval crookedness of traditional old-time music, the humor and heartbreak of Randy Newman, the cosmic emotionality of mid-career Joni Mitchell, and the sage vulnerability of Bill Withers. Somehow, he finds a way to make this all work on the clawhammer banjo.
He spent most of late teens and 20s as the frontman of Vancouver-based five-piece Fish & Bird, releasing four albums of heady progressive folk and gracing stages like the Winnipeg Folk fest, the Vancouver Folk Fest, and Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival. In the past few years he has increasingly spent his days in New York City. His most recent release finds him swapping songs with Grammy-nominated songwriter and guitarist Courtney Hartman, on the pair’s 2018 duo album Been On Your Side. The album is an acoustic, stripped-down affair, which Rolling Stone had to admit, “packs a punch in today’s mainstream”.
Between other projects, Taylor has also written or co-written songs on albums by Boston’s Laura Cortese, Brooklyn’s Benjamin Lazar Davis, and Nashville’s Rachel Baiman. And after well over a decade of varied and fruitful collaborations, Taylor is excited to finally release his debut solo recording in 2020. Keep your ears peeled…
Banjo player, guitarist, and songwriter Steph Jenkins grew up in a musical family in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. She started playing old-time banjo at 16 and has been playing American traditional music ever since. Her love for old-time music grew in Ithaca, where she studied ethnomusicology at Cornell University, and steeped herself in the music scene, playing with local banjo legend Richie Stearns, and with her old-time duo The Pearly Snaps. Now a Brooklynite, Steph works as an producer and archival researcher with Ken Burns and plays in old-time string band the Calamity Janes. Her debut EP under her own name, End to End releases on September 28.