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.
Growing up in Vancouver, BC with his father, Taylor Ashton was always playing with words. “My dad and his friends loved making up little jokes and verses, and they always encouraged me to write. I think my dad was surprised that he had made this little person who was now making things of his own, and his encouragement made me believe I was some kind of poetic genius,” laughs Ashton.
While his childhood poems may have left something to be desired, Ashton’s debut solo album The Romantic, which came out in 2020 on Signature Sounds Recordings, thrilled fans with its satisfyingly clever, yet confessional and intimate songwriting. Ashton primarily accompanies himself on the banjo, and the production on The Romantic is full and lush, and easily at home in the folk-pop world. On his new EP Romanticize, however, the Brooklyn based musician presents re-imaginings of songs from his solo debut, with everything from orchestral inspired string arrangements, to club dance beats and stripped down solo performances, giving us a window into the many avenues of his creativity, and the potential of his songs to transcend the boundaries of genre.
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.