Uncle Earl Biography

Michigan, USA-based folk artists Jo Serrapere and KC Groves (Katherine Groves, 15 March 1971, Dearborn, Michigan, USA) founded Uncle Earl in 2000, merging contemporary stylings with bluegrass, folk, and old-time string band music. Along with singer Tahmineh Gueramy, they self-released their 2002 debut, She Went Upstairs, produced by bluegrass veteran Sally Van Meter. Subsequently, Groves moved to Colorado and the band disintegrated. She made a solo album, but before long she had organized a revamped Uncle Earl, including Abigail Washburn (b. 10 November 1979, Evanston, Illinois, USA; banjo, vocals), Kristin Andreassen (b. Kristin Andrews, Portland, Oregon, USA; guitar, fiddle, vocals), and Rayna Gellert (b. 15 December 1976, Indiana, USA; fiddle, vocals). The bass spot in the band has been a constantly rotating door throughout their existence. This line-up recorded Wait For Night, which was picked up by Rounder Records for 2005 release.

Uncle Earl quickly became a fixture in the folk world. Their second Rounder album, 2007’s Waterloo, Tennessee, was produced by Led Zeppelin bass player and roots aficionado John Paul Jones (he met the group at a bluegrass festival and they all became fast friends), with guest shots from Gillian Welch and Ted Pitney, the latter a member of progressive bluegrass band King Wilkie. Concurrent with working with her band, Washburn released a solo album in 2006. Serrapere, who departed in 2003, went on to work with the Willie Dunns.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.