Kati Penn started playing the fiddle in Frankfort, Kentucky at the age of 9. Her father played several instruments (but not on a professional level) around the house when she was little. She remembers him playing mandolin, fiddle, and guitar, but the fiddle was what caught her attention. In the 1980s and '90s, bluegrass musician Pete Wernick, first President of the International Bluegrass Music Association, assembled various all-star bands of young musicians, the Young Acoustic All-Stars, which included a twelve-year-old Kati Penn. She then went on to work a stint with the New Coon Creek Girls and later joined band mate Dale Ann Bradley in her band the Dale Ann Bradley Band. She then followed that with a try at a country-oriented career before returning to Bluegrass. Her main influences were Stuart Duncan and Bobby Hicks (who performed at the 2004 Great Lakes Folk Festival) on fiddle and the singing of Alison Krauss, Suzanne Cox, Sonya Isaacs, and Lee Ann Womack.

 Kati's husband, Junior Williams, complements Kati with high harmony and lead vocals, banjo and guitar. Growing up in a Baptist preacher's home, Junior learned early how to sing and play music. Learning guitar at 6 and singing even earlier, Junior is a veteran in the music business. He spent ten years with the gospel group, The Bishops, playing five instruments. The retirement of The Bishops opened a door for him to get into bluegrass, and Junior went on to found the Bluegrass band, NewFound Road, which he led for seven years as banjo/guitar player, lead and tenor singer.

 C.J. Cain is the guitarist and senior member of Newtown. C.J. was originally drawn to the guitar by the blues. His original goal was to become a rock musician but after attending a bluegrass music festival with his father, where he was first exposed to the sound of the Seldom Scene, his obsession with bluegrass music was sparked. He soon began studying the styles of Tony Rice, Chris Eldridge, Tim Stafford and Clarence White.

Multi-instrumentalist Clint Hurd is no stranger to bluegrass and acoustic music, having been a member of such bands as Cumberland Gap Connection, Rough Edges Band, The Dale Ann Bradley, and Steve Gulley Band. His greatest influences include his father, Dwight Hurd, Bill Monroe, Alan Bibey, Steve Gulley, and Tony Rice. He has also performed with The Bluegrass Partners.

My Bands Sessions

Saturday, August 8



Sunday, August 9