Calgary Alberta''s Widow Maker cranks out potent original music rooted deep in old-school bluegrass, country, blues, rockabilly, and gospel music of the ''40s, ''50s & ''60s. There''s lovin'', leavin'', cheatin'', hurtin'', and even some killin''. Craig Korth drives the band hard, settin'' the woods on fire with picking that Bluegrass Now magazine called "impressive". Native Virginian Will White delivers straight-ahead instrumentals, sharp-edged original songs, and vigorous soulful singing that is the real deal. Byron Myhre is a renowned championship fiddler whose playing is ferocious, tasteful and slippery smooth. Dale Ulan hops the band up with his energetic, rockabilly-heavy bass, and Julie Kerr is an inspired and accomplished singer/songwriter whose enticing voice ranges from high and plaintive to sassy, low and sultry.
Craig Korth is a driving force on the Western Canadian bluegrass scene, probably best known as the front man for Edmonton Alberta''s long-running, ever popular Jerusalem Ridge. With JR Craig has achieved heights reached by few bluegrass musicians, performing his original tunes backed by symphony orchestras across Canada. Mostly playing guitar in Widow Maker, Craig is also a certified banjo monster and past Western Canadian Banjo and Guitar Champion. Bluegrass Now magazine called Craig''s 2002 solo CD Bankview "a massive undertaking replete with fortitude to challenge and defeat constraints and expectations" (jeepers!) and his playing is "tastefully restrained but can make a jaw drop in flat-out wonderment". Craig first picked up the banjo at age 12 after his mother saw a TV episode of The Beverly Hillbillies and asked him if he''d be interested in learning how to play. He did. Thirty years later, he''s still playing. Craig is a much-sought-after session player and producer in and around Alberta. Craig has performed and toured with acts such as his wife, Julie Kerr, The Bills, Tom Phillips and the Men of Constant Sorrow, Maria Dunn, Billy Cowsill, Ronnie Hayward, David Francey, and numerous other artists across musical styles and genres. With Widow Maker, Craig uses his collection of vintage instruments to showcase his mighty fine picking. Craig co-writes many of Widow Maker''s songs and sings the low harmonies. Besides music, Craig made his living for years as a machinist and later as an Edmonton firefighter. He gave all that up, moving to Calgary to be with his soulmate Julie Kerr, and now their two young daughters, Ella and Amy. These days Craig makes his living through music, writing, performing, producing, trading vintage instruments, and renting out vintage microphones. Craig hosts a weekly bluegrass show, Fire On The Mountain on CKUA radio.
Will White was born in the foothills of Virginia''s Blue Ridge mountains, and raised on bluegrass in eastern North Carolina. He learned to sing and play from a young age at pig-pickin''s and jam sessions in the rich tradition of the region. When Will and Craig met at their daughters'' daycare centre, they discovered a shared passion for the music and pig meat and decided to take it to the world; thus the birth of Widow Maker. Will''s banjo is straight-ahead, along with flatpicking and even some National steel slide guitar. He writes many of Widow Maker''s original songs with a sharp edge, and his strong, soulful singing is the real deal. Will made his home in Canada after marrying an Alberta girl in Richmond, Virginia. In his other life, Will is a doctor, teaches, and does research at the University of Calgary medical school.
Dale Ulan grew up on a farm outside Lloydminster, Alberta, and his energetic, tasteful, rockabilly-heavy style is at the pumpin'' heart of the Widow Maker sound. As he tells it, "Like a lot of kids, I took piano lessons. Then I took bassoon in high school. That''s where I fell in love with the bottom end (not girls... music)." Early on Dale played rock and Ukrainian polka music ("there is a big difference between Ukrainian and German-style polkas; the Ukrainian one gets played as fast as the players can do it, and the dancers try to keep up"). After getting an upright bass, he took some classical training and started playing rockabilly and bluegrass. Dale eventually found himself in the all-girl band Nothin'' But Trouble. A few years later, he married the banjo player. His other projects have included the Crazy Bones String Band and Highwood Range/Highwood Pass. Besides just generally being a genius, Dale is a computer engineer by day, and operates his 10,000 Cows Recording Studio and builds microphones and other audio gear from scratch in his basement by night. He''s also doing his part to combat global warming, building an electric car of his own design. Get him to tell you about his homemade vacuum chamber for gold-plating Mylar microphone diaphragms. It takes a special person to rise to the challenge of gold-plating Saran Wrap. Be sure to tease him because he hasn''t figured out how to make one out of PVC…
Calgary, Alberta born Julie Kerr brings powerful original songs, lead vocals, high harmonies, and strong eco-feminist goddess energy to Widow Maker (and man, we need it). Violin in the high school orchestra transitioned to guitar when Julie found she loved singing and writing poetry and lyrics. Several summers as a bush cook for isolated mining crews in the North West Territories of Canada cemented her urge to create music. A degree in Fine Arts and work as a jeweler and caterer and lemonade maker (!), were always done with the backdrop of singing and playing. While in the now defunct alt-country band Great Uncle Bull, Julie met her husband and major musical collaborator Craig Korth. Together they record and play in various formations. Kerr''s 2002 solo CD Mornings Like These (with bluegrass pros John Reischman and Jim Nunally among others) had considerable airplay on CKUA and CBC radio, paving the way for her 2007 release Deeper Still. An inspired singer and songwriter, Julie is the rose among Widow Maker''s thorns.
Byron Myhre is a ferocious bluegrass fiddler, equally talented on mandolin and guitar, and a great singer. Son of Alfie Myhre, the western Canadian old-time fiddle legend, Byron grew up competing in old-time fiddle competitions. Byron became a nationally recognized, award-winning performer in his own right, winning 45 fiddle contests including the Western Canada Old Time Fiddle Championship twice. He''s also a closet clotheshorse. As a member of Jerusalem Ridge, Byron has joined Craig in fronting symphony orchestras across Canada. Byron has appeared on record and on stage in North America and Europe with John Reischman & The Jaybirds, Keb Mo, Craig Young, The Craig Korth & Julie Kerr Band, Tammy Fassaert, Maria Dunn, and others, and is a sought after session player. And we think he just plain kicks butt. Byron also owns Myhre''s Music in Edmonton, specializing in acoustic and bluegrass instruments (a family business with family values, for all your acoustic music needs…). Byron, his wife Kim, and their four children live in Sherwood Park, Alberta.
The Awful Truth, 2007 Sadiebird Records.
Craig Korth - Bankview, 2002 Sadiebird Records
Julie Kerr - Mornings Like These, 2002 Sadiebird Records
Jerusalem Ridge (w/ Craig Korth & Byron Myhre) - Together: With Leroy Mack, 2001 Alberta Music Distribution
Jerusalem Ridge (w/ Craig Korth & Byron Myhre) - Beyond The Ridge, 1999 Alberta Music Distribution
Jerusalem Ridge (w/ Craig Korth & Byron Myhre) - Make A Joyful Noise, 1994 Alberta Music Distribution
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