Misty River is a four-member bluegrass band that mixes in country and folk stylings with simple harmonizing vocals. Part of the group is a mother and daughter team, Carol Harley and Laura Quigley. The other two members are Dana Abel and Chris Kokesh. All four talented ladies sing and play the guitar, Harley also plays banjo. She has taught both voice and guitar, as well as been in a number of bands before Misty River, including the Sterling Generation and the Little Women. Her daughter Laura Quigley adds bass to the group. Growing up with Harley meant Quigley was raised in a home filled with music and one where singing along with her mom was a normal experience. Abel brings in her skills on the accordion and is also a composer. She has studied music most of her life, beginning when she was four years old. That leaves Chris Kokesh and her fiddle to introduce. Kokesh began musical training at the tender age of two, starting with the violin. By the time she graduated from high school, she had worked with both chamber groups and orchestras. She has also been a member of other bands, like John Henry and Finvarra.
The band Misty River kind of started as a fumble of fate when Harley and Quigley were overheard singing outside of a pub and somehow ended up on stage a few days later at an open mic night. They brought a friend, Abel, with them, and then to fill things out, invited Kokesh to join in, who was working at the pub as a waitress at the time. The female foursome ended up being a real crowd pleaser. That was July 1997 in Portland, OR.
Since that fateful night, which wasn't a fumble after all, Misty River has performed across most of the United States, appearing at fairs, concerts, coffeehouses, and folk and bluegrass festivals. The band travels in a motor home they have lovingly named Annabelle. The foursome has won a number of awards, been featured in a music magazine, and earned a little television time, too. In 2000, Misty River released its first album, Rising. Some of the tracks from the superb debut are "Only Love," "Real As a Dream," "If I Needed You," "You Can Have Him," "Little Sadie," and "Last Thing on My Mind." ~ Charlotte Dillon