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Uncle Earl

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Biography

American string band Uncle Earl formed in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2000. Founded by singer/songwriters K.C. Groves and Jo Serrapere, the band's early years set the tradition of an all-female lineup that included Amanda Kowalski, Casey Henry, Sally Truitt, and Tahmineh Gueramy. This initial lineup yielded the 2002 independently released album She Went Upstairs. A winning mix of traditional folk, bluegrass, and old-timey string band music, Uncle Earl's music found favor among the folk and roots music circuit, though Groves' eventual relocation to Colorado led to the dissolution of the original group. By the end of 2003, however, Groves had put in place the group's best known and most successful lineup. With Groves on mandolin, guitar, and vocals, and new recruits Kristin Andreassen (guitar, fiddle, ukulele, harmonica, vocals, clogging), Rayna Gellert (fiddle, guitar, vocals), and Abigail Washburn (banjo, vocals), Uncle Earl established themselves nationally with a pair of self-released EPs and constant touring. A deal was struck with esteemed folk label Rounder Records and by 2005, the band had recorded their label debut, She Waits for the Night, with old-timey artist/producer Dirk Powell. While touring in support of the album, the band met roots music enthusiast and former Led Zeppelin bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, who came on board to produce their acclaimed 2007 follow-up, Waterloo, Tennessee. The group's most successful period followed with touring both overseas and across North America. Within a few years, each member had begun to pursue individual interests and careers. Throughout the early 2010s, Groves and Andreassen occasionally revived Uncle Earl with a different supporting lineup and in 2014, the core quartet reconvened for their first show in six years. ~ Timothy Monger

Top Songs

Formed:

2000 in Ann Arbor, MI

Genre
Years Active:

'00s, '10s

Contemporaries