SPENCER BRANCH is the collaboration of siblings Martha and Kilby Spencer from Whitetop Mountain, and North Carolina native Kelley Breiding. They play music drawn from their mountain heritage in addition to traditional country, bluegrass, and a healthy dose of original songs. Their vocal harmonies and exciting fiddle tunes are a powerful combination. Kilby Spencer is an award winning fiddle player in both old-time and bluegrass styles as well as a sought after guitar player. He has been playing old-time music for most of his life, learning from his parents, Thornton and Emily Spencer, who have been performing in the Whitetop Mountain Band for over 40 years. Kilby has also collected and digitized rare local recordings for many years and serves on the board of the Field Recorder’s Collective, whose mission is to preserve and release rare field and home recordings. Kilby also formed his own award winning band over ten years ago, The Crooked Road Ramblers, playing prestigious venues such as The National Folk Festival, The Richmond Folk Festival and Floydfest. Martha Spencer also grew up on Whitetop Mountain immersed in the musical Spencer Family and has been playing music and dancing since a very young age. She plays guitar, banjo, fiddle, bass and mandolin, and is well known for her flat foot dancing. Martha is very active in passing on music and dance traditions to local youth as well, teaching in the Junior Appalachian Musician program in the Ashe and Alleghany Counties of NC. A native of North Carolina, Kelley Breiding is known by many as “the girl with the big voice” having led her own traditional country band, Kelley and The Cowboys, for over 10 years now. After a childhood of singing and playing piano, Kelley became interested in traditional music of Appalachia as a teenager, particularly the guitar and claw-hammer banjo. Today Kelley is recognized as an award winning banjo player specializing in the Roundpeak, NC style.
ShortGrass Music Festival 2017
- South Collinson Avenue/Hwy 21 at 17th Street
- Cimarron, NM 87714
- Adjacent to the St. James Hotel in the heart of Cimarron's Old Town