The Modern Hicks are:
Kevin Russell, Layne Bowen, Gina Blaber, Craig Anderson, and Ted
Kevin, a Seattle native, is a founding member of Modern
Hicks. A multi-instrumentalist, Kevin plays guitar, mandolin, 5-string
banjo, resophonic guitar and sings lead and harmony.
In addition to the Hicks, Kevin plays in the alt-country band Laughing
Gravey, and with singer/songwriter Terry Pinnegar. Kevin also hosts a
bluegrass and western swing radio program on Sonoma County's PBS
station, KRCB (91.1) and writes CD reviews for an on-line website www.freighttrainboogie.com
In December 2002 Kevin released a solo CD on the Jackalope Label
entitled, "You Don't Know Me".
Layne, a founding member of Modern Hicks, plays mandolin and
guitar. Originally from Emporia, Kansas, Layne cut his bluegrass teeth
playing mandolin with the Skunk Valley Boys (which also included high
school buddy and long-time Bluegrass Patriot dobro player Ranger Rick
Bradstreet). In addition to his instrumental and songwriting
contributions, Layne sings harmony and lead parts for the band. Layne
is also a session musician and a member of the San Francisco Scottish
Gina sings both lead and harmony parts for the Modern Hicks.
She moved to Sonoma County from her native New England where she was a
member of Libana, a women's chorus, singing music from Eastern Europe.
Among the musical influences Gina readily acknowledges are jazz
vocalist Abbey Lincoln and the soulful country duet work of the Louvin
Brothers. Gina is also a featured artist on the "Connections" CD.
Craig, on dobro and 5-string banjo, hails from Southern
California. There he played with various sidewalk bands such as the
Chubascos and the Three Stooges Cooking School. Craig enjoys pushing
the envelope by playing the music of the Clash and the Talking Heads
with the vehicle of traditional bluegrass. Most recently he played with
"The Clearing", a group of environmental educators from Marin and
Sonoma counties who performed at the Strawberry Music Festival.
Ted plays the bass for the Modern Hicks. A veteran of
several Sonoma County bluegrass and beyond bands, Ted brings a
rock-solid rhythm and a keen sense of harmony to the band.