Kansas City string band with a sense of adventure:
Betse & Clarke with Brushy Creek is a Kansas City string band with a sense of adventure. A collaboration of talented musicians who came together through love of music and friendship, their take on American roots music is enthusiastic and might just have you laughing at their stories and on-going feud about Charlie Poole vs. Flatt and Scruggs.
Betse & Clarke — Betse Ellis and Clarke Wyatt — are a fiddle and banjo duo who have toured the US and Ireland in their three years together. Betse sings traditional Ozark songs, and some of her own songs as well. She often tells the story of a song, crediting the sources who maintained its history. Her fiddle playing is passionate and truthful, matching her singing. She’s found herself a banjo playing partner and the two of them play like they’ve done it all their lives. Clarke is a finger-style old time banjo player, a great scholar of banjoists such as Mike Seeger and John Hartford. He matches the melodies of the fiddle and puts great emphasis on dynamics and musicality.
Rounding out the string band sound are Brett Hodges and Alex Mallett. Brett is a multi-instrumentalist, and shares vocal duties with Betse. Together they sing beautiful harmony. And sometimes they play fiddles in harmony too! On string bass is Alex Mallett, who is part jazz musician, part folksinger, and a banjo player in his own right. You can hear the whole band on Betse & Clarke’s album “River Still Rise”, released in 2016.
This group’s performance is an old time country music variety show. Betse & Clarke with Brushy Creek is sure to keep you entertained and maybe even exhausted by the time their set wraps up, from a combination of laughter, singing along, and maybe a dance step or two.