Promotional images can be found here:


Genres: Folk - Old Time - Ozark - Explorer Folk

Tagline: Explorers of Ozark Music -or- Adventures in Music

Contact: Betse Ellis

Recommended if you like (RIYL) ----> John Hartford, Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard, Black Twig Pickers



Their music is familiar... and totally different; a fiddle and banjo duo with a sense of adventure. Old time music and song celebrated alongside inventive new compositions: a passion for the depth of tradition and a look to new creative paths.


Explorers of Ozark Music — Betse & Clarke released their debut full-length album, “River Still Rise”, in July 2016. This collection of music is to be enjoyed as a musical adventure, much like the river exploration of the famous duo Lewis & Clark, an inspiration for the band’s name, and a part of their Kansas City home’s history. The album’s title comes from the journal of Meriwether Lewis, as the Corps of Discovery prepared to commence their epic journey. The self-released recording features the interweaving of fiddle and banjo, with Betse’s honest singing style and additional tracks including full string band Brushy Creek.

Betse Ellis & Clarke Wyatt formed their duo in the fall of 2014, after meeting and realizing a shared love of deep sources of traditional southern mountain music, along with the draw to create new music. In 2015, the duo was an official showcase act at Folk Alliance International Conference, and began their adventures on the road, touring in the Pacific Northwest and parts of the western States, from the Montana Fiddle Camp to the Portland Old Time Music Gathering. Their expedition continued in 2016 with more festivals and camps, including Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival, and a late summer tour in Ireland. 2017 appearances include Folk Alliance International Conference (as official selected showcase artists, and music camp instructors), the John Hartford Memorial Festival, The Walnut Valley Music Festival (Winfield), and new projects from recording to documentary work.

For each concert setting, the duo takes an audience on a musical field trip. Betse Ellis plays powerful and beautiful old time fiddle tunes, sings traditional Ozark songs, and shares her own songs with themes relating to human experience. Expect her to tell a few stories along the way, featuring personal moments with her fiddle mentor Violet Hensley. Long known for her energetic style in her former band The Wilders, Betse’s earned a level of maturity while maintaining her contagious enthusiasm. Clarke Wyatt is an engaging finger-style banjo player, drawing inspiration from great traditional and inventive banjoists of earlier decades such as Mike Seeger and John Hartford. His melodies match the fiddle, and also build rhythmic interest to embrace the music’s character.

More about the album "River Still Rise":


Two tracks from the album:

What THey're Saying:

"... Betse and Clarke are trailblazers of sound and vision." -- Mark Manning, host of Wednesday Midday Medley, KKFI FM
"Betse and Clarke go together like peanut butter and jelly." -- Chuck Haddix, host of The Fish Fry, KCUR FM
"Authentic…from the heart with plenty of soul. Betse and Clarke are as good as it gets.” -- Daren Dortin, Ozark Highlands Radio Executive Producer/Music Director, Ozark Folk Center
"They draw you in and welcome you into the music with open hearts. And before you know it, you are in the music with them." -- Suzanne Savell - President, Bubbaville (Portland Old Time Music Gathering); Director of the Traditional Music Program, Appalshop 2003 - 2008
"Betse & Clarke drag the classic fiddle/banjo combo kicking and screaming onto the modern stage, combining the subtlety of chamber music with the energy and power of punk rock." -- Kelly Wells, Co-founder, St Louis Folk & Roots Festival

Additional quotes about "River Still Rise" on       ------> New Music Page <------


More information on each of us and our music:


And then there's BRUSHY CREEK BAND...




Betse & Clarke were an Official Showcase Artist at Folk Alliance International 2017. Additionally, they both instructed at the Music Camp.

"Requiem for Little Sadie" (from River Still Rise, 2016) was highlighted as a Best Local Music track on KCUR's Up To Date listing of 2016 recordings.

River Still Rise was also a top choice for KKFI's Wednesday Midday Medley Best Albums of 2016. WTJU in Charlottesville, VA also highlighted the album in its Best of 2016.

Betse & Clarke completed a three-week tour of Ireland in August-September 2016. In addition, they taught at Targhee Music Camp, Earful of Fiddle, the Folk Alliance International Music Camp, and performed at Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival, Fiddle Club of The World (Chicago chapter), and many more events, including organizing, producing, and performing a sold-out Homecoming Concert in Kansas City.

Kansas City Star Pop Music Critic, Timothy Finn, placed B&C's "Bird Notes" EP among favorite local recordings in 2015.

They received a standing ovation at their 2015 Blackpot Festival set in Lafayette, Louisiana, and most places they've performed.

They performed with Living Treasure of Arkansas, Violet Hensley, at the Ozark Folk Center in October of 2015, also to a standing ovation.

Earlier in 2015, Betse & Clarke were a featured performing act at the Portland (OR) Old Time Music Gathering. They were chosen as official showcase artists at Folk Alliance International Conference. They appeared at the John Hartford Memorial Festival, and the Wallsburg Music Festival, in Austin, Texas, as part of the Midcoast Takeover, and Kansas City's Westport Roots Festival. Both Betse & Clarke are 2015 fellows of Artist, INC.



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