The Appalachian Heaven Stringband is well known for it’s tight, driving arrangements of tunes and songs from the southern Appalachian USA mountains. The Stringband is the precursor of Bluegrass, featuring fiddle, banjo and vocal harmonies transposed from the Celtic fiddle traditions, infused with African-American cultures, and rural sensibilities.
Appalachian mountain music played with gusto and authenticity, learnt directly from the masters during regular visits to the USA. From sensitive and driving fiddle tunes, dance tunes with curly toes, to cheeky songs and disarmingly touching ballads, Appalachian Heaven Stringband delight audiences young and young-at-heart. The band loves to be participants in community music events and share their skills and knowledge through workshops (clawhammer banjo, old time fiddle or autoharp) and open jam sessions.
Graeme Fletcher plays guitar, autoharp and sings. He has long been involved in the folk and old-time music scenes and is recognised both in Australia and the USA for his autoharp playing (finalist, Mountain Laurel Autoharp Championship, 2014).
Sally is a professional fiddle player and vocalist. Sally is a founding member of the bands Flap!, Stray Hens, Dev'lish Mary and Triskel. She currently plays with Marty Kelly Band and the Ugly Uncles. At the 2013 Port Fairy Folk Festival, Sally played with Arlo Guthrie at a 100 year tribute concert to Woody Guthrie. Sally plays fiddle and sings with the band.
Kim's journey started with grunge metal and "electric bass shoe gazing" in Boxmonster, then embraced the double bass in the Dan Hick's inspired Innocent Bystanders, before turning left at Albuquerque to the valley of bluegrass and Uncle Bill. Kim plays double bass, mandolin and sings.
Ian has played clawhammer banjo in Australia and all over the USA with the best old-time musicians for 28 years. Ian is the founder of this band. Ian gives clawhammer banjo workshops at major festivals. Ian has won major prizes for banjo at USA festivals. (Third in Senior banjo at Clifftop WV)
Claire initially studied violin from 4 years of age, then piano and cello. Claire’s music education was heavily influenced by the music played in her home, particularly traditional Scottish, Irish and Australian folk music. In her teens Claire was inspired by the USA string band, "Crooked Still", who included cello in old-time music. Claire was a member of local old-time band "String Theory" and has had a long association with the Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club, along with both parents, playing cello. During a recent period of time living in Ireland, Claire was playing fiddle in Irish sessions, when she discovered an Old-Time jam in Dublin at the Thomas House. She began playing cello with them, which sparked her interest in USA Old-Time music again.