Mike Finders a singer, songwriter, guitar-picker and professional educator transplanted to Colorado from Iowa, where he was born and raised. He has played guitar since he was 7 yrs. old, growing up in the middle of Iowa. He also plays harmonica, sings and writes songs.He started playing professionally as a solo guitarist when he was 18, and has not looked back. He has seven recording projects under his belt with various ensembles, all of which feature his original songs. His most recent project is the bluegrass/ Americana band Finders and Youngberg, and their 2008 release, “Keep Your Suitcase Packed,” was the #5 CD played on independent Colorado radio stations that year. He is one of few people in the world to win the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest in North Carolina twice winning in both the bluegrass and gospel categories.
Since starting to play bluegrass in the late 1990’s Mike has studied under some of the finest musicians in the midwest and forged his own bluegrass style on guitar and singing. Since moving to Colorado he’s begun a series of short bluegrass classes for beginning and intermediate players and has gotten scores of fledgling musicians, singers and songwriters up off the couch. He writes a monthly column for the Colorado Bluegrass Music Society for budding and reluctant pickers.
Aaron Youngberg is a banjo and pedal steel performer, bluegrass coach, and a professional recording engineer. He has been teaching private banjo lessons for over 10 years, has coached & produced many up-and-coming bluegrass bands and taught bluegrass workshops across the country. Aaron has recorded, toured and performed with Finders & Youngberg, The Billy Pilgrims, and Hit & Run Bluegrass as well as many others. While performing with Hit & Run, the band won both Colorado’s acclaimed Rockygrass and Telluride Bluegrass contests, as well as the SPGMA (Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America) international band contest. Aaron owns and operates Swingfingers Recording Studios in Fort Collins, CO and has developed a great reputation for producing high quality acoustic recording projects. And he’s a really nice guy!
Multi-instrumentalist Matt Flinner has made a career out of playing acoustic music in new ways. Starting out as a banjo prodigy who was playing bluegrass festivals before he entered his teens, Flinner later took up the mandolin, won the National Banjo Contest at Winfield Kansas in 1990, and took the mandolin award there the following year. Since then, he has become recognized as one of the premiere mandolinists as well as one of the finest new acoustic/roots music composers today. He has toured and recorded with a wide variety of bluegrass, new acoustic, classical and jazz artists, including Tim O’Brien, Frank Vignola, Steve Martin, Darrell Scott, the Modern Mandolin Quartet, Dave Douglas, Leftover Salmon, Alison Brown, The Ying Quartet, Tony Trischka, Darol Anger, and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra. He has also recorded two Compass Records CDs and toured as part of Phillips, Grier and Flinner with bassist Todd Phillips and guitarist David Grier. His two solo CDs (also on Compass), “The View from Here” and “Latitude,” are now widely considered classics in the new acoustic/modern bluegrass style. His current group, the Matt Flinner Trio (with guitarist Ross Martin and bassist Eric Thorin), has forged new pathways in acoustic string band music with their two ground-breaking CDs, “Music du Jour” and “Winter Harvest” (coming soon!). For more information about the Matt Flinner Trio and their “Music du Jour” tours, visit the Trio page. And for more information about the Modern Mandolin Quartet, visit their website.
Erin Youngberg, Fort Collins, CO, has been playing upright bass since age 9 with her banjo pickin’ daddy growing up in Wyoming. She has toured, recorded, instructed and performed all over the country with various bluegrass, folk, old time and country bands such as Hit & Run Bluegrass; all girl Old-Time Band, Uncle Earl (Rounder recording artists); Bearfoot (Compass recording artists); Austin, TX based Two High String Band, and Honky-Tonk/Country band, The Billy Pilgrims. Her latest project, Finders and Youngberg, is a Bluegrass/Americana band with her husband Aaron Youngberg and singer/songwriter Mike Finders and features some of her original material. She teaches private bass lessons in the Fort Collins area, has been an instructor at a 4-H fiddle and dance camp for kids in Cordova, AK, and teaches in bass and vocal workshops at festivals across the country. She has studied various styles of acoustic roots upright bass playing, not only traditional bluegrass and old-time bass, but the percussive slap technique associated with rockabilly and honky-tonk bass (typically performed on a bass with cow-gut strings). This versatility has made Erin an “in-demand” bassist for many different genres of music. She is also frequently featured on recording projects of bands that come through her and Aaron’s Swingfingers Recording Studios.
Gregg Daigle earned a Classical Guitar Performance Degree from UMASS in 1992. From 1993-1995 Gregg lived and worked in Cambridge, MA, where he enjoyed full exposure to the East Coast Bluegrass picking scene. In ’95 he moved to Albuquerque, NM, to establish himself as a solo performer and music educator. Currently, he maintains a private studio of over 40 students, and has built a large community of local pickers with his unique jamming programs. You can learn more at www.GreggDaigleMusic.com.