Falling Branch String Band

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Members of the Band

Mary and Les Caraher

(Fiddle, Guitar, Autoharp, Banjo, Vocals)

Les and Mary Caraher have been playing music and singing together since they met in 1978. Their musical interests range from old-time and folk to classical choral works, and they are actively involved in the music scene in Elkins and around the state. Mary is a former Florida State Twin Fiddle Champion. Les is a game guy who has entered many banjo contests but has never finished higher then fourth place. He plays guitar in the band for obvious reasons.

Ken Sheller

(Banjo, Guitar, Vocals)

Ken joined Falling Branch String Band in 1999 and has contributed his strong singing voice and rhythmic clawhammer banjo style to the group. Ken has been playing banjo for about 20 years and was formerly a member of the Prairie Land String Band in Oklahoma City. He won second place in the National Frailing Banjo Contest in Avoca, Iowa and also played with the Omaha Ballet. Recently,June 2006, he won third place in the West Virginia State Banjo Contest (Over Fifty) at the West Virginia Folk Festival hel d in Glenville, WV.

Hazel Wood

(Bass, Vocals)

Hazel is the newest member of Falling Branch String Band. She is an Elkins native and has been singing in area churches and other organizations for many years. Hazel contributes her clear, strong singing voice and a life-long love of tradional music, particularly gospel music. She plays dog house bass and the udu (what?). She and her sister Helen recently produced a CD of traditional gospel songs called simply "Helen and Hazel". Mary and Les provided instrumental backup for the CD.

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