• The BriarPickers
  • The BriarPickers
  • The BriarPickers
  • The BriarPickers
  • The BriarPickers
Take a "Monroe style" mandolin player, with a gravely voice, add a fiddle player obsessed with Kenny Baker, and apply that to a guitarist with a slightly modern bent, and you'd have The Briarpickers. This Madison-based trio (or quartet with bass) features Brian Ray and Paul Kienitz. They play a compelling blend of traditional Appalachian bluegrass, and old-time music, with just a pinch of the contemporary.

View our song list...


Trent Cuthbert and/or Starr Moss occasionally join the BriarPickers on guitar. Starr recently returned to Madison, after playing around the world with The Henhouse Prowlers.

Mrs Maxwell CD!

Mrs. Maxwell is the debut album from The BriarPickers and like the band itself, it is a direct consequence of two previous records: Jim Wood and John Hartford's, The Bullies Have All Gone To Rest, and Bob Carlin and John Hartford's, The Fun of Open Discussion. Like the records that inspired it, Mrs. Maxwell is the work of two musicians, recorded live in the artist's home. Mrs. Maxwell is available for purchase directly from the artist, as either a shipped audio cd or mp3 download. Click the song links to hear samples from the album and read the extended album liner notes.


1. Briar Picker Brown
2. Cat Came Back
3. Frog on a Lilly Pad
4. Mississippi Palisades
5. L'Ville
6. Old Piss
7. Shortenin' Bread
8. Snake River Reel
9. Wes Muir's Tune
10. Can You Dance a Tobacco Hill
11. Swannanoa Waltz
12. Beech Bottom
13. Mrs. Maxwell


thebriarpickers [at] gmail [dot] com | 608.561.1125


See The BriarPickers full calendar