20 Things You Didn’t Know about The Roe Family Singers

Pinecastle Records recording artists the Roe Family Singers are a good-time, old-time hillbilly band led by wife-and-husband Kim and Quillan Roe, featuring banjo, autoharp, guitar, and Appalachian clogging. They are often joined by Rob Davis on jug; Kurt Froehlich on mandolin; Dan Gaarder on vocals, lead guitar, and mandolin; Joe Hayes for Appalachian clogging; Ric Lee on fiddle; Eric Paulson on upright bass; Rich Rue on steel guitar; Tony Wirth on lead guitar or upright bass; and Adam Wirtzfeld on musical saw.

They mix original music and contemporary takes on old-time, traditional, and Gospel tunes into one roiling and rollicking river of fresh yet familiar American music. They’ve filled Minneapolis’ 331 Club every Monday night since 2005; in 2011 they were awarded the McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians; in 2012, won the Minnesota Duet Contest at the MN State Fair; in 2016 won the title of Entertainers of the Year from BMAI; and, in 2017, Kim won the clogging competition at the Old-Time Music & Ozark Heritage Festival, held in West Plains, MO.

The Roe Family’s Pinecastle debut, Songs of the Mountains, Songs of the Plains, came out May 4, 2018.

1) Jug Player Rob Davis has given a TED talk.

2) Mandolin player Kurt Froehlich didn’t learn to whistle until he was 33.

3) Guitar player and singer Dan Gaarder loves to visit museums all over the country.

4) Appalachian clogger Joe Hayes goes through periods of compulsive online shopping, but won’t say for what.

5) Fiddle Player Ric Lee has played in bands continuously since 1977.

6) Bass player Eric Paulson makes tobacco pipes on the side.

7) Singer, autoharp-player, clogger, and percussionist Kim Roe’s mom made all of Kim’s clothes, including undergarments and prom dress, while Kim was growing up.

8) Singer and banjo player Quillan Roe has been in television ads for Best Buy, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sam Goody, and Great Clips.

9) Steel guitar and dobro player Rich Rue owns well over 100 guitars, all of which he plays, though not all at once.

10) Saw player Adam Wirtzfeld was a shepherd, and successfully defended his sheep from packs of wild dogs many times.

11) Kurt was a chef for 10 years.

12) Dan loves to paint.

13) Ric holds the Unofficial North American Hitchhiking Landspeed Record from Tok Junction, AK, to Minneapolis, MN: 4 rides in 73 hours.

14) Eric has never been to Tampa Bay but is a Tampa Bay Rays fan.

15) Kim had a hidden, secret stash of chocolate covered pretzel slims that she binge-ate during her pregnancies, never sharing a single slim with husband Quillan.

16) Quillan did an acting job where he went to court and “performed” a witness’s testimony.

17) Adam was captain of his high school soccer team.

18) Ric has motorcycled the entire Trans-Canadian highway, Appalachian mountains, U.S. & Canadian west coast, and to all four corners of the North American continent, as well as the British Isles, Western Europe, and New Zealand.

19) Kim loves numbers, and takes pleasure in organizing things and making up Best Practices.

20) The 10 members of the Roe Family Singers have collectively been in 114 bands.

You can follow The Roe Family Singers at their web site, on Facebook, or on Instagram.

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About the Author

Claire Ratliff

Claire Ratliff is the President and Senior Publicist with Laughing Penguin Publicity. Her company provides publicity and marketing/promotional services including media relations, graphic design, photography, and copy writing. They work with a variety of bluegrass and country artists in Nashville.