The band was created by the expansion of popular Lexington bluegrass duo Hancock & Shouse by bringing in Louisville banjo man and singer Aaron Bibelhauser, and veteran fiddler/vocalist Kati Penn. All have a long history in the music, with guitarist Arthur Hancock and H&S bass player Roddy Puckett being founding members of The Wooks, and mandolinist Chris Shouse spending time with the 23 String Band.
Penn has been prominent in bluegrass for quite some time, most recently as co-leader of NewTown, and currently also performing as a member of Alan Bibey & Grasstowne. Bibelhauser has an ongoing solo career as a singer and songwriter, and had been a member of The Wooks back in 2017 as well.
With an embarrassment of songwriters in the group, Wolfpen Branch has an abundance of original material, and expects to release its first single to the bluegrass market next month.
Hancock says that bringing Lexington-based Black Mountain onto their team offers them a great resource.
“Having a trusted, local partner to help manage the business side of Wolfpen will allow us to focus on our music and other careers.”
Black Mountain Management was formed during 2020 when three friends with deep experience in the music business came together to pool their more than twenty years of experience into a single firm. Tiffany Finley had worked as executive director of the Master Musician’s Festival in Somerset, KY, while David Helmers was co-producer of Railbird Music in Lexington. The third partner, John Smithwick, who will be working directly with Wolfpen Branch, hosts at Raven House, a popular Lexington music venue.
He tells us that they are thrilled to be working with this new contemporary bluegrass act.
“Adding Wolfpen Branch to our roster is beyond thrilling. We have such respect for them as musicians and are honored to help them grow as a band.”
Here’s Chris Shouse inviting everyone in central Kentucky to join them for a concert on March 12.
You can learn more about Wolfpen Branch on their official web site.