Music School Tutor Bio's

Hoot and Holler

hoot and hollerHoot and Holler are the sum of two parts: guitarist Mark Kilianski and fiddler Amy Alvey. Each are songwriters dedicated to honing their craft. They are equally influenced by wordsmiths like Gillian Welch and Townes van Zandt as they are to authentic mountain musicians like Roscoe Holcomb and Ola Belle Reed. In 2016, they lived out of a camper van and played shows across the country. Their enduring love of American folk music will base them in Asheville, North Carolina come spring 2017.
Both have received scholarships to the Blackpot music camp as well as Augusta Heritage Center to study the stylistic nuances of cajun and appalachian music. When performing traditional music, be it old time/bluegrass/country, the priority remains of bringing their own voice to the stage.
Instrument swapping is common during a performance. Sometimes they don two guitars, other times switching to fiddle and banjo, seamlessly blending their vocals as they sing their songs infused with the vitality of the landscapes which they have traveled.

Mike Compton

Compton Promo pic 1Preservationist, performer, modern-day musical pioneer, composer, and educator, Mike Compton, a musician’s musician has rightly earned a reputation as one of the best and most influential mandolin players in acoustic music today. Mike has “taken a passel of influences including old-time fiddle tunes, rock salt and nails bluegrass, and the aching allure of the true Delta blues--to create on of the most recognizable and respected mandolin voices anywhere. (David McCarty, Mandolin Magazine)
Grammy award winner, nominated IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year, and musical US Ambassador throughout the world, Mike has entertained at Carnegie Hall, at the White House, and been honored by the Mississippi State Senate with State Resolution Number 45, a special honor commending his musical accomplishments.
Over a span of 35 years, Compton has made a career playing on recordings of others adding his signature sound. Mike has made music with such diverse notables as the iconic mountain music man Ralph Stanley, British rock legend Elvis Costello and the Sugarcanes, guitar virtuoso David Grier, and producer T-Bone Burnett (O Brother, Where Art Thou and Down From The Mountain tours). When the Nashville Bluegrass Band was being put together, Mike was their first choice on mandolin, creating a “band like a marriage made in heaven.” In 1994, Mike became a sideman for John Hartford, whom he performed with until Hartford’s death. To date, Mike has performed on over 100 CDs in a variety of genres, with some of the most beloved artists of our day.
These days, Mike is taking his craftsmanship, dexterity, mandolin mastery and musicality, and letting us see something that we've only glimpsed in the past: Compton playing by himself, unaccompanied and undirected.
Always searching for ways to deepen his artistry, Mike continues writing, performing, and delving deeper into ways to communicate musically to his listeners, and in Mike’s own words: “...our function is not merely to entertain but to communicate to one another...if you hear something that stirs your memories...or causes you to reflect on the day, I am satisfied I have done my job well.”

Bryant & Brown

Bryant Brown 1a

This extraordinary foursome presents old-time music traditions of North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia and other southern U.S. states with depth and expertise reflecting long experience.

Mike and Marica Bryant of Tennessee have played for decades at home, at dances, fiddlers’ conventions and stage shows.  Mike is revered as a fiddler of style, strength and grace, with a repertoire spanning both well-known and obscure tunes. Marcia is widely respected for her super-solid guitar and bass backup.

Paul Brown & Terri McMurray make North Carolina their home, and they too have performed both locally and around the U.S. for many years. Paul is a respected banjo and fiddle player whose unique sound on both instruments attests to his own imagination and to his many years playing with senior musicians including Benton Flippen and Tommy Jarrell. Paul carries a family tradition of songs from his childhood, and he’s steadily added to his repertoire over the years. Terri is a prize winning banjo player and a fine singer who loves performing banjo-fiddle duets with her husband, Paul, and also sings fine lead and harmony.

These two couples, who love to make music together, bring you the real old-time music sound with an easy, down home friendliness in every performance.

Mike Bryant

Mike Bryant smlMike Bryant began playing fiddle over 40 years ago after hearing it as a dancer on a clogging team.  Along with his wife Marcia, he played for 20 years with the New Dixie Entertainers, winning numerous blue ribbons at competitions in the southeast including several first place awards at the Appalachian String Band Music Festival in Clifftop, West Virginia. Mike teaches fiddle in the Knoxville, Tennessee area and has taught at music camps around the southeast.

Marcia Bryant

Marcia Bryant smlMarcia Bryant began playing old-time bass over 40 years ago, and guitar about 30 years ago to accompany her husband, Mike. She’s respected for her solid backup skills on both instruments and her knowledge of Mike’s repertoire.




Paul Brown

Paul Brown smlPaul Brown started playing banjo as a child to accompany the old Virginia songs he’d been learning from his mother. He’s a multiple first place winner on banjo at the Appalachian String Band Music Festival, a senior fiddle winner, and was named a master artist there. Paul has devoted much of his life to documenting and learning from senior Appalachian musicians. He’s a former NPR journalist who now hosts the Across the Blue Ridge music and culture radio show. Learn more about Paul at his website.


Terri McMurray

Terri McMurray smlTerri McMurray started playing uke and guitar as a child. She was drawn by music to the southern Appalachian mountains in 1982. She looked and listened hard during her many years around some of the great master traditional musicians in North Carolina and southern Virginia, and it shows in her playing. Terri studied banjo intensively with the late Tommy Jarrell and other great Round Peak banjo players. Her uke playing is widely known for propelling any band. She co-founded the Old Hollow String Band with Riley Baugus and Kirk Sutphin, and has since performed with the Toast String Stretchers, the Mostly Mountain Boys and the Mountain Birch Duo with Paul Brown.