TALLGRASS EXPRESS STRING BAND
Tallgrass Express String Band is a four-member string band located in the heart of the
Kansas Flint Hills and dedicated to traditional style string band music with a focus on the Flint
Hills of Kansas.
The band tailors programs to fit their audience and performs an assortment of acoustic
musical styles that are easy on the ears and appeal to all ages. In historic western dress, they
sing and play a variety of instruments including fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar, upright bass,
dobro, harmonica, and concertina.
They can do vocal and instrumental concerts, or provide background instrumental music
for multi-function events. They also play for contra and folk dances. Their concerts include
brief stories on the background of songs, humorous observations on rural life today, and
frequent references to their experiences with the land and culture of their home, the tallgrass
prairie of the Kansas Flint Hills.
It's all delivered with a sparkle they hope shows how much they enjoy making and sharing their
music with others. Their experience includes community festivals and concerts, historical
events, organization dinners, parties, weddings & receptions, church programs, and dances.
Tallgrass Express' repertoire is as broad as the cultural roots of Kansas. Genres include
fast-driving Old Time and Bluegrass favorites, beautiful ancient Celtic tunes, early American
Gospel hymns, and beloved Cowboy and Western standards. They play both classic melodies
as well as lesser known tunes with old time roots.
Finally, they include many of their own original songs written in traditional style about Kansas
and the land and life of the Flint Hills. All four band members compose and arrange. Topics
include cowboys and ranch life, wildlife, Native Americans, Kansas history, classic romance,
and the beauty of the landscape. Member Annie Wilson says, "We feel incredibly lucky to live
amidst the splendor and wide open spaces of the tallgrass prairie, and through our music, we
celebrate this land and its people."
"The Tallgrass Express String Band has never let us down
and has always exceeded our expectations. . . It is a real
treat for the visitors and the staff alike to have this high
caliber group play for our historic barn dances. Everyone
looks forward to the event."
--Heather Brown, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
|Add the excitement of
live music to your event!
"The biggest pleasure we've had here at the Emma
Chase Friday Night Pickin's is watching the growth of
individual musicians. Perhaps that pleasure is only
amplified when some of the best musicians group
together to become something truly special. Such is the
case of Tallgrass Express."
--Sue and Monty Smith, Emma Chase Cafe, Cottonwood
|See "Music Samples" above for more info on our 2010 CD
Clean Curve of Hill Against Sky:
Songs of the Kansas Flint Hills
This band is the real deal; their
music rises from the land they love.
--Cheryl Unruh, Emporia Gazette
|American Roots Music
from the Tallgrass Prairie
|Band photos by
NEW BAND MEMBER!
The band welcomes new
member Jim Versch on
We are really enjoying Jim's
beautiful mandolin playing.
We're working up new material
with Jim, and planning for
a new CD of Flint Hills music!
Our 3rd Saturday Monthly
Concerts at Emma Chase
ended after December 2012.
See Schedule Page
for 2013 concerts
Annie Wilson was named "Flint Hills Balladeer" by the Kansas Governor
on January 11, 2013, and received a Certificate of Recognition for her
"honorable endeavors to share the beauty of the Kansas Flint Hills through
wordsand music, to inspire an abiding love for the Kansas Flint Hills, and
to enhance and elevate the quality of life for those who call the Flint Hills home."
In appreciation, Annie says:
"I want to sincerely thank the members of Tallgrass Express for supporting
my song-writing and for their incredible talent in helping me with arrangements.
Also, I want to thank the generous local community members who conceived of and kindly
supported this nomination. In addition, I am so grateful to the many patrons who over the years
who have hired us and given us places to play our music, and to the many supporters who
have come to hear us. If you all hadn't given us an audience, this Flint Hills music simply would
not exist -- you are a part of its creation! Thank you for supporting our music of the Flint Hills!"