Back in 2008, Maria started playing bluegrass banjo and this led to getting involved in the vibrant bluegrass scene here in the UK. She started going to sessions, discovered the fabulous Sore Fingers music camp, switched to playing fiddle, and finally started to sing solo in public (her real talent) about five years ago, teaching herself guitar (and more recently clawhammer banjo) to accompany her singing.
After several enquiries from festival organisers, in late 2015 Maria gathered together a collective of excellent UK bluegrass musicians and formed The Reckless Abandoners. The core players are Maria Wallace (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Phil Stott (mandolin/vocals), Mark Gibbons (lead guitar), Eleanor Wilkie (fiddle/vocals), Bruno Pichler (dobro) and Julie Cross (double bass) but we also have several excellent deps available. The idea of the collective is so that we can still put a great band together on occasions when some members can’t make a gig date, especially convenient as we live scattered across the country!
The Reckless Abandoners made their debut at Orwell Bluegrass Festival in May 2016 to a great reception, and went on to perform to enthusiastic audiences at Coastline, Tamworth and Cornish Bluegrass festivals during our first season together. After a packed-out November gig in Marsden, West Yorkshire we reconvened for 2017 festival appearances at Orwell and the new Crossover festival in Cheshire. We have more gigs coming up later this year – full details can be found at our band gigs page.
Please contact me here if you’d like to book The Reckless Abandoners for your festival, venue, party or folk club. We deliver music of the finest quality, have a great time playing together and perform an entertaining mix of songs and tunes, both foot-tapping and mellow, original and traditional, that seamlessly cross the boundaries of bluegrass, old time, blues, Western Swing and Americana.
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