Jake Blount is an award-winning banjoist, fiddler, singer and ethnomusicologist based in Providence, RI. He is half of the internationally touring duo Tui, a 2020 Strathmore Artist in Residence and a board member of Bluegrass Pride. He is a 2020 recipient of the Steve Martin Banjo Prize. Blount specializes in the music of Black communities in the southeastern United States, and in the regional style of the Finger Lakes. A versatile performer, Blount interpolates blues, bluegrass and spirituals into the old-time string band tradition he belongs to. He foregrounds the experiences of queer people and people of color in his work. His teachers include Rhiannon Giddens, Bruce Molsky and Judy Hyman. He has claimed first place in both the Banjo and the Traditional Band categories at the prestigious Appalachian String Band Music Festival in Clifftop, WV. Blount has shared his music and research at the Smithsonian Institution, Yale University, and Berklee School of Music, among other venues and institutions. He has also appeared on Radiolab, Soundcheck and NPR’s Weekend Edition. He regularly teaches fiddle and banjo at festivals and camps like the Augusta Heritage Center, the Ashokan Center, and Midwest Banjo Camp. Blount tours domestically and internationally as a solo performer, with his duo Tui, and with his band The Moose Whisperers. He has performed and recorded solo, and in ensembles of up to six people. His first full-length solo album, Spider Tales, is out now on Free Dirt Records & Service Co. It debuted at #2 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart, received positive coverage from NPR, Rolling Stone and Billboard among others, and earned five out of five stars as The Guardian’s Folk Album of the Month.
6’10 is the folk/Americana incarnation of Tobin Bawinkel, frontman for Celtic punk stalwarts Flatfoot 56. In comparison to the hectic sounds of his other outfit, this is a more subtle approach through heartfelt and emotional journeys against the backdrop acoustic instrumentation. Bawinkel is joined by bandmates Josh Robieson(Mandolin, Ukulele/vox) Mike Pettus (Ukulele Bass/vox), Keith Perez (Cajon/vox) and Vanessa Bawinkel (accordion/vox).
Growing up in Iowa, Jacob first learned of traditional music from his mother, a native of Kentucky who played the banjo in the old style. It was from this heritage that he became interested in the music of the Isles and the music and songs that were brought here and flourished in Appalachia.
Jacob has toured as a solo artist for a decade, first as a singer songwriter before becoming a documentarian and singer of old songs. His work has been to preserve this heritage of music. He has performed with the likes of Dom Flemons, JD Wilkes, Sarah Wood, Mike Oberst and Matt Kinman. His instrument repertoire includes banjo, fiddle, guitar, whistle and bohdran and he is ever working to expand upon that list.
Currently he plays in the English Folk duo Sweet William with ballad singer Eileen O’Connor.
Jacob currently resides in Kentucky.