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where tradition meets vision

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Louisa Branscomb and Friends of Distinction possess the musical wisdom of lifetimes of performances across the country, varied musical backgrounds from bluegrass to blues, plus the vision of taking original music to new horizons in creativity, passion, and expression. With inspired versions of traditional, contemporary, and originals songs, Louisa and Friends work toward uplifting, passionate music, while never losing sight of their main goal: to give the audience a friendly, engaged performance and musical memories that last. The group is available as duo, trio, or quartet to meet your budget and music needs, and also features Richard Cifersky on banjo when he is touring in the U.S.

Louisa Branscomb

Called the "songwriter's songwriter," Louisa is one of the most awarded songwriters and performers in bluegrass and acoustic music, with 3 International Bluegrass Association awards, another 6 nominations, two Grammy cuts (Alison Krauss and John Denver), and over 180 recorded original songs by artists including Claire Lynch, Krauss, Denver, Dale Ann Bradley, and countless others. Engine 145 reports, "Louisa captures the full array of human emotions in all their flawed glory, like no other songwriter."  Her song Steel Rails, is to date the longest running chart hit in bluegrass, and was the song in the first bluegrass video, by Alison Krauss in 1990. Louisa is called a "pioneer" in bluegrass for her role as one of the first women to front a band and play banjo, and in her role as a leader in the songwriter movement in bluegrass. In this capacity, she formed the non-profit ScreenDoor Songwriter Alliance, which has hosted 2 major songwriting festivals and programs to assist high risk children and adults with songwriting as a tool for transformation. Louisa is Director of Woodsong Farm Songwriter Retreat in N. Ga., where she has taught over 800 participants the art and craft of songwriting from the soul, blending two lifelong callings - songwriting and a specialty in creativity and transformation in her career as a psychologist.

Zach Ovington

Zach Ovington, in addition to being a superior songwriter in his own right, has devoted himself to understanding the guitar, mandolin, and fiddle from the inside out, in all genres. Zach has performed throughout the US, and is one of the most sought after players - whether for live performances or recording - in the Eastern U.S. Searching for new horizons, Zach found Louisa through his love of the original song, and Louisa's music, and helped gather Friends of Distinction. 

Gordy Nichols

Gordy Nichols is known in Music City and beyond, having performed with legendary musicians in both country, swing, jazz and bluegrass. A master of steel guitar, Gordy's role in Friends is the acoustic bass, harmony, lead, and humor. Whether a joke or a note, he never misses a beat!

Micahan Boney

Micahlan embodies the best of the young generation of acoustic and bluegrass musicians. Only 15, Michahlan has proved her competence as a fiddle and mandolin player across the Eastern U.S. She possesses a musical wisdom beyond her years, while adding improvisational spark on mandolin, guitar, and vocals.

Richard Ciferski

Perhaps the best known banjo in the Slovak Republic, as well as highly respected in the U.S., Richard has devoted his life to the banjo, and to bringing bluegrass music to the Slovak Republic. In the U.S. he has played with greats including Dale Ann Bradley and Louisa in past years. Like the other Friends, Richard possesses musical diversity of genres, ranging from delivering a power bluegrass Scruggs style tune to masterful playing on the unique and original repertoire of the band.  Richard is available on selected gigs only. (please see details of performances)

The Collective

The philosophy of Louisa and Friends is simple: Says Louisa, "We want to play music that inspires people to take the songs home to their hearts."