The New Mules
Genevieve (Harrison) Koester learned to play the fiddle from her late father Garry Harrison who was an influence in the world of old-time fiddling for over 30 years. Together with the members of this band, they played as The New Mules and appeared in concert at such venues as the Old Town School of Folk Music, the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, the National Folk Festival, as well as earned the Blue Ribbon at the traditional band contest at the Appalachian String Band Festival near Clifftop, WV.
In 2009 they released the album Pride of America. A reviewer from the Old Time Herald said, “They’ve managed to unearth a completely new vein of material, including both songs and tunes, which has never before been commercially recorded.” Garry published his field recordings along with the help of Jo Burgess in the book and CD set Dear Old Illinois: Traditional Music of Downstate Illinois, thus making the source versions of many of the band's repertoire available to the general public.
Carrying on this musical heritage, the group continues to play under the name White Mule. All of the band members are equally well-established in world of old-time music:
Abby Ladin is well-known to old-time music enthusiasts, and not only for her rock-solid bass playing and angelic singing; Abby is also a top-notch dancer who performed for a number of years with the widely known dance group, Rhythm In Shoes.
Smith Koester gives new life to the sounds of the past with his old-time fretless banjo. A player of superlative ability, his driving syncopation delivers both rhythm and melody hand-in-glove with the fiddle.
Andy Gribble is one of the most sought-after string band guitarists around today, and there is no question as to why. Both he and his guitar have a sound all their own. Andy is also acclaimed for his skills as an instrument builder.