• The BriarPickers
  • The BriarPickers
  • The BriarPickers
  • The BriarPickers
  • The BriarPickers
The BriarPickers are a mandolin/violin duet from Madison, WI, featuring Brian Ray and Paul Kienitz. They meld traditional Appalachian style folk melodies with a classical string ensemble approach. This music--dubbed "rustic chamber music"--has a very accessible and welcoming sound, and is the perfect compliment for a relaxed pub or dining atmosphere, as well as contra dances, wedding ceremonies and cocktail sets.

View our song list...


Starr Moss will be joining the BriarPickers trio/quartet this season. Starr recently returned to Madison, after playing around the world with The Henhouse Prowlers.

Mrs Maxwell CD!

Mrs. Maxwell is the debut album from The BriarPickers and like the band itself, it is a direct consequence of two previous records: Jim Wood and John Hartford's, The Bullies Have All Gone To Rest, and Bob Carlin and John Hartford's, The Fun of Open Discussion. Like the records that inspired it, Mrs. Maxwell is the work of two musicians, recorded live in the artist's home. Mrs. Maxwell is available for purchase directly from the artist, as either a shipped audio cd or mp3 download. Click the song links to hear samples from the album and read the extended album liner notes.
CD: $10 + $3 shipping US
MP3: $9.99 download


1. Briar Picker Brown
2. Cat Came Back
3. Frog on a Lilly Pad
4. Mississippi Palisades
5. L'Ville
6. Old Piss
7. Shortenin' Bread
8. Snake River Reel
9. Wes Muir's Tune
10. Can You Dance a Tobacco Hill
11. Swannanoa Waltz
12. Beech Bottom
13. Mrs. Maxwell


thebriarpickers [at] gmail [dot] com | 608.561.1125


See The BriarPickers full calendar