Mississippi Travelers

Alternately lyrical and hard driving, The Mississippi Travelers play the fiddle music of Mississippi with deep knowledge of its past to make it sing in the present.
They usually perform as a duo with Harry and Nathan and occasionally as a trio with Brian.

Listen to our new cd "Archaeology"

Video trailer:


Other video with Nathan Bontrager and Brian Slattery:
-Sweet Milk and Peaches / White hat
-Third Party / Mississippi Shuffle


High resolution version of press photo above

Harry Bolick,( fiddle, guitar and vocals)
is somewhat of a national treasure in that he is one of a handful of fiddlers keeping
 this tradition alive in our country. The genius of this musician is not just his skill with a fiddle but
 his pursuit of his roots and musical traditions in his home state Mississippi. On the theory that you
 never know what you’re going to find when you start searching, Harry stumbled on a treasure trove
 of folk music in the state archives which had been researched, notated, assembled and forgotten.
The work was done in the Depression era by some 130 WPA workers who traveled the dirt roads of Mississippi through farms and villages to discover such locally popular tunes as “Soapsuds Over the Fence,” “Butterfat,” and “Sugar in the Ground.”  more info

He is also a prolific tune composer, currently working on a project called "The Completely Lost Mississippi Fiddle Tunes" making new tunes for 1930s era Mississippi titles where the original tunes are unknown.

Nathan Bontrager, (cello, guitar, vocals)
is a unique and versatile musician with his musical chops rooted firmly in the traditional old time and folk genres. As well as being a world-class cellist, he has performed throughout Europe and the US as an old time fiddler, clawhammer banjo and guitar player. Nathan has collaborated with musicians like Jane Rothfield, Aaron Jonah Lewis and Marc Duff, and regularly plays with the Ol’ Timey Messengers in Paris and the UK/US traditional band, Root & Branch.  Nathan hails from the North-Eastern USA but currently lives in Germany, where he has studied Baroque Cello and Viola da Gamba in Masters programs at the Essen and Koeln conservatories.  In addition to Appalachian and other traditional folk forms, Nathan is quite active in the improvised and new music scenes throughout Europe.

Brian Slattery (website) (banjo, fiddle, vocals) has played with Les Chatiments, the Motherpluckers, the Mud Brothers, John Pinamonti, Drew Bunting, and Sarah Hawker.

Brian has been playing traditional and non-traditional music from the American South and elsewhere for twenty years. In addition to playing with Harry Bolick, he plays with the New Haven-based Dr. Caterwaul's Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps. He also writes books. Find him at bfslattery.com

Between them they've been playing music for 73 years! And 20 of those years together.

High resolution version of press photo above