Gillbilly is intended as a relaxed weekend with some informal opportunities to learn more about your instrument of choice as well as fishing-related subjects in the Elk River area. 2017 will include more fly-fishing workshops as well as the standard banjo, guitar, singing and whatever workshops! Signups for the workshops will be on a first-come basis, with space limited in some. Signup sheets will be available at the Friday opening reception.

Workshops: Saturday 10am-12noon

Pharis Romero • Singing and Harmony • Be warmed and encouraged by the always effervescent Pharis Romero. An experienced vocal teacher, she’ll level-up your singing game in no time.
Jason Romero • 3-finger Old-time Banjo – This unique old-time pickin’ style will be a great tool in your toolkit. Take your old-time banjo in a new direction with this respected instructor.
Jim & Lynda McLennan • Beginner & Intermediate Fly-casting – These seasoned veterans of the fly-fishing scene will take 20 students to a grassy patch and take your casting to the next level. The group will be split into two levels and challenged to go further.
Chris Coole • TBA
Ben Winship • Songwriting – Whether you are an active songwriter, or want to become one, this workshop is open to all. We’ll try touch on everything from the inspiration to the nuts & bolts of song structure and completion. Feel free to bring along anything you might be working on!
Craig Korth • Inspirational Banjo – In this two hours, we will explore some possibilities the banjo has beyond the wonderful Scruggs style. Will learn some swing chords, have a peek at double C tuning, try some single string techniques, and learn to move about the neck a little more easily. Come and have some fun with the party in that case, the banjo.
Leah May Gardner • Fiddling Around – Participants will get a choice between two workshops (to be voted on Saturday AM): Either; That Old-Time Feel: Bowing the fiddle to create groove OR Chords and Theory for Fiddle: How to play along with a song you don’t know

Other Workshops:

Tyler Carson • Elk River Primer (Friday reception 5:30pm-6:30pm)
Peter Harrison-Edge • Fly Jam (10pm-?? Friday after the concert. Bring your fly-tying stuff for post-concert fly jams!)
Leah May Gardner • Learn to play fiddle in an hour (off-the-cuff grab a fiddle)
Michael Hepher • Mondo Mando Jam (all mandos all the time – TBA)

Workshop Instructors

Pharis Romero – Pharis has been singing and teaching her whole life. A many time instructor at the Nimblefingers Bluegrass & Old-Time Music workshops, Pharis has a passion for hearing people find their voices! Her own crystaline set of pipes will guide you through a crash course that will build your confidence to find your place in the mix!

Jason Romero – Jason is well-versed in many styles of banjo pickin’: Clawhammer, 3-finger old-time, and bluegrass. His tasteful style and laid-back approach to teaching will be an asset to absorb for any banjo players’ quiver.

Jim & Lynda McLennan – Jim and Lynda began fly fishing together in the 1970s, they have operated McLennan Fly Fishing full-time since 2004. Jim is the author of four books on fly fishing and is the managing editor of Fly Fusion magazine. Jim is also co-host, along with Derek Bird, of Fly Fusion Television, a series broadcast on the World Fishing Network. Lynda was a founding director of Casting For Life, a fly-fishing retreat for breast cancer survivors, and has been teaching fly fishing in various formats since the 1980s.  In 2006 the McLennans were invited to represent Alberta’s fly-fishing community at the Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C.

Chris CooleChris is acknowledged as a skilled teacher of both banjo and guitar. He has taught at many workshops across Canada and the U.S. including The Augusta Heritage Centre, The Woods Music and Dance Camp, The Midwest Banjo Camp, The B.C. Bluegrass Workshops, Sore Fingers (U.K.), California Bluegrass Association, Dusty Strings Banjo Weekend and many more. In 2007, Woodhall Music released “The Elements of Clawhammer Banjo” an instructional DVD featuring Chris’ approach to teaching the banjo.

Ben Winship – Ben is a self-made musician who has carved out a niche for himself under the radar of commercial music. His routine is a constantly shifting mix of performing, recording, engineering and teaching. Mandolin is Ben’s primary ax, but he is also a well respected songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist.

Craig Korth – Craig first found banjo fame with the Alberta group ‘Jerusalem Ridge’, and since has hosted CKUA’s bluegrass radio show Fire on the Mountain. Craig, his wife Julie Kerr, and their family live in Nelson, BC. where they organize the Nimblefingers Bluegrass & Old-Time Music workshop. We are super-stoked to have them at Gillbilly!

Tyler Carson – The always smiling Tyler Carson received a fly rod for his eighteenth birthday and hasn’t looked back. Before becoming a fishing guide he spent years rowing whitewater rafts on the Elk and Bull rivers. The pull of fly-fishing changed his focus and Tyler has spent the last 9 seasons guiding fly-fishing in the Elk Valley. As a full-time member of the Elk River Guiding Company staff, Tyler spends nearly 100 days a year between work and pleasure fishing in and around the elk valley. Tyler is known for his patience, cheerful demeanor and passion for Cutthroat and Bull trout.

Peter Harrison-Edge – The passion for fly-fishing is deep-seated in Peter’s life: He has been tying flies, building drift boats, making hand-made fly rods and chasing the elusive trout for more than twenty years. Peter’s calm knowledge runs deep and will set you down the right path when you’re learning to equip yourself for tying your own flies.

Leah May Gardner – Leah is a natural teacher. Raised in the classical tradition, Leah branched out to fiddle music in her teens and has never looked back. Time with the Calgary Fiddlers started her down the path, and her journey of learning fiddle tunes by ear and searching for that ‘old-time’ feel has made her an excellent guide for others weaning themselves off ‘the page’.