Sara Grey and Kieron Means

As a youngster in North Carolina, Sara Grey heard a lot of mountain music, and her love for the old time banjo music and songs developed from there. She has carried this interest into her adult life, studying folklore and collecting and performing music from the various areas in which she has lived. Her interest in America’s musical traditions led her to form the Lost Nation Band. Grey grew up in New Hampshire and has lived in North Carolina, Ohio, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wales, Scotland, and England. She has been concentrating for the last several years on tracing the migration of songs from the British Isles to North America.

It was as a result of a collecting trip to Scotland in 1970 that she moved to the U.K. She has worked closely with other traditional singers from Scotland and Ireland to look at the movement of Celtic songs and how they change. Some of the projects she has been involved in include a seminar in Alness, Ross-shire, Scotland looking at the culture of Travellers in Sutherland and the movement of their songs and stories to North America.

Grey has performed at more than 150 folk clubs in England, Scotland and Wales, as well as at more than 60 different folk and bluegrass festivals. She has toured abroad in Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Norway, Lithuania, Australia and the U.S.

In addition to singing, Grey is well known for her banjo playing and storytelling.

Kieron Means was born in the U.S. and grew up in Britain, and he has developed a great love of the music of both traditions as well as the contemporary scene. He plays traditional songs from the U.S. and the U.K. in addition to writing and performing original songs, and he is a skilled guitar player.

Means has toured in the U.S. on his own in addition to performing with Grey. In 2000, he performed at Whitby and Wadebridge festivals, where he was received with much acclaim. His first CD received much praise, with airplay on “Travelling Folk” and “Mr. Anderson’s Fine Tunes,” both on radio Scotland.

In the introduction on the sleeve notes of Mean’s Tradition Bearers CD, Brian Peters says “Kieron Means ... draws from the deepest wellsprings of North American culture, from the old-time music of the Southern mountains to the blues – which he sings with startling conviction – and the work of latter-day songwriters steeped in the old traditions. ... Means delivers ... a true passion for the music he plays. He sings the songs because he loves them ... Kieron Means has soul, and I can think of no greater compliment to pay to a singer of folk songs.”

Subscribe to Sara Grey and Kieron Means