2018: "Five String Circus"

“Fifth Annual  *  International  *  Limited Edition”

Please allow us to introduce you to the wonderful group of featured artists for the 2018 edition themed "Five String Circus"! We kindly invite you to learn more about them, visit their websites, and further enjoy their music. The 2018 Featured Artists are:

  1. JANUARY: Eliza Mary Doyle
  2. FEBRUARY: Erin Inglish (Project Curator)
  3. MARCH: Rachel Tietjen (of T Sisters)
  4. APRIL: Ellen Petersen (of The Petersens)
  5. MAY: Jane Germain
  6. JUNE: Evie Ladin
  7. JULY: Michelle Canning
  8. AUGUST: Katie Jo Oberthaler
  9. SEPTEMBER: Marteka Lake
  10. OCTOBER: Cera Impala
  11. NOVEMBER: Grace Van't Hof
  12. DECEMBER: Chris Avetta

Listen to or purchase the 2018 calendar and album.


Below are a few of our offerings, please check out our store for more items and special package deals! Shop now...

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Presenting the fifth-anniversary release of the much-anticipated, limited-edition, thematic calendar and album featuring professional women banjo artists! The Banjo Babes 2018 Calendar & Album package themed "Five String Circus" comes with our wall-calendar (approx. 12" by 12") featuring a photo and bio of each artist, PLUS the professional compilation album (CD in eco-package with eight-page, full-color booklet).

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Banjo Babes 2018 Compilation Album


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Our much-anticipated, 5th-anniversary edition, the Banjo Babes 2018 Calendar and Album themed "Five String Circus". Available as a high-quality download, album in eco-package, and/or album in eco-package with the collectors-edition calendar.

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Marteka Lake 

Track #1 - "Cripple Creek"

Marteka Lake (September)

West Virginia, USA


Marteka Lake started playing banjo when she was thirteen, and has made music as a duo with her guitar-picking brother, William, ever since. The siblings have appeared on PBS, Bluehighways and RFDTV with the likes of JD Crowe, Ron Block and Tim O’Brien. Impressed with her playing prowess, Stelling Banjos contacted fifteen-year-old Lake and decided to name a banjo line after her - the Stelling Marteka Challenge. Lake fell in love with the banjo and decided to start learning to play the moment she heard Earl Scruggs end the tune “Little Darlin Pal O’ Mine.”  

Photo by William Lake

Rachel Tietjen (of T Sisters) 

Track #2 - "Fight Song"

Rachel Tietjen (of T Sisters) (March)

California, USA


Rachel Tietjen performs with her sisters in their harmony-driven roots group, T Sisters. She recorded banjo for the first time on their most-recent self-titled album. Also a guitarist, Tietjen is first and foremost a singer and songwriter.  A native of the Bay Area in California, she grew up doing performing arts and later turning her focus to visual art. Eventually, she was creatively reunited with her sisters for the first time since they were kids; they have since formed a band together. Captivating audiences with their tight vocal harmonies, original tunes and sassy stage presence, the T Sisters have been touring nationally for four years.

Photo by Michael Woolsey

Cera Impala 

Track #3 - Flicker N' Shine

Cera Impala (October)

Scotland, UK


A slice of ‘hillbilly noir’ and gritty swing jazz, Cera Impala is prolific and dedicated banjo-wielding songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Her whisky-honeyed voice and intimately crafted pieces take you to another time and place. Impala has toured internationally with her band, The New Prohibition; and, in 2018,  she will debut a new duet project called Delightful Squalor. Previously a member of The Blackberry Bushes, Dark Green Tree and (the fabulous queens of sass and harmony) The Bevvy Sisters, Impala is enjoying the success of her latest album Tumbleweed, a collection of songs that will take you around the world and land you back in the heart of the woods.

Photo by Chris Scott

Chris Avetta 

Track #4 - "Once Upon A Time"

Chris Avetta (December)

California, USA


San Diego-based Chris Avetta is an indie-folk multi-instrumentalist with a knack for understated poignancy. Her angelic voice lends itself to her complex yet mild arrangements for an affect that can hush a crowd or hone its energy into humming along. With accidental, if not awkward, stage banter she brings another dimension to her style that’s somehow relatable and always entertaining. She has one EP, Oh My Heart, under her belt and her debut solo album, Shadows, was released in September, 2017.

Photo by Kaysee Fulton

Grace Van't Hof 

Track #5 - "Chasing Sara"

Grace Van't Hof (November)

Michigan, USA

www.billandthebelles.com, www.gracevanthof.com

Western Michigan’s Grace Van’t Hof discovered the banjo in high school when she built a five-string prototype that won 2nd place in a statewide science olympiad. Inspired by artists ranging from Charlie Poole to Puccini, her banjo playing proffers equal parts drive and subtly to her bands. A founding member of the Grammy-nominated Della Mae, Van’t Hof’s career has taken her around the world.  Currently touring and recording with group Bill and the Belles, Rolling Stone says the band “is committed to helping early country music remain appreciated – not just replicated.” 

Photo by Karl Zefras

Katie Jo Oberthaler 

Track #6 - "Moonpie"

Katie Jo Oberthaler (August)

California, USA


Banjoista and songwriter Katie Jo Oberthaler fronts Katie Jo & The Mijos, a bluegrass-infused country band out of Long Beach, California. Oberthaler’s songs range from down-on-your-luck ballads to up-tempo bluegrass bangers. Her friendly, front porch vibe, tender lyrics and dedicated study of bluegrass creates an approachable sound fit for both a roadhouse hoedown and a slow dance kiss. In 2016, she started Katie Jo & The Mijos to blend bluegrass tradition with her love of classic country. She also plays regularly with the Andy Rau Band and as a session banjo picker for regional country artists.  

Photo by Kirk Jordan

Eliza Mary Doyle 

Track #7 - "Nothin' to Lose"

Eliza Mary Doyle (January)

Saskatchewan, Canada

www.elizamarydoyle.com, www.thedeadsouth.com

Eliza Mary Doyle has been playing banjo across Canada, North America and Europe for the past 16 years. Whether she is swooning a tender ballad or creating a driving rhythm (or...shucking, plucking, kicking or biting...), Doyle has the versatility to go from beautiful and melodious songs to a full-on boot-stompin’ party scene. Her strong but wonderfully frayed voice glides seamlessly together with her charismatic high-energy performances and outstanding clawhammer banjo. Everything about Doyle’s music carries an air of prairie authenticity with a tornado of emotion. 

Photo by Amberlee Christey

Evie Ladin 

Track #8 - "Jump Up & Go"

Evie Ladin (June)

California, USA


Banjo player, singer, songwriter, percussive-dancer, choreographer and square-dance caller, Evie Ladin loves to reconnect Appalachian music and dance with other African-Diaspora traditions. Heard from A Prairie Home Companion to Lincoln Center, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass to Celtic Connections, Ladin has taken home ribbons from Mt. Airy, North Carolina Fiddler’s Convention, and the Clifftop festival in West Virginia. An unusually entertaining performer, Evie tours with Keith Terry and the Evie Ladin Band from her home base in Oakland, CA. In addition to teaching banjo at Freight & Salvage and online at Peghead Nation, Ladin is an ace freestyle flatfooter, the Executive Director of the International Body Music Festival and director of the moving choir MoToR.  

Photo by Gudmundur Vigfusson

Erin Inglish 

Track #9 - "The Dandelion Has My Smile"

Erin Inglish (Project Curator) (February)

California, USA


Erin Inglish is a tour-de-force banjo chanteuse, a thoughtful wanderer steeped in the thick of California’s music scene. Inglish’s performances proffer passionate lyricism, toe-tapping grooves, and striking reflections about the state of the modern world. Her voice is both lush and raw, and her picking style on the five-string banjo is uniquely her own…expressive, sassy, dynamic. Inglish has spent several years living abroad (in India, Madagascar, Bulgaria and Serbia) – and her songwriting reflects her elation for life, creative and exploratory nature, and passion for creating positive change through community and art. 


Jane Germain 

Track #10 - "Little Red Bird"

Jane Germain (May)

Tasmania, Australia


Jane Germain’s musical journey has taken her from Western Australia to Tasmania and all the way back to her Chinese heritage. She’s played many styles ranging from raging bluegrass to hard driving blues to old timey banjo duets and alt country blues. Germain expresses her emotions and musicality in a career that’s won four consecutive Western Australian Country Music Awards, a residency in Beijing awarded by the Australia–China Council, and an invitation for her to represent Australia at the 2010 World Expo in China. Her latest album, Home on the Hill, contains songs written about her travels in Tasmania, and also include twin banjo duets – Germain on clawhammer banjo and Ian Simpson playing bluegrass style – with Big-Eyed Rabbit, Cluck Old Hen and Lulu Girl. 

Photo by Kirsty Pilkington