Karen Lynne & Martin Louis have been an integral part of each others’ lives for over 15 years, as has their music, which brought them together. Karen’s style ranges from Country, to Bluegrass, to Folk & everything in between. She’s an Award winning vocalist/songwriter whose career includes 9 albums, 13 major Award wins, over 40 major Finalist Nominations, International tours, many Radio Chart hits & a place in Tamworth’s Historic ‘Hands of Fame’. Martin, entranced by the sounds of the banjo when by chance he heard bluegrass music from New Zealand’s ‘Hamilton County Bluegrass Band’, has been a long term tutor, session player & member of Sydney Bluegrass band ‘Acoustic Shock’. He’s also a 3 times Australian National Bluegrass Banjo Championship winner. Their music is sweet, simple & about as ‘traditional Country’ as you can get. They often add an additional musician to fill out the sound and add a third harmony.
Karen Lynne has a style of that ranges from Country,.. to Bluegrass,.. to Folk and everything in between. She has 9 albums, her debut album ‘Labour Of Love’‚ (1998) gained her a Finalist Nomination in the Australian CM Awards and the opportunity to tour in the UK in 1999 & 2001, which she did to rave reviews. Her second album ‘Six Days in December’‚ was a highly acclaimed Duet album with singer/songwriter Pat Drummond, her third ‘Blue Mountain Rain’, was a collaboration Bluegrass album with Martin Louis & his Bluegrass Band ‘Acoustic Shock. It collectively has now received 9 major Award Nominations, won a Award for ‘Best Independent Release’ (VIC CM Awards), 3 Charting singles and allowed her, along with Acoustic Shock to complete a very successful tour across Europe & UK where they performed in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, England, Wales and Norway – where they supported US Bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs & his band Kentucky Thunder. 2002 gave rise to Country album ‘Second Wind’ which achieved 2 Major Award wins, 11 Major Award Nominations & three Top 10‚ chart hits. Her first video clip showcases the title track and was released in November 2005. Her fifth album ‘Changes’ was released in 2006, a solo contemporary ‘Bluegrass & Acoustic’ album and has been hailed in reviews as a ‘truly international album in the class of Alison Krauss & Rhonda Vincent’. There have been 5 radio singles released in Australia, all making the Australian Country Music Chart (3 making the Top 10) a singular achievement for Bluegrass music in Australia.
In 2007 she released her sixth album, The Singles, a compilation of Radio singles over her 20 year career and in 2008 she launched her second duet collaboration album with Pat Drummond, Long Journey Home. Her lengthy career success was also honoured that year with Karen being announced as one of the 2008 inductees to the Country Music Hands Of Fame. In 2009, her third Bluegrass album ”Wishing Well” was released through ABC Records under their new ABC Heartland Label. It is a compilation album made from tracks from her previously released ‘Changes’ bluegrass album along with some new material and was released to exceptional reviews. January 2011 gave rise to her ninth studio album and a return to old fashioned ‘Classic’ Country, a style that seems to have become a little lost in the Industry’s current wave of younger contemporary artists. Called Heart Songs & Laugh Lines, it is a collection of mostly known country songs and includes a stunning rendition of the classic Louvin Bros. cut ‘Every Time You Leave’, recorded as a duet with Nashville based Resonator Guitarist & singer Randy Kohrs. Included on this album was her first ever biographical song “The Road That Brought Me Here” (co-written with Allan Caswell) which in January 2012, picked up the Top Award in the Tamworth Songwriters Association – ‘Contemporary Country Song Of the Year” (her second time). 2013 celebrated her tenth album release with a fine Bluegrass gospel album called ‘Shine Your Light’, which was recorded in Nashville using the best bluegrass musicians and produced by Jerry Salley. There is a special, haunting quality in Karen’s voice, her influences being vast, from Judith Durham to Mary Black to Dolly Parton, in Bluegrass specifically her influences include Rhonda Vincent, Alison Krauss, Claire Lynch & Lyn Morris.
Martin Louis was entranced by the sounds of the banjo from an early age. A light bulb moment occurred when by chance he heard bluegrass music from New Zealand’s ‘Hamilton County Bluegrass Band’ and became hooked on the sound of bluegrass. He began devouring all things traditional with respect to the genre to the point where he would slow vinyl records down to 16rpm and tune his banjo way down to work out what the banjo was doing. His main influences were Earl Scruggs and Don Reno followed by many others and he has been teaching Scruggs style banjo for over fifteen years. He is a regular studio session player and has played on many albums. He has been a long standing member of Sydney bluegrass band ‘Acoustic Shock’ and has performed live with many Bluegrass, Country and Folk artists. Martin’s playing is clean and as sensitive as is required with very much the traditional feel. His playing consistency has brought him 3 championship wins (1989, 1992 and 2008) over 3 decades in the Australian National Bluegrass Championships.