Skillet Licorice is the latest project from San Francisco Bay Area roots-music luminaries Elise Engelberg and Matt Knoth. The duo’s talents are showcased beautifully on their new self-titled CD which draws on their diverse experiences playing in numerous string bands over the years in a dizzying array of folk genres. Whether they’re playing hot fiddle breakdowns, slinky blues, sparkling banjo breaks, ragtime or dreamy waltzes the duo displays an impressive command of styles and techniques that comes from deep study and loving dedication to America’s folk traditions. With the help of their talented friends they’ve put together an incredible repertoire that is essentially traditional, yet with a modern approach that is anything but a clinical archival music. Skillet Licorice is hot, sweet, and just a bit greasy!
Elise Engelberg (fiddle and banjo) a Kentucky native, has recorded with the Crooked Jades, The Mercury Dimes and has toured with the Stairwell Sisters.
Matt Knoth (banjo, guitar and vocals) hails from San Jose, CA where he grew up playing bluegrass music and has shared the stage with Peter Rowan, Danny Elfmann and Chris Thile.
Erik Pearson (guitar and uke) has been an integral part of the Skillet Licorice sound since the beginning and tours the US with master storyteller Diane Ferlatte accompanying her on banjo and guitar.
Allegra Thompson (bass) started out on the path to early country music earlier than most, being the daughter of old time legends Eric and Suzy Thompson. Allegra has inherited both her parents’ love of traditional music as well as her mother’s powerful singing voice. She backs up her singing with a strong rhythm section, playing both standup bass and rhythm guitar.