As one of the Twin Cities hardest working acoustic acts, Timbre Junction has cemented a reputation for playing across a variety of musical styles and putting on a spirited show. With their emphasis on skillful playing, tight arrangements and expressive vocals done “their way”, Timbre Junction pushes the envelope…this is not your everyday Minnesota bluegrass band.
While traditional bluegrass, country blues, cowboy and western swing anchor their repertoire, the band is far from predictable and can be tough to categorize. What makes Timbre Junction different is their taking a song from any era or genre, and turning it on its head to make it their own.
Timbre Junction’s lineup has evolved since they formed in 1998. Founded by Minnesota bluegrass stalwarts Mike Regouski and Karen Radford, the band rotated players for some years until settling upon the current crew which now includes distinguished Minnesota musician Joel Johnson (Guitar/Vocals) and Mike Forney (Fiddle) who was last to join in the spring of 2017 after moving to the area from the east coast.
Mike Regouski has been playing professionally since 1970’s throughout the north central region. He is respected for his driving Scrugg’s style banjo, yet Mike plays the dobro and guitar equally well. His ability to match differing instruments to the mood of a song is key to the Timbre Junction sound. A long standing member of bluegrass associations throughout the mid-west, Mike is a welcomed performer at bluegrass festivals and acoustic venues alike.
Karen Radford was classically trained both on bass and vocals going back to her elementary school days in northern Minnesota. While not aspiring to play professionally, some years back her uncle asked her to audition for an established Minneapolis bluegrass band…and the hook was set. What sets Karen apart is the music she loves and how that impacts the Timbre Junction sound. Karen varies from ballads to soulful renditions of Americana classics and her cowboy yodeling is unequaled.
Joel Johnson started performing in a barbershop quartet and various choirs in high school and college. While relatively new to the bluegrass scene, Joel found his passion in the acoustic guitar. After a few years of solo gigs and a guitar/vocal duo, Joel met members of Timbre Junction at a bluegrass festival and they knew he’d be a great fit. Joel sings strong lead and harmony vocals and brings his expressive and solid rhythm and lead guitar to the Timbre Junction sound.
Mike Forney grew up in North Carolina in the foothills of the Blue ridge Mountains. He sang in the church choir and at age 14 and learned to play guitar at the neighbor’s Saturday night jam sessions. His early influences were Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs (who grew up in the same area), Hank Williams and the Carter Family. Mike played in a number of Folk and bluegrass bands in North Carolina, Maine and Massachusetts. In 2016 Mike filled in with Timbre Junction as the fiddle player for a couple of gigs. Now he’s back to claim that spot for good.