With vivid, original storytelling, vibrant musicianship and intelligent arrangements, Asheville, NC band Tellico creates an innovative sound that redefines what today’s Southern Appalachian music can be. Instead of modernizing tradition, Tellico takes it deeper, effortlessly weaving meaningful, imaginative songwriting with intelligent arrangements. There is no gimmick here, and yet, there is nothing tired or cliche. Tellico explores the beauty of songcraft through the lens of tradition and an unmistakable sound.
At its core is the voice and guitar of Anya Hinkle. Her sound is rooted in the mountains of her home in southwestern Virginia, but seasoned by travels across the world and back. With arresting honesty, her singing and songwriting comes from the heart. The foil to Hinkle’s heartfelt singing and songwriting, can be found in fellow songwriter, vocalist, bass and harmonica player, Greg “Stig” Stiglets. Inspired from the stories and events of daily life, his attention to melody and groove help to further showcase the instrumental prowess of the band.
Both Aaron Ballance (dobro, lap steel, pedal steel) and Jed Willis (mandolin, clawhammer banjo, electric guitar) hail from central North Carolina. The state itself provides its own conservatory for study, and its students learn from first generation roots music pioneers as well as serious students of the genre in the classrooms of jams, bands, and festivals. Obsessed with playing music going back to their teen years, Ballance and Willis are veteran players.
These four musicians deepen their awareness each year of the synergy among them while eyeing terrain that is yet uncovered. From their converged paths emerges a sound that has jelled over more than a decade of collaboration. Their freshman effort Relics and Roses was well-received, gathering accolades from tastemakers and earning them stage appearances at the country’s most prestigious festivals (MerleFest, Bristol Rhythm & Roots, Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, Official Showcase Artist and World of Bluegrass-IBMA).
"Born in Blacksburg, VA, I grew up playing fiddle and guitar and singing in church choir. In college, I became interested in fingerstyle blues guitar and singing in addition to bluegrass. Later I began studying fiddle and harmony singing in the trenches of bluegrass festivals, jams and late night parties in northern California. In 2005 I began exploring old time duet singing with Jackson Cunningham (White Top Mountain Band, Cunningham Handmade Guitars) in and around the Floyd Country Store jam after moving back to Virginia. We recorded a cd for the Crooked Road: Virginia Heritage series called Old Time Duets. In 2006 I moved to Asheville, NC where I met Stig and Aaron and the other members of the bluegrass band Dehlia Low. We recorded three independently-released albums together between 2007 and 2010; our fourth album, "Ravens and Crows," was released on Rebel Records in 2011. Currently I am performing with Tellico as well as solo performances (schedule and info here) and raising my little girl Sachi, age 5." (Anya plays Kinnaird guitars and Reedy fiddles)."