Bluegrass Stories podcast with Katy Daley, Akira Otsuka & Howard Parker
Katy, Akira and Howard are three retirees, who have had long careers in the bluegrass industry. When we meet for lunch, we enjoy swapping bluegrass stories. There are millions of bluegrass stories out there. We want to find them and share them with you.
Katy Daley had a 30+ year career in Bluegrass (WAMU) and Country (WMZQ) radio in the Washington, DC area. She's a member of the International Bluegrass Music Association and a 2008 graduate of IBMA's Leadership Bluegrass class. Katy was named IBMA Bluegrass Broadcaster of the year in 2009 and 2011. She was honored with the DC Bluegrass Union's 2017 Washington Monument Award. You can read her Q&A articles on Bluegrass Today. She's working on becoming a jam-worthy clawhammer banjo player.
Akira Otsuka was born in Japan and started playing bluegrass as a teenager. He formed a legendary group “Bluegrass 45” in 1967 and toured the States in 71 & 72. Akira moved to the States in 1973 and since then he has been active as a performer, studio musician, producer, educator and writer. He is a 2017 graduate of IBMA's Leadership Bluegrass.
Akira has played at venues such as The White House, Vice President's residence, Grand Ole Opry, Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institute, Birchmere and many festivals including Grey Fox/Winterhawk, Wintergrass, Carlton Haney’s, Joe Val, Bean Blossom and Thomas Point Beach.
Some of the musicians he has performed with on stage, recorded with or produced include Hazel Dickens, Bill Kirchen, Al Petteway, Steuart Smith(Eagles), Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Nils Lofgren (Bruce Springsteen), Emmylou Harris, Peter Rowan, Tony Rice, John Cowan, Danny Gatton & Ricky Skaggs. Released a solo album “First Tear” in 2012 and all star cast “Epilogue: a Tribute to John Duffey” from Smithsonian Folkways June of 2018.
Howard Parker has been a bluegrass fan since the mid 1970s and active in the Mid-Atlantic bluegrass scene since 1985. As a dobro player and a student of Mike Auldridge, Howard's performance activities included festival appearances, recordings and a UK tour.
Howard has become involved in other aspects of the music business scene, including an 8-year stint with dobro luthier Paul Beard. Howard is on the Board of Directors of Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music. He also works the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival. He's a 2006 graduate of IBMA's Leadership Bluegrass and is an enthusiastic supporter of IBMA. In addition to bluegrass, Howard is a huge fan of honky tonk, country and western swing. You can often catch him on a stage, sometimes in Western garb, with dobro or pedal steel guitar.
The Bluegrass Stories theme song is Kahnoodle, written and produced by Akira Otsuka. Akira - Mandolin Howard - Dobro Katy - Banjo