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Korby Lenker


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Korby Lenker was born to a mortician dad and a school marm in small-town southern Idaho. He grew up along the Snake River, in the shadow of the ramp where Evil Knievel jumped the canyon, almost.

In high school, he fronted the alt.rock band, Clockwork Orange. They played Cure covers, some Love and Rockets, mostly at Mormon Stake dances. He graduated after a bit and made for the West Coast. Nirvana was on the radio a lot then.

Eight years ago, Korby started college at Western Washington University, graduating in 2001. He studied music theory, transcribed Phish songs, found out he wasn’t a jazz guitar player, rode his bike a lot and always went to class. Somewhere in there, he quit the city and spent a year or so in a little cabin thinking. It was then he first heard what is called bluegrass music. So he went unplugged and started flat-picking. Doc Watson and Norman Blake were in the CD player a lot. In ‘98, he formed his first bluegrass band, Amandacello and the Blue Light Boys.

In ‘99 Korby got a Martin D-18 and headed out to West Virginia. For five months, he lived alone in a studio apartment on the Ohio River, eating grilled cheese sandwiches and traveling to bluegrass festivals. Korby found himself attending a number of Appalachian mountain church services; one in particular, the snake-handling congregation of The Church of the Lord Jesus, videotaped their services on the off chance someone is bitten.


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