From Harp to Heart to Banjo Plucking Fingers

Our Family’s Gifted and Talented Musicians 

John Doan – Harp Guitarist


I have written a few times in past posts about our family’s gifted and talented, especially our musicians–past and present.  In particular, I have mentioned maternal cousin John (through my grandmother Loretta Lathrop (nee) branch and my 8th great grandfather Samuel Lathrop, Esquire (1623-1700) and his wife, Abigail Doane (1631-1734).

John is an Emmy-nominated performer, composer, public speaker, historian, instrument collector, and university professor.

Brandon Boling – Banjo Player

TwoTonTwigLogoIn past posts, I also briefly mentioned my brother Frank’s son and musician, 27-year-old Brandon Boling.  By day Brandon serves people food and drink and by night he and his band, Two Ton Twig, dish out lively fun and entertainment primarily in the Washington, D.C, Metropolitan area from where all five band members hail.  I mashed up these two family musicians in today’s post because to me their approaches to music and entertainment are so very similar.

As a master of the twenty-string harp guitar, John Doan pioneered a new way of playing guitar. In his international concerts, John uses his magical and musical storytelling adventures to evoke laughter, tears, and dreams that sweep you away. Likewise, Brandon’s Two Ton Twig band blends new and old-timey music. Their tunes and tales influenced by Folk, Americana, Hard Rock, Eastern European folk music, 80’s British Indie, and classic American Blue Grass deliver mesmerizing original music that includes high energy and fun, heart warming, dark and twisted, and sometimes even surprisingly life affirming lyrics and moods.

Brandon’s banjo finger-plucking goes from full throttle to really slow, really quiet, and really beautiful as Twig regales and involves their audiences in interesting and sometimes intense experiences.  Twig’s first album will soon be released, and they are spreading their gigs further down the south atlantic this weekend to play at the Legendary Kimbro’s Pickin’ Parlor on Saturday, January 24, at 8:30 p.m., just 10 miles south of Nashville in Franklin–one of the principal cities of the Nashville metropolitan area.  On Sunday, January 25, at 9 p.m. they will be at the Baja Bean Company, in the heart of downtown Staunton, Virginia.  If you live near either of these events, they make for a great inexpensive date night or evening out.  Come one, come all!

For those of you who have seen or heard of them–beware!  Twig is on the rise in their music genre.  Twig’s band members include:

Jordan Balzer – Mandolin, Vocals
Brandon Boling – Banjo, Vocals
Ian Greening – Bass, Vocals
Anna Hennessy – Fiddle, Vocals
Donnie Riggs – Dobro, Guitar, Vocals

Here’s one of Two Ton Twig’s newest originals–“Those Things”

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