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Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin: News

March 2019/California tour with Jerry Wicentowski - February 2, 2019


Jerry Wicentowski is an unusually gifted singer and guitarist who has recently recorded a CD of the songs of the Bluegrass legend Mac Wiseman. As these songs will be a good part of the program he has named the band “The Wiseman Institute”, a pun on the name of the Israeli science research center called The Weizmann Institute.  The band is comprised of some of the best Bluegrass singers and instrumentalists in the Bay Area — or anywhere else.  
Keith Little (5-string banjo and vocal) is a California Gold Country native, an organic farmer, an inspired song writer,  and has been Dolly Parton’s harmony singer.
Paul Knight (bass) runs his own sound company, and for decades has been bass player with Peter Rowan and many others.
Chad Manning (fiddle) co-runs a thriving East Bay fiddle school with his wife Catherine.  He has been in all of David Grisman’s 21st century bands.
Jody Stecher (mandolin and vocal) is a Grammy finalist and Indy Award winner,  an influential song finder, composer, and teacher. He was even Jerry’s guitar teacher when they were teenagers.
Jerry Wicentowski (guitar and vocal) is a bluegrass musician of the Old School. He sings wonderfully, and sometimes sounds more like Mac Wiseman than Mac does. Mac Wiseman  does not sing in both Hebrew and English as Jerry does. Jerry has  combined the musical style and melodies of American Bluegrass music with Shabbat Z’mirot, ancient Hebrew Sabbath songs. The JCC program will focus on these. There might be one or two of those in the other programs as well. Be prepared to be pleasantly surprised.
Chad and Keith have been part of the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, with Paul as sound engineer.
Paul and Jody and Keith were three quarters of the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band.
Chad and Keith and Paul were supporting musicians on Jody’s CD “Wonders & Signs”.   
So although Jerry and The Wiseman Institute is a new band, the members are old music partners from way back.
JERRY and the Wiseman Institute
- March 3 (5 pm): Station House, Point Reyes Station
- March 5: house concert in Oakland <>
- March 6: house concert in Alameda <>
- March 7: house concert in Mountain View <>
- March 9: Sonoma County Bluegrass and Folk Festival - Sebastopol    8PM
- March 10 (2 pm): JCC East Bay - 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley [bluegrass and Shabbat Z'mirot (ancient Hebrew Sabbath songs)]

Hear live Jody & Kate - March 8, 2016

The Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music have begun a project of uploading live recordings from their concerts and festivals. Here is a 1990 festival recording of Jody & Kate doing a Sunday Gospel set. Lots of songs here we have never recorded. Check out What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?  Jody forgets the words but it doesn't break the spell.

Upcoming Stuff - January 31, 2015

Blue Diamond Strings (Jody & Kate, Suzy & Eric Thompson and 2 guys named Paul [Shelasky & Knight]) will be playing at the annual "Sweethearts of The Radio" show on Valentine's Day in Pt Reyes Station. In August we will all be teaching at the Grand Targhee Music Camp in Alta, Wyoming, and then playing at the Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival. See Calendar for details.

Also in February Fiddler Magazine will feature an extensive interview with Jody. Kevin Carr was the interviewer.

In March Jody will be producing "Thompsonia", a CD of the family band of Eric, Suzy, and Allegra Thompson. Mike Cogan will be engineering.  

STUPID TUESDAY SALE - December 1, 2013


December 2, 3, & 4


Yow! We’re having a stupid CD sale. “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” first reminded us of songs like “Stormy Monday” and “Cloudy Sunday”. That’s what it’s like to be a musician. Everything reminds us of a song. But then we asked ourselves if it would make sense to pretend we were actually a business and to have a sale like businesses do. We decided it would not. It would be really stupid. So we’re doing it anyway and this is the Official Announcement of our Stupid Tuesday Sale. This sale is so stupid that it lasts for three days and starts on a Monday.


Instead of our usual price of $15 per disc the price for one disc is $12.  Buy a second disc and it costs $11. A third disc is $10. A fourth disc is $9. All subsequent discs are also $9. We are not so stupid as to keep removing a dollar beyond that. But we are too stupid to understand how to get Paypal to change our usual prices for only 3 days. So if you want to use the Paypal option, bypass the Add To Cart buttons on our "BUY" page on this website


and instead send an email to

 telling us which discs you want to order at the Stupid Tuesday price and we will calculate the price and postage, and for CA residents, the sales tax too. We will email you the price and you can go to


and pay that amount to


If you prefer to pay by check, let us know and we’ll calculate the price and inform you, and you can send the check to the address on our website.


Most Jody & Kate titles are out of stock. Maybe permanently.  We have the following titles available:


Wonders & Signs- Jody Stecher

Oh The Wind & Rain/ Eleven Ballads- Jody Stecher

Going Up On The Mountain- Jody Stecher

Heart Songs- Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin

Stay Awhile- Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin

Our Town (one copy left) - Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin

Blue Lightning- Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin

I Bid You Goodnight- Any Old Time (Kate Brislin)

Perfect Strangers - Perfect Strangers (Jody Stecher)


Reviews of our CDs can be read here:

New address - June 9, 2013

As of July 1st the old Fremont Street mailing address will be a thing of the past. The new Lake Street mailing address has replaced it and can be found on the "Buy" page.

Guitar Trio with Nygaard and Thompson - May 27, 2013

Eric Thompson's  KLEPTOGRASS band was looking for a June gig but the two Pauls (Knight and Shelasky) are busy busy busy. Eric, Scott Nygaard and I (Jody Stecher) have regrouped as a guitar trio and have been practicing every tuesday for a gig at the Freight & Salvage called Guitars Without Borders. Our three styles are so different that we are able to play as a trio without ever getting in each others' way. See Calendar on this site for details. Also see this web page :

Wonders & Signs gets positive reviews - May 27, 2013

At last some print and web reviews of Wonders and Signs are appearing. They range from positive to positively glowing. Have a look at the Reviews page on this website to read the reviews and to see who "gets it" and what part they "got". 

CD Release "Party" - January 9, 2013

It took some doing to find a night that all the musicians that play and sing on Wonders and Signs were all available and the Freight and Salvage was also available. It will happen on January 30. See Calendar for details.

The entire CD repertoire and a good deal more will be performed, including songs that got recorded but are being saved for the next CD. The band is


Jody Stecher- voice, mandolin, guitar, banjo

Keith Little -voice, banjo guitar

Kate Brislin-voice

Paul Knight-bass and voice

Chad Manning- fiddle

Eric Thompson- guitar

Suzy Thompson- fiddle, button accordion, voice

Allegra Thompson- voice

Bill Evans- banjo

NEW CD is RELEASED - November 15, 2012

Jody Stecher's new CD "WONDERS and SIGNS" is now complete and available for purchase here on  The artwork and design conceived by Jody and realized beautifully by Debbie Berne (who is also an old-time banjo player) is certainly the most unusual album art Kate or Jody has ever had. So far everyone seems to like it. The music was recorded at a new studio in Oakland, California, 25th Street Recording, and engineered by Bob Shumaker who has now engineered nearly a dozen projects for Kate and/or Jody. The sound of this CD is superb and we think the music is as well. Succinct liner notes are included in the package. Extensive liner notes, telling the story of each song have been posted in the Music section of this website. The words to each song have posted there as well.

repertoire - October 4, 2012

All 13 songs on "Wonders and Signs" are now mixed. I have to return to the studio later this week and make a few balance adjustments. Here is preview of the CD repertoire

Five Rode Up To Phoenix   

Weasels and Snakes          

The Kabul Grinder               

Kenny In Kansas City         

The Waters Of Caney         

Osama's Pajamas               

Gwendolyn McGrath           

Fly Away Home                   

Long Time A-Comin'            

The Highway                       

Look Me Up When You’re Down Under          

At Waterloo                         

The Southwest Train 

Imperfect Strangers - September 15, 2012

We're excited to be doing a double duet concert with Peter McLaughlin and Chris Brashear in November,  Jody will also be doing some Imperfect Strangers dates with them. Paul Knight will play bass.  Check out Chris' new CD "Heart of The Country". It's a doozy.   See Calendar for dates.

NEW CD NEARLY DONE - September 10, 2012

Jody has nearly finished his new recording project "WONDERS AND SIGNS".  The repertoire is entirely songs and tunes he has composed (plus 2 that he co-wrote). On this new recording Jody sings and plays guitar, mandolin, and banjo. Harmony singers are Kate Brislin, Keith Little, and Paul Knight (plus a special "backup singer" cameo appearance by mother/daughter team Suzy and Allegra Thompson). Instrumentalists are Chad Manning on fiddle, Paul Knight on bass, Eric Thompson on guitar, Suzy Thompson on button accordion and harmony fiddle, Keith Little on banjo and guitar, and Bill Evans on banjo. We'll send the official announcement to our mailing list sometime in October.

Northwest Tour in October - September 30, 2011

We've added a new Calendar feature to the website in honor of our October tour of Oregon and Washington as part of a Double Duet tour with stellar northwest duet Cliff Perry and Laurel Bliss. See Calendar for dates and details.Each duet will sing on their own and we'll also join together for some quartet singing. "Don't Miss It If You Can"


Cliff and Laurel began as a singing duo in the late 80's and are now recognized veterans in the bluegrass and old-time music communities.  Together they formed the heart and soul of Southfork, a legendary Northwest bluegrass band in Washington and up and down the West Coast. Respected by their peers and beloved by their fans, Cliff and Laurel always deliver a wonderful collection of old-time country duets.  When listening to them, you can tell they are greatly influenced by the Carter Family. However, they've also internalized and taken their own approach to the material. Old-time country music encompasses a myriad of styles and Perry and Bliss opt for a composed, straightforward approach that, like the Carters' music, suggests an earlier era. 

This will be a rare opportunity to hear the influential duet of Jody Stecher and Kate Brislin.  A vocal sound both soaring and soothing, a sterling repertoire, startling harmonic and melodic inventiveness, and a deep evocative musicality are the hallmarks of this peerless duo. Their sound and harmony, anchored by and entwined with Kate's emphatic rhythm guitar  has an impact that goes deeper than "notes" while Jody's brilliantly inventive instrumental forays on guitar and mandolin add lift and humor to the proceedings.  Their recordings have been Grammy finalists and Indy Award winners and their song versions and arrangements are now widely sung all over the world and considered "definitive". The program will be a mix of favorites from their past repertoire and songs from their new  CD "Return."

"Their music captures the essence and core of traditional music. Their bare-bones approach to this art form ranks them among the legends" - PK, Bluegrass Unlimited

We're updating the site - January 29, 2011

We've added "Legacy" to our "Buy" page. We're adding reviews of all our recordings to the Review page. Slowly slowly this website is coming together.

Our earlier CDs now for sale here - June 17, 2010

We now have all seven of our past and present duet CDs up on our Buy page.  Also we've got Kate's 1995 duet CD with Katy Moffatt,  Jody's two "solo" projects, and the CD of Perfect Strangers, the bluegrass band in which Jody sang and played mandolin for 7 years. We also have a few copies of Kate's early bands Any Old Time and Blue Flame. Wachoo want we got it. 

Jody & Kate's New CD "Return" - June 2, 2010

Our new CD "Return" is now available.

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