MBOTMA (Minnesota Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association) 2011 Race for a Place 1st place winners No Grass Limit.
No Grass Limit a 5-piece band with amazing talent playing acoustic music that will turn heads and take names. "No Grass Limit" takes audiences through an eclectic mix of bluegrass, folk, gospel, rock, and traditional music, incorporating exotic styles inspired by No Grass Limit experiences from the musicians and the people who have touched them in their musical careers.
Chuck and Sandi Millar founders of No Grass Limit and Lesson Pros (a MN based music lessons program), started as performing artists, playing all over the United States at festivals, private & corporate parties, weddings, coffee houses & theaters. Being played on radio stations all around the world their success has led them into the hearts of millions. They have been featured in numerous newspapers articles, television (WCCO 4) and magazines. They have won many competitions with their music, including countless 1st place titles in fiddling and trick fiddling (Chuck), plus took 2nd place in the MN State fair duet competition. Chuck and Sandi also had the honor of playing at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN.
After spending most of their lives on the concert stage, Chuck and Sandi felt a strong need to give back to musicians of all ages. In 2002, they came up with an idea to start a music lesson program, with Chuck's talent and knowledge of teaching and Sandi's business sense they made the perfect fit to create a wonderful music lesson program. The result was Lesson Pros, a group of teachers offering private & group music lessons to students of all ages and abilities at the Lesson Pros studios, worldwide online, community education & churches. Lesson Pros has currently taught over 2500 students of ages 4 to 98. Minnesota’s music culture has greatly been expanded and broadened, by the Millar’s, which is truly admired.
Chuck and Sandi are described as musical innovators who cross musical genres and boundaries with their songs and music. Fans rave about their blend of harmonies and musicianship and with this All-Star cast, fans are sure to be pleased.
Chuck Millar with his uncompromising integrity, exceptional talent and unwavering leadership started teaching at an early age of 17; he has continued to showcase his talents on and off stage by helping many new aspiring students to be great musicians and performers. He teaches all of the following instruments: guitar, violin, fiddle, mandolin, bass, vocal, music theory and performance.
Currently performing with Sandi, Chuck also plays with the nationally recognized band "Tangled Roots" which has released three recordings "Angel From Montgomery" & Valley Road" & "Life of a Dream".
Sandi Millar stands alone as the west metro’s premier guitar, vocal, and performance instructor. From her mastery on vocals and harmonies to a deep connection with audiences, her music has had a profound effect on many. Sandi’s talents and accomplishments have been recorded on four CDs, which have been played on radio all around the world, "One More Time", The Flame in My Heart", "Where's the Line" with The Frets and the newest NGL recording “Lay Me Down”. Plus multiple backup harmony singing recordings. Sandi, approached by the "Buffalo Music Encore Program" was hired to help with instructing students on guitar, vocal & performance. After a few years of teaching she has truly developed a love of helping students achieve all their musical dreams.
Clint Birtzer 20 years old, is the 2011 (and 2009) Minnesota State Flatpicking Guitar Champion. Clint, along with Jesse from Sawtooth Bluegrass Band, also captured the 1st place title in the 2011 MN Duet Singing Championships. In addition to music, Clint is passionate about The Great Outdoors and hunts as much as music and school allows him. He has completed an associates degree at Inver Hills Community College and is transferring to the University of Minnesota in the fall as a Junior to study Journalism.
Graham Sones is Minnesota's favorite banjo professional. A thirty six year veteran of the five string, he’s a Scruggs style picker that enjoys his craft and working on licks. Born in Rochester, MN, he also has strong family ties in Des Moines, IA and the hills of Arkansas. He grew up with the music and festivals on his mind and in his heart. A local music shop owner and fiddler, Bob Loy helped form Graham’s first band that played some local festivals and gigs which started his experience playing and singing on stage. Since then his bluegrass pickin’-playin’-singin’ experience just grew and included some equally fine pickers, players and singers along the way. In 2001, he played his banjo with Monroe Crossing and put in thousands of miles and hundreds of shows in the three years that followed showcasing at national festivals, concerts, and fairs performing all over the Midwest. Recent years have found Graham performing with fine regional bands such as DriveTime, the High 48’s, Haywire, and The Bluegrass Continentals. Marty Marrone and Tangled Roots picked him up as a full member Spring of ’09. Graham is a founding member of No Grass Limit and is also a recent member of Dick Kimmel & Co. out of New Ulm, MN. Graham currently teaches banjo and guitar at Lesson Pros.
Ron Wiese has been playing bass guitar for over 30 years, but only very recently started playing bluegrass bass-fiddle. Ron started kicking around the Mpls scene in the mid-eighties playing jazz, funk, and rock with a wide array of up-and-coming players. But being, at heart, a philosopher and a physicist, Ron felt a need to know the origins of the music he was enjoying and playing, so he started digging deep into the roots of American music (and continues digging today). Ron's musical ride turned very sharply toward mid-20th century American music in the early 90s when he joined the critically acclaimed Mpls roots-rock band The Revelators. After the Revs broke-up, he joined Pete Kavanaugh's band The Zoo Keepers until family-life demanded a sabbatical from the grueling life of bass journeyman. But through two cross-country relocations -- 4 years in the foothills above Boulder, CO and 8 years in the Austin, TX hill-country -- Ron's musical growth accelerated through both a healthy amount of live performance and a voracious consumption of musical recordings. Living in Boulder sparked a new musical journey when Ron finally discovered bluegrass and, countless of listening hours later, he started playing it -- nearly exclusively -- but not before steeping himself in the indigenous music of the epicenter of country/rock -- Austin, TX. Although a keen ear may hear the subtle effect of Ron's early influences even when he is playing old-time and bluegrass, he plays bluegrass bass with both drive and nuance that is appropriate for the genre while also pushing the role of the bass in bluegrass forward. If you are ever within earshot of Ron's bass-playing, grab an energy bar and hydrate well because you will not be able to resist the "power of the groove." Ron sums up his musical DNA as a mixture of all flavors of early American folk music and modern american music genres -- all to the beat of drummers-past.
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