Kenn Roberts, Mack Bailey, Mike Munford, Jon Glik and Ira Gitlin are The Hard Travelers. For more than 30 years The Travelers have continued to delight audiences from DC to Japan. The Hard Travelers began playing together in 1958. Original members were Kenn Roberts, Buddy Renfro and Mike Ritter. During their 30+ years of performing some changes have occurred. Eighteen years ago The Travelers added a fourth member, Mack Bailey. Since that time Mike Ritter retired and Buddy Renfro lost his fight with Cancer in May, 1998. Within the past fifteen years they have added three stunning instrumentalists, Mike Munford. Jon Glik and Ira Gitlin.
From their beginning to today, they have been the opening act at The Cellar Door in Washington, DC, toured all over the USA from The Kerrville Folk Festival to Grossinger's in NY, Azalea Festival in NC, The Wheeler Opera House in Aspen Colorado and a goodwill tour in Taiwan. The Travelers are dedicated to finding ways to use their music as a vehicle to make a difference in the world. In 1988 they produced the first "Hard Travelers and Friends Concert" to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis. Now an annual event, The Travelers have been joined by such renowned artists as Emmylou Harris, Alabama, Kathy Mattea, John Denver, Kenny Rogers, Alan Jackson, Martina McBride and Reba McEntire, to name a few. They have raised over eleven (11) million dollars for various charities, with their main focus on finding a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.
Musically they have evolved from Pure Folk to Folk-Bluegrass to Folk-Country, and now have a unique quality of their own. Much of their music is self-composed, but you can always count on a familiar tune from one of the many performers who have influenced their work. A mixture of varied voices blending into tight harmonies along with guitars, banjo, mandolin, acoustic bass and fiddle, The Hard Travelers are a truly unique act with an avid following of friends and devotees.
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