These folks have shared stages in Montana for many years, dating back to the mid-1970s. Among them are National & State Fiddle Champions, Song Writers, Exceptional Instrumentalists, Great Singers and best of all, they are good friends who love what they do.
Montana Standard’s combined decades of experience, unique twin fiddles, tight vocal harmonies and rock-solid instrumentation produce an excitingly energetic sound unique to the region, perhaps to the country. Their reverence for the traditions of Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, The Stanley Brothers, Jimmy Martin, as well as vintage country music set the stage for a great show!
The band has performed throughout the west and, with this solid lineup and fresh recordings, is expanding their performance schedule and festival presence.
Great Music & Fun Time!
LARRY BARNWELL-VOCALS AND GUITAR
Larry grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina around Asheville. He started playing early under the influence of his dad, who was a singer, guitar player and a lover of all music, especially Bluegrass. He journeyed west right out of high school and eventually ended up in Colorado where he joined a popular band, the ‘Monroe Doctrine’. They traveled extensively for a number of years in the early ‘70’s, passing through Montana at some point. The beauty and majesty brought him back to stay.
Larry has lived in Montana since 1977, with a brief stretch back in Colorado. He’s played in several bands around the state including Poor Monroe, The Big Sky Boys, Chicken Lips and for the past dozen years or so has played with various Montana musicians called Montana Standard. His love for the traditional style of Bluegrass Music he was raised on, fits well with the other folks in the band.
JOE ROCKAFELLOW- VOCALS AND BANJO
Joe started playing banjo as a teenager in 1975 after being introduced to bluegrass from a well-known banjo player in Livingston, Ken Boom. He played in several regional bands including Deep River and Lone Mountain. Then at the turn of the century, he went on the road with The Grasshoppers for about a year. He is presently a member of Montana Standard out of Bozeman, Montana.
Joe is a big fan of J.D Crowe. In fact, he has a signed portrait of him hanging in his living room at his home in Livingston. He is very passionate about traditional bluegrass as a whole package. The complete band sound with vocals as a top priority are things Joe strives for when he plays bluegrass. He doesn’t consider himself a very good lead singer but loves to sing tenor harmony!
Joe lives in Livingston, Montana with his wife of 30 years, Michelle and has 3 kids, Becky, Chris, and Emily.
MIKE PARSONS-VOCALS AND MANDOLIN
Mike Parsons first picked up the fiddle when he was nine, playing with his father and grandfather. His family joined the Idaho Old Time Fiddlers Organization and soon he was playing around the state with the Junior Jammers. The Parsons Family Band formed and ten-year old Mike, his mother, sisters and brothers played barn dances, gyms, and shows across Idaho. In 1973, Mike won the Junior Idaho State Fiddling Championship as well as the Golden Spike Fiddle Championship.
Mike continues to teach and play professionally with a variety of bands, and along the way added mandolin, guitar, banjo, bass, dobro, and steel guitar to the cache of instruments he plays. He currently lives in Bozeman and plays fiddle and mandolin as a twangster with country band www.twang and mandolin with Montana Standard.
LOUISE STEINWAY-VOCALS AND FIDDLE
Louise started playing the piano at age five. She played the piano, fiddle, mandolin and guitar, and sang with her family band for over 20 years entertaining seniors with country and western music. She also played the piano and fiddle with the Vancouver fiddle orchestra for ten years and played for Scottish country dances in Vancouver, Seattle and Victoria. Louise enjoys playing and listening to all kinds of fiddle music, but especially loves a good jam session with friends!
ISAAC CALLENDER-VOCALS AND FIDDLE
Isaac began his musical career as a contest fiddler winning titles all over North America. As a teen he had the great fortune to be able to study and travel with Western Swing Hall of famers Dick and Lisa Barrett as well as playing bluegrass and country music with various local bands. Isaac joined the US Army National guard at eighteen and served for eight years during which time he performed with the 133rd Army band. During his tenure with the band he formed the Lewis and Clark Period Music Ensemble. This group performed across the United States in support of the Corps II expedition. He also served on a USO tour in the South Pacific and Asia with Nashville Songwriter Jerome McComb.
Isaac's music continued to develop after leaving the military when he joined renowned Canadian fiddle and step dancer April Verch on the guitar and mandolin. With April, Isaac not only toured the world and performed on stage with some of folk music's greatest talents but he also began developing his songwriting and singing skills. After leaving the AVB Isaac performed with many bluegrass, country, folk, Irish, and old-time groups on multiple instruments. He continued honing his singing and writing skills while living in Oregon completing a degree in Music Performance and opening a music store.
These days you can find Isaac touring, writing, singing, and just loving music all over the world. He has produced three albums, multiple tune books for both guitar and fiddle, and continues to write, teach, and perform with some of the greatest musicians in the world.
JOHN PARKER-BASS AND VOCALS
John Parker has been playing bluegrass music since he realized in the 60’s that he could stay up with the old folks if he played an instrument. He has played banjo and guitar and currently plays upright bass with bluegrass bands Lochwood and Montana Standard, and oldtime music with the Woodhogs.