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Hank, Pattie & the Current is a Raleigh, NC-based quintet fronted by Hank Smith (Barefoot Manner, Kickin Grass Band) on banjo and Pattie Hopkins Kinlaw (Kickin Grass Band, Long Bay Symphony) on fiddle and vocals. The sound is a soulful evolution of American acoustic music weaving Bluegrass into the tapestry of jazz, blues, and classical styles.
Growing up in rural Florence, SC – where summer heat indices top 120 degrees – a teenaged Hank Smith could only find respite by locking himself up in his room and playing banjo for hours and hours. Here he readily consumed and thrived on a diet of banjo music from a variety of sources. Making its home in a nearby state park, the Southeastern Bluegrass Assoc. would meet the first Saturday of every month for a jam and concert. Hank attended these local meetings and by hiding in the back of jam groups, watching fingers, and listening for changes, he figured out how to operate the instrument that was to be his lifeblood.
After a year and a half, Hank went to college at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC where, finding no one with whom to play bluegrass, he instead discovered a diverse community of musicians with a far reaching body of influence and absorbed all manner of rock, jazz, reggae, folk, blues, classical and anything in between. In that time, he earned a BA and eventually an MA in Middle Eastern History.
Upon earning his MA, he went on tour full-time with Raleigh, NC jamgrass juggernaut, Barefoot Manner. Hank toured the country extensively with Barefoot Manner until the band left the road in 2009, and he has since played in a variety of projects such as The Hotwires, The Kickin Grass Band, and No Strings Attached. Currently, he plays and tours with duo partner: Lindsey Tims, original band: Morning After Music, and the world's first and only tribute to Bela Fleck and the Flecktones: Blu-Bop. Hank continues to train an army of banjo students and will soon unleash them upon the world...when no one expects it.
Pattie Hopkins began playing the violin at age four and received her Bachelor's degree in Violin Performance and Suzuki Pedagogue Certification from East Carolina University studying with Joanne Bath and Ara Gregorian. Pattie is an extremely versatile musician and has a tremendous talent for Fiddling as well as Classical Violin. She has studied with Fiddling legends Bobby Hicks and Mark O'Connor. Pattie also has a passion for the education of young fiddlers and also holds her certification in the Mark O'Connor American Violin Method. She resided in Asheville, North Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee playing regularly on Broadway while helping to start the Bluegrass Underground Project in McMinnville, TN. Pattie has made appearances at a variety of music venues on the East Coast. Pattie has also made special guest appearances with famous and talented musicians including Don Helms, Bobby Osbourne, and Charlie Daniels. She currently holds two private studios in North Carolina and is frequently invited to teach workshops throughout the United States for both Fiddling and Classical instruction. She performs regularly in the Eastern United States and is currently a member of multiple ensembles including the Trent River Chamber Players, The Long Bay Symphony in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, bluegrass and Americana projects the Lynda & Pattie duo and The Kickin Grass Band, and soulful folk-rock band the Morning After in Raleigh, NC. She loves spending time sailing on the coast, playing music with friends and loves to travel!