Skillet Licorice is the latest project from San Francisco Bay Area roots-music luminaries Elise Engelberg and Matt Knoth. The duo’s talents are showcased beautifully on their new self-titled CD which draws on their diverse experiences playing in numerous string bands over the years in a dizzying array of folk genres. Whether they’re playing hot fiddle breakdowns, slinky blues, sparkling banjo breaks, ragtime or dreamy waltzes the duo displays an impressive command of styles and techniques that comes from deep study and loving dedication to America’s folk traditions. With the help of their talented friends they’ve put together an album of songs that is essentially traditional, yet with a modern approach that is anything but a stodgy museum piece. Skillet Licorice is hot, sweet, and just a bit greasy!
Elise Engelberg (fiddle and banjo) a Kentucky native, began studying classical violin as a young girl. After moving to California, she rediscovered her bluegrass roots and began to play the fiddle. Since then, she has become a sought after fiddler in the Bay Area old time scene. Elise has recorded with the Crooked Jades, The Mercury Dimes and has toured with the Stairwell Sisters. Her love for teaching young children has afforded her a thriving music studio in San Francisco.
Matt Knoth (banjo, guitar and vocals) hails from San Jose, CA where he grew up playing bluegrass music with his father, world-famous radio personality Cuzin’ Al. He is well regarded in the Bay Area for his hard driving rhythm as both guitar and banjo player. Matt has recorded with Evie Ladin, Mike Marshall, Todd Phillips and has shared the stage with Peter Rowan, Danny Elfmann and Chris Thile among other lucky stars. When not performing music, Matt enjoys pursuing his love of nature photography & road cycling.