Meet Barbara Jo & The Hippie Buckaroos
Barbara Jo Kammer
Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Mom told me I harmonized to commercials at 2 years old (1956) and that was how she knew I had a musical knack!
Singing always brought me the most joy. I remember going to summer camp when I was 11 years old at Camp Manitowish in northern Wisconsin and singing with my friend Olga as we were portaging our really heavy canoe - she was tall and strong and pretty much carrying my load as well as hers - but we were singing - thank goodness!
My Dad was a Barbershopper - his quartet was called "The Cardinals" and they used to fly around the Midwest in a biplane to do shows - not sure what my Mom thought of that whole thing. Dad also sang a lot in community theater in Madison, Wisconsin where I grew up. He and I harmonized a bunch together, and my introduction to Bluegrass Music was singing "Mountain Dew" with him quite a long time ago. I did not know it was Bluegrass.
Singing has carried me through my entire life - all through grade school, high school, college, with country, blues, rock, jazz bands and now as I work with Elders in retirement homes as a Music Therapist (large groups of singers!) and also leading The Hippie Buckaroos. I am one grateful singer this is for sure!
Mandolin, Guitar, Vocals
Jeff had a rather unremarkable childhood growing up in northern Ohio. His earliest musical memory is hearing a Fess Parker song called Wringle Wrangle. That, and a plastic guitar that he thought one played by putting one’s fingers where the dots were on the neck.
He has made much progress since those days. He was surprised with a guitar on his 16th birthday and thus began his musical journey, playing with friends and in coffee houses and such.
A second musical epiphany occurred after hearing Doc Watson’s Tennessee Stud & he was introduced to Bluegrass music.
A few years back he bought a mandolin, and, after becoming some what proficient with it, was discovered by Barbara Jo and asked to join the Hippie Buckaroos. Which he did.
Norm grew up on Long Island, NY, where he was classically trained on the upright bass and played a wide variety of music genres, including rock, jazz, folk, show tunes, and now country and Bluegrass. In addition to playing with the Hippie Buckaroos, Norm is also a member of Or Zimrah, playing once a month at their Friday evening services.
Norm spent 18 years in Los Angeles in the Hollywood television production industry as a television director and editor, working on shows like Entertainment Tonight, and Real People, and for CBS, NBC, and Paramount Television, to name a few. A hobby in computer programming resulted in Norm inventing a new broadcast editing system.
Currently, Norm lives with his wife of 35 years, writes computer software, creates web applications and websites, and is doing his very best to sing in tune!
"My parents were immigrants from Finland. My Father was probably the only Swede-Finn who played western cowboy music on an Hawaiian steel guitar in Connecticut. I never heard anyone else play like that until I was about 12 years old.
"My brother and I would listen on our transistor radio late at night. We could get WWVA Wheeling West Virginia and I heard the slide guitar incorporated into mountain music and it struck a chord in my soul. Then I heard southern black artists, like Black Ace, play delta blues with a slide guitar and I was hooked.
"When I hit Colorado, I got in with some guys who played Jug band music. We formed the “Whole Earth Dirt Band,” then the “Iron Nipple Bluegrass Sheiks.” Then I heard Barbara Jo sing and I asked if I could back her up and the HIPPIE BUCKAROOS were born!"