About    Schedule    Music CDs    Quotes    History   Group Tribute   Charity Work   Photos

Meet the members of The Hard Travelers:

Kenn     Mack     Mike     Ira     Jon     Marc

Photo Tribute to the late Buddy Renfrow

 

"The Hard Travelers are dedicated to finding ways to use their music

as a vehicle to make a difference in the world."

 

Official Photo:

Kenn Roberts, John Glik, Ira Gitlin, Mack Bailey, Mike Munford

Today, The Hard Travelers are: Kenn Roberts, Mack Bailey, Mike Munford, Jon Glik and Ira Gitlin, but, they have had several groupings of outstanding musicians.  Read below more about this long established folk group, that continues to perform exciting concerts and sponsor annual benefit events for charity, through the M.U.S.E. Foundation, founded by The Hard Traveler's remaining original member, Kenn Roberts.

About the Hard Travelers, including highlights of their long career

Fundraising Concerts for MUSE

Schedule of the Hard Travelers.  (Also, see Mack Bailey's)

Discography of the Hard Travelers, CD's and their songs

Photographs of the Hard Travelers, some old, some new

Back to Mack's Website

 

Kenn Roberts, Mack Bailey, 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. 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.

 

About the Hard Travelers:

The short "Press Kit"  Version:

 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.

Quotes:

Maureen Harrigan of MoFolk Productions states:  "Mack Bailey is the lead singer and guitar player, and has a perfect pitch tenor voice that will bring tears to your eyes.  Kenn Roberts is the original founding member of the band and the orchestrator of some terrific arrangements as well as vocals. Mike Munford, Jon Glik and Ira Gitlin are all award-winning performers who set the standards for the instruments they play (banjo, fiddle and bass, respectively).    

The Hard Travelers are well known for giving a very lively and engaging performance, and for leaving their audiences feeling good about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!  They are a bunch of good ol' boys having a good ol' time sharing songs about everyday life experiences about everyday folks. A great band to get you in the mood."

An anonymous fan:  "The Hard Travelers music features soaring harmonies worked into lively songs and poignant ballads.  The musicians are first rate and combine their talents to make a spirited good time for their enthusiastic audiences."

About the Musicians in the Hard Travelers:

The Hard Travelers: Kenn Roberts, John Glik, Ira Gitlin, Mack Bailey, Mike Munford

 

 

New member Marc MacGlashen often joins the Hard Travelers for concerts:

(Click on thumbnail photos for larger, higher resolution versions)

 

 Kenn Roberts (Lead Vocals):

Kenn is the only remaining original member of The Hard Travelers, a group he founded in the late 1950's at the University of Maryland.  After a long hiatus from the group, during which time he was a real estate developer in Montgomery County, Maryland, he brought the original guys back together for a reunion concert;  the party has continued for another twenty years.  Kenn is founder of the MUSE Foundation, whose purpose is to share the love and power of music as a conduit to raise funds and public awareness for worthwhile charitable causes.  The Foundation produces concerts, directing all proceeds to the chosen charity and has raised in excess of $8 million dollars for various worthy causes.  Kenn co-produces with Kris O'Connor the annual John Denver tribute concerts at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen each October which benefits Challenge Aspen.  Kenn recently received an Award from Governor Ehrlich of Maryland.

 

 

Mack Bailey (Lead vocals and guitar):

Well, this is hosted by Mack's website, so take a look at more:  www.mackbailey.com   But, briefly, you can tell a lot about singer / songwriter Mack Bailey by the musical company he keeps - Mary Chapin Carpenter sang on his first album which was produced by Bill Danoff or "Country Roads" and "Afternoon Delight" fame.  Mack is a singer/songwriter who is gaining an ever-larger audience with his strong, expressive classically trained voice, with an impressive range and pure clean quality.  He writes sensitive original songs that express the deepest of human emotion, social conscience, and lighthearted fun.   In concerts, he touches the listener's heart and tickles their funny bone.   As a member of The Hard Travelers, Mack has sung with dozens of folk and country stars. 

 

 

Mike Munford (banjo, guitar and backup vocals):

Mike was voted "best banjo player" by Baltimore City Paper.  Born in St. Louis and raised in Baltimore, Mike started playing banjo at age 15.  Two years later he joined his first bluegrass band, Windy Ridge, and played every Thursday night at the Cub Hill Inn in Baltimore for seven years.  A professional bluegrass musician since 1976, Mike spent many years of experience developing his craft.  His fluid style, both tasteful and driving, allows him to easily blend traditional and contemporary influences into his music. 

Mike's distinctive banjo stylings can be heard on such notable recordings as Peter Rowan's Grammy-nominated "Bluegrass Boy", and Larry Rice's "Notions and Daydreams," among others, as well as more recent projects by the Mark Newton Band and a musical segment on the TV show "Americas Most Wanted".  Additionally, Mike has toured throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe with numerous prominent local and regional bands as well as nationally known acts such as the Lynn Morris Band, The Tony Rice Unit, The Rice Brothers and Peter Rowan.  He is also a member of regional bands "Line Drive,"  "The Dede Wyland Band," the "Mark Newton Band" and Bob Perilla's "Big Hillbilly Bluegrass Band."  With The Hard Travelers, Mike had the honor of performing "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" with John Denver in Baltimore, which was to be one of John's last shows.

In addition to a busy musical performing career, Mike also does string instrument repair, specializing in banjo and guitar setup and restoration.  He teaches banjo at Baltimore Bluegrass, Inc., where he serves as vice-president and general manager.  "It's like a second home; if I didn't work here I'd probably be hanging around the store anyway."  Mike's hobbies include biking, hiking, railroad history, beach trips and jamming 'till all hours at festivals. 

 

 

Ira Gitlin (Bass, banjo and some vocals):

Ira plays guitar, banjo, and bass and is an accomplished composer and arranger.  Since 1986, when he moved to Maryland from his native New York City, Ira has become widely known and respected in Washington - Baltimore bluegrass, folk, and roots-music circles as a versatile multi-instrumentalist, teacher, and writer.   His guitar playing gets its down-to-earth drive from his long involvement in bluegrass and its sophisticated rhythms and harmonies from his interest in western swing and jazz.

Ira has a resumť that includes performances with such nationally known artists as the Johnson Mountain Boys, Peter Rowan, Bill Harrell, the Gillis Brothers, Peter "P.D.Q. Bach" Schickele, and the Pat McGee Band.   Ira's banjo, guitar, and bass work can be heard on nearly two-dozen recordings.  He has written about bluegrass-related topics for several national publications, frequently contributing to Bluegrass Unlimited and Banjo Newsletter.  Ira has taught in workshops at Common Ground, the Maryland Banjo Academy, Winterhawk, and the Gettysburg Bluegrass Comporee.  Today, Ira continues as music instructor of many instruments, particularly bluegrass banjo, at the Musical House of Traditions in Takoma Park, Maryland.

Ira is a sought-after freelancer and can be seen performing frequently singing and performing bass with the
Oklahoma Twisters, a DC area western swing band.  He also performs with The Urban Legends, the Blue Moon Cowgirls, The Hard Travelers, Ty Braddock and the Branded Med.   In 1992, Ira won the National Bluegrass Banjo Championship in Winfield, Kansas.  Among his other trophies are two Washington Area Music Association awards (1999 and 2000).  A graduate of Swarthmore, Ira was a one-day winner on the television show Jeopardy in 1993.  See Ira's Other Website.

Watch a solo performance of Ira with friends at the
Kennedy Center.  Learn to play banjo with Ira, online.


Ira Gitlin ~ Bass
Ira from Takoma Park Maryland is an all-round musician. I donít know anybody who can learn complex tunes faster than Ira. Incidentally, Ira is also a former winner of the Winfield, Kansas National Championship Banjo contest and was a winner on TVís Jeopardy show several years ago. Heís also a frequent contributor to several bluegrass publications. Come to think of it, I should have gotten him to write these liner notes.

 

 

 

Jon Glik (fiddle):

Amazing audiences around the world for over 3 decades!  When you're putting on a show and you're looking for a hot fiddle player, Jon Glik is the man to call.  Jon or "Baltimore Jonny as he is sometimes known as, has played with some of the best country bluegrass groups in the country and performed with Del McCoury and David Grisman.  You can hear him regularly on the "basement tapes" on MPR.  If you attend any bluegrass festival in and around the Baltimore-Washington Area, you will see Jon Glik often.  He currently plays with not only The Hard Travelers, but also with the dance company Footworks and Mike Auldridges's Good  Deale Blue Grass Band.  With the Hard Travelers, he had the honor of performing the all-important fiddle part in "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" for John Denver in Baltimore which was to be one of John's last shows.  See Jon's Other Website.  

Jon is a world renowned fiddler He has performed or recorded with Del McCoury to David Grisman, Peter Rowan,Dukes of Bluegrass, Frank Wakefield, Dan Paisley, Dave Evans, Mack Bailey and the Hard Travelers, The Dance company Footworks, The Good Deale Bluegrass Band feat. Mike Auldridge and The Eastman String Band.  His fiddle playing can be heard regularly on NPR and XM radio

 

 

Marc MacGlashan (mandolin, fiddle):

Marc is another of those multi-instrumentalists that many of us envy. Blessed with a tremendous amount of talent, Marc is featured here primarily as a mandolin player whose solos reflect his remarkable imagination and taste. A graduate of the University of Maryland, Marc is a resident of Arnold, Maryland, having spent some years living and recording in Nashville, Tennessee. He has played in several local groups, including his family band from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, the MacGlashan Brothers.  Other groups or artists with whom Marc has played include:  Ray Hesson, Good Deale Bluegrass Band, and The Gibson Brothers..

 

 

 

Schedule of Upcoming HARD TRAVELERS Concerts

2013

Date

Event Information

City

Contact

September 27

(Friday)

 

The Hard Travelers

Live! On the Farm Benefit Concert

with Ricky Scaggs and his band

Maryland Therapeutic Riding

Arden Farms

1141 Sunrise Beach Road

Tickets: 

$125. - up front and VIP reception with artists;

$65 - general admission; open seating

Barn doors open at 5:30 pm

Rider demonstration

Concert at 7:30 pm

 

Crownsville, MD

More info at:

www.mtrinc.org

 

For Tickets, call:

410-923-6816

or click HERE

 

Map

December 22nd

(Sunday)

 

The Hard Travelers

Christmas Reunion Show with Friends

Rams Head Tavern

33 West Street

7:30 PM

Tickets: $25.00

 

Annapolis, MD

 

Tickets are NOW ON SALE

For more info:

Rams Head On Stage

Map (interactive)

 

       
   

Check Back periodically for

NEW INFORMATION

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

Discography

 

   

Hard Travelers (L to R): Ira, Mike, Mack, Kenn, and Jon  (Photo:  Vern Roberts)

 

The Hard Travelers CDs

  All proceeds from these CDs go to the MUSE Foundation for the charities they support.

 

Folk Revival - Live at the King of France Tavern

I'd Rather Wear Out Than Rust

High Gear

Silver & Gold

Sailin' On A Second Wind

(Click on CD Cover for more information)

 

To order these CD's please send payment, made out to "The MUSE Foundation" to:

    The MUSE Foundation

      c/o Kenn Roberts

827 Coachway

Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Price: $15.00 for each CD, plus $2.50 shipping

 

 

The Hard Travelers Folk Revival

"Live At the King of France Tavern"

 

Please Note:  This CD does NOT feature Mack Bailey, rather the original group - Kenn Roberts, Buddy Renfro, Ed Windsor and Mike Ritter.

 

Released - July 2004

  • Hard Travelin'

  • Tom Dooley

  • M.T.A.

  • Golden Vanity

  • Cotton Fields

  • Chicken Song

  • Sloop John B

  • Run Maggie Run

  • Sinner Man

  • Scotch and Soda

  • This Land is Your Land

  • Reuben James

  • When the Saints Go Marching In

  • Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Newly remixed & mastered by Kris O'Connor from original 1985 Live Concert, their reunion after 22 years.  Great fun to hear again, or for the first time.

   

 

I'd Rather Wear Out Than Rust

 

 

  • Wild Rose

  • Heart Strings

  • I'd Rather Wear Out Than Rust

  • Songs and Daughters

  • Traveler

  • No Longer Afraid

  • Howlin' At the Moon

  • Uncle Joe

  • Through Your Eyes

  • Run Maggie Run

  • Sound of Freedom

   

 

High Gear

 

Now Available Again!

 

  • High Gear 

  • One Life Stand

  • Ghost Dancers

  • Family Melody

  • Rhythm and the Rhyme

  • There's a Dance

  • Hand In Hand

  • The Journey

  • Here's To The Roses

  • Hot Tub of Tears

   

 

Silver and Gold

 

 

  • Simple Song

  • Rock Me Grandpa

  • Dream Within A Dream

  • Down The Road

  • I Have Spoken

  • Blue Highways

  • Close To Home

  • People Trying to Live in Time

  • Northern Lights

  • Silver and Gold

   

 

Sailin' on a Second Wind

 

Now Available Again!

 

  • Sailin' on a Second Wind 

  • New Old Friend   

  • Healing Stone

  • Rappahannock

  • Fallen Image

  • With Two Wings

  • Winds of Change

  • River, She Come Down

  • Chesapeake

  • Civil War Medley

   

 

Flying Again

 

2006

 

This is a John Denver Tribute Album, also available for ordering through the MUSE Foundation (see ordering information above) 

Recorded in October, 2006 with the Columbia Orchestra, Columbia, Maryland.  It features Mack Bailey, Kenn Roberts, Molly Weaver, Jim Salestrom, Chris Nole, Jim Horn, Pete Huttlinger, John Sommers and Bill Danoff

 

 

 

  • Eagle and The Hawk

  • Spirit

  • Back Home Again

  • Sunshine On My Shoulders

  • Annie's Song

  • I Want To Live

  • Flying for Me

  • For You

  • Fly Away

  • Shanghai Breeze

  • The Wings That Fly Us Home

  • Perhaps Love

  • Eagles and Horses

  • Take Me Home Country Roads

  • Rocky Mountain High

  • Calypso

 
  •  

 

 

This page was updated:  Friday, January 17, 2014 12:49:50 PM

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