Band History

Bluegrass Redemption is a bluegrass band located in the rolling hills of Central Pennsylvania.  Happy Valley is our home.  For most venues, we play Traditional, Gospel, and Contemporary bluegrass favorites.  For church services, we can also provide God centered worship with a distinctive bluegrass flavor.

Founded in 2013

Bluegrass Redemption was founded by Keith Miska (banjo) in 2013 to play the Fort Armstrong Folk Festival near his home town of Ford City, PA that same year.  Mike Bratton (doghouse bass) was the second member, followed by Rick Auhl (lead vocals/guitar), and his wife Jane Auhl (vocals/fiddle).  Kurt Kroeker (mandolin/fiddle) played that first gig, and often accompanies the band at least once a year, and on special occasions.

Keith, an experienced bluegrass musician, played together with Mike in “Iron Works”, and Kurt in the “Allegheny Ridge Runners” a number of years earlier.  Rick and Jane, having only worship music experience, were not familiar with bluegrass music until just a few years before they auditioned with Keith.  They were introduced to bluegrass music when Rick’s pastor asked him to put together a “Bluegrass Christmas” service for Centre Church in 2010. Various members of the band have played for every “Bluegrass Christmas” service since.  Christian faith has been an important part of this band’s journey, and they especially enjoy opportunities to lead bluegrass worship services for local area churches.

In late 2016, George Macias (mandolin) started playing for the band.  George is a professional classical guitarist and lute player, who had a long standing dream of playing mandolin in a bluegrass band since college.  George is taking a little break from bluegrass this year to pursue a couple more of his musical dreams, but you can expect to see him playing now and again with the band as the opportunity arises.

In early September 2017 the band experienced the profound and sudden loss of Rick’s wife, and their fiddle player Jane.  Unfortunately, they had to cancel a gig in Carlisle, PA scheduled for the week after Jane’s death, but with the help of a few friends, who have now joined the band, were able to play the Pumpkin Festival at the Penn State Arboretum, by October 2017.

New Additions for 2018

Miranda Auhl (vocals), Rick and Jane’s youngest daughter, is now singing in her mom’s place and making her father very proud.  Gus Tritsch (fiddle) is a teenage musical prodigy and local musical celebrity written about several times in “rolling stone”.  Rich Kratzer (vocals/mandolin) is a highly experienced bluegrass musician formally with Remington Ryde.  Gus and Rich are such talented musicians who bring with them a completely new level of quality and musical consistency.

The band typically plays festivals, weddings, private parties, church services and picnics. In the past few years, you may have heard the band at the Festival of the Arts, the State College Fall Festival, the People’s Choice Festival, and Grange Fair, as well as several First Friday’s in downtown State College.  In 2018 the band hosted the first Bluegrass in the Valley event here in State College.

“Our focus is to providing fun, high quality, family friendly entertainment for people of all ages who love bluegrass music”.