Dan and Diana Ost of Flatlander Folk have far-flung musical roots from places like Nashville, Indiana, home of the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival where Bill Monroe played, to Georgia country rock, to Dallas' Deep Ellum blues, to Kerrville Folk Festival, to Austin's music scene, to the Florida Folk influence.
Dan's musical family legacy incorporated a potato-bug mandolin from his Grandma, old-time songs from his Mom Nina, and guitar tunes from his double-aught-18-Martin-playing Dad. As a young adult in Indiana, he worked as a chef in a cafe that Bill Monroe frequented--Bill loved his fried potatoes, and Dan loved Monroe's music.
Dan's siblings all all musicial, from Michael's bluesy ragtime piano licks to sisters' Jess and Martha incredible vocals. (Mike is a recorded musician who lends his talent to his church; Jess has performed on Broadway in well-known musicals, such as Nunsense and Annie; Martha is a recorded singer in her own right). Mom (Nina Ost) taught the kids songs accompanied on her own ukelele. You'll hear the whole family, plus some of the younger generation, on Pick A Bale O' Cotton.
A lifetime guitar player, Dan plays a beautiful Augustino guitar, made right here in Florida, and has been working on the mandolin for about a year now. Dan moved to the family homestead in Pass-A-Grille, part of St. Pete Beach, FL, in the early 80's. Dan is also a singer-songwriter with several originals to his credit.
Diana's musical experience began with a three-string, mountain dulcimer belonging to her best friend Chris' Cajun family, the SoRelles, in Irving, Texas. She considered them to be her "adopted" family, where everyone from Mom to the youngest, Pete, played multiple instruments, and music spontaneously erupted on a regular basis. Mountain music and the Cajun influence, combined with an exploding 60's folk scene, past church choir experience, and gritty acoustic blues in Deep Ellum built the foundation for Diana's life-long love of music. The Austin music scene in the 70s, and immersion in the Blues scenes in Dallas (remember Tolbert's Chili Parlor?) and Fort Worth (The BlueBird) cemented her experience. Before moving to Florida in 1995, Diana sang and played harmonica with acoustic duos in Dallas, as a guest singer with local blues bands, and spent most Sunday afternoons with the Dallas Acoustic Musician's Network--thanks to all of you, and Dennis McBride especially--for the original invitation to THE JAM.
Dan and Diana met at an open mic in St. Pete Beach, FL, in 1995, and the rest is...history. Many mentors have crossed our paths and provided inspiration (thank you, Charley Groth for your encouragement and suggestions to keep on keepin' on), our dear friends Carl Wade and Barbara Schafer of Something Special, Doug Travers and Ellie Daulton (Daulton & Travers). Our greatest appreciation goes to John Kelly, a wonderful singer songwriter in his own right, who was also our producer and sound engineer (JohnKelly.biz) on this album. We couldn't have done it without 'cha, John.
Together, Dan and Diana provide seamless, richly intertwined harmonies and a warm friendly presence on stage and on CD. Recent gigs: the Sarasota Folk Festival (with Something Special), the Crowley Nature Center, Bringe Music Concert Series, the Old Northeast Tavern, Pioneer Days Celebration in Dade City, Will Mclean Festival (new musician's competition), and other local Florida venues. We will be at the Florida Folk Festival with Something Special in 2007.
Credits - Dan Ost: guitar, mandolin, organ, vocals. Diana Ost: dulcimer, harmonica, vocals. Carl Wade: guest lead guitar, Dark as a Dungeon. John Kelly: producer, engineer, lead guitar on Willin', bass on many songs, and backup vocal harmonies. Pick A Bale O' Cotton: Micheal Ost, piano, vocals; along with Nina Ost, Jessica Ost Cogan, Martha Ost, Diana and Dan Ost, and Jono Burke, vocals.