"A masterful work of art that transcends all musical genres". That's how Bluegrass Unlimited described the music of Celtibillies. Formed in 1994 as a contradance band, Celtibillies began exploring the deep rooted connections between Celtic music and the Appalachian music of their home region of southwest Virginia. Their music expanded beyond dance tunes to include a wide range of traditional Celtic and Appalachian Old-Time music and song as well as original music. The band features Becky Barlow on hammered dulcimer, keyboard and bodhran, Jack Hinshelwood on fiddle and guitar, Tim Sauls on banjo, bouzouki and guitar, and Jeff Hofmann on bass. Celtibillies performances are an energetic mixture of duet vocal arrangements and spirited jigs, reels, waltzes and breakdowns.
Celtibillies was selected to represent the best of music from Appalachia at the 37th Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the largest annual cultural event in the U.S. capital. Over the years, the Folklife Festival has featured exemplary tradition bearers from throughout the world that embody the creative vitality of community-based traditions.
The music of Celtibillies was featured in the sound track of
"In the Company of Strangers", an independent full length motion picture that won Best Dramatic Feature Film in the 2002 New York International Independent Film & Video Festival. Celtibillies performed for the film premier at the beautiful Valentine Theatre in Toledo, Ohio. The music of Celtibillies also appeared in “Down In The Old Belt '" Voices From The Tobacco South,” a full length documentary movie on the history of the tobacco economy and culture in Virginia & North Carolina.