"In five short years The Panhandle Polecats have gone from being just another cute family band to being the Top Dogs (er, 'Cats) in the thriving Inland Northwest Bluegrass scene. The lightning picking, tight vocals and infectious stage presence of these five siblings have won them a devoted following throughout the region . . . I love these guys!"
- Kevin Brown, host of "Front Porch Bluegrass" on KPBX, Spokane Public Radio.
The Panhandle Polecats are five musical siblings – Jenny, Hank, Molly, Austin, and Bonnie Little – who live in their little mountain home on the Rathdrum prairie of North Idaho. They began performing back in 2001 under the name “The Little Family”. In the early days, their grandparents, Austin and Gayle Raine, often joined them onstage. Grandpa plays guitar and Granny plays the bass and piano. As they developed their skills and began landing more gigs, they decided “The Little Family” was boring so they tried “Cornpone and the Chitlins” (Grandpa’s idea). However, at shows, people continued to introduce them as the Little Family, so they took the hint and in 2003, they became the Panhandle Polecats. The name stuck and since that time they have developed into one of the hottest young bluegrass bands in the Spokane area.
The Panhandle Polecats play BLUEGRASS, with a heapin’ helpin’ of gospel, fiery mountain tunes, with a dollop of country, old-time, western and a dab of the blues for good measure.
In 2005, they recorded their first CD, "Polecat Stomp", in the basement of their church. It sold more than they ever imagined, so in 2007, they just released their second attempt, "Skunked Again!". It features special guests: Spokane fiddle player, Andrew Wilson (of the Rockin’ B Ranch), Mom (Shirley Little), returning once again, Granny and Grandpa, and even Dad (Todd Little) - listen close to the “hallelujah!” on “Lily of the Valley”, you might hear him. This CD showcases four original tunes; two by Austin, the near-infamous “Sheep Shearing Blues” by Molly (a real sheep-shearer) and the title cut “Skunked Again!” which all the Polecats had a hand in writing.
More than Polecat Stomp, this album shows off the versatility of the Polecats. From the serious “There’s a Great Day Coming” and the haunting original “The Sound of Angels Singing”, to the playful “Shortenin’ Bread” and “A Perfect Man Like Me”. There is a tune by Father of Bluegrass Bill Monroe, but there is also one by “Weird Al” Yankovic. And for animal-lovers everywhere, there is also a song about a dog.