The Toasted Ponies combine the best of both traditional and contemporary Bluegrass music. Look for great harmony singing and hot instrumentals in a typical Ponies performance. These are seasoned professionals who love playing their music and it shows. A Ponies concert will include everyone’s Bluegrass favorites along with a fun mix of Cajun, Western Swing, Gospel and Celtic tunes just to keep things interesting. Just try to see a Toasted Ponies show without tapping your toes — it can’t be done!
Hanson — Banjo, Mandolin, Guitar and Vocals
Steve is a multi-talented musician whose instrumental abilities are known throughout the Midwest. His early career focused on bluegrass and traditional music and he helped found the legendary band, the Bluegrass Crusade. Steve has won numerous music contests including the National Banjo Championship at the Walnut Valley Festival. Steve recorded and toured with C.W. McCall, playing on three of his albums and doing all the banjo work in the hit movie, “Convoy.” He has released two critically acclaimed solo albums, “Pick & Choose” and “Songs from the Fire.” In 1979 Steve was the subject of a PBS documentary film entitled “Homegrown Bluegrass.” Steve was inducted into the Nebraska Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and in 2006 he was awarded the City of Lincoln’s prestigious Mayor’s Arts Award. Steve lives in Lincoln with his wife, Judge Laureen Van Norman and stepson, Jake. Steve is in constant demand as a recording session player and he operates his own stringed instrument instruction studio.
Jim Pipher — Bass and Vocals
Jim has toured the United States and Canada as a solo artist and as a member of numerous bands including Sour Mash, the Fab-Tones and the Lightning Bugs. He is a talented songwriter and his original tunes are showcased on two solo recordings, A Tormented Genius and The Last Tall Tree. Jim works frequently as a session musician and sideman. He has produced and engineered a number of recordings by many of the area’s best musicians. A recent project, The Tallgrass Sampler, is a compilation CD featuring original songs by sixteen Midwest songwriters and it was named the KZUM Listener’s Choice Album of the Year. Jim and his wife, Mary, are both clinical psychologists who travel widely for speaking engagements and professional workshops. They have two children, Zeke and Sara and four grandchildren, Kate, Aidan, Claire and Coltrane. When not performing, Jim does volunteer work and is a published author of essays and short fiction.
Terry Keefe — Violin, Mandolin and Vocals
Terry has been playing professionally for over 25 years with musical ensembles featuring a wide array of musical styles including bluegrass, blues, Celtic, swing and Cajun. In addition to fiddling with the Ponies, Terry currently plays Irish pub songs with both The Turfmen and Donnybrook and country blues with the Prairie Dogs. Terry has won numerous awards and contests including the Midwest fiddle championship and the Iowa State mandolin championship. Terry has appeared on several NETV music specials including the popular 33rd Street Sessions program with both the Sandy Creek Pickers and with songwriter, Laurie McClain. He was featured as a pioneer and fiddle player in the nationally broadcast documentary “In Search of the Oregon Trail.” Terry played with Dr. John Walker on the syndicated radio show “River City Folk” with host Tom May. Terry has one daughter, Molly and he teaches English in the Lincoln Public Schools.
Randy Barger — Guitar and Vocals
Randy started playing professionally as a rock 'n roller in high school. In college, he played in an acoustic trio and as a soloist. He was one of the founding members of Sour Mash and played all through that band’s 12-year run. He was lead guitarist on all their recordings and composed several songs for their first album. Randy also plays rockin’ R & B with The Resonators and retro country with The Melody Wranglers. Randy is a highly regarded professional photographer whose work has graced many book and album covers. Randy and his wife, Pam (yes she is a Toasted Pony) have two daughters, Anna and Fay and one son, Jackson.
Pam Barger — Guitar, Mandolin and Vocals
Pam began singing as a soloist at age 17. She played in several duos as well, and recorded an album with Rick Evans (of “In the Year 2525” fame). She was lead female vocalist with Sour Mash for seven years, recording three albums and performing on numerous TV specials featuring the band’s dynamic country swing music. Pam also sings and plays keyboard with The Fab-Tones and The Melody Wranglers. She is a highly regarded music teacher and a gifted writer. She is published in many journals and books, both as a poet and essayist. She lives with her husband, Randy and her son, Jackson.