Karen Mueller

Years at Winfield: 

Minneapolis, MN is the home of Karen Mueller, one of the top autoharp and mountain dulcimer players of today. Critics and audiences from LA to Boston have applauded her exciting and innovative performing style featuring Appalachian, Celtic and contemporary music. Born and raised in Winfield, Karen was introduced to bluegrass music and instruments while attending the Walnut Valley Festival as a teenager. In 1986 she won the International Autoharp Championship at Winfield and is a two-time Kansas Dulcimer Champion as well. Karen has made her mark on the acoustic music scene as both an interpreter of tradition and an innovator, performing with such legendary artists as Liz Carroll (all-Ireland fiddle champion) and Tony Trischka (banjo master).

While touring extensively as a soloist, she also currently works in the band of Katie McMahon, original lead singer of Riverdance. Karen is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist; besides autoharp and dulcimer, she plays guitar, mandolin Irish bouzouki and bass dulcimer. In 2000, the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association awarded Karen its “Recognition of Excellence.” She has also been an official showcase artist at the North American Folk Alliance Conference.

Karen is in demand both in Minneapolis and around the country as a performer, studio musician, school residency artist and instructor. This will be her ninth appearance as a performer at the Walnut Valley Festival. Karen (and her surprise guests) will present an upbeat entertaining show featuring traditional and contemporary tunes with a twist. Don’t miss it!

Album reviews: