A native of Iowa, Kirk Brandenberger came to the southwestern Ohio area to play fiddle with Larry Sparks in the late 1970s. While with Larry, he helped record one of Larry’s best albums, John Deere Tractor. After two and a half years with Larry, he went back to Keokuk, Iowa and subsequently to Owensboro, Kentucky to become involved in record store management. While in Owensboro, he helped start the ROMP festival for the International Bluegrass Music Museum. He also served on the Board of Directors of IBMA. He and his wife Becky started the bluegrass radio service Prime Cuts of Bluegrass, which they ran for 12 years. In 2004 they were honored with the IBMA’s Distinguished Achievement Award. After returning to Keokuk in 1994, he again managed the record store there and played fiddle for Karl Shiflett on his breakthrough album on Rebel in 2002. He became the Executive Director of the Keokuk Area Convention and Tourism Bureau in 2013. In 2014, he was inducted into the Iowa Bluegrass Hall of Fame. He recorded two fiddle LPs: Fiddlin’ Around in 1977 and Fiddler on the Hoof in 1988.

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