Leif Karlstrom

I play violin and mandolin in American roots and improvisational music groups. B.M. in violin performance from the University of Oregon in 2006 working with Fritz Gearhart. Band websites below have schedule of shows.


Front Country

Progressive bluegrass band formed in the San Francisco Bay Area. Winners of Rockygrass band competition in 2012 and Telluride band competition in 2013. International Bluegrass Music Awards "Emerging Artist of the Year" nominee, 2017.

We went on a cultural exchange river trip in Tibet! Read the Patagonia Cleanest Line blog post by Kai Welch here.

Sanjiangyuan River Trip from Balance Media on Vimeo.

Studio Recordings: available to stream on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, etc.

  1. Sake of the Sound (2014) produced by Kai Welch (read a review or two)

  2. Mixtape EP (2016)

  3. Other Love Songs (2017) produced by Wesley Corbett, released on Organic Records (read a review)

Listen to our profile on NPR All Things Considered. Read about us in the Chicago Tribune. Check us out in Rolling Stone Country.


Small Town Therapy

Duo with multi-instrumentalist Adam Roszkiewicz. Original new acoustic music on 4 and 5 string violin, mandolin, mandocello and guitar.

Studio Recordings: available on Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp.

  1. Small Town Therapy (2014) produced by Matt Flinner


Jimbo Trout and the Fishpeople

Swing-country-avant garde collective based out of San Francisco.

Studio Recordings: available on iTunes, Bandcamp.

  1. Happy Hour of the Mind (2015)

The Heel Draggers

Western Swing band. Hits of the 1920s and 1930s. Steel Guitar jazz and original tunes.

Studio Recordings: available on iTunes, Bandcamp.

  1. Out My Door (2011)