The Band

Higher Mountain provides an entertaining family show with great music, fun stories and good times. Their vocal versatility allows them to give that good-ole bluegrass boy sound as well as the mother-daughter harmonies reminescent of the Carter Family and the Whites.   As a regional bluegrass band, Higher Mountain has played at bluegrass festivals across New York and Pennsylvania.  Based in Western New York, they can also be found at local summer festivals Churches, and winter events.  

Charlie features the banjo and vocals in the band.  His style is sold, hard-driving trandional banjo with infusions from Reno, Scruggs and his many other favorite banjoists. Besides being a mult-instrumentalist, Charlie has performed with Eric and Leigh Gibson, Bruce Punches and internationally with Echo Mountain and Bill White and White Pine.  Charlie hails from Germantown, Tennessee, and his children are now 11th generation Americans whose original family, from Scottland, settled in Virginia.  We like to say, "It's in their DNA."


Charlie Kesterson

Christine Kesterson

Christine flat picks country style guitar, plays a good fiddle, and sings lead and excellent tenor harmony.  She is a song writer whose popular "Hear this Prisoners Song," comes from her experience as a prison chaplain in one of our state facilities.  Coupled with Mary, Charlie and Christine's daughter who plays the fiddle, she continues the tradition of women in bluegrass featuring historical recordings from Maybelle Carter, Hazel Dickens, the Carter Family, Emmy Lou Harris and Dolly Parton.  Her original songs are published on the CD "Mother's Song," found in the shop on this website.

Mary's strong and powerful lead singing is an audience favorite.  She plays guitar and fiddle.  She is developing her own fiddle style with sweet melody and traditional shuffles.  Mary and Christine are great working with children in bluegrass.  

Mary Kesterson-Sasso

Bob plays guitar, fiddle and mandolin, featuring mandolin in the band.  He sings lead and harmony and is known to never be without a tune!  Bob is also a mult-instrumentalist but specializes in mandolin.  He has performed in several NY state bands and makes his home in Lewiston.

Bob Gnann

Paul Todaro is a versatile bassist with a charming vocal style and solid musicianship as well as stage presence.  Paul has is own Western Swing band, the Skiffle Ministrels.  

Paul Todaro