True North is:

Kristen Grainger


Dan Wetzel

Guitar, Resonator Guitar, Mandolin, Octave Mandolin, Banjo, Ukulele, Vocals

Martin Stevens

Mandolin, Fiddle, Octave Mandolin, Vocals

Josh Adkins

Upright Bass, Vocals

“True North play tunes so smooth they bring to mind bluegrass-pop artists like Alison Krauss and Union Station, as well as old country legends like Hank Williams, Sr.”
Kim Ruehl
West Coast Performer, No Depression

The Americana Quartet

KRISTEN GRAINGER & TRUE NORTH is a folk-bluegrass powerhouse of terrific songwriting, lush vocals and crazy-good instrumentalists. 

Fronted by singer-songwriter Kristen Grainger, the band is comprised of multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Dan Wetzel and Pacific Northwest bluegrass superstars Martin Stevens (mandolin, octave mandolin, fiddle, vocals) and Josh Adkins (upright bass, vocals), both formerly of the Bluegrass Regulators.

Kristen Grainger is making a name for herself as a crafter of great songs, winning the 2020 USA Songwriting Competition (folk) and taking second in Overall Grand Prize (all genres). She has collected accolades and awards at Telluride Bluegrass Festival (CO), Wildflower Arts & Music Festival (TX), IMEA (GA), Merlefest (NC), Kerrville (TX) and, together with Dan Wetzel, Wintergrass (WA). She also won the 2019 Local Roots Northwest songwriting competition (Portland, OR).

The band’s newest project, Ghost Tattoo, released in June 2020, made Folk Alley’s Listener’s Choice: Top Albums of 2020 (#12) and earned many excellent reviews.   (See Press )

Their 2018 release, Open Road, Broken Heart, debuted at #1 on the folk DJ charts for national radio airplay and stayed in the Roots Music Report’s top 25 all year. Their 2014 release, Elsebound, spent 25 weeks in the top 10 and was the 7th most-aired folk album of 2015.

On stage, the band deftly delivers the song-stories, mind-blowing harmonies and mad instrumentals of a band deeply rooted in traditional folk and bluegrass genres. As Folk World (UK) put it, “What comes over loud and clear is that one is in the presence of some seriously talented musicians.”

Honors & Awards

A songwriter whose star is rising. Kristen was named, alongside Brandi Carlile and Dolly Parton , one of the Women Who Wrote Our 2020 Soundtrack by The Bluegrass Situation

“Throughout 2020, the BGS editorial team embraced this wealth of excellent music from women songwriters in roots music. It has been a privilege to share these original voices with our readers, too. Here are 50 of our favorite tracks from 2020:”


Winner, 2020 USA Songwriting Competition (folk)
2nd Place, 2020 USA Songwriting Competition Overall Grand Prize
Keep the River on Your Right (K. Grainger)


Winner, 2019 Local Roots NW Songwriting Contest
Portland, OR:
Dark Horse Bar & Grill (K. Grainger)

Winner, 2018 Wildflower Arts & Music Festival Performing Songwriter Contest
Richardson, Texas:
One-Way Ticket (K. Grainger)
Ratio of Angels to Demons (K. Grainger)

Album debuted at #1 on national folk music charts
January 2018:
Open Road Broken Heart

Film soundtrack
The Danish Boy, 2018:
Birds Like Me (K. Grainger)

2016 MerleFest
Songwriting competition (2nd place/folk):
Doris Dean (K. Grainger)

2015 IMEA Folk Song of the Year:
Be Here Now (K. Grainger)

7th most-aired folk album in 2015
Roots Music Report

Finalist, 2014 Telluride Bluegrass Festival songwriting contest:
Doris Dean (K. Grainger)

Winner, 2010 Wintergrass song contest:
Hard Place to Suffer and That Really Gets Me Down (K. Grainger, D. Wetzel)

Finalist, 2008 Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk songwriting contest:
Limbo (D. Wetzel/K. Grainger)
Doris Dean (K. Grainger)