Meet the Band
Ben Manning (guitar) plays the guitar and occasionally picks up the mandolin; he brings some fine lead vocals and old-timey songs to the band's repertoire. Born in Bangor, Wales, Ben grew up near Liverpool where he was known to hang out with at least one member of The Quarrymen (later known as The Beatles). He retains a touch of the old country accent and as a consequence never tires of answering the first question people ask him: "Where are you from?" (To which he invariably answers: "Red Wing.") He has been playing Bluegrass music since 1966 with many bands in both England and the USA. In Minnesota he has performed with Woodrush, Wheatstraw Suite, Bluegrass Inc., and Dick Kimmel & Co.
Leo Rosenstein (mandolin) hails from Sioux Falls, South Dakota and has been involved with Bluegrass music for over thirty years. How a kid from the plains of South Dakota grew up to sound like a mountain man from the golden era of bluegrass is a mystery to us all. He has an amazing depth of repertoire and can be relied upon to know by heart the words to dozens of classic bluegrass songs. Leo is an alumnus of quite a number of Minnesota bands including Minnegrassco, The Dakota Drifters, The Nash Ramblers, and Kimmel-Rosenstein & Company.
Katryn Conlin (string bass) began playing Bluegrass semi-professionally in 1993 and has played guitar in several Minnesota-based bands, including Strawberry Jam, Woodrush and The Skirts. She took up the bass in jam sessions with the boys in Long Time Gone and has since made herself useful to the band both in the rhythm section and in the department of harmony vocals. Just lately she has summed up the courage to sing lead and play bass at the same time, and even more challenging, to pick up a fiddle on the same stage as Mike Hildebrandt.
Mike Hildebrandt (fiddle) is an utterly fantastic fiddle player who moonlights as a family practice doctor. He was a member of the Twin Cities' Bluegrass music scene in the 1970's and early '80s (Buckacre, Good Medicine), but he went missing for quite a few years as he engaged in the practice of medicine and raising his family. Long Time Gone is very pleased to have lured him back to the bluegrass fold! Nowadays he also plays in a swing band, Jivin' Ivan & the Kings of Swing, and plays "electrified gypsy funk Americana jazz" with Northfield's long time favorite Over and Back Band. In 2007 Mike was honored to be inducted into the Minnesota Rock/Country Music Hall of Fame with The Platte Valley Valley Boys.