Lulu's Fate performs a mix of music from the Appalachian, southern string band and country blues traditions, as well as early swing, gospel, original tunes and covers ranging from Hank Williams to Tom Waits. Comprised of Tom Espinola on mandolin & guitar, Kristen Jones on cello and singer Kara Falck, the trio blends virtuosic instrumentals with lush 3-part vocal harmonies to create new interpretations of traditional tunes.
Inspired by boyhood summers spent in the tobacco fields of eastern North Carolina, Tom Espinola has carried the traditional music torch for over 35 years, melding it with jazz, classical and avant-garde influences for a distinctive style all his own. Cited by The Washington Post as a "superb technical player who rise[s] to the standards established by David Grisman," Tom's virtuosic work on mandolin, mandola, guitar and other instruments appears on over 50 recordings, in addition to his own Feather River and Which Way Waltz (both with Lorraine Duisit). He has played with Bruce Hornsby and with the Richmond, VA Symphony Orchestra, and toured the East coast with the New Morning String Band and the Nothin' Doin' Band.
Kristen Jones started as a classically trained cellist and later picked up steel pan at Oberlin College. After learning with the best steelbands in Trinidad and New York, she eventually returned to cello. In addition to Lulu's Fate, Kristen also performs with "acoustic grunge" band ilyAIMY, rock-reggae-funk-Celtic band 50 Man Machine and Music By Anthem's string ensembles. She has also performed and recorded with many area artists in genres ranging from folk to hip hop, and was nominated in 2013, 2014 & 2015 for "Best Contemporary Folk Instrumentalist" by the Washington Area Music Association. Kristen's cello provides both melodic counterpart and bass roles in the Lulu's Fate trio, and she also jumps in for some three-part harmony singing.
From blues to bluegrass, jazz to pop, Kara Falck can sing any style with an easy grace. Her clear vocals display strength and subtlety. Her versatile voice and broad vocal range have been showcased in several DC area bands and collaborative projects. Kara's sweet and soulful voice is a natural match for the traditional songs of Lulu's Fate.