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Singer, songwriter, and Celtic harpist Karen Ballew founded The Deer’s Cry collective in 2019. She has greatly enjoyed collaborating with other artists to share folk music and bring original songs to life! The Deer’s Cry was a finalist in the International Acoustic Music Awards for 2023 and 2024 and an honorable mention winner in the 28th Annual USA Songwriting Competition. The ensemble’s name, The Deer’s Cry, comes from a translation of the title of an Old Irish prayer, St. Patrick’s Breastplate. The group loves singing songs in the Irish language, and before moving to Nashville, Karen directed a youth chorus at the North Texas School of Irish Music. She now teaches singing lessons through the Nashville Irish Music School! 

Karen met Amberly Rosen Hoins through the Nashville International Folk Dancers. Amberly is known for her eclectic musical repertoire, contagious smile, and never-ending enthusiasm. She started playing violin when she was three and picked up fiddling soon after. She grew up in beautiful Eugene, Oregon and started performing when she was six. A graduate from Berklee College of Music, Amberly has performed with diverse musical acts including Terri Clark, Orla Fallon, Maddie & Tae, Paul Simon, Christopher Guest, Gloria Estefan, and The Rosen Sisters. Amberly has toured the U.S. and abroad including such venues as The Grand Ole' Opry, The Late Show with David Letterman, and The Medora Musical. Amberly enjoys bridging the gaps between classical, free improv, country, folk, and traditional international folk music from around the world. She is currently teaching violin/fiddle and gigging in Nashville!

Karen met Cherish Hamby through a music video shoot several years ago, and they have been heart friends ever since! They love harmonizing together, listening to music, and brainstorming ideas. Cherish’s voice is stirring, beautiful, and unique. She and her husband Adam are the founding members of Dark Waters Project, and their songs have won multiple awards for songwriting and performance including The Smoky Mountain Songwriting Festival where they finished 1st in the Pop (“Dream Again”), Blues (“Deep Red”) and Rock (“Sober”) genres, and 2nd in Bluegrass (“Bridges”). They were a finalist in The Old Gray Idol and performed live on the Blue Plate Special on WDVX and Mars Music Hall in Huntsville, Alabama at the Von Braun Center.

Karen is very thankful to collaborate with Cherish and Amberly in The Deer’s Cry collective as they share folk music and original songs from the heart! 

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Bryan Brock and Karen are from the same hometown of Abilene, Texas, and he is one of the first people Karen connected with when she moved to Nashville in 2017. Bryan is featured on The Deer's Cry albums Rise With the Dawn and Heal the Heart, and looks forward to many more recordings and performances with The Deer's Cry!

Bryan Brock is a seasoned percussionist specializing in creative applications of traditional rhythms, instruments, and techniques from all over the globe. His diverse musical background and experience results in a unique blend of creativity, versatility, and skill that enhances a profusion of musical styles. Bryan’s live performance and touring credits include Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Anjani and Leonard Cohen, classical crossover artist Nathan Pacheco, hybrid pop artist Margo Rey, jazz songstress Melody Gardot, the Grammy Award winning Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band, Persian American vocalist Shahrzad Sepanlou, the Estrada Brothers Latin Jazz band, the country/rockabilly sounds of Eric Heatherly, and the world fusion of Incendio.His highly intuitive and meticulous studio sensibilities have played an integral role in numerous recording situations including sessions for Dr. Dre, India.Arie, Sara Bereilles, Macy Gray, Truth Hurts, Drew Simpson, Jim Stubblefield, and HuDost as well as jingles for Ford, Jack-in-the-Box, KIA, McDonald's, Pepsi, and 7-Up.Bryan's formal training began at an early age with classical piano instruction that opened the door to the world of percussion. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of North Texas where he immersed himself in jazz and ethnic styles. His love of music and culture has inspired travels throughout America, Cuba, and Ghana to study with percussion masters from African, Arabic, Brazilian, Cuban, and European musical traditions.Bryan plays Meinl percussion instruments and Remo drum heads. He lives, works, and plays in Nashville, Tennessee.


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