Panhandle Polecats

Panhandle Polecats


The Panhandle Polecats, five siblings from the panhandle of Idaho, play BLUEGRASS, with a heapin’ helpin’ of gospel and fiery mountain tunes, with a dollop of country, old-time, and a dab of the blues for good measure.


The Panhandle Polecats are the alter-ego of the mild-mannered Little family from the panhandle of North Idaho, and it is there that they began raisin’ a ruckus with their style of bluegrass back in 2003. This band of five siblings love to play music almost as much as they love to fight with each other. Jenny (stand-up bass), Hank (Dobro and harmonica), Molly (mandolin), Austin (banjo and guitar), and Bonnie (guitar and harmonica) make up this band. All the Polecats sing at one time or another with Jenny and Molly handling most of the lead vocals. This family unit has recorded two CDs, been featured on television and radio, has performed for audiences all across the Inland Northwest with their good-natured, high energy music, and are doing their best to educate the world on what a polecat really does sound like.

Jenny Little: Jenny's voice has been described as "pristine" and "angelic". She's the educated one of the band, and has played flute, viola, cello, and piano, but when she's playing bluegrass, she keeps a foot-stompin' rhythm on the doghouse bass.

Hank Little: the bluesman, has the smallest hat in the band and when he's out on the job (where he works as a framer) he sings at the top of his lungs until his co-workers start throwing hammers and saws at him. Luckily, his talents also include playing the Dobro and harmonica.

Molly Little Wilbur: Molly could actually be blamed for getting the Panhandle Polecats into bluegrass in the first place. When she bought her first mandolin at the innocent age of 10, she began listening to Bill Monroe, Alison Krauss and a lot other bluegrass to hear how its done. Her siblings soon followed suit and the rest, as they say, is history.

Austin Little plays the 5-string banjo, but not as much as he would like to because he is also a student at North Idaho College (a banjo player going to college? Get outa' here!), a bad combination financially speaking. He was also recently voted "2008 Best Banjo Player" by the Inland Northwest Bluegrass Association.

And Bonnie Little, evil twin to Austin, plays a powerful rhythm guitar but she can also pick some mean licks on the ol' flat-top. She also sings and when Hank isn't looking, plays the harmonica. When Bonnie isn't busy playing music she's usually out riding horses.

"In five short years The Panhandle Polecats have gone from being just another cute family band to being the Top Dogs (er, 'Cats) in the thriving Inland Northwest Bluegrass scene. The lightning picking, tight vocals and infectious stage presence of these five siblings have won them a devoted following throughout the region. I've seen them play in front of hundreds of people and picked with them in the middle of the night at a festival jam when no one was around, and either way it's always the same fiery enthusiasm and extrasensory connection that fuels their playing and pushes them just a little bit faster, further, deeper into a song... ("c'mon, just one more song!"). . . I love these guys!"

- Kevin Brown, host of "Front Porch Bluegrass" on KPBX, Spokane Public Radio


Polecat Stomp - 2005
Skunked Again - 2007

Set List

Gospel songs such as "Where the Soul Never Dies", "The Lily of the Valley", "There’s a Great Day Coming", "The Sound of Angels Singing", Trials, Troubles, Tribulations", "The fourth man in the fire"

Beautiful arrangements of old tunes such as "Shady Grove", "Polly Vaughn", "Maiden’s Prayer", and "Shenandoah"

Catchy originals like: "Selkirk Storm", "Skunked Again!", "Granite Pass Breakdown", "Hay", and "Sheep Shearing Blues"

Novolty numbers such as: "A Perfect Man Like Me", "Good Enough For Now", and "Dirty, Old, Egg-suckin' Dog"

Along with a lot of straight up bluegrass songs: "Salt Creek", "Ol' Slewfoot", "Whole World ‘Round", "John Henry", "Reuben", Down the Road", "John Hardy", "Flint Hill Special", "Old Blue", and many others.