The Gilded Bats

The Gilded Bats


With a lineup of fiddle, banjo, guitar, and washtub bass, The Gilded Bats play rockin' old-time string band music - from driving dance tunes to crooked modal tunes, from lonesome mountain ballads to rough and rowdy songs.


Comprised of Norbert Sarsfield’s West Virginia inspired old-time fiddling, Andrew Epstein’s dynamic and inventive clawhammer banjo, and the rock solid rhythm section of Bill Bryant’s guitar and Chris Clark’s thumping washtub bass, the Gilded Bats are Eastern Iowa’s premier old-time stringband.

Since forming in 2003 The Gilded Bats have played a wide variety of venues, ranging from large auditoriums to coffeehouses. We’ve been well received by both older, traditional folk audiences and younger college indie-rock fans. Some of our more memorable gigs include:
- performing at Iowa City's famed Englert Theatre
- performing with Dan Zanes & Friends at University of Iowa’s Hancher Auditorium
- opening for The Mammals at The Mill in Iowa City
- opening for The Carolina Chocolate Drops at the High Noon Saloon in Madison, Wisconsin
- featured on an episode of Iowa Public Radio's Java Blend radio show, which aired statewide in November 2007.
- performing at the Muscatine Watermelon Jam Festival
- performing at the Carl Sandburg Birthplace in Galesburg, Illinois as part of the Songbag Concert Series
- performing for the Friday Night Concert Series in West Branch, Iowa
- performing at the Fall Festival in West Branch, Iowa
- performing for the Musser Public Library Concert Series in Muscatine, Iowa
- performing for the Iowa City Parks & Recreation Department’s Family Fun Night

We also love to play for square and contra dances. We’ve played for dance events sponsored by Hey For Forty at Scattergood Friends School in West Branch, Iowa; Illowa Community Folk Dance in Rock Island, Illinois; and Fairfield Folk Arts & Dance Co-Op in Fairfield, Iowa.

The Gilded Bats self-titled debut CD, funded in part by a grant from the Iowa Arts Council, was released in October 2007. The Gilded Bats are part of the Mud Dauber Records family of recording artists:


The Gilded Bats (2007, Mud Dauber Records)

Set List

We play a mix of old-time/traditional songs and instrumentals. As an opening act or as part of a larger bill of bands we typically play a 30-45 minute set. As a headlining act we can easily play 2 full 1-hour sets.