the Roe Family Singers

the Roe Family Singers


Husband and wife Kim and Quillan Roe play a mix of old-timey music and originals, performed on banjo, autoharp, guitar, washboard, and musical saw.


Kim and Quillan had their first gig together at a tribute to the recently departed Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. Asked for a band name, they said, "The Roe Family Singers," as an homage to their heroes the Carter Family. Not too soon after that, they started a weekly residency at the fledgling 331 Club, in Minneapolis, MN. They put out an open call to all of their musician friends, inviting them to join them on stage, and after a time Kim & Quillan had accrued around them the eight member band that can be seen every Monday night. When traveling, Kim & Quillan often travel alone, but are sometimes joined by Adam Wirtzfeld on the musical saw, Kurt Froehlich on the mandolin, or Jon Olson on the upright bass.


White Horse

Written By: Quillan Roe

I had a boy a sweet young boy growing in my womb
but the junk that I put into my veins
made my flesh his tomb
CHORUS: Whit Horse x 2
Galloping through my veins
I'm a slave to that old white mare
since she took the reins
When I can't sleep at night it's the weed I like
When I can't wake up it's the speed
and if you've got $10 I'll turn a trick for you
I've got a habit to feed
But don't you look down your nose at me
don't you scorn my vice
cuz money-grubbing avarice can too destroy your life
Now Jesus said before he died
let him without sin cast a stone
But every man that I've ever seen
is sinful to his bones
But don't cry for me don't shed no tears
cuz this is the life that I chose
and if my corpse gets to looking sad
it's just cocaine to powder my nose

Lizabeth Brown

Written By: Quillan Roe

Lizabeth Brown x2
Shot her old man right down
"He beat me up, he knocked me down,
"Twas self-defence," said Lizabeth Brown

Lizabeth Brown lit out of town
"Ain't no man can lock me down"
Bullet in her side to weigh her down
Lay down and die, Poor Lizabeth Brown

Devil man came unto her
with horns on head and legs of fur
Said to her, "Like what I see!
"Lizabeth Brown won't you marry me?"

"The hell I will," said Lizabeth Brown
"No Boogey Man can tie me down!
"All you men, from hoof to crown,
"You're all the same," said Lizabeth Brown

The Lord he came to Lizabeth Brown
"On what you did I do frown,
"but you're old man, Poor Lizabeth Brown,
"he weren't no good. In Peace lie down."

But Lizabeth Brown unto Him said,
"No thank you, Sir, I'll not be dead."
She got right up and walked around
a free woman, that Lizabeth Brown

Lizabeth Brown x 2
shot her old man right down
"He beat me up, he knocked me down.
"Twas self-defence," said Lizabeth Brown

Shallow Grave

Written By: Quillan Roe

My poor husband, I laid him low
when I cut him with my knife
My husband counted many a foe
and among them, me, his wife

I dragged his body right out the door
to bury him in the ground
and as my muscles getting tired
he was only two feet down
I walked back to my kitchen door
as the rain fell from the sky
and I knew that it was just my Lord
as the tears fell from His eyes

Then there was a terrible sound
as a banging on my door
and throwing open the wooden gate
there lied my husband's corpse

His cold, cold eyes they held my own
as I heard a wailing plea
and realizing that they were my own
crying, "Please, Lord, forgive me!"

So if you gonna dig a grave
be sure you dig it deep
for a shallow grave will rise them up
when the Lord begin to weep

Brave New World

Written By: Quillan Roe

When the big machines block the road
and Industry spills our brains
I pray to God above
that I still have a name
Not a machine part
but a heart

When we're digitized and compressed
into sixteen little bytes
I pray to God above
that I still come to rights
of decomposition
in a grave
and not in some file no longer saved

When the big machines block the road
and Industry spills our brains
I pray to God above
that I still have a name
that I can give you
and our child
in this brave new world
that doesn't smile


"Andronicus," 4 song EP, 2005

Set List

We have a repertoire currently of about 140 songs, a mix of old-timey and bluegrass covers by the likes of the Carter Family, Hank Williams, Ola Belle Reed, Clarence Ashley, and Frank Proffitt, ans our own, original material. Kim & Quillan can play about 4 hours with no repeats, and when the band is with them, even longer.