“Under the Big Oak Tree performs American music in its purest, sweetest, and most engaging form. Strikingly beautiful vocals express classical lyrical themes, propelled by a full acoustic ensemble.”

– WHUS Connecticut 91.7FM

Under the Big Oak Tree’s honeyed blend of vintage folk, acoustic country, and traditional bluegrass has been described as “warm” and “picturesque” with “flawless harmonies.” (St. Joseph Newspress)

The band—based in on the banks of the Missouri River in St. Joseph, MO—formed in 2012 and self-released its first album in 2014. Fully funded by a supportive local community of fans through a Kickstarter campaign, the recording stood out as “one of the most lush, beautiful records to come out of the local scene,” and made multiple year-end best lists. (St. Joe Live) The group’s second album, Local Honey, will be released on MudStomp Records in January, 2016.

At the center of the band’s sound is the expressive singing of Kristin Hamilton, evoking “Loretta Lynn when she first burst out with ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’ so many years ago: clear, emotional, and phrased just right.” (Real People’s Music)

“Wholesome, wistful, and, most of all, welcoming, as if the band is serenading you from their front porch across the street on a late spring afternoon.

- David M. Anderson (co-editor, The Hank Williams Reader)


Hamilton grew up singing at the spontaneous musical get-togethers on her family’s farm in northwest Missouri. Extended family would gather under a big old oak on summer nights to sing and play old country and gospel numbers.

In a meeting of true opposites, Hamilton gives voice to the music and lyrics of songwriter Simon Fink, a classically-trained composer and multi-instrumentalist. His songs have been praised as “timeless” with an “extremely literate” depth. (Tuning Fork Magazine)

Doug Ward forms the backbone of the band on upright bass. Ward is a veteran performer of the regional music scene who provides a uniquely melodic and “tremendously warm low end” (St. Joe Live) to the band’s sound.