The Dirty Hillers is a ukulele and cello duet comprised of members Melissa Nannen (ukulele, lead vocals) and Erin Ryan Barnes (cello, vocals). They are based in the Philadelphia, Pa area. Their music is an eclectic mix of rock and blues inspired alternative/folk originals, featuring raw, dirty vocals.
Erin’s musical journey started at the age of two on violin and cello at the age of 5. Being very active in studying and performing all through her childhood she has had the rare opportunity to study with some of the most sought after teachers. These include Orlando Cole (Curtis Institute of Music, founder of the Curtis Quartet and recipient of the Teacher of The Year award by the American Teachers Association), Jeffery Solow and Vivian Barton Dozer. Erin has performed and or recorded with area symphony orchestras as well as members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, G Love and the Special Sauce, Amos Lee, Sharon Little and Mia Johnson.
Melissa has been creating music since the age of 5 through a variety of means and finally found her perfect instrument in the ukulele during a cold, snowy winter in 2014. She has been writing original songs since she was 15 on her guitar, but found the ukulele took her songwriting and playing abilities into uncharted territory. The Dirty Hillers was born out of a need to express observations of the world we are currently living in and as a serious dodge of housework.
We are currently performing at the Allegheny Ukulele Soiree in Altoona, Pa from April 20-22, 2018, and the Vermont Ukulele Harvest October 12-13, 2018, with more upcoming dates.
Please sign up for our mailing list to find out more show dates and to be notified when our album debuts. You can download a few tracks for free by giving us your email address under the Music page of our site.