Chris Biggs — with Kansas Heart

Chris Biggs
Kansas Heart on April 17, 2010. Photo by Lisa Desko.

Mike Theobald • Vickie Theobald • Rick Desko • Chris Biggs • Bob Atchison

Kansas Heart

Kansas Heart is a band with a strong bluegrass tradition, combining some of the best bluegrass talents from Kansas. Their music is warm and lively, as the band members' musical prowess on traditional acoustic bluegrass instruments is blended with original material and modern vocal arrangements.


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The Band

Chris Biggs is known for his powerful guitar playing and warm baritone voice. He placed third on three occasions at the National Flat Pick Guitar Champion­ship and has placed first at the Kansas State Fiddling & Picking Championships on both guitar and banjo. He was a county prosecutor for 14 years, a candi­date for Kansas Attorney General in 2002, Kansas Securities Commissioner from 2003–2010 and Kansas Secretary of State from March 16, 2010 until January 10, 2011. Chris' CD, Blue Flannel Friday, features his multidimensional guitar playing, singing and song writing. The band performs many of his songs.

The band also features Midwestern banjo man, Mike Theobald. In the early 1960's, Mike and his father Jack helped introduce bluegrass music to Kansas, and are proud to have formed Kansas' first bluegrass band. They produced several albums, appeared at major bluegrass festivals in the Midwest, including the first Walnut Valley Festival in 1972. They became regulars on the Winfield lineup for several years in the 1970's and 1980's. Mike has appeared on many radio and TV programs, including the Nashville Network.

Mike is joined by his wife, Vickie Lynn Theobald, who provides solid mandolin playing and warm clear vocals. She is responsible for many of the vocal arrangements and helps produce, with Mike, the Kansas Heart CDs. Mike and Vickie have made Winfield appearances as part of the group Blue Plate Special, and again in 2001 and 2007 as part of Kansas Heart.

Bob Atchison of Manhattan, Kansas has been playing old-time fiddle since 1976 and has won several contests including the 1984 Arkansas State Old- Time Fiddle Championship. He enjoys playing a variety of fiddle styles with a preference for Appalachian and Missouri fiddling. During his residency in Arkansas, Bob performed at the Ozark Folk Center and the Grandpa Jones Dinner Theater. He has played at a variety of festivals including the Walnut Valley Festival and the Big Muddy Folk Festival with his wife Melissa, the Leatherwoods, Cathy Barton and Dave Para, Ron Wall and Kansas Heart.

Rick Desko of Overland Park, Kansas rounds out the group on bass. Rick is a veteran of many Kansas and Colorado bands and his smooth and solid bass playing provides the foundation for the Kansas Heart sound. Rick is also a Winfield veteran, having played banjo with the Bluegrass Attack in 1976.
Rick also plays bugarija with Kolograd.

Warning: All the members of this band have been seen playing a banjo.

Together, this group presents quality music that is rich, warm, fun and unpretentious: Kansas Heart.

Past Performances

Saturday, April 17, 2010, Junction City, Kansas
Friends of the Library Fiesta, Dorothy Bramlage Public Library

Saturday, June 5, 2010, Wichita, Kansas
Benefit at the Artichoke Sandwich Bar for owner Pat Audley

Sunday, October 3, 2010, Topeka, Kansas
31st Annual Apple Festival, Old Prairie Town, Ward-Meade Historic Site

Friday, February 4, 2011, Topeka, Kansas
The Classic Bean, Fairlawn Plaza

Saturday, April 16, 2011, Junction City, Kansas
Friends of the Library Fiesta, Dorothy Bramlage Public Library

Friday, May 13, 2011, Manhattan, Kansas
BirdHouse Acoustic Music Series, Manhattan Arts Center

Friday & Saturday, July 29 & 30, 2011, Milford State Park, Kansas
11th Annual Bluegrass & Old Tyme Music Festival

Monday, September 12, 2011, Cowtown, Wichita, Kansas
Annual conference of the North American Securities Administrators Association

Sunday, August 26, 2012, Lawrence, Kansas
32nd Kansas State Fiddling & Picking Championships

Saturday, October 6, 2012, Canton, Kansas
Maxwell Game Preserve

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