The Hankers are a dynamic country, southern rock and blues band who expertly blends extraordinary vocals with a powerhouse of instrumental talent that not only promises to entertain, but will also have the audience hankerin' for more.
From the moment that nationally renowned fiddler, and front man, Keith Niehenke steps out on stage and touches bow to fiddle there is not an empty space on the dance floor or wandering eye in the house. Remembered wherever he plays – from Germany to Country Thunder in Wisconsin - and recognized wherever he goes as the energetic and multi-talented artist who plays fiddle behind his back and blows fire from his violin, Keith has been professionally engaging audiences with his unique and amazing musical talents and his heart-stealing smile for 25 years.
Keith has performed all over of the United States, Canada, and Europe, opening for numerous acts including: Chris LeDoux, Blake Shelton, Trace Adkins, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Charlie Daniels, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Montgomery Gentry, Brooks and Dunn, Le Ann Womack, Reba McEntire, Collin Raye, Joan Jett, Big and Rich, Gretchen Wilson, Terri Clark, and many, many more. Not only is Keith an incredible fiddle player, but he is also an accomplished guitar, mandolin, banjo, and harmonica player. Keith has played for The Academy of Country Music Awards, at numerous state and county fairs, festivals, concerts, casinos, and many clubs all over the world. Keith is currently the 2022 National Swing Fiddle Champion.
The Hankers also comprises and showcases the wide-ranging and collective talents of the beautiful and vivacious lead singer Julie Layne Niehenke, whose powerfully rich southern voice and energetic stage presence has mesmerized audiences all over the country at many notorious rodeos, state fairs, and numerous sporting and political venues with her incomparable rendition of The National Anthem and so many other beautiful country and blues songs. She has been nominated multiple times for the IN-CMA Female Vocalist of the Year and won that honor in 2020.
Lead guitarist Wade Huravitch grew up in North Dakota and learned music from his father and grandfather. He has also played professionally for 40 years and has toured all over the United States.
Bass player Terry Eutsler has toured all around the United States and the world with various acts. He is an accomplished musician on other instruments. He is also a studio engineer/producer who has worked with some of the biggest names around the world.
Rounding out this talented line-up is the rock-solid Kevin Olsonberg on Drums. Kevin has toured with many different groups and opened for multiple acts. He is also one of the premier drummers of the northwest being nominated multiple times for Drummer of the Year by the IN-CMA and the Inland Empire Blues Society.