Press Kit

Here’s where you can find hi-res photos, press quotes, a poster template, contact info, bio information, stage plot, links to our music and our favorite videos, all in one place.

Contact info for bookings and other requests:, (804) 450-4661 (Tom Espinola)
On the web:

Hi-res photos:
Click on the caption of each photo to download the hi-res version.

Photographer credit: JT Photo & Design 


Album Covers:


Logos: (design credit Amy Law)
1386 x 1386
700 x 700

Press Quotes:

"...Seasoned musical professionals who have created a wonderful niche as a probably won't hear anything else like it. The gorgeous lead vocals are supported by the smartly-performed harmonies and a mix of cello and guitar." 
- Melissa Hersh, D.C. Music Download 

"Their CD, The Blackest Crow, is so perfectly authentic, simply arranged, and well-sung, that its only downside is that it's over before you know it."
- Chris Lindsay, folk/Celtic musician


In a Nutshell:
Trad Appalachian & Americana on mandolin, guitar and cello, with 3-part harmony.

Long Bio: (OK to use just the first paragraph)

Lulu’s Fate is a trio based in the Washington, DC area, performing a variety of traditional American music as well as original and “new traditional” songs and tunes. The group is comprised of Tom Espinola (guitar, mandolin & vocals), Kristen Jones (cello & vocals) and Kara Bolling (vocals). Lulu’s Fate combines virtuosic instrumentals with tight three-part harmonies to create new interpretations of traditional Appalachian music. They also mix in a variety of country blues, Dixieland, sea chanteys, southern string band tunes, and covers ranging from Hank Williams to Tom Waits. In addition to several original songs and instrumental tunes by Tom Espinola, Lulu’s Fate also features songs by other contemporary “new traditional” performers.

Why “Lulu?” Strong-willed, self-reliant, independent and self-assured, Lulu shows up in the lyrics of many southern traditional songs. Her strength is drawn from the strength of her culture. Lulu's Fate wishes to honor her and to escort her into the 21st century - for her fate, in part, lies in the present.

Lulu’s Fate has performed at the Washington Folk Festival, Takoma Park Folk Festival, Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival, Institute of Musical Traditions and numerous coffeehouses and house concerts throughout Maryland, DC and Virginia. They were a showcase artist at the 2014 Southeast/Northeast Regional Folk Alliance conference. The group released its debut EP, “The Blackest Crow,” in September 2014, which was voted Best Debut Recording by the Washington Area Music Association. Lulu's Fate was also nominated for Wammie awards in the categories of Best Traditional Folk Group, New Artist of the Year, and Best Traditional Folk Recording. They released their second CD, "The Cowpalace Sessions," in April 2016.

Member bios:
Tom Espinola (guitar, mandolin, vocals): Inspired by boyhood summers spent in the tobacco fields of eastern North Carolina, Tom has carried the traditional music torch for over 35 years, melding it with jazz, classical and avant-garde influences for a distinctive style all his own. Cited by The Washington Post as a "superb technical player who rise[s] to the standards established by David Grisman," Tom's virtuosic work on mandolin, mandola, guitar and other instruments appears on over 50 recordings. Paying tribute to what he calls "the living tradition," Tom is also a prolific composer and sought-after producer. His compositions have been featured on NPR and National Geographic programs, among others, as well as on many albums. As a guitar and mandolin teacher, Tom passes his passion for and knowledge of traditional music to a new generation of players.

Kristen Jones (cello, electric cello, vocals): Coming from a classical music background, Kristen has had a diverse musical journey which included playing steel drums in 120-person steelbands in Trinidad and New York, and arranging music for  Pan Masters Steel Orchestra. She came back to cello around 2009 when she joined the award-winning Baltimore-based “acoustic grunge” group ilyAIMY, and can also be seen performing with Music By Anthem (chamber string group). Kristen has become in-demand as a session player on both cello and steel drums, and has appeared on over 40 recordings across many genres. She was nominated by the Washington Area Music Association for Best Contemporary Folk Instrumentalist in 2013 & 2014.

Kara Bolling (vocals): Kara got her start performing traditional songs and hymns by her grandmother’s side, especially at the annual family Christmas program. Music has always been a central part of Kara’s life. Her mother was a music teacher and played piano for the church, and her grandmother taught piano to most of the neighborhood – along with Kara and her siblings. Some of her earliest memories are of singing for her family with her grandmother at the piano, and in a family overflowing with musical talent, her singing ability was a point of family pride. Kara has never stopped singing – from blues to bluegrass, jazz to pop, Kara can sing any style with an easy grace. Her clear vocals display strength and subtlety. Her versatile voice and broad vocal range have been showcased in several DC area bands and collaborative projects.

Stage Plot/Sound Needs:
- Kristen (stage right): DI for electric cello + vocal mic; power for effects pedal
- Tom (center): Instrument mic for guitar/mandolin + vocal mic
- Kara (stage left): vocal mic
When performing at house concerts, we generally play acoustically, and Kristen will bring a small acoustic amp for her electric cello (need access to power).

Visit our Spotify or Bandcamp to stream our albums. Promoters, DJs, etc may email to request a free download code, or a hard copy of the disc.

Here’s a few of our favorites: