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"..moves between rowdy, bluegrass rippers to warmhearted ballads with a classic country feel." 
OC Weekly

“The mix of uptempo, honky-tonk numbers and introspective ballads are based on personal narratives and give off a friendly, good-time vibe." 
Long Beach Post

"A collection songs that will get your boots stomping and head bobbing to a mix of modern bluegrass reflections on country living in the middle of the big city."
Long Beach Press Telegram


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Led by front woman, banjo-ista and songwriter Katie Jo Oberthaler, Long-Beach, CA-based Katie Jo & The Mijos play bluegrass-infused honky tonk fit for a roadhouse hoedown with lyrics as tender as the partner you’d dance with. Katie Jo’s friendly front porch vibe, whip-fast picking and introspective songwriting create songs that'll grab your ear, heart and dancing boots. Prairie Flower is her first independent EP release (March 2018) and melds Oberthaler’s windswept Kansas roots with the breezy sounds of the California country scene.

A Kansas native and proficient banjo picker ("2018 Banjo Babe Calendar" artist), Oberthaler began playing five-string banjo after attending the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival in her early 20s. Time spent living in the Appalachian region solidified her bluegrass training, and when her day job brought her to California, she quickly joined up the bluegrass and songwriting circles in the LA region. 

In 2016, she started Katie Jo & The Mijos to blend her extensive training in bluegrass music with her love of classic country songwriting...and frankly because she was tired of the boys having all the fun at the local honky tonks. 

The early success of the band’s live shows propelled them into notable local festivals such as Long Beach Folk Revival Festival and Echo Park Rising, as well as regular gigs at well-known clubs through the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. With both a lyrical vulnerability with a vivacious, biting live energy, neither the band nor the audience is standing still by the end of the night.

The 4-song release Prairie Flower covers ground with both boot-stomping bluegrass rompers to mournful country ballads, letting Oberthaler’s songwriting skill and clear study of roots music. Lead single “All My Money’s on the Highway” was inspired by the song “Asheville Turnaround” by The Del McCoury Band, a rework of the bluegrass number into a cynical story of what it’s like to try to date in Los Angeles. Swaying two-step title track “Prairie Flower” chronicles a desire to leave one’s rural roots for more exciting experiences and was derived from the 1930s song by The Two Leslies, “I’m a Little Prairie Flower.” Acoustic ballad “Pawn Shop Queen” laments the castaways of past relationships, backed by a mournful accordion and melodic fingerpicking. “Crooked Lies” takes rumors head-on in a country stomper accented with organs and chorus-lifting harmonies. 

Katie Jo’s debut LP “Pawn Shop Queen” will be released in 2019 and is currently in post-production at Big Ego Studios in Long Beach, CA, under the helm of producer Chris Schlarb.

Noteable Gigs & ACCOLADES

Echo Park Rising Festival (2018)
Banjo Babes Calendar Artist (2018)
Rebelle Road Parlour Pickin’ Sessions (2018)
Long Beach Craft Beer Festival (2018)
Long Beach Folk Revival Festival (2017)
Laguna Beach Fete de la Musique (2017)
Regular shows at Mother’s Tavern, The Pike Bar, The Boathouse Collective, Harvelle’s and more!


Prairie Flower (March 2018)


  • All My Money's on the Highway | MP3 | LYRICS

  • Prairie Flower | MP3 | LYRICS

  • Pawnshop Queen | MP3 | LYRICS

  • Crooked Lies | MP3 |


  • Released March 9, 2018 | All songs written by Katie Jo Oberthaler (ASCAP) Copyright 2018. Tracks 1 and 2 recorded and mixed by Louis Conway of Till Death Studios in Hollywood, California. Tracks 3 and 4 recorded and mixed by Kirk Jordan of Big Peach Records. Mastered by Brian Frederick of Hybrid Studios in Costa Mesa, CA.


Press Photos


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