About Us

John Pierce (Banjoman), a community college teacher and electronic technician by trade, has been playing guitar, banjo, bass, accordion and drums in a variety of musical groups for over 45 years. His eclectic musical roots go back to The Beatles, Homer and Jethro,  The Smothers Brothers and John Denver. John plays banjo and mandolin with Burnt Biskits, writes music and sings many of the lead and harmony vocals for the group.
Janice Jillson is the band’s bass player and lead harmony singer. Janice has sung in a number of large ensembles over the years, including the Nebraska Symphony Chorus. Janice grew up in a very musical family; her father sang on live, old-time radio in Clarinda, Iowa. Janice’s partners on stage are her husband John, the Banjoman in Burnt Biskits, and Clara, the stand-up Kay bass.
Gary Hinkley is Burnt Biskits’ lead guitar and frailing banjo expert. Gary has been playing these two instruments for over 40 years. Gary can also be coaxed into singing with his rich bass voice from time to time. Gary’s musical past is rich with big-name favorites like Ted Nugent and John Fahey.
Susanne Hinkley plays rhythm guitar and adds her rich harmony to Burnt Biskits’ performances when we can get her. Susanne moved to the United States from Germany to pursue veterinary research at the University of Nebraska. She met Gary and they married in 1996; they have three lovely daughters. Susanne enjoys folk, bluegrass, and sometimes shares traditional German tunes with our audiences. Susanne works for a private biotechnology company. Gary and Susanne have a farm south of Lincoln where they encourage their girls to learn about and love nature.
Steve Jensen has been playing guitar for over 40 years.  He is self taught and mainly learned by rote not note.  Steve grew up listening to the Beatles and started out playing in a rock band.  He is now interested in traditional, bluegrass, gospel and folk style music.  He plays rhythm guitar and sings lead and harmony vocals with Burnt Biskits as well as other musical groups in the Lincoln area.
Matt Dwyer, father of five, husband of one, first time grandpa, cabinetmaker has been making music most of his life. His hobbies include motorcycles, old trucks and hunting. Matt is the oldest member of the youth band at Hastings E-Free Church. He has taught guitar, banjo, mandolin, dulcimer, auto-harp and  bass for 35 years. Matt has performed cowboy music workshops for Hastings Public Schools 5th graders for six years. His most rewarding musical experience…working with students and watch’n ’em when they finally get it.
 Colin Flynn Colin Flynn has been playing mandolin, guitar, and occasionally bass with the Burnt Biskits since 2012. Born and raised in Blair, NE, he comes from a very musically gifted family. Colin started playing guitar at the age of 8, and has been singing for family and friends since the age of 3. Studying artists such as John Hartford, Jerry Garcia, Garth Brooks, and Tim O’Brien have helped him to adapt his style of playing to most any musical setting. Mandolin quickly became his instrument of choice after being exposed to bluegrass and folk music in his early 20’s. His voice being his best asset, he plays frequently with the worship bands at New Covenant Community Church in Lincoln. Colin enjoys spending time with his family, busting knuckles on old cars, sharing his talents with the Biskits, or jamming with the many great musicians in the greater Lincoln/Omaha area.
As you may have figured out by now Burnt Biskits’ core group of musicians come from a rich and diverse musical background. We have managed to turn that diversity into a unique sound and entertainment experience. The key to a successful performance is to have fun on both sides of the stage, so we encourage audience participation.
Guest Musicians on our CD “We Play Better Than We Cook”:
Steve Hanson is a premiere professional full-time musician who has graced the Burnt Biskits’ album with his many talents.  You will hear Steve’s contributions to “We Play Better Than We Cook” on four tracks.  He played guitar and mandolin as well as added backup vocals.  He also recorded and helped produce those four songs in his studio.  Those songs are:  Mr. Taxman, Fargo Storyteller, Autumn Leaves and Mother’s Day Waltz.  In addition to performing with his numerous bands in the Nebraska area, Steve is also a national champion banjo and guitar player who teaches both those instruments as well as mandolin in Lincoln.  Many successful musicians have learned their trade at Steve’s studio with his patient and competent teaching style.   You can learn more about Steve at his website, www.stevehansonmusic.com.  You will find a link to his site on our “Links” page.
Terry Keefe is one of Lincoln’s favorite musicians.  Terry has been playing fiddle, mandolin, guitar and many other instruments in the Lincoln area for many years.  Besides being a terrific musician, Terry is also a really nice guy.  Terry plays with a number of bands in the Lincoln area.  As a result of Terry’s  willingness to make music with just about anyone, he has earned the nickname “Sir Gigalot”.  Check out his beautifully smooth fiddle part on the tune “Red-Haired Boy” on the latest Burnt Biskits CD, “We Play Better Than We Cook”.
Steve Kehler is from southwest Nebraska, and currently lives in Lincoln. Steve has been playing guitar, harmonica and mandolin for 30+ years.  Steve’s contributions to the CD include great harmonica parts on Home on the Range and Nyquil Blues.  Steve also has lent his vocal harmonies on several of the tunes.  Steve plays with a variety of musical groups in the area.  We have been fortunate to get Steve to join us on the CD as well as on stage.
Jerry Spahn is the perennial favorite old-time banjo expert in the Lincoln area.  Jerry knows more of the old mountain music tunes than anyone around.  We can always count on Jerry to add his wit and music to our jam sessions and now his talent has been captured forever on “We Play Better Than We Cook”.  His wisdom goes beyond his ability to pull some old obscure tune from his head.  He also keeps us all grounded in reality.  Thanks to Jerry for his perfect intro to “Red-Haired Boy”.
Jeff Bredthauer is one of our favorite mandolin and guitar players.  His smooth style and precise picking has added so much to our album.  We will be forever grateful for having made his acquaintance and we are sure you will enjoy his mandolin, guitar or vocal work wherever  you are fortunate enough to hear him perform.  You can hear Jeff’s great mandolin work on “Red-Haired Boy” on our new CD “We Play Better Than We Cook”.
Cloy Stutzman is one of our favorite people overall.  His voice was loaned to us on “The MTA” by the National Institutes of Championship Singers and Generally Nice People (we made that up).  You’ll truly never find a more humble, nice guy with such a powerful voice as Cloy.  We are lucky to have such a good friend and talented musician in our midst.  Cloy has approximately 20 billion songs in his head ready to pop out at any time.  OK, 20 billion is an exaggeration but not by much!  You can hear Cloy perform all over southeast Nebraska with his wife Linda or from time to time with the Biskits