Yes - there really is a Blackstone Valley and we all lived there when we started the band. Located in the heart of Central MA, exposure to the heavy metal content of the Blackstone River has produced a copious amount of fine bluegrass pickers. ;-) Most notable are the Dick brothers from Sutton. Renowned musicians and celebrated recording artists, this brother combo will WOW you with their award winning picking. The Taylor-St. Jean, bass/mandolin combo crank out solid rhythm, and like to have a little fun too! Put these four longtime friends together and you have a group that has excellent musicianship, fine harmonies, high energy and a true love of the music. Breakdowns - Gospels - Fiddle tunes - and a Waltz... This is bluegrass! You will not be disappointed!!
A student of the prestigious Berklee School of music in Boston, Mass., Bob has earned a reputation as being one of the most accomplished acoustic Bass players in the field of Bluegrass music. Early in his musical career, Bob performed with several leading regional Bluegrass groups including Bear Acker and Billings Gap and Rabbit in a Log (with Rich Starkey and Skip Gorman). In 1991 he became a full time member of Sugar Hill recording artists Front Range... who went on to achieve National success. Bob has recorded six albums with them as well as touring all across the US and Europe. Founder of Appleland Recording Studios in Northbridge Mass., Bob has become a highly respected and sought after producer/engineer with several quality recordings to his credit including: Front Range, Southern Rail's "Glory Train" (nominated for IBMA Gospel Album of the year in 1996... plus recordings by SloGrass, The Crockets, Waystation, Maple Ridge... and Rick Lang & Friends.
Dave began playing the guitar at age seven in his local church and at age thirteen he started banjo lessons. Rapidly, he became skilled enough to join a band, and also teach banjo lessons. He joined Bear Acker and Billings Gap in 1981 and played throughout New England and New York. Dave's first recording was with the great Dobro player Roger Williams, on his debut album Fireball Through the 1980's Dave played with several regional bands including Back Roads, The John Herald Band, both from New York and The Robin Kincaid Band based in Connecticut. In the fall of 1989 he became a member of the Boston area group Southern Rail. This band, over seven years, produced four recordings, and played over 100 dates per year. In 1997, Dave joined the acclaimed folk-bluegrass group Salamander Crossing and is featured on the bands third recording entitled Bottleneck Dreams. After Salamander Crossing folded in 1999, Dave was asked to join the New England powerhouse Northern Lights and was a member until 2007.
Dave has been invited to play on many recordings, including artists such as Valerie and Walter Crockett, Paul Della Valle and the Ink Stained Wretches, Rick Lang and Friends, and Mark Erelli. He has also recorded with some rock bands; Go!, and Little Big Wheel. Dave has also performed with artists such as John Hartford, Tim O'Brien, and Vassar Clements. He has also produced, and recorded for, CMH Record's Pickin' on series, where he co-produced, and performed on Pickin' on Jack Johnson, Pickin' on Dwight Yoakum, and A Bluegrass Tribute to the Eagles and many more. In addition, Dave is a teacher of banjo, mandolin, and guitar, and also works full-time as a stringed instrument repairman at Union Music in Worcester.
The big guy in the middle keeps the band tight with arguably the most solid bass-playing in the New England area. Ken originally started as a guitar player with an interest in folk music but was soon sidetracked into bluegrass. He's been hard at work too. He was one of the original members of the Central Turnpike Bluegrass Band from the Central MA area. Ken also got a chance to strut his stuff with Rolling Hills Bluegrass, Boston-based bands Adam Dewey & Crazy Creek and short-lived Blue Union. Ken's versatility continues to keep him busy too! Currently you can catch Ken playing with Erica Brown, a fine young bluegrass fiddler based in Maine and also the Heritage String Band who play Civil War period music. Always in demand, you never know where you will find Ken playing bass. He can be found backing up many local acts ranging from folk music to lounge/dinner acts. He plays like an old master, his style is powerful and his timing is right-on!
Tim St. Jean joined the band in early 2018 replacing Dan Nolan on the mandolin. Tim has been performing around southern New England for many years, and brings great musicianship to the band. Besides mandolin, Tim plays fiddle, banjo, guitar and writes songs. He also plays with Grass Routes Bluegrass, and other bands based out of Connecticut.