Winston Salem Irish Band 1
This Winston Salem Irish Band originated in 2010 after the leader of the band craved to return to his Celtic musical roots. He had been playing in Wales and Ireland prior to moving to the United States in 1998. He knew a slew of great musicians but wanted just the right ones, those who were talented and capable of adding a rock edge to the music. He knew the instruments he needed in the band- fiddle, tin whistle, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass and drums.
Winston Salem Irish Band leader
Robert, the leader of this Winston Salem Irish Band, was born in the coal mining village of Bedwas Wales United Kingdom into a family of musicians. At the age of 6 he started playing cornet with a brass band, moving onto guitar at age 12. After playing in punk rock bands in the late 70's and early 80's, in 1995 he started playing banjo, winning several awards for his clawhammer style of banjo playing. He has public appearances with Chris Moreton, Billy Thompson, Chris Ewings, and Alan Finch, recorded with United Kingdom's guitar flatpicking champion Chris Moreton, Ned Edwards (Van Morrison and the Red Hot Pokers), and with Tony Williams of Jethro Tull. He has played many music festivals in Wales, England, Ireland and the United States. He hones his craft these days in North Carolina having moved to the United States in 1998.
Winston Salem Irish Band members
Rex play fiddle in this Winston Salem Irish Band and comes from a long line of fiddle players and refers to the fiddle as a "family curse". His playing spans Appalachian, Bluegrass, New-England, Cape Breton, Quebecois, Irish, Jazz and other influences. Beginning on fiddle at age 4, and later 5-string banjo at age 12, Rex gave lessons and played fiddler's conventions with future bluegrass greats Wayne Benson and Clay Jones before graduating high school. He is widely known in contradance and studio musician circles. He performed on the Grammy nominated recording Sessions at McBane Mill with Tony Williamson and released a critically acclaimed CD 24 Creations for Solo Banjo in 2000. His travels with Footloose, Larry Keel Experience, and John Cowan Band include prestigious festivals in the USA, Canada and Ireland with acoustic greats Vassar Clements, Tony Rice, Sam Bush, Pat Flynn, Bela Fleck, Stuart Duncan, Jeff Autry, Mike Marshall, Ryan Cavanaugh and at Merlefest in 2006 with Led Zeppelin rock star John Paul Jones.
Stanley, the guitarist of this Winston Salem Irish Band, has won numerous awards at the Henderson guitar contest and other area fiddlers conventions playing oldtime banjo and guitar. He has performed with country singer Norma Jean from the Porter Wagner Show, and grammy nominated celtic artist Alicia Merritt. Performances range from classical guitar at Doe Run Lodge and Olde Mill Resort to celtic music with Naomi's Fancy at Dollywood Festival of Nations. He participated in the 2007 Smithsonian Folklife festival with singer Jim Marshall and Irish banjoist Gerry O'Connor. He was featured in the Galax Leaf and String fest guitar showcase with Kenny Smith, Wanye Henderson, Josh Pickett and Scott Fore. He studied classical guitar under Aaron Shearer at the North Carolina School of the Arts and rock guitar from Mark Edwards of the Greg Allman band. He credits Wyatt Rice, Zan Mcleod, Tony Cuff and Phil Sexton as his guitar mentors.
Tim, the bass player of this Winston Salem Irish Band, is from the Foothills of North Carolina. Tim has toured with bluegrass bands Blue Position, Nite Flyer and Dixie Broadway, playing with local and national acts across the country. As an electric bassist his musical journey has called upon him to play different genres of music."I'm always appreciative of the time I get to spend making music with fellow musicians".
Slinky is the singer, composer, producer, percussionist and multi-instrumentalist of this Winston Salem Irish Band. He is a founder of the Protest Song Factory and has recorded and produced albums for top notch artists. Slinky has a strong devotion to all musical invention that blends artistic, mystical and activist inspirations. He performs throughout the US and internationally from Europe to Sri Lanka to Canada, China, Brazil, and Mexico having performed with noted performers such as Michelle Shocked, Leftover Salmon, Vassar Clemens, Joe Craven, Keller Williams, Larry Keel, Kester Smith and Les Thompson of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. He has recorded with Larry Keel, Danny Knicely, David Via and Artimus Pyle of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Sharon is a performer and instructor on Flutes and Whistles. She comes from a family of Irish dancers and has been involved in music from a very young age. She started the whistle at age 5 and then embarked on classical training at the age of 15 under the instruction of Debra Pivetta. She received her performance degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with four years study under Philip Dunigan. She has been a solo performer since 1998 and is a former member and co-founder of celtic group Immigrant’s Daughter releasing two CDs and producing one. She currently works with The Community Music School of UNCSA, has a home studio, performs and records for numerous local groups as well as performing with this Winston Salem Irish Band.