Ham Jam House -Concert

The Piney Grove Ramblers

Eddie Collins & Tim Towell will play alternate sets with The Piney Grove Ramblers. Together, they will create a fine double acoustic concert Saturday, April 27th, at 7:00 PM.

The Players...
Eddie Collins, Banjo, is considered one of today’s foremost instructors in the acoustic music field, specifically for 5-string banjo, flatpick and Travis style guitar and mandolin. He has authored more than 25 books and DVD courses designed to help all levels of players. Collins founded the highly regarded 5-String Quarterly and currently authors the “Beginner's Corner” column for Banjo NewsLetter. He gives instructional workshops throughout the U.S. and has written features for Bluegrass Unlimited, Bluegrass Now and Acoustic Musician.

As a performer, Eddie presents his original music in house concerts with a great guitarist/singer, Tim Towell. He also regularly plays banjo with the Piney Grove Ramblers (see Live Performances page). For 17 years he performed monthly at the legendary venue of Artz Rib House in Austin, TX. Collins’ sideman credits are as diverse as having played with the super-oldies group, The Drifters, and country music legend Wynn Stewart. He has performed for two Presidents and won an Academy of Country Music Award as part of the “Best House Band in the USA“ (1981). He won the Southern California Banjo Championship in 1985 and placed 2nd in the 1999 Texas State Banjo Contest.

Tim Towell, Guitarist, has emerged on the Austin bluegrass scene with a vengeance over the past couple of years. He is steeped in both the flatpicking and fingerpicking styles of Doc Watson. Towell was formerly a professional musician in the late 70s and early 80s and just returned to performing beginning with an appearance at a bluegrass festival in Wisconsin in 2008. Towell's engaging personality is well-suited for the intimacy of house concerts with everyone who hears him becoming an instant fan.

Wayne Brooks - PGR Band Leader, Lead Vocals, Guitarist, Songwriter.
Wayne comes from a long line of musical pioneers from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. Father Lon was a fiddler who played for dances in the mountains of North Carolina. Uncle Guy Brooks was one of the early pioneers of traditional mountain and bluegrass music.

Jim Shaffer – Fiddle, Vocals
Jim has been fiddling for 20 years. He first took up the violin in college, but classical music wasn’t for him. His first love is the sound of the Bluegrass fiddle. Jim also likes to sing in a raucous, bluesy style.

He has played with various bands and singer song writers. Before joining the Piney Grove Ramblers, Jim played and sang with Brian Byrne and Borrowed Time.

However, music is an avocation for Jim. Now retired, he worked for IBM as a software engineer for 30 years, and the state of Iowa before that. Jim was born and raised in eastern Iowa. “They actually taught us a little about chord structure at the school for the blind in Iowa,” Jim recalls. We had a band in junior high called the Hill Billy Triplets. We all played guitar, and mostly sang Buck Owens and Merle Haggard songs.

Wes Green – Mandolin, Guitar, Clawhammer Banjo, Vocals
Wes had piano lessons when he was six for about a year. At eleven he started teaching himself guitar and started private lessons at about thirteen. It was on Bob Dylan’s first album that Wes first heard finger-style guitar and was amazed at the possibilities. He played in a guitar trio in high school doing covers of Kingston Trio type songs during the '60s folk revival. Wes played 5-string banjo in that group briefly until college broke them up.

Wes took up fiddle while in graduate school and played in a country-folk band while in California. He was making pottery in Texas when he found the mandolin and the local bluegrass community. Since that time Wes has worked to make the mandolin his main performance instrument.

Working with several different bands over the years has given Wes the opportunity to travel over most of the US. He has worked in British Colombia and Ontario Canada, as well as Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. He has made close to 20 albums with various bands and has worked in sessions with producers such as Lloyd Maines, Lars Goransson, and the Eastside Flash.

Teaching private lessons remains an enjoyable and interesting adjunct to performing. Wes values the interaction with students and enjoys the opportunity to watch them grow as musicians. While mandolin is still his main instrument for performing, he is comfortable teaching mandolin, fiddle, guitar, and ukulele. Wes has taught 5-string and bass guitar in the past and is available for these as well as bouzouki, charango, and most other fretted instruments. Wes studied privately with Will Taylor and Paul Glasse and has had instruction from such professionals as Jethro Burns, Chris Thile, John Moore, Bill Monroe and others. Wes feels that these artists have contributed to his success as a teacher and a performer.

Wes is also currently a member of Mark Jungers and the Whistling Mules, Danny Santos y los Bluegrass Vatos and the High Stakes Rollers.

Gloria Brayshaw: Acoustic Bass and Vocals.

Since discovering Bluegrass back when Del McCoury had black hair and 2 little boys, Gloria has been exploring the boundaries of Stand Up Bass for any genre of music she is called on to play.

She spent many years in the Mountain Magic String Band in the Northwest opening for the likes of Berline, Crary & Hickman, Bluegrass Etc, Loose Ties and includes winning a band contest that gave them David Grisman for the evening show.

A true lover of music Gloria plays numerous instruments, is a singer/songwriter, clog dances, and teaches and gives workshops on Stand Up Bass.

Originally from San Antonio, Gloria’s home base is Austin where she hires out as Bass and singer/songwriter. As a member of the Central Texas Bluegrass Association she spent some time on the board and was Secretary.

Currently a member of the popular Piney Grove Ramblers, Gloria enjoys the traditional bluegrass sounds and arrangements of this group lead by Wayne Brooks with Jim Shaffer, Wes Green and Eddie Collins.

-- Piney Grove Ramblers: www.pgramblers.com/.

-- Eddie Collins: http://www.eddiecollins.biz/.

Doors open at 7:00 and the concert is 8:00 to 10:00.
$10 suggested admission donation

BYOB and hors d'oeuvres are welcome!