Band Member Bios

Tom | Greg | Howard | Rachel | Hildy

 

Tom Bull | 6strings
(Guitar, Vocals)

Tom hails from Illinois and came to California by way of North Carolina. As our lead singer, he charms audiences with his energetic and engaging vocals, accompanied by his powerful guitar. Tom also sings great harmony and generously shares this gift by guiding the other band members through their vocals. He and Greg collaborated to write “Dear Old Country Home” which will be included in our upcoming CD.

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Bio Photo GregGreg Frees | 8strings
(Mandolin, Guitar, Vocals)

Originally from Ojai, California, Greg studied classical piano as a child, then transitioned to playing rock and blues guitar for the next 30 years. He took up the mandolin a few years ago, and took a liking to bluegrass. In addition to singing lead, tenor, and baritone, he composes original music and directs and produces our recordings.

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Bio Photo Howard

Howard Gage | 4strings
(Bass, Vocals)

Howard’s musical origins were playing trumpet as a boy in New Jersey. He gave up trumpet for high school football, but later revived his musical interest with mandolin, guitar, and banjo. He started playing folk music, graduated to ol’ timey, and then progressed to bluegrass. He also played classical violin for the Wolfgang family string quartet. After a respite from musical hobbies to raise children, Howard returned to playing bluegrass at informal jams, in various classes with Jack Tuttle, and with the KenTorke Kernels. Howard enjoys jamming with friends on banjo or guitar, and joined in early 2011.

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Bio Photo Rachel

Rachel Gage | 4strings
(Fiddle, Vocals)

Rachel was born and raised in Palo Alto, California.  She started playing the violin at the young age of seven and continued through Junior High School orchestra.  Years later, Rachel gained a love for old-time fiddle, and eventually bluegrass. During her three years in the KenTorke Kernels band, Rachel honed her skills on the fiddle. In early 2011, she joined , bringing a repertoire of new songs and rich vocals to the group. In addition to Rachel’s wonderful talent on the fiddle, her formal training in illustration has resulted in CD cover designs for bands such as The Tuttles.

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Bio Photo Hildy

Hildy Licht | 5strings
(Banjo)

Born in San Francisco but raised in Los Angeles, Hildy returned to Northern California to attend college. She taught folk guitar from the 60’s through the 80’s, in addition to running a business and raising children. Though she purchased her first banjo in the early 60’s (at the Hal Roach Studio going-out-of-business auction), she didn’t really apply herself to the instrument until a few years ago. Now, bluegrass has become a passion for her. Hildy also has the daunting task of coordinating the six band members’ schedules and booking all the gigs.

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