BIOS OF THE BAND MEMBERS

     One of the most important characteristics for any band is to have grounds of commonality.  These abound among the members of Dry Branch Fire Squad.  All of the guys in the band have strong work ethics, varied interests, close ties to their families, have had success in professional endeavors outside of the field of music, and bring nearly boundless energy and enthusiasm as well as a variety of musical experiences  to their efforts in doing the band’s work and to their respective performances.  As one might suspect with such individuals, they have strong respective personalities.

 


BRIAN ALDRIDGE

        Brian is an artist at enunciating exciting expressive harmony lines that give expression to the soulfulness and meaning of bluegrass and old-time music. He also has a knack for finding just the right sympathetic runs and fills that give body to the band’s songs by supporting the lyrics of songs rather than drawing attention from them, whether on guitar or mandolin. If Brian were the worst musician in his family, which he is not, he would still be one of the best in the country. He grew up listening to his father, the great banjoist Howard Aldridge and the many friends who came to pick with him; like Bill Monroe, Sid Campbell, Frank Wakefield, Jack Casey, and the like. Early on Brian became a fixture of the traditional bluegrass scene around the central Ohio area, and when a position opened up in DBFS he was the logical person to fill it. This is his second stint in the band, and his abilities with harmony and timing have contributed mightily to fleshing out the type of material that DBFS has always favored—that with lots of bark. Brian also has a very successful gutter business in the central Ohio area, is known as an expert on vintage mandolins in which he frequently deals, draws strength from his faith, and finds most the joy in providing love and support to his daughters and family.

 

      

                                                                                                             

                                                                              Tom Boyd

       Tom Boyd is "to the manor born" (as the old saying goes) if manor were manner and that manner were MUSIC.  Tom started singing in church with his parents and just never stopped, although he did eventually fledge.  He still sings with Mom and Dad whenever he visits them and Tom flatly states that Dad can still sing higher--and that's high indeed.  Tom sings all the parts, and in DBFS he is best known for his wonderful high baritone though he sings tenor just as often.   He is an expert banjoist and Dobro player who has performed over the last forty years with the likes of Larry Sparks, The Allen Brothers, Mac Wiseman, Hylo Brown, Jack Casey and many others.  He has recorded with not only those folks but also Chubby Wise, Ricky Skaggs, and even was a stalwart on Ron Thomason's first solo album back in 1972.  He has been married to his lovely wife, Sharon, for 41 years; and they have two children who always make them proud.  In fact, for the last twenty years Tom and his daughter, Deanna, have enjoyed playing music together.   Tom has worked all his life in fields other than music as well; he's been a machinist, a luthier, a manager, and a business owner.  He has many hobbies and likes drag racing an '89 Super Pro Mustang GT with his son, Jason.  By the way, Jason drives.  Tom kept forgetting to turn off the turn signal.

 

 

DAN RUSSELL

        Dan plays both kinds of music: Bluegrass and Country. His two main instruments are the banjo and the pedal-steel guitar, but his impeccable timing lend themselves so well to the bass and guitar that he plays those in the band as well when called upon to do so. It would be hard to imagine a person with a wider range of professional musical experience than Dan; he has played not only in many of the well-known “country” bands around central Ohio but in just as many of the “legendary” bluegrass bands that have come from that area. He has also worked with such nationally established country artists as John Anderson. Dan’s knowledge of the modern side of country music brings an added depth to the interpretation of DBFS’s songs. Dan’s thoughtful and well-conceived banjo work runs the gamut of all the bluegrass styles, and he is an expert at picking what’s appropriate at any given moment. His boundless energy—it’s hard for him to sit still—keeps the band on its toes. Dan has worked hard all his life: He has cut tobacco; done yard work; cut, split and delivered cord wood; and welded enough tanks on International Trucks that we see his work everywhere we travel. These days Dan does some home remodeling, but enjoys most babysitting his seven grandkids.

 

RON THOMASON

        R on started out as a child and never got over it. His early years above the Clinch River in Russell County, VA, were tied with all the succeeding ones for being the most enjoyable of his life. He has been able to make his living doing things he loves. He has taught both math and English at almost every secondary level, including college; farmed, trained and competed with horses, and been instrumental in the production of bluegrass music festivals and horse expositions; including the two great festivals, Grey Fox and High Mountain Hay Fever both of which DBFS proudly host. His professional music career started at the age of 13, and since then he has played and/or recorded with The Clinch Mountain Boys, The Wilson Brothers, Joe Isaacs, R icky Skaggs and Keith Whitley, and a host of others. Nowadays he enjoys such activities as horseback riding, mountain climbing, skiing, conservation advocacy, cowboying, and seeking out adventures in the wilderness. He writes occasional articles and helps with civic functions. R on still hopes to get some kind of book written about his experiences in bluegrass music and the many unique people he has met as a result. He started DBFS in 1976 and is known to enjoy music-making more now than ever.

 

 

Contact Information

Call Bill Evans

Telephone

510-528-1924

Postal address

6071 Montgomery Ave., Richmond, CA; 94805-1224

Electronic mail

General Information: bevans@nativeandfine.com