Stanleytones Band Biography
The Stanleytones Bluegrass Band was formed in 1999, when the original members met while attending local jam sessions in the Boulder area. The band was named after the Stanley Brothers, Ralph and Carter, who played throughout the 50’s until Carter’s death in 1964. Having recently finished recording a new album, The Stanleytones’ passion for traditional bluegrass is evident in the their sound, and has made them into what they are today---a classic bluegrass band reminiscent of those early bands of the 50’s and 60’s, with an added repertoire of original compositions comprised of melodic instrumentals and skillful vocal harmonies.
(Photos courtesy of Tom Stuart)
Jim Bertolin has been playing bluegrass since the 1970s, when he played with Windy Ridge Ramblers and Prairie Union Bluegrass Band, touring the midwest. He plays a variety of styles, from classic Scruggs to melodic fiddle tunes, and old-time frailing. His musical influences for traditional banjo playing are Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, J.D. Crowe, but for his melodic influence he credits Bob Black and Jack Hicks. His favorite new banjo player is Robbie McCoury. His main dobro influence (did we mention that Jim also is their dobro player?) is Josh Graves.
Clarke Wright has been playing Bluegrass in some form or another since the early 1970s. He worked with David Ferretta and the Sunday River Boys in Denver in the mid ‘70s and appears on their Biscuit City recording “You Can Dress ‘Em Up, But You Can’t Take ‘Em Out.” If you ask Clarke how long he has been playing fiddle he will tell you, “Long enough to where you would say, ‘Wow, shouldn’t you be better than that?’” He has spent over 30 years with The Hollywood Rodeo Band and later their pared down acoustic version, High, Wide and Handsome. HRB/HWH recorded 7 albums and has toured extensively, visiting over 40 nations and territories, entertaining our nation’s Armed Forces.
He picked up the fiddle ‘sometime back in the 20th Century’, and is self taught. “When I hit a wrong note or clam-out a break I just blame my teacher,” Clarke says.
Clarke Wright: www.clarkewright.com
Jeremy Kimball was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia. He grew up on the opposite side of the Mason-Dixon Line in Marietta, on the banks of the Ohio River. The son of a high school /college band directer, he played the trombone and baritone in classically based bands from age 9 to 16. He discovered traditional bluegrass after moving to Ft. Collins CO at age 18. He picked up the guitar at age 22 and currently plays rhythm guitar on an HD 28 Martin and sings lead and tenor. His vocal influences, among others, consist of Keith Whitley, Charlie Moore and Dave Evans.
In the 80s, Ron Dropcho's younger brother introduced him to the sounds of the David Grisman Quintet, and some bootleg Mike Marshall/Darol Anger tapes. Ron had never heard acoustic music like this before and was blown away.Shortly after moving to Boulder in 1990, Ron went to a Sam Bush show on New Year's Eve. After that show, he was determined to buy a mandolin and learn how to play. Local musician Greg Schochet taught him some fiddle tunes and fundemental music theory. He started attending jams in Boulder and Nederland.
Somewhere along the way, Ron taught himself to play the bass (electric). Later, he bought an upright and started going to jams and festivals with that monster in tow. He played bass with Timberline for several years. While living in the Aspen valley, Ron played bass with Lone Pine Bluegrass and the Flying Dogs. In the Boulder area, he has subbed for Sugarloaf String Band and Mountain Holler.
Ron first met Jim Bertolin at the old Kaddy Shack (caboose) jams in Louisville in the early 90s. When Jim asked him to join the Stanleytones, he didn't hesitate. Ron says he had always been impressed with Jim's line-up. He is happy to have joined the band and be on stage with the Stanleytones.
Dave Pullins grew up in West Virginia where he was exposed to all types of music through friends and family. He began playing piano and guitar at a young age. Dave started going to live "Mountain Stage" shows at the Cultural Center in Charleston and after seeing the likes of Sam Bush, Mike Marshall, and Jamie Masefield he started playing the mandolin. Since moving to Gilpin County in 2009 he has played in and toured with various bands.
Paul Sink grew up in a bluegrass pickin' family in the Roanoke/Blacksburg area of southwestern Virginia. He started playing bass and guitar around age 16. After playing in a couple of bands during college he moved to Nederland, CO and immediately became involved in the local bluegrass/jamgrass scene. Paul has played with a lot of different bands off and on but always leans back on his roots of traditional mountain music. His main influences, among others, are Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, Clarence White, Tony Rice, Doc Watson, Dave Peters, Bryan Sutton and Larry Keel.