Featured Artist-September

The Allegheny Ramblers

 Meet The Allegheny Ramblers

They are a talented bunch of guys from West Virginia: Ryan Spangenberg – Mandolin & Banjo, Leon (Burt) Hart – Bass, Robbie Mann (A.K.A. Dr. Fiddle) – Fiddle, and introducing Mike Trimmer – Guitar. They live up to their title as “Ramblers.” For nearly four years these handsome young men have roamed together, weaving in and out of the rolling hills of West Virginia, always keeping a jug full of Traditional Appalachian tunes with them (as well as a few beers) to share with the friends they meet in each town they visit. While these hillbillies may not be ready for the cover of Vogue, you will quickly get to know their humor and feel the hospitality they were raised on in the rural areas they call home. They are held together by their tight bond of friendship, adventures and love for Traditional music. In short, they are the real thing!

 

Meet Ryan …

Ryan Spangenberg

Ryan was born in Painesville, Ohio and grew up in Madison, Ohio, way up by Cleveland. His first instrument was the recorder in 4th grade like many, many others, but who knew it would lead to a career in music. He started on the electric guitar, but was blown away the first time he heard the Mandolin on Led Zepplin’s The Battle of Evermore. He admits he became a little obsessed for a couple of years with Led Zepplin. He came to Glenville State to get his degree in Bluegrass Music and there started jamming with Travis, Burt and Robbie. His favorite animal is the tiger, has been since childhood, but he is clueless as to why. Of The Allegheny Ramblers’ songs, his favorite is Ramblers Ballad also on Vol 3.

Meet Burt …

Leon “Burt” Hart

Burt was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia. His first instrument was the tuba in 6th grade concert band. He started to play bass in college as a music major. He just can’t get enough of those low tones…it’s a brain thing. Anyway, Jazz is his first love and he was influenced by Chris Wood of  the jazz group Medeski, Martin & Wood. Burt’s favorite animal is the flying squirrel because he admires its graceful moves. Just like Ryan, his favorite Allegheny Ramblers’ song is Rambler’s Ballad.

 

 

 Meet Robbie …

Robbie Mann (aka Dr. Fiddle)

Since his parents gave him his first fiddle for his sixth birthday, Robbie Mann has built his life around the instrument, holding the styles of Old-Time and Traditional Bluegrass nearest to his heart, while also being particularly fond of Classical, Jazz, Blues, and Rock’n’Roll. After completing an apprenticeship in Traditional Old-Time music under Master Fiddler Joe Herrmann and earning a Baccalaureate in Bluegrass Music under the mentorships of legendary musician Buddy Griffin and GSC’s Megan Darby, Robbie set out to wander the continent with fiddle in hand.  He is known as Dr. Fiddle to his friends and fans. His favorite animal is the blowfish. Why? “Have you seen a blowfish?!” His favorite Allegheny Ramblers’ tune is Sad Songs Set to Waltzes on Vol 1.

 

Meet Mike …

Mike just joined the group this month. Mike was born in Frederick, MD and started playing the

Mike Trimmer

harmonica at 9 years old. As Mike tells it, there was a party at the house with a bluegrass band playing. One of the musicians opened up a big suitcase with a complete harmonica collection. Mike was fascinated, and seeing the gleam in Mike’s eye, the musician said “Here Boy, see if you can make this one sing” and tossed him one of his “extras”. From then on Mike was infected with the love of playing music. Later he inherited his Uncle’s banjo and practiced everyday for a year determined to be able to play with a bluegrass group before the year was out. The first bluegrass band he joined was The June Bugs. His musical influences include The Grateful Dead and The Stanley Brothers. “Favorite animal? hmm”, he said as he rubbed his cinnamon beard and gazed up at the West Virginia ridge. After a moment, he looked back at me, and with a twinkle in his eye said toads because Granddaddy always liked toads. (Toads in West Virginia are as big as bull frogs!) His favorite Allegheny Rambler original is “Darlin'” on Vol 3.

Meet Travis …

Travis Holliday

Travis was born in New Bern, NC located on the Neuse River. He moved to West Virginia when he was 11 and started playing music in band in 5th grade, playing the trumpet, and later Marching Band in high school. He picked up the guitar when he was 20 and later studied classical guitar at Glenville State College where he met Ryan, Burt and Robbie. He tells me he is influenced by guitar players with unique style such as Michael Romeo of Symphony X and John Petrucci of Dream Theater. His favorite animal is the Narwhal, the unicorn of the sea. Of the songs The Allegheny Ramblers perform to date, his favorite is Darlin on their Album Vol 3. Recently, Travis has made the decision to leave the Ramblers, but the boys wish him well and, with the help of friends, have kept rambling on…

Their Music …

They have 2 albums released on CDBaby: Vol1 and Vol 3. Their latest project has been a long distance collaboration with Barb Rzesutock & The Beer Barbs. The EP is called “Makin’ Tracks”. It was just released this August on CDbaby.

 

 Links …

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