davidDavid Mepsted

james

James Closs

Mike Bostock

Derek Winter-Alsop

Gordon Prest

David is the band's lead vocalist and mandolin player and originator of many of the 'Rounders arrangements. He came to old time music through a long-time interest in traditional folk singing and American blues singers from the 1920's and 30's. Among his favourites are Charlie Patton and Blind Boy Fuller. These influences can be heard in his strongly expressive singing style. He studied vocal technique with Val Mindel and is a talented song writer too. The band perform several of David's original songs including the beautiful lyrical ballad 'Cedar Chest'.

When James joined the 'Rounders he brought the essential flat-picked guitar sound so characteristic of traditional old time string bands. His influences include Riley Puckett and Sam McGee. James is equally at home when playing intricate melodic solos or laying down a chord back-up with wonderful loping bass runs and his guitar playing gives the 'Rounders that distinctive 'fullness' that is the trademark of an old time string band.

The 5-string banjo is the instrument most closely associated with old time music's African-American roots. It provides the unmistakeable sound of the short drone string that is intricately woven into the fabric of traditional old time music as a complement to the fiddle. Mike's clawhammer style forms the hard-driving rhythm at the heart of the band. He also sings solo accompaniment to banjo on some tunes bringing the evocative atmosphere of banjo song to the 'Rounders repertoire.

Derek is an experienced and accomplished fiddle player with an ear for melody and an effortlessly smooth bowing arm. These are attributes that enable him to interpret a tune and instil it with feeling. Bruce Molsky is a recent influence on his playing style and like his mentor he combines a resonant tone with beautiful phrasing and clarity. Listen to his wonderful drones on the intro to our version of Ola Belle Reed's tune 'High On A Mountain' and you will know instantly why the 'Rounders are delighted he is part of the band. 

 

Gord gives the 'Rounders their focussing rock steady pulsing heartbeat on upright bass. He came to the instrument recently while attending a banjo camp and hasn't put it down since - wonderful serendipity for our string band. In other circles, he is known as a bluegrass banjo picker and also sings in the bass section of the Airbus Filton choir.