Puddletown Ramblers - The Myth, The Legend (The Short Version):
This unstoppable force, believe me, people have tried to stop them, was hatched on a glorious Wednesday night in 1996 when three outstanding young-ish men met for the first time at Chick Rose’s bluegrass class, Steeplegrass, in Vancouver, Washington. Upon striking that first out-of-tune chord, while playing completely different songs, the boys knew it was destiny. Well, time went by and their playing ability improved to beginner level. They decided it was predetermined that they form some sort of band to try and get paid for jamming together. This lead to the formation of the bluegrass supergroup Puddletown Ramblers. The heavens parted, the sun shone and the legend was born. The guys took it to the next level by adding a fiddle and a bass player who shared their dream of one day becoming bluegrass kings. With the addition of the bass, rhythm and timing were suddenly discovered and their distinctive sound was unleashed upon the world. The boys practiced and practiced the old-time and traditional songs, and, when one of them learned to write, they began performing some original songs in addition to ripping off other band’s set lists. This was the sign they were waiting for and took the show on the road; pretty much taking any gig offered to them out of desperation. They paid their dues to the bluegrass gods and got the experience and gas money they needed to become international superstars. The boys learned through the struggle of “the long hard road” that it takes a lot of hard work and effort to be a band. It’s not like jamming in a la-z-boy at all! They overcame the long nights, obcessed fans, paparazzi and supermodels, and went on to over twelve years and counting of incredible shows. Over the years they have earned at least a few really loyal fans in Yugoslavia Their CD Black Highway is a big hit in the Eastern Block. They are currently searching for other songs to rip off for their upcoming newest release. The band has learned a lot while performing, including, always zip up your pants before going onstage. Plus, they found out that chicken wire dices the tomatoes perfectly when thrown at the rate of at least sixty miles per hour. The Puddletown Ramblers are survivors and a great bluegrass legend. The legend that just won’t die.
David Peterson plays lead guitar, dobro and sings. He is known far and wide as “Fast-Talkin’ Dave, the West Coast Promotions King”. The band believes he could sell ice cubes to an Eskimo. His day job involves computers, taking over the world, and attempting to drink more coffee than humanly possible. David’s passion is music and he loves his guitar. He sometimes cuddles it. We’ve seen him do it! He is a Portland, Oregon native and enjoys being able to read and write, groupies and performing with these “old guys”. David is the band’s manager and often gets them hired at some of the finest freeway off-ramps and greasy spoons. Yes ladies, he’s single. From Vancouver, Washington comes Joe Martin, who plays rhythm guitar and sings. Joe was recently asked to say a few words about his musical career. He responded with “hmmm, a few words, lets see, cauliflower?, succotash?, Horsefeathers?” Although some things may occasionally get by him, he is certainly a nice guy and never misses a beat - much. He will generally be right on the timing of a song even when everyone else isn’t. Joe enjoys finding that “tasty harmony” and those “neat licks” that add to the “wall of sound” that the Puddletown Ramblers have. Joe is a plumber by day and really gets into “tearin’ apart a toilet in less than ten minutes”. If you shake his hand, wash immediately. Tom Martin, also from Vancouver, Washington, and Joe’s older brother, is the band’s legendary banjo player and he also sings. When you watch Tom play, the pain, sorrow and the chili he just ate is definitely on his face and you feel what he feels. Tom’s “unique”, “interesting”, and “controversial” banjo style was developed by the CIA in the sixties as a method to extract information from suspected spies. Born into a very large musical family filled with opinions and attitude, he brings the band a wealth of witty comebacks and submission holds. Never a practice goes by when all the problems of the world aren’t solved with one of Tom’s readily available opinions. Tom is an auto mechanic by day and an elite crime-fighting superhero by night. His banjo is his weapon. Fred Schulz plays the fiddle, mandolin and sings in the band. Fred is determined to bring about a new form of civilization with his fiddle playing. When the new dawn comes, he will be “tilling his land” and “polishing his shotgun” while laughing at the rest of us. Fred is the yin to Tom’s yang and their discussions have been known to last for days. While they have never as of yet led to fisticuffs, we do have to send them to their rooms at times. Fred enjoys getting his hands dirty, jamming to the wee hours and free food. We recently learned that Fred has reached the twentieth century with the purchase of a ten year old microwave and a cell phone, both “instruments of the Devil” as Fred puts it. Although without electricity, we aren’t sure how he is going to use them. Playing the bass and giving the band much needed class and distinction is Walt Jacobson. An all-around great guy, he keeps us all in line with solid rhythm and runs. We’d like to thank Walt for lowering his standards and performing with us. We’d also like to thank Walt for smacking us when we needed it. We’d also like to thank Walt’s wife for letting him come out and play. Although Walt has a good voice, he refuses to sing with us. Everyone has their limits I guess. Walt prefers to sing to pets and while in the shower. The band has affectionately, and out of fear, named him “Enforcer”. We also refer to him as “Walking Bass” because the boy can play! When we try to speed up a song, he gently and lovingly tells us to “get it right dummies!” Walt enjoys his family, motorcycles, a nicely ironed shirt and secretly laughing at us on the inside.