"The Roadoilers" is an old-time string band playing square dance and contra dance music, traditional country singing, ragtime, and Irish traditional music. Fiddles, banjos, guitars, bass and bagpipes are the intruments. John, Perry, Chuck and Mike have played together in various combinations for over 30 years, forming The Roadoilers several years ago. Taken together, the band has over 160 years of experience playing old-time and bluegrass music.
John Pedersen was born in Upstate New York, the grandson of a fiddler. He started playing banjo at age 13 and began playing for dances not long after that. Prior to the Roadoilers, John played with Fennigs All Stars, the Swamp Root String Band, the Arkansas Sheiks, and Highballers from the Planet Hell. John is a luthier and has worked at musical instrument repair in New York, Toronto, San Francisco, and now at his own store, Amazing Grace Music in San Anselmo. Along with his expertise in stringed instruments, John builds sets of Uillean (Irish) pipes.
Perry Fly first heard old time music as a youngster in Eastern Pennsylvania listening to radio station WWVA from Wheeling, West Virginia. Perry has attended fiddle conventions including the 1971 Mount Pleasant (Iowa) Fiddle Disaster, and has played for contra and square dances from the early 70s up to the present. In addition to the Roadoilers, Perry has played with the Bonny Doon String Band and Highballers From the Planet Hell. In his spare time, Perry builds houses and boats.
Chuck Wiley was born in Bedford, Indiana, 35 miles from Bean Blossom, home of Bill Monroe's bluegrass festival, at which Chuck played some 40 years later with the Phantoms Of the Opry. Chuck took up harmonica at age ten, then guitar at fourteen. His first guitar tune was Wildwood Flower. Chuck is also a fine bass player and sings a wide variety of bluegrass, western and traditional songs. Having retired as a model maker for a well-known special effects house, Chuck's name appeared regularly in the credits of blockbuster films.
Mike Drayton is the grandson of a fiddler and mandolin player on one side and a tenor banjo player on the other, but he learned his fiddling from the late Pearl Sivetts of Unionville Missouri. In addition to Pearl's ragtime style, Mike likes and plays Irish fiddle, Texas style, and North Country tunes. He's been playing fiddle for about 40 years, first with The Iowa Corn Dodgers and later with the Arkansas Sheiks. When not playing the fiddle, Mike teaches English as a Second Language and in a machinist apprenticeship program.