BERLIN — St. Kieran’s Community Arts Center and Bryant Funeral Homes will present award-winning bluegrass band Rock Hearts on Friday, February 5. Tickets for the 7 p.m. show ($15 in advance / $18 at the door) are now available.
Formed in 2013, Rock Hearts brings together five veteran musicians from southern New England who love to sing and pick bluegrass and old country tunes, as well as seek out new tunes from other genres to “bluegrass-ify.”
Joe Deetz (banjo and vocals), Alex MacLeod (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Bill Thibodeau (vocals, guitar and mandolin), Austin Scelzo (vocals and fiddle) and Rick Brodsky (bass) form this energetic group of talented musicians who are glad to be back on the road.
Deetz’s banjo career spans over 40 years. A New England Bluegrass Boy with Joe Val, Deetz has also worked with Frank Wakefield, John Herald, Back Eddy and many more.
He has recorded with John Herald, Will Scarlet, the Beach Boys and Carol King. Deetz was also featured on the Sesame Street recording of The Garbage Man Blues.
His passion for bluegrass is evident in his tasteful yet driving banjo and harmonious vocals. He lives in Mendon, Mass., with his wife.
Alex MacLeod grew up in bluegrass. His father and mother, Sandy and Geri, exposed him to music at an early age.
While her father Sandy was playing in the band, her mother hustled with the Ralph Case Cloggers in Maryland.
With a classic lead vocal and rock-solid rhythm guitar, MacLeod has fronted several bands in the area, including Northern Lights, Southern Rhode, Back Eddy and the Iron Skillet Band. He lives in Charlestown, RI, with his wife and four daughters.
Billy “BT” Thibodeau has an undeniable bluegrass pedigree and he brings his high tenor and lead vocals, as well as his picky mandolin and splendid guitar playing to Rock Hearts. Multi-instrumentalist, Thibodeau has been selecting and singing bluegrass for several decades.
Cutting his teeth with his father, Sam Tidwell and Uncle Bob in the Kennebec Valley Boys, he would later lead his own band, The Bill Thibodeau Band.
He has also performed with the Descendants of Bluegrass, Bluegrass Supply Company and Union River Band, to name a few. Billy currently resides and teaches music and works at Rick’s Music in Cumberland, RI
Austin Scelzo was introduced to various fiddle traditions at Mark O’Connor’s first Berklee String Camps, learning from powerhouse players like Billy Contreras, Jason Anick, Casey Dreissen, Jeremy Kittel, Andy Reiner, Bruce Molsky, Mark O’Connor, and Christian Howes. Austin’s Bluegrass journey began with the western Connecticut-based band ‘Angry O’Haras’ and later ‘On the Trail’, with whom he recorded fiddle and vocals.
Scelzo is also an active advocate for the bluegrass community, teaching Wernick Method Jam classes, establishing and maintaining the Bluegrass Coffeehouse, and starting the Connecticut Bluegrass Music Association.
Rick Brodsky is a multi-instrumentalist who has performed in many musical genres over the past 35 years.
Brodsky is a regular on the Connecticut/New York bluegrass scene and has played bass for many regional and national artists, including Jonathan Edwards, Jeff Scroggins & Colorado, The Korey Brodsky Band, Stacy Phillips & His Bluegrass Characters, and Laura Orshaw & The New Velvet. . You can hear Rick’s bass playing on many of Ben Freed’s highly acclaimed banjo albums and most recently on Korey Brodsky’s 2015 album.
The band is looking forward to sharing live Bluegrass with the “good people of northern New Hampshire”. On Sunday, February 6, Rock Hearts will perform their second live concert in New Hampshire at Camp Glen Brook in Marlborough.