IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
Peggy Boswell - Mebane, NC
Peggy traces her earliest musical inspiration to listening to rock and roll 45s in her Burlington, NC basement. She learned her first guitar chords from her Uncle Scott Lineberry when her musical interests ranged from the Four Tops to Ronnie Dove (who years later left her a $20 tip for his Monday night fish dinner at the Shoney’s on the Blountville Highway in Johnson City, TN). As director of the Alamance County Historical Museum, she founded the Fiddlers’ Picnic that treated audiences to the best in local and regional traditional musicians and artisans from 1976 – 1989. Previous performing responsibilities have included the Sail Away Ladies (1984 – 1986) and the Cane Creek Cloggers Travel Band (1980 – 1986).
Alice Brower, Hillsborough, NC
“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” Victor Hugo, 1802 - 1885
Bob Brower, Hillsborough, NC
Like so much else in his life, Bob began music in his Flatbush (Brooklyn) kitchen. Family sing-alongs mixed it up with the big-band-edged broadcasts of WNEW-AM and his Uncle John’s and downstairs neighbor’s hand-me-up 45s. Bob didn’t try his own hand at music until late in his college days at St. John’s University. Bob soon fell in on bass in the Joe Padula Orchestra, playing weddings and community dances. Bob honed his skills in the doo-wop and 60s pop cover bands, Just Friends, City Streets and the New York Bandstand, including these bands’ back-up work for urban recording artists The Paragons and The Jesters. He met his life and musical partner, the former Alice Clark, when they were both students of Staten Island musician Peter Prisco. Alice and Bob arrived in North Carolina in 1999, where they co-founded The Jazztones and both perform in the Triangle Jazz Orchestra and Mebanesville. Bob fills out his time with various jazz, rock and blues combos.
Jane Davis - Hillsborough, NC
Jane is busy typing up her bio as we read. Y’all come back now.
Ira Diamant - Chapel Hill, NC
Ira Diamant has been playing R&B, blues and folk guitar for 30 years. He attended the NCCU jazz guitar studies program for 4 years, where he managed not to obtain a degree in music. A software engineer for 25 years, Ira now earns a paltry, but happy living as a guitar teacher. He also performs with fellow Mebanaires Alice and Bob Brower in the Triangle Jazz Orchestra.
Chuck Hodson - Mebane, NC
A native of Chapel Hill, NC, Chuck began playing music in middle school in his friends' garages and most Saturday afternoons demonstrates that he's hardly left either yet. Among his musical mentors and friends, he includes the late Lester Porter of Chapel Hill, NC, Carl Jones of Hillsborough, NC, and Lucius Wilson of Burlington, NC. Involved with the Mebanesville project since its genesis at a geo-position exactly two blocks north of his home on East Jackson Street, if it has a string attached, Chuck's willing to try to pull, bend or pluck it.
Nettie Lassiter - Hillsborough, NC
Sherry Lea - Haw River, NC
Sherry Lea is a founding member of Mebanesville. She sang informally with friends for many years, and then had the good fortune to meet Larry and Peggy Vellani and their extended family of musical friends. With Nettie Lassiter, Sarah Rubin and Jamey Tippens, they formed the original Mebanesville. With Mebanesville, in its many incarnations, she's had the opportunity to perform a wide range of music, which she loves. Thank you, fellow Mebanesvillains!"
Paul Mitchell - Hillsbrough, NC
Paul has been playing old-time music for more than 30 years. During this time he has had the good fortune to learn from and play with a variety of great old-time musicians, notably Mark Gunther of Chicago, IL, Jon Bekoff, currently of Greenfield, MA, Marvin Gaster of Sanford, NC, and Joe Thompson of Mebane, NC. Though residing in the North Carolina Piedmont, Paul has rekindled a love of Irish fiddle music.
Lori Oshrain, Efland, NC
Lori loves music of all kinds. She plays drums and sings with Mebanesville and also plays drums with The Jazztones. Mostly self-taught, she has had the opportunity to play for several American Dance Festival (ADF) musicians’ concerts with Beverly Botsford and the group Shamama, focused on a blend of African, Afro-Cuban and Jazz music styles. She divides her time among music, a rich family and friend community, and a full-time private practice in Clinical Psychology.
Jamie Tippens - Hillsborough, NC
What can we say? Really. What can we say? Until he completes penning his bio, we will say Jamie earns a living as a home inspector. Check out Jamie the Inspector.
Larry Vellani - Mebane, NC
Growing up in an extended immigrant family in the Hilltop neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio, Larry sang in Latin before he could read in English, and performed in beer and coffee bars before he cared for most of the drinks on the menus. This fact has long since changed. Larry has had the privilege of performing with some of the last quarter century's most respected interpreters of songs of peace and struggle, including Guy and Candy Carawan, Barbara Dane, Mimi Fariňa, Beverly Grant, Si Kahn, Fran McKendree and Baldemar Velasquez. A founding Mebanaire, he sometimes is offered a chair in other performing units including Durham Rangers (old time country blues, ballads and hoedowns), The Jazztones (swing and American songbook) and Rogues of the Bog (thar cionn ceoil agus craic Gaelach). And if you are still awake, learn more about Larry.
Deb White - Hillsborough, NC
Deb started fiddling and dancing while living in Houston, Texas where she was exposed to a variety of music, including Irish, old-time and Texas-style fiddle music. Since moving to North Carolina, she has continued to play fiddle and enjoys attending music festivals and workshops and dance events. She is an active member of the Hillsborough Arts Council promoting the arts in her local community.