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March 2010 Sahaurita and Fiddlers Dream
October 2010 Desert Bluegrass Festival October 2010
October 2010 cont. With Thomas Porter and Jess Barry
April 2011 Javarita and Fiddler's Dream
April 2011 Marana Bluegrass Festival
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The Tidwell Bros & Cedar Mtn Boys

Bob started his Bluegrass career shortly after he met Sam and Bobby Tidwell (Thibodeau)  who were his wife's cousins. This was not long after his first son  (Bob, Jr.) was born in 1966. Before that Bob played drums in a jazz combo in the US Navy from 1960-1964. When he met Sam and Bobby, Bobby wanted to play mandolin and needed a replacement for his duties as bass man. Assuming that Bob could keep time, he was designated the new bass man. Why not? Guess it took; after 40 years Bob is still playing bass.

Here they are:  Sam, Hardy Brendle, Bobby, Bob

Now, if this wasn't confusing enough with two Bob's in the band, it came to pass that Bob's next wife (and hopefully last) is also a cousin to the Thibodeau clan....but, not related to each other.

The Tidwell Bros & Cedar Mtn Boys

Another later iteration of the Cedar Mtn Boys was Sam and Bobby Tidwell, Bob, and another local guy Nelson Whipple. No pictures of this group have surfaced, yet.

Kennebec Valley Boys

When everyone seemed to flock to Maine, Bob was right there with them. The prior Cedar Mtn Boys regrouped and called themselves the Kennebec Valley Boys.

Dave Staber, Sam, Fred Pike, Bob, Nelson Whipple

The were well known in Maine for several years. Upon returning to Maine after living in RI for a few years, he eventually got back in with the KVB which at this time was probably Sam, Bill Kimball, Fred Pike, and Bob.

Good Morning America

Boston College: Herb Hooven on fiddle (back right)

Berkshire Mtn Bluegrass Festival (Winterhawk - Grey Fox)

Jack Tottle, Herb Applin, Carl Rebello, and Bob headed for the stage at one of Smokey Greene's festivals

Don Stover & The White Oak Mountain Boys

Bob played with Don Stover's band for a couple of years beginning in 1972 after leaving Maine. Looking through Don's discography you would see that Bob recorded with Don on two of his LPs:

West Virginia Coal Miner's Blues / Don Stover & the White Oak Mountain Boys Old Homestead OHS 90011  1973  197303

 

Don Stover & the White Oak Mountain Boys  / Don Stover & the White Oak Mountain Boys on the Rounder label 0039   1974

 

On the left you can see WOMB on Good Morning America. Left to right: Carl Rebello on fiddlehttp://www.eastbayri.com/print/318887506715019.php inducted in MA Country Music Hall of Fame), Jack Tottle on mandolin, Herb Applin on guitar, Bob, Don.

 

Don Stover was one of bluegrass' best loved musicians.
Stover was instrumental in spreading bluegrass in the northeast as a member of The Lilly Brothers, the house band at Boston's Hillbilly Ranch from 1952 until 1970. Except for a short stint when he joined Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, in 1957, Stover performed with The Lilly Brothers at the club six shows a week, fifty weeks a year as well as on a daily radio show broadcast by WCOP. A performance by Stover and The Lilly Brothers on July 4, 1967 was taped and released as "Live At The Hillbilly Ranch" in 1996. Although the group disbanded in 1970, Stover continued to influence a new generation of bluegrass players. In addition to forming a new band, The White Oak Mountain Boys, Stover recorded a solo album, "Things In Life," featuring mandolinist David Grisman. Originally released in 1972, the album was reissued in 1995.

Although he initially played banjo in the clawhammer style that he was taught by his mother, Stover altered his approach after hearing a Grand Ole Opry broadcast featuring Earl Scruggs playing in the more melodic, three finger, style with Bill Monroe And The Bluegrass Boys. During the 1940s, Stover balanced a full time job as a coal miner with performances with The Coal River Valley Boys.

In the mid-1970s, Stover relocated to Maryland. He succumbed to cancer on November 11, 1996 at the age of sixty-eight. ~ Craig Harris, All Music Guide

 

Bob and Don at the Sticky Wicket Pub in Hopkinton, MA

 

Joe Val and the New England Bluegrass Boys

During this time period Bob also filled in for Bobby Tidwell (Thibodeau) in Joe Val's band. He played several times at the Passim Coffee House in Cambridge, MA

Here he is with Joe Val and Bob French at a Smokey Greene Festival

Bluegrass Travelers

Bob played with the Bluegrass Travelers in the early 70s. Good friend, Bill Hall formerly of Cumberland, RI. formed the band. This picture was taken on Granite Street, Harrisville, RI just before a gig for a Republican  Committee function.

Bob also played in a band with Bill Hall and Randy Hawkins. No pictures available.

Northern Valley Boys

In 1975 Bob moved back to Maine

The first band he played with was the Northern Valley Boy based in Cambridge, Maine (aka Happy Valley)

Left to right: Greg Boardman, Chris Prickitt, Dave Livingston, and Bob

He still had not ventured into vocals at this point.

Boothbay Harbor Railroad

Right: KVB wins the Maine Bluegrass Band of the year

Radio personality Bill Clement presenting the award

Recorded "Maine Train" INTERSTATE IS-76-200 (released to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Maine state)

 

"Last Log Drive" [Revonah RS-922  1976]

Recorded "Simon St. Pierre, Fiddler From Maine" [Revonah RS-926 (1977)]

Kennebec Valley Boys

Bob rejoined the KVB where he took up electric bass. This band played all over New England and Upstate New York at all of Smokey Greene's annual festivals in the Adirondacks.

Bob began singing lead with the KVB - his first song being "Jesse James".

Bluegrass Supply Company

Bob was a founding member of Bluegrass Suppy Company which (he named and designed the logo) also did country gigs calling themselves Country Supply Company.

Original Bluegrass Supply pickers and singers were Bob, Dave Dalton, Perley Curtis, and Fred Lantz. After Fred left, Chris Lee joined the band.

 

By now, Bob had it figured out that he could sing harmonies, too.  Bob, Dave, and Perley had a harmony that, today, is still hard to beat.

Perley went to Nashville and was part of Holly Dunn's then Loretta Lynn's band for quite some time. Not only was Perley an accomplished Dobro player but he played pedal steel for these top country bands.

Left top: Perley, Dave, Bob, Chris

Left middle: Fred Lantz, Fred Pike, Perley, Bob

Left bottom: Perley, Bob, Dave, and Chris getting some practice in at one of Smokey's festivals. This one was a cold, wet festival.

Visit Smokey's Page 

Chis [Lee] Leske and Arlin Greene have formed a band called Adrenaline Hayride in Upstate New York.

Check them out 

Bob's son Jimmy Denoncourt on stage for the first time. Jim's a lefty like his dad and both play instruments right handed.

The White Owl Pavilion in Skowhegan, Maine with the Kennebec Valley Boys and friends

Perley Curtis (dobro), Fred Pike (banjo), Sam Thibodeau (mandolin), Jimmy (guitar), Billy Thibodeau (mandolin),  ? (fiddle), Bill Kimball (guitar)

See Jim in his band now at: Wild Horse Drive

Billy Thibodeau [Sam Tidwells' son] and Jimmy at the NH festival

Perley Curtis, Bob, Barry (in the back on drums), Dave Dalton, and Chris Lee.

It seems no matter wherever the band played we would hear this sweet voice calling out "Baaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyy"

Note Bob's mustache...he was getting ready for the move to Tucson. He fit right in with the Hispanic population. After a few people were asking him questions (we guess) in Spanish, he shaved it off. He's French and some Turk. 

Country Supply Company

Bob as serious as ever on the stage. That's Barry Crocker on the drums.

Moe and the Country Renegades

Bob played a regular Saturday dance night gig with Moe Littlefield at the Red Barn in a little Maine town near Bangor.

Left to right: Brian Smith, Moe Littlefield, Bob, and Crawford Adams

He worked with this band until it was time to leave for Tucson, Arizona December 22, 1981

Peter, Gary, Bob, and Don

Ross, Peter, Gary, Bob, and Don

Titan Valley Warheads

When we moved to Tucson in 1982, Bob left his instruments behind figuring he'd not be playing again. Not! When he was opening an account at the bank, the teller noticed his Bluegrass belt buckle and mentioned her husband was a musician and they played at a local pub. Off we went. Their bass player occasionally took extended trips to Mexico so Bob would fill in. Next thing he knew, he was a Warhead.

This lineup included Don Johnson, Ross Nickerson, Gary Kuitert, Peter McLaughlin. Founding member Gary is still playing a weekly gig at Li'l Abner's Steakhouse in Tucson - 2011. Don passed in 2010.

Don, Gary, Bob, John Mattingly, Ross

 

Recorded "Blast Off" 1986

And then Ross came to town - and left...Louis below. Dan Newman on fiddle

High Strung Band

Bob left the Warheads (and Tucson) kicking and screaming. He didn't want to leave; Fran had a job at Porsche Cars North America in Reno. But, all clouds have silver linings...so she kept telling him. After all, her new project leader was the Northern Nevada Bluegrass Assoc's president. See, it ain't always looks or smarts. That guy wanted a professional bass player in the association and she just happened to be a seasoned (or would be after THAT stint) programmer.

Bob met Charlie Edsall through the local music shop and they knew instantly they were going to be in a band together. Next thing he knew  Bob, Charlie, Bonnie Ludwick, and Matt Smith were playing as the High Strung Band. Talk about some harmonies. Bob, Bonnie, and Charlie were hard to beat. However, one big change. Bonnie could only play guitar and bass. They needed Charlie on lead guitar so Bob took up the mandolin.

The band went through banjo players like no other band Bob was in. Bonnie never did like the banjo.First there was Matt, then Ross came to Reno, then after Ross left, Louis Fetherolf took over.

Left: Perley Curtis of Bluegrass Supply days was in town with the Holly Dunn show and hung out with the guys. He even did the San Juan Bauptista Crafts Fair with High Strung. He stayed so long he had to reschedule his flight back - Holly Dunn's band had already left.

 

Recorded "High Strung" HS 0004  [1991]  and "Six of One; Half Dozen of the Other" BLCD 1363 [1993]

Feather River

After Bonnie left High Strung to further her county music career, Bob, Charlie, and Louis formed a new band called Feather River. Since Bob was still playing mandolin, his son Jim who had been dabbling with Rock decided to get back into Bluegrass and took over bass duties.

Bob, Louis, Charlie, Jim in Carson City, NV

Bob wanted to get back to playing bass where he was more comfortable therefore when super picker/singer and founding member of the original High Strung band, Erik Thomas, became available Bob went back to bass(ics).  Sorry Jim. Louis moved to California becoming police chief in yet another city, leaving the banjo slot open. Ross  was available again.

Ross, Charlie, Erik, Bob

This event was again Nevada Days in Carson City, NV - the next year. This was a place called "The Alley". Friend Rick Alvarez took the picture from a neighboring roof.

Then we left Reno to full time in our RV while Fran took jobs as a contract programmer. Bob always seemed to find a band to jam or play with.

After several months in San Francisco, we decided to go to FL and visit with Sam in Polk City. Maybe look around for a contract, too. Gave notice at my contract and Bob had to finish his last gigs with the band, the final one being in Logandale, NV in October 1997

 Sam, Ted, Clint, Bob (five string electric bass)

Cypress Creek

Original Cypress Creek (FL) band October 1999

Ted Locke, Sam Thibodeau, Mel Hancock , and Bob Denoncourt Left top taken at Wanda's Dixieland Music Park in Waldo, FL October 1999

After Mel went  back in to country music, Doug Driskell took over on guitar. Left center is  Ted Locke, Sam Thibodeau, Doug Driskell, and Bob at the Sertoma Youth Camp Bluegrass festival Brooksville, FL

Ted has taught many local musicians who have later played with national Bluegrass bands including Aubrey Haynie, and Jason Barrie.

After Doug moved to NC, we were fortunate enough to find Clint Dockery, a superb mandolin/fiddle player who was willing to play guitar.

The band recorded five albums while Bob was a member, three with Mel and one each with Doug and Clint.

Clint began his musical career when his father James, a local Bluegrass legend, organzied the Little Bits of Grass. Clint was 6 years old when his father began teaching him and his sister Tammy Bluegrass. At that tender age he was learning mandolin and fiddle...at least. Tammy learned bass.  James also taught Bunky Jackson guitar and Gilbert Hancock (not related to Mel) banjo. Left Bottom: Clint, Tammy, Bunky, and Gilbert in the foreground.

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Bob recorded six projects with Cypress Creek

(1) "Knee Deep" 1998 (2) "On the Road with the Cypress Band" 1999 (3) "Thank God for the Lighthouse" (1999) (4) "New Look, New Sound" 2000 (5) "Florida Blues" 2001 (6) "Edie Sings" [Sam's wife Edie] 2000

Bob played rhythmn guitar for Stone Creek

Stone Creek

Bob met John Thompson and Jim Govern at the Wickenburg Festival in 2003 where they decided they'd be a band. However, at this point, they needed a guitar player since John played banjo and Jim the mandolin. The guys jammed with other musicians and met Gary and Millie Vannoy. After a short period, they decided to put Stone Creek together. Since Millie played bass, Bob played rhythmn guitar and continued with his vocal duties.

Here they are the the Canyon State Sweet Onion Festival in Glendale, AZ

Charlie Edsall, Bob, Jim Govern, John Thompson practicing at the Bluegrass on the River festival in Parker March 2005. Note five string acoustic electric bass.

Yuma Crafts Fair January 2006.

Dick Brown, Thomas Porter, Bob, Jim Govern

Copper River Band

www.copperriverband.com/ 

After Gary and Millie went "on the road" full time in their RV, the guys were without a guitar player again.

Copper River was formed with Bob's longtime friend Charlie Edsall on guitar. When Charlie relocated from Las Vegas to Lake Tahoe, it was no longer feasible for Charlie to stay with the band.

At this point, Thomas Porter was free from his commitments as mandolin player with another band and decided to audition on guitar. After a few sessions together, everyone was pleased with the new sound and asked Thomas to join the band.

Copper River won the Wickenburg Bluegrass Band contest in November 2005 then went on to play the Blythe Bluegrass festival in 2006 as a showcase band and as a result were booked for the January 2007 festival as regular performers. This exposure led to invitations to the Colorado River Bluegrass festival in Bullhead City, AZ,  the Quartzite Bluegrass Festival in Quartzite, AZ famed for its gem and mineral shows. Copper River was invited for a "tweener" slot at Bluegrass on the River in Parker, AZ in March and instead they filled in for Carl Shifflett and Big Country on Saturday afternoon - a preferred time slot. Other bookings came from these including  Benson BGF in May 2006, Prescott Bluegrass festival June 2006, Pinteop/Lakeside August 2006, and Bluegrass in the Foothills in Plymouth, CA.

 Note the different styles bass Bob has played. He began with a Kay upright bass then went to a fretless electric bass for more mobility on stage. He continued playing acoustic and electric with various bands and then went to a five string accoustic electric when Copper River was formed. With new technolgy making the blend of wood and electonics sound more acoustic in upright electric basses, he now plays an Eminence Upright Acoustic Electric four string.  

John left the band just before the Bluegrass in the Foothills gig and son Jim's banjo player, Joseph Martini,  filled in that day since he was there already. You can see Jim's current band at www.WildHorseDrive.com

Then Dick Brown decided to fill in having just left Lost Highway. After a few gigs, he became a member of the Copper River Band. Below is his first with Copper River at the Scottsdale Library.

 

Recorded "Black Diamond"  Copper Creek label  2006

Copper River chosen 2007 Band of the Year by Huck Finn Jubilee National Bluegrass Playoffs

Picture of the band on the luthier's web site depicting many musicians playing  the Eminence bass - the kind that Bob plays. The "bass on a diet" was born in Minneapolis, MN.

Band of the Year 2007

  Here is the link to the Eminence gallery .  http://www.gelbass.com/folder/photosIBMA.html . Scroll to the bottom to see the picture taken at the IBMA showcase during the week of the awards show. To the left is a link to the band's website.

That photo is to the left on this page.


This started off as Ross Nickerson and Friends
March 2010 Good Shepherd Coffee House in Sahaurita, AZ
and Fiddler's Dream Mesa, AZ
 
Thomas [Copper River Band] was asked to do some twin guitar tunes with Peter.

We now have X-Train who are booked at, among other venues,
The Tucson Bluegrass Festival in October 2010
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