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:: The Valley Bog Players ::


Sue Ann Wheadon  -  Nick Egloff  -  Kathy and John Walsh  -  Roland Vinyard


The Valley Bog Players are a traditional Irish band, centered in the lush Mohawk Valley. Dance music, ballads, love songs...played on twin whistles, accordian, bodhran and stringed instruments.


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The Valley Bog Players are a bit unusual among Irish bands, both from our instrumentation (the twin pennywhistles, played in harmony) and from our songs, which are in nearly equal numbers of both instrumental and vocal music. You may hear, in addition to the twin pennywhistles, accordion, 6 and 12 string guitar, bodhran, banjo-mandolin, whistling, Jew's harp, banjo, and even certain sound effects upon occasion. Their repertoire is large and varied and we continuously seek new numbers which speak, first to them, and, later, to their audience.


The Irish have traditionally played a large variety of instruments and it is interesting to note that the guitar, that staple of nearly any genre, has been comparatively recently (and enthusiastically) adopted to Irish music. Likewise, but on a lower scale, is the 5 string banjo. The old instruments in traditional Irish music are the pipes, pennywhistles, harp, bodhran, accordion, jews harp, and fiddle. They play many of these at each performance and none of them are wired. The result is a somewhat quieter and more original sound, one that emulates what you might have heard at an Irish pub or a village frolic 100 years ago.


The Valley Bog Players are very strongly based in tradition. The names of nearly all of the composers and writers of their music have long been lost in the dustbins of time, and the pieces honed, altered, and polished to a rough luster by the interpretations of the generations that played them in the past. Once in a while, something more modern strikes their fancy and they will slip it in, hoping that you will not notice, as they want each and every piece to retain the feel of an old song.


But the Valley Bog Players are not all about music. You will hear more Irish-flavored jokes and quips than you wanted to hear. And you just may learn something more about Irish instrumental music or the background of certain songs. But most often you are spared idle patter and those long boring introductions and the music is allowed speak in its own words.


Roland Vinyard
Valley Bog Players
597 State Highway 162
Sprakers, NY 12166

Phone: 518-673-3212
Fax: 518-673-3219


Valley Bog Players

Black Thorn Stick Demo.mp3

Hills of Connemara.mp3

Track 1 Demo.mp3

Winds of Morning Demo.mp3



The songster, Roland Vinyard, known as The Bard Rocks (or is it The Barred Rocks?), has finally decided to take his act public after 40 years of playing in closets, under rugs, and when he thought no one was around. Infamous for protest songs (when he sang, everyone protested), The Bard Rocks now specializes in the songs of the acclaimed songwriter Trad Anon. If you don't know who wrote it, he just might know it - and vice versa.

His vast repertoire is sort of a General Eclectic, ranging from the damsels and knights of the Child ballads (from his deservedly rare CD, Great Hits of the 1600s), to down and dirty blues & ragtime, sea songs, the real old gospel stuff, songs from the Great Folk Scare of the 60s, a few ones you always loved but haven't heard in years, Irish, old timey Appalachian fare and bluegrass, an occasional one by old country singers like Jimmie Rogers or Hank Williams, children's songs, cowboy songs, lots of humorous ditties, and maybe even calypso.

There will be plenty of plaintive and quiet ones for the campfire, and even a few select modern works, just to confuse the issue.


The Bard Rocks

Solo Gigs


Roland Vinyard


Warning: he may slip in one that he wrote, but it will have an old feel to it and you will probably assume (he hopes) that it is traditional. Many of what you will hear have choruses and The Bard Rocks is never so happy as when he gets audience participation. Of course, a chicken song or joke is mandatory sometime during each performance. (If you don't understand why, then you need to know more about chickens.)

He is also a bit of an ethnomusicologist, so you may expect to learn something as well as be entertained. His goal is to communicate his love of these authentic old songs to the audience, and in doing so, he may tell something of their origin, its first singers, how it relates to other songs, and also of the old instruments which he uses to accompany himself. In his repertoire are a number of songs which have traditionally been sung in the upper New York State area where he resides.

The Bard Rocks accompanies himself on finger picked 6 and 12 string guitar, slide guitar, tiple, autoharp, banjo, banjo-mandolin and jews harp and is sometimes joined by friends, so you never can be sure who you will see with him or what you will hear. Also, watch out for his jokes and quips as they have been known to maim an unsuspecting audience. You have been warned.


Submitted by: Roland Vinyard
Published by: Capital Celtic Network
Year Written: 2006

* * * * * * *

Many musical artists and groups are active in their communities. Some perform before faithful fans on a regular schedule each week or weekend. They are independent musicians as compared to those music industry big names. We often think of the big name groups because we are exposed to the marketing blitz. I have had the opportunity to hear a number of independent performers with Capital Celtic. Some are just starting out and are perhaps a little rough around the edges and some are so outstanding I wonder why they have not entered into the "Big Time" music industry. Perhaps you have experienced the same? Perhaps you know of a new artist or group that you believe has talent that would be enjoyed by others? If so send me a CD and Bio and we will feature them on The Capital Celtic Network. - EEHealy


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