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Meet the Band! (in alphabetical order)
Steve “O” Burr - vocals, guitar, sound man, band leader
I was born in New Haven, CT. and Music has always been a part of my life. I started playing guitar around age 9 and never stopped. I studied opera from age 9 to 18 (Mom’s dream haha!) My musical interests are varied and I consistently draw on that exposure when composing originals, currently in the Bluegrass/Americana genre.
I lived on a dairy farm in upstate NY for a good part of my youth. That time on the farm nurtured my love for nature and roots music, specifically Bluegrass and Country. In later years I have played in Heavy Metal, Blues, Folk, Country, and Classic Rock bands prior to the Raising River Band.
I served in the military for 20 years and during that time I met and played with many interesting people and musicians alike from around the world and the states. I am blessed with two beautiful children and my very special gal Sharis who is a co-founder of the band. The Raising River Band has become my church and a major source joy and happiness. I sincerely enjoy bringing smiles on people faces who are listening to the band, it’s the ultimate reward. I am also completely thrilled with the opportunity to play with such a talented and tenured group of musicians that are all motivated by the harmonies that this group brings to the table.
Dave Cram - pedal steel, dobro, horse trainer
I graduated with a degree in microbiology, so science is my strong suit, hence music is as well. I've been playing resonator guitar, lap steel, pedal steel guitar and dobro since the 60's across the country, in the studio, on the stage and in every genre. I've been in the house band at Cousin Dave's New Bedford Massachusetts, The North Country Swing Band and a Grateful Dead cover band. I am constantly looking to improve the band I'm in and myself. Being part of the Raising River Band is a real treat! I love the strong harmonies and we just have a great time playing together.
Outside of music I am an animal lover and lifelong equestrian. I've been riding and training professionally for most of my life. On my farm I have my own horses and those belonging to my students and boarders. In addition I have dogs, a pig, a couple of goats I rescued and my wife and kids.
You can check out my farm here - https://www.facebook.com/changingleadsfarm/
Eugene Fury - bass, vocals, gadget guy, hauler
This ain't my first rodeo folks. I play upright bass, electric bass, guitar and keyboards and have done so for some time now.
I can do just about anything if I put my mind to it. Outside of music I enjoy spending time with my kids and working in the construction field where I do everything from estimating, to managing projects to building hands on.
Kevin McAndrews - fiddle, guitar, vocals, keeps odd hours
I play the fiddle and live in Berlin New Jersey.
I keeps odd hours, enjoy thrift stores, books and spending time with my family. Drop Mic.
Brian Rauch - banjo, mandolin, vocals, music teacher
I earned by MA in Music Therapy from New York University in 1980 and worked in that field for many years. I have studied and played music since I was a very young child, beginning with piano and trumpet before adding guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin and harmonica.
I'm currently involved in four different musical projects and the Raising River Band is one of them of course. I perform solo, but also love to fit in with a band. I've been blessed to have a lot of fun playing music and have opened for Commander Cody, Savoy Brown and Annie Haslam formerly known as Renaissance.
In between playing live I teach 5 String Banjo and Harmonica at the New Jersey School of Music in Medford which I love. Outside of music and my family I am a devoted windsurfer!
Check out some surfing video I shot recently - woohoo!
Sharis Swartley - vocals, guitar, music teacher, raises river
I have loved writing and performing music for so many years and get completely jazzed harmonizing with other singers. I was part of an all female classic rock band at one point in my career experienced touring through California and Hawaii.
I have a large library of songs and five self produced CDs of original music.
I was born and spent my childhood in New Jersey where I lived with my father, renowned Dr. William Swartley who founded The Center for the Whole Person in Philadelphia, Mays Landing, NJ, New York, and Toronto. He was also a founder of the International Primal Association. Both of my parents were educated hippies I guess you would say, raising me up with a very open and loving heart and mind.
I focus on bringing that love and light to the audience through my music.
Heidi Winzinger–vocals, guitar, percussion, farmland preserver
I was born in New Jersey and although I've been around the world a bit, I just love New Jersey. In New Jersey you can be in the forest, on a farm, at the beach, in the city or in a quaint historic downtown in a minute. Folks may not appreciate her if only seen from the Turnpike, so I'd recommend taking some back roads and enjoying the view.
When I was a kid my dad was way into old time country music. Kitty Wells, Hank Williams Sr. and Johnny Cash gave me my first taste of simple songs with big stories. I sang in school plays and had visions of being a professional singer for a minute or so until I changed my major from voice to agriculture. That's a long story, but in the end the dream of working in farming was strong and I figured I could always keep music in my pocket, which I did.
Somewhere along the line I found writing in a journal comforted me. Neighbors and friends taught me a few guitar chords and I started to put together some songs. Not being very good at it, I joined the Nashville Songwriters Association International and started studying the craft. It is a constant work in progress as I build my library of songs to share with others who want to use or cover them. My songs are all over the place, focusing on unique topics like the aftermath of losing a loved one suddenly, women losing themselves to their jobs, the loss of farmland to development, the friendly feeling a snow day brings to your neighborhood and of course, a girls best friend. I also like writing songs about New Jersey and her wonderful soils, precious aquifers, revolutionary war history and fabled Jersey Devil.