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Home of Bob Dick, Appleland Studios, and Appleland Productions

About Bob

Bob started his musical journey at the age of 8, playing guitar.  He took lessons with Steve Gottlieb, then began playing bass after going to his first bluegrass festival, the 1979 Berkshire Mountain Bluegrass Festival where his love of the bass and bluegrass music started.  He took bass lessons with Steve, then with his elementary school music teacher, John Flanagan.  In the 7th grade his parents contacted the local musicians union in Worcester, and they recommended Joe Holovnia, a jazz musician.  Bob took lessons from Joe until he graduated high school, and then he went off to study bass at Berklee College of Music.  There he studied with John Neves and Barry Smith.  He left the college after 2 ½ years to pursue music professionally.  One day after going to work after a day at college, Bob was told to call home, he had a gig to get to.  It was a Monday night.  Turns out Doc Watson was supposed to play at the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA but had to cancel.  The Tony Rice Unit had played there the night before, and was still in town and agreed to play another night.  Tony's bass player, Mark Schatz fell ill, and they needed someone quick.  Ray Legere, a Canadian fiddler was playing with Tony, and is a good friend of Bob's.  Ray suggested Bob and sure enough Bob was playing that night, right behind Tony.  It was certainly a highlight of his career. 

In 1988, Bob was hired into his first regularly performing band, Bear Acker and Billings Gap.  Bob learned a lot about working with many different musicians.  The group solidified for a couple of years in 1990, and recorded an album in 1991.  Around this time Bob was also playing music with Rick Lang.  Bob and his brother Dave joined up with Rick and Roger Williams and performed Rick’s original songs at Thomas Point Beach BG festival in 1990.  They later recorded an album called Out Where the Wild Flowers Grow.  Also at this time Bob was playing with several other local bands including Mountain Rose and Rabbit in a Log.

In 1991 he traveled to Owensboro KY to showcase at the IBMA tradeshow with Rabbit in a Log.  While showcasing, Bob Amos and Mike Lantz of the band Front Range were watching and enjoying his bass playing.  Front Range themselves were showcasing later in the week, and were looking to borrow a bass for their bass player who was going to be flying in.  Bob lent them his bass and became friends with the band.  Front Range's showcase went very well, with many festivals and record labels showing interest.  The current bass player, Pat Carbone, could not commit to travelling. The band was in need of someone to sing baritone, play bass, and travel across the country to many festivals, and the band was on the verge of signing with Sugar Hill Records.  Bob flew out to Denver in November of 1991 and had a very successful audition.  The offer was made, and Bob became the full time bass player. 

Bob never relocated to Colorado, where Front Range was based.  The name Front Range comes from the first row of the Rocky Mountains that run through Colorado. Bob Amos had visions of moving back east, where he was originally from.  Around the mid 1990's Bob Amos moved to Pennsylvania, then to Virginia, where he lived for most of the rest of the time Front Range was performing.  The band played in over 40 of the US states, did 5 tours of Europe, and performed in Canada several times.  Highlights of Front Range were performing at the Ryman Auditorium, great festivals like Winterhawk and Grey Fox, Grass Valley, Telluride & Rocky Grass, Merle Fest (Bob played with Tony Rice, Sam Bush and Steve Kaufman there also). 

The band recorded 5 CDs for Sugar Hill Records.  In 1995 the band was awarded the Gospel Album of the Year by IBMA for their recording One Beautiful Day.

During the 1990's Bob remained in demand on the local bluegrass scene in New England.  In 1993 he joined the Worcester-based band SloGrass.  To date they have recorded 4 albums together.  Bob plays bass and sings lead and harmony vocals.  SloGrass plays a mix of material from traditional bluegrass to folk and jazz.  Basically any good songs they like, they bring to the band and give it that “SloGrass” sound.

In 1994 he also started playing with Valerie & Walter Crockett.  They were writing their own songs.  Their music was a blend of folk, bluegrass, country, blues and rock. They had a band in the 1980's, and then retired from performing to raise their children.  Their daughter Emily became ill with a brain tumor when she was 6.  Emily was now a teenager, and they wanted to get back to doing some performing.  Bob along with Fran McConville from SloGrass, began performing around Worcester.  Mark Manuel, a local mulit intstrumentalist would fill in for Bob when he was on the road with Front Range.  However, Mark was such a great keyboardist, they decided to primarily book gigs around Bob's schedule and keep Mark on the keys.  Mark went on to add banjo to the band which was named Valerie & Walter Crockett and the Oxymorons.  Sadly, in 2009 Valerie lost her own battle with cancer and the band stopped playing.  Only two years later Emily lost her battle.  Walter had remarried and had been writing some great songs.  He reformed the band, adding Bob's brother Dave on banjo and electric guitar, and his new son in law Matt Cassell on percussion and named in Walter Crockett and the Wanna Be Wabbits. This band is not currently performing, but they hope to soon.

In 1998, bassist Ken Taylor was booking summertime concerts on the common for the town of Northbridge.  He wanted to feature bluegrass, and enlisted mandolinist Dan Nowlan, and Bob and Dave.  This gave Bob a chance to play guitar in a band.  They all lived locally, so they gave the band the name Blackstone Valley Bluegrass.  Bob plays guitar, resophonic guitar, some bass, and sings lead and harmony vocals in the band.

In 2012 Bob joined up with Bob Amos again and recorded bass on Bob Amos’ new bluegrass CD, Borrowed Time.  Bob Amos had moved up to St. Johnsbury VT and started a new group up there called Catamount Crossing.  In 2013 Bob played selected dates with the band on guitar and harmony vocals.  Bob Amos recorded another album, Sunrise Blues and Bob again played bass on most of the songs.  Due to some personnel changes, for the 2014 summer festival season Bob moved back to the bass and does some harmony vocals.

Bob also is the Senior Deacon and Music Committee Chairman of the Rockdale Congregational Church.  He and his wife Krissy started a coffeehouse music series called the Grass Roots Coffeehouse back in 2000.  They continue to bring in local bluegrass music to the concerts.  Bob and Ken Taylor, from Blackstone Valley Bluegrass also play guitar and bass at the church services, usually the last Sunday of each month.

Bob also plays mandolin and fiddle, but doesn’t play these insturments much professionally at this time.  They are featured on his recordings, Tidings of Comfort and Joy and Life’s Highway. 

Bob currently lives in Northbridge MA with his wife of 15+ years Krissy and their 5 cats.

About Bob


Bob Dick Bass Player

Bob's been playing music for over 35 years.  He is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist playing guitar, bass, mandolin, resophonic guitar and fiddle.  No banjo.  Yet.

He is also a fine singer and can sing lead, tenor, baritione and bass vocals.

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