Jeff was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH, although his family hails from Lexington, KY. He started playing music at 16 with flute but eventually switched over to guitar. Jeff played guitar in a number of rock and acoustic band over the years notably : “Cash on Delivery”, and “Middle Earth”. In 1991 Jeff switched primary instruments from guitar to bass and eventually became a founding member of a popular oldies lowcountry band “The Rejuvenators”. Jeff was bitten by the Bluegrass Bug in 2010 and learned Upright Bass. he has appeared with a number of lowcountry Bluegrass acts including “Lowcountry Grass”. He was a founding member of “The South Rail Bluegrass Band” and made many appearances with them including Awendaw Green, Summerville Sweet Tea Festival, Coastal Carolina fair and numerous public and private events. Recently Jeff became a founding member of “The Palmetto Rose Band”. He has played on stage at Merlefest twice with Pete Wernick (of Hot Rise) as a Part of his Bluegrass Jam Camp.
Jeff considers his influences: Lester Flatt, the Stanley Brothers, Barry Bales, Allison Kraus and Union Station, Jerry Garcia, and Railroad Earth. His instruments played include: Electric Bass, Upright Bass, Guitar, vocals, Banjo, lap steel guitar. He also plays a smattering of keyboards, as well as percussion. Jeff also has an interest in recording and the technical side of music production. Jeff says his current musical goals are to to play a little of every style, write, record and perform more original music and someday play at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival!
Nicole is the blonde haired flower of The Palmetto Rose Band. She was born in Honolulu Hawaii, “In the same hospital Barack Obama was born! ” Nicole was raised in the Golden Isles of Georgia and first started singing in her church choir. She was also in the bell choir, and started piano lessons at the tender age of 7. She eventually joined the school band and played the flute from 5th through 12th grade.
Nicole came to the guitar recently, just a few years ago when she discovered a Bluegrass workshop here in the lowcountry one day. Nicole is a founding member of the Palmetto Rose Band and lends her amazing vocal talents to the group.She confesses that she has always loved bluegrass and gospel music. While has a love for “all Bluegrass music”, she holds a special place in her heart for Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. Recently, Nicole has added banjo to her repertoire, in addition to piano and guitar. Her music goals are to explore the banjo to its fullest and to write and perform more original music. Like Jeff, she also dreams of playing at the Telluride Bluegrass festival some day.
Donald was born and raised in Charleston, SC, and as such is the only originally local member of the group. Donald’s musical ambitions started with playing the trumpet in band when he was 11. He has been playing guitar since 1997 and mandolin since 2014. While a long time guitar player, Donald only recently took up Bluegrass as his primary genre. Donald has played around Charleston in various venues including the Pour House, the Southern, Sunsets Bar and Grill, Gage Hall, and numerous Farmer’s Markets, food truck rallies, Jamborees and even the occasional hootenanny.
Donald is a fan of live improvisation. In addition to Bluegrass, he loves jazz – the greats from Louis Armstrong and Lester Young to Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. He also enjoys the Grateful Dead, Phish, Widespread Panic and The Dave Matthews Band. Donald counts his two biggest musical influences as Django Reinhardt and David Grisman. He also listens to Nickel Creek, Yonder Mountain String Band and Greensky Bluegrass.
Donald’s main instruments at present are Guitar and Mandolin. Donald says that he sometimes finds traditional social interactions “difficult and confusing.” So he prefers to “speak through my instrument” – and that he does beautifully. Donald is also a founding member of the Palmetto Rose Band.
Ryan Fenno grew up in a Navy family, which eventually settled in the lowcountry. A graduate of College of Charleston, he began playing guitar at 12 when his drummer father gave him a Fender Telecaster. Following a hiatus from music to focus on school, he studied the acoustic blues styles of Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, and Reverend Gary Davis.
Somewhat spontaneously, he started playing bluegrass as a way to play with other musicians. He has come to appreciate the virtuosic stylings of guitarists from Bill Napier to Mary Tuttle, but even moreso is having a blast playing this truly unique American art form.