Uproot Hootenanny was formed in December of 2007 at the Irishmen Pub in Boca Raton, FL. At that time the lineup was Brian Bolen, David Welch, Mike the Drunk, Mike Kayne, and Beau Meyer. This particular night it was Brian Bolen's solo gig and soon everyone was onstage jamming. Brian Trew was in the audience and getting in the spirit of things told them “I have a fiddle in my car” (in a very muffled voice as his jaw was wired shut from a rugby game). The six of them were jamming the night away and the crowd roared... and a spark was ignited.
From the very beginning the boys played traditional Irish music, Mike the Drunk listened to all the old Clancy brothers tunes and taught them to Dave and Brian Bolen. Brian Trew grew up playing traditional and knew all the same tunes and many more. He was asked to join full time when the boys booked a St Paddy’s day gig and only had about 6 Irish tunes in their repertoire. St. Patricks day is sheer craziness and starts for the Hootenannay on March 18th and last till March 17th of the next year!
In the beginning there would be six to sometimes ten people on stage playing; people on washboards, cowbells, harmonicas, it truly was a Hootenanny! The name Uproot was added for two reasons- all the Lads were from all around the country and uprooted to Florida, and of course the word “root” in the name conjures all the different types of roots music they know, love, write and play.
This crazy line up lasted for about two years when Mike Kayne, Mike the Drunk and Beau left the band (although they do still sit in every now and again). So that left the magical three, the two Brians and the David. They needed to round out the sound and so began the hunt for a Bass player. A friend told them about a buddy who played mandolin and since they were auditioning bass players, why not have the buddy audition on mandolin? See the connection? Well Rolando ended up being not so good on mandolin but was great at bass and fit in well. Billy Gilmore came in the picture later that year and the rest is history.
Photo credit Robert Badillo and Blindfold Magazine
The Lad's first gig as Uproot Hootenanny was at the Village Pump and they still play there every Thursday, it is like home for them. It has only gotten better from there! Some legendary Uproot gigs have been the Lyric Theater in Stuart, sharing the stage with Hermitage Green in Limerick, Ireland in 2012, Open Grass Festival 2009, Farm to Family Festival 2010-2012, Springfest 2012, Hickory Fest 2011, Founders Day 2011, Pig out in the Park 2010-2011, Delray Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2010, Lauderdale by the Sea St. Patrick’s Day Festival 2008-2012 and the list goes on and on.... They also had the pleasure of opening up for the Charlie Daniels Band this last year. The Lads also have their annual tour of Ireland which is a truly magical place for the Hootenanny. They have been there as a group for the past four years and it gets better every time they set foot in the Emerald Isle. The people are amazing, warm and they love American culture and folk music!
The band's live shows are high energy and the Lad's banter and beaming smiles are contagious. The shows are non-stop fun and regardless of how you entered the venue, you leave with a silly smile. Uproot tours Florida regularly and can be seen troughout the state with a high concentration at home in South Florida all year round, with stints in Ireland, and up the Eastern seaboard.
The Lad's would love to come to your town and show you a real good time!
Michelle Sammartino - Manager