Brian Bolen

Guitar, Stand-up Bass, Vocals

Born in 1978 in Queens, NY, Brian found his love for guitar at the age of 10. Growing up in Red Bank, NJ, Brian became intrigued with the music of guitar heroes like Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix.  Exploring the roots of these artists as well as many others, Brian discovered a never ending journey both into the history and progression of music.  Blues artists such as B.B. King, Robert Johnson, and Buddy Guy made their way into his album collection as well as folk heroes like Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie and Simon and Garfunkel.  The limitless boundaries of music suggested by artists like Jerry Garcia and Trey Anastasio was enough for Bolen to accept music as his form of artistic expression to be shared with everyone. Listen close and hear his influences shine through his unique, signature licks.

Currently residing in Deerfield Beach, FL, Brian has been playing professionally for the past ten years.

Photo credit Robert Badillo and Blindfold Magazine

Brian Trew

Fiddle, Vocals

Brian Trew’s musical career began at the age of 11 where he picked up the viola in his middle school orchestra. While in the orchestra, he along with his friends formed an Irish folk group called the Celtic Rogues. With this group, Brian had the opportunity to record three albums, play all over Florida and the United Kingdom, and perform with many great musicians. Along with heavy influences from Celtic groups such as the Cheftians, Altan, and The Clancy Brothers, while growing up in Fort Pierce, Florida he was exposed to a healthy dose of country and southern rock.

His Uncle Billy (who hand crafts all of Brian’s fiddles) played every weekend and exposed him to the likes of Charlie Daniels, Gary Stewart, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt band. After finishing high school Brian received a full scholarship to attend Florida Atlantic University for viola performance; he later played both viola and violin for the orchestra and began an interest in world music. During his junior year at FAU, Brian met Uproot Hootenanny and has played fiddle with the group ever since. His Celtic roots bring a distinct sound to the already unique style of Uproot Hootenanny.

Brian plays a five string three-piece back Uncle Billy Fiddle with an L.R. Baggs pick up thru a L.R. Baggs Para D.I. box. He uses Tomastik Dominate strings. He proudly endorses CodaBow and is currently using their Diamond GX model.

Photo credit Robert Badillo and Blindfold Magazine

David Welch

Banjo, Vocals

David was born and raised in southern Maine, moving to Florida in 1993 at the age of 19. He began his journey toward the Hootenanny, Gentleman, Scholar, Lover, and all around nice guy by finding music late in life. He began playing the guitar in 1996, but never seriously until he met Brian Bolen at the tender age of 26. He began to take music a bit more "seriously" at that point, playing in public shortly thereafter. Although his father (recording artist Tom Welch) is renowned for his skills on the banjo, he didn't discover his love for the instrument until the fall of 2004 at a bluegrass festival in North Florida. Buying his first banjo a couple years later, the hard work began. Dave's influences include but are certainly not limited to Tom Welch, Billy Gilmore, Earl Scruggs, William Wallace, Michael Collins, Jerry Garcia, Dylan, Grateful Dead, John Prine, Old time music in general, Bluegrass, ZEPPELIN!!!!, Christy Moore.

What is Uproot Hootenanny to David?

"It's a group of friends intent on providing a place, and an atmosphere for people to have the time of their life.. music to move, and groove to... Friends making music!"

Photo credit Robert Badillo and Blindfold Magazine

Rolando Willimann

Stand up Bass, Mandolin, Vocals

Swiss, Mexican, Bare-chested dancing legend, Rolando joined the great crusade that is the Hootenanny in 2010, playing the upright bass, mandolin, and guitar. He says his greatest influences are Phish, David Grisman, Herbie Hancock, Jaco Pastorius, Bela Fleck.

Rolando moved to Florida from Switzerland in the early 90's and began playing the electric bass in high school. Since that time he has played in multiple local bands before meeting up with the Hootenanny in 2010.

Besides playing in the band and drinking whiskey, Rolando works in Everglades National Park as a volunteer and during the winter months as a backcountry fishing/camping guide, leading multi-day trips via kayak into the most remote areas of the park.

Photo credit Robert Badillo and Blindfold Magazine