Dick Kimmel & Co
Dick Kimmel - vocals, mandolin, guitar & clawhammer banjo
Tony Rook - vocals & guitar
Graham Sones - banjo & vocals
Terry Johnson - bass
Ian Kimmel - Dobro, mandolin, guitar & vocals
Also for selected
performances, DKC features Kirk Brandenberger or Tom Schaefer on fiddle.
Recent CD's from Dick Kimmel & Co include the award-winning bluegrass gospel recording, "Dick Kimmel & Co - My Lord Keeps A Record" recognized as one of the top bluegrass gospel recordings in 2005 by the International Bluegrass Music Association. The band's most recent CD "Dick Kimmel & Co - Dreamin'" is receiving excellent reviews.
Dick Kimmel has been performing bluegrass music since the 1950's. With his band, Dick handles lead and harmony vocals in addition to playing mandolin, guitar, and clawhammer banjo. Dick has recorded more than 2-dozen albums, including 7 CD's for Copper Creek Records, a Virginia-based bluegrass music record label. His Copper Creek solo recordings include "Dick Kimmel ‑ 25 Year Collection" (Copper Creek Records CD‑0143), "Dick Kimmel ‑ Wild Turkey Rag" (Copper Creek Records CD‑0115), and his clawhammer banjo release, "Dick Kimmel ‑ Fishin' Creek Blues" (Copper Creek Records CD‑0173). In a 1994 feature article, Bluegrass Unlimited referred to Dick as the "Ambassador of Bluegrass.” On stage, Dick's emcee work paints a picture of bluegrass music and its colorful history from information he gained as a writer for international bluegrass music magazines. Dick Kimmel is a 2010 inductee into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, a 2008 inductee into America's Old-Time Country Music Hall of Fame, and a 2012 inductee into the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame. In 2014, he received a nomination for SPBGMA's Bluegrass Entertainer of the Year Award. See the "Artist Profile" link on this website for more information on Dick's background.
The most recent addition to the Dick Kimmel & Co line-up is singer - lead guitarist, Tony Rook. Tony is a native of North Carolina where his music associations included performing and recording with "Rook and Wood," and "The Eno Ramblers." Tony began performing with Dick Kimmel & Co in 2013. At a July 2013 Civil War commemeration, Tony along with Dick Kimmel & Co performed Tony's original, "Lauralee," a song which the Mankato (Minnesota) Free Press described as the, "highlight of the afternoon." The southern connections with Tony, being a native bluegrass player from North Carolina, and Dick Kimmel's decades of performing in West Virginia, are readily apparent in the band's style. With Tony Rook's addition to the Dick Kimmel & Co lineup, the band's music has already been described as a "powerful southern-style of bluegrass performance."
The firm foundation for the band's instrumental sound comes from the exceptional banjo playing of Graham Sones. Graham has decades of experience on the 5-string banjo. He has played Scruggs-style banjo for more than 40 years. This Rochester, MN native has performed and recorded with some of the Midwest's top bluegrass bands. Additionally, Graham is an excellent lead singer and adds the baritone vocals to DKC's trio and quartet numbers. Graham joined the DKC lineup in 2010.
Terry Johnson, on bass, joined Dick Kimmel & Co in 2012. A native of Balaton, MN, Terry grew up in a family of musicians and began playing music by the time he was 6-years-old. Terry's father, Everette, taught him to play bass when he was 10-years old. While in his teens, Terry was playing for his church and performing solo shows at the local retirement home. Terry now lives in the Twin Cities and was part of several bands before joining Dick Kimmel & Co. His solid rhythm and knowledge of chord structures are intergral to fitting DKC like a glove.
Ian Kimmel has performed with his father for nearly his entire life. With Dick Kimmel & Co, Ian has played Dobro, mandolin, and lead guitar, making anything he plays an exciting addition to the DKC sound. His musical abilities are advanced well beyond his age. In Janurary 2014, Ian won SPBGMA's Midwest Mandolin Player of the Year award. In fall 2014, Ian plans to attend Eastern Tennessee State University where he will enter their 4-year college-level bluegrass music program. Until then, Dick Kimmel & Co will be able to benefit from his musical abilities. Ian is also a fine singer and has been known to get a mid-set standing ovation after one of his vocal numbers. Ian also performs with his own band, Barton's Hollow, a popular Midwestern bluegrass band made up of top-notch young musicians.
For selected performances Dick Kimmel & Co includes some one of Midwest's great fiddlers, Krik Brandenberger or Tom Schaeffer.
Comments About Dick Kimmel & Co:
"Dick Kimmel & Co is absolutely rock-solid, professional! Look for Dick Kimmel & Co on posters as festival season next year begins to roll around. Go to support the festival, but go especially to see and hear this band perform. If you have even the slightest reverence for the style of bluegrass we have inherited from the first generation greats and beyond, you will walk away at evening's end humming and singing this band's songs and looking for more festival posters." Len Kalakian, Inside Bluegrass, December 2009.
"Dick has assembled a fine band with wonderfully blended vocal harmonies and instrumentation ranging from hard-driving to softly melodic. With the deeply heartfelt vocals and stirring messages of hope and redemption, it's hard to believe that the band has never recorded a gospel album before. Jerilyn's rendition of 'Tramp on the Street' has a poignancy and sensitivity that few singers can muster. Definitely a must for fans of well done gospel music." California Bluegrass Association web site, July 2005
"Tops in bluegrass - internationally traveled" Mountain Music Showbarn, Custer, SD, July 1996.
"They played at the Copper Grid in Madison, Wisconsin, to a standing room only crowd of bluegrass fans...the band played and sang hard driving, straight forward bluegrass music liberally sprinkled with stories and laugher...After two encores, the crowd reluctantly let them close the show." Carmen Burnett, Fireball Mail, May-June 2000."Your superbly exciting blend of traditional bluegrass music, performed with dedication and authenticity, struck home to the hearts of our audiences." John Sheldon, Guildtown (Scotland) Bluegrass Festival, September 1994.