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River City Ramblers Biography

The River City Ramblers Bluegrass Band was born as the Red Cedar Ramblers in Menomonie, Wisconsin in 1979. The original band was formed when former folk guitarist Jim Ellenson, banjo player Andy Muenich, Jimís brothers, Steve on bass and Dave on rhythm guitar, Jean Swoboda on fiddle and Jimís 12 year old son Jimmy, on mandolin, joined to master the Kentucky bluegrass style originated by Bill Monroe and popularized by such well known favorites as Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, Jim and Jesse McReynolds, the Stanley Brothers and Roy Acuff, to name a few. The band was well-known in the Dunn, Eau Claire and Chippewa County area until young Jimmyís marriage and move to California in early 1990 resulted in the bandís temporary withdrawal from the public scene.

In the fall of 1990 original band members Jim Ellenson on lead guitar and Andy Muenich on banjo revived the band with new members: rhythm guitar and dobro player Don Willson-Broyles, mandolin, guitar and bass player Jeff Weishaar, bass player, guitarist, concertinist Andy Hable and fiddler Andrea Christopherson to form the new, Eau Claire based, River City Ramblers. While traditional and gospel bluegrass remain the Ramblers' central genre, the band's repertoire includes other styles such as modern folk, cajun, rock and roll and original music by Andy Hable.

While Andrea's other interests and obligations have interrupted her tenure as the band's premiere fiddler, fortunately she is still available to us occasionally. We hope to see more of her. Other contributing fiddlers along the way have included Randy Maston and Nick Seeger.

All the members of the band sing lead vocals and harmonies and all play more than one instrument, lending a versatility of style and tone to the overall presentation.

Please be sure to visit this website for information about upcoming performances.

jimlnson@execpc.com