Coming from a musical family, Karen Ann grew up harmonizing around the piano at family gatherings. Like many musicians, her first performances were piano recitals, high school band (the glockenspiel…), singing in school plays and accompanying on piano and guitar in local church groups. Karen Ann’s stellar songwriting skills and her beautiful vocals are a vital part of The Nellies.
Peggy has been singing since she was a small child, leading her siblings in song in the back seat of the car on family trips. She taught herself to play guitar and then played and sang in a folk group at church during her teens and 20’s; it was during this time that she began to write songs. Switching to the mandolin in 1992, Peggy started playing bluegrass, very much inspired by Jerry Garcia, upon listening to Old and In the Way. Her gigging debut was with the Attic String Boys at the Mother Earth Café in Albany, NY in the mid 1990s, and then quickly accelerated in 2002 when she happened into a bluegrass jam at the Ale House in Troy, NY. Throughout the next 5-6 years Peggy became a member of a few Ale House jam inspired bluegrass bands and in 2009 she started The Nellies, along with fellow singer-songwriter, Karen Ann McEvoy. Peggy’s stage energy is contagious and her vocals are strong and clear adding a lot of happy soul to The Nellies.
Gene started playing stand up bass in his living room in 2004. He was a long-time fan of bluegrass music and finally brought his bass to the Ale House in Troy for one of their monthly bluegrass jams in 2006. Gene is one of those naturally talented musicians and he was up to speed in no time. You will also find Gene playing bass for The Doornails, when he isn’t holding the reins and slapping that bass fiddle with The Nellies.
Kevin Maul’s dobro leads leave an audience mesmerized; his harmonies and songs make for a memorable Nellies gig! Kevin Maul is a long time professional musician, playing with his own bands, No Outlet (aka Markellis, Haskell, Maul), The Coveralls and The Mississippi Hotdogs. Kevin also plays pedal steel with The Burns Sisters (out of the Ithaca area) and toured for many years throughout the US with Robin and Linda Williams. Recently, you may find Kevin on tour with The Lustre Kings and Wanda Jackson. Kevin has been playing with The Nellies when not busy with other gigs and has become a favorite Nellie!
Mike McMann is a master flat-picker guitar player and singer/songwriter adding huge “zing” to any Nellies gig. You can find him singing and playing electric guitar is his own band, The Mike McMann Band, or playing killer acoustic leads in his acoustic band, The Doornails or playing many a solo gig in capital district venues such as the Ale House, Browns Brew Pub/The Tap Room, McGrievys, Tugboat Tavern, Pient’o Grwr, Lyons Lake, Brunswick Brew & BBQ (and many more). When The Nellies have Mike playing with them, it’s a gig on rocket fuel!
Peter Bearup brings sweet country inspired guitar leads to a Nellies gig along with dazzling third part harmonies and great songs. You will find Peter playing with his country band, City Limits, most weekend nights up in Lake George, NY at the Rydin’ High Dude Ranch when The Nellies haven’t borrowed him for the evening. You will also find Peter out playing with Kevin Maul (and Charlie Morris) in their band, The Coveralls. It’s always a special gig for The Nellies when they have Peter in the band!
Chris Lane brings lots of smiles and good energy to The Nellies along with his “right-there-on-the-money” guitar leads, third part harmonies and great songs. You will find Chris playing in the Albany area with his long time band, The Hill Hollow Band, and more recently with his duo, Tophenjamin. The Nellies love it when Chris is in the band!
Mark Frederick has The Nellies on fire when he plays fiddle with them! Mark has been playing string instruments since age 8, and has been out playing professionally for the last 15 years. He also teaches and records extensively on all string instruments including violin, viola, cello, upright and electric bass, guitar, banjo, and mandolin as well as more exotic instruments such as the erhu and pipa. It’s always a gift to have Mark on board at a Nellies gig!
Chris Carey adds super human guitar power to the Nellies when he plays with them! Chris is a landmark musician in the Capital District and Saratoga and you can find him playing in The Rodeo Barons, playing as a solo act or a duo act with many fine musicians and sitting in with many other bands in the area. Chris sings like an angel and he is as proficient on the guitar as he is on the drums, bass and likely other instruments as well. It’s always exciting to have Chris on board at a Nellies gig!
Tim Wechgelaer brings out the best in The Nellies when he plays fiddle with them! You can find Tim out playing guitar, mandolin and fiddle in many fine bands in the Capital District and Saratoga. Tim plays in Big Medicine and plays as a solo act or a duo act with so many fine musicians. Tim is also a stellar singer; The Nellies always look forward to having Tim on board at a Nellies gig!
Watch out when Scott Hopkins plays banjo with The Nellies because you may find yourself dancing like a maniac! Scott began his musical career at age 15 and has a long resume playing with fine bands such as Breakaway, Fairview Avenue, The Railroad Boys, as well as many others. When Scott isn’t playing the banjo you may find him playing tuba; that’s right, the tuba. The Nellies are on fire when Scott’s on the gig!