About The Nellies

The Core Nellies are: Stellar lead players that sometimes play with The Nellies: Bios for The Nellies and some of their guests:
  • Karen Ann Gilpin – guitar, banjo and vocals

    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.

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  • Peggy Lecuyer – mandolin, guitar, harmonica and lead vocals

    According to family members, Peggy sang before she spoke. She played guitar and sang in a folk group during her teens and 20’s, then switched to the mandolin in 1992 and started playing bluegrass. Peggy’s been playing gigs since the 90’s. In early 2000, she became a regular contributing musician at The Ale House Bluegrass Jams in Troy, NY and now co-hosts a monthly Americana/Bluegrass Jam with Mike McMann at Jose Malone’s in Troy, NY. Peggy’s stage energy is contagious and her vocals are strong and clear adding a lot of happy soul to The Nellies.

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  • Gene Lemme – stand up bass

    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.

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  • Kevin Maul – dobro guitar and vocals

    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!

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  • Mike McMann – acoustic guitar, Griffin guitar and vocals

    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!

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  • Peter Bearup – acoustic guitar, harmonica and vocals

    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!

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  • Chris Lane – acoustic guitar and vocals

    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!

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  • Jeff Dooley – banjo and accordion

    Jeff Dooley adds banjo leads to a Nellies gig that will knock your socks off! You will find Jeff playing most frequently in the Albany area with his long time band, The Hill Hollow Band. The Nellies are always thrilled to have Jeff in the band!

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  • Mark Frederick – fiddle

    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!

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  • Norm Ainslie - snare drum and cymbal

    Norm Ainslie has played an assortment of musical instruments, but settled on hand drumming for the last 15 years, usually backing up a belly dancing troupe. Norm remembers the Hootenanny days and in spite of that enjoys a wide variety of music. Reuniting with former workmate Gene Lemme led Norm to his current involvement in drumming at bluegrass jams. On occasion you'll find Norm providing The Nellies with a little extra back beat!

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