Carl Yaffey, a Multi-instrumentalist (banjo, mandolin, bass, and guitar), grew up in Norfolk, VA and has been playing music on and off since 1962. During the “folkie days”, Carl played banjo and guitar in several Kingston Trio “clone” groups in Norfolk. He moved to Columbus, OH in 1966, and has been involved in the Columbus music scene ever since. Early on he played bass in a country band and several Rock and Roll “oldies” bands (“Bill and the Brunettes”, “Streamliner”). Carl played clawhammer banjo in several old-timey bands (“Turkeys in the Straw”, ”Pit Bull String Band”) and played 3-finger banjo and bass in the bluegrass band “One Riot One Ranger”, and bas in the swing band, "Five Guys Named Moe".
Carl’s professional life began with his move to Columbus to accept a job as a systems analyst/programmer with Bell Laboratories, now Lucent Technologies. After retiring from Lucent in 1989, Carl established his own business, Yaffey Software Development, in order to do independent software design. He has retired from that business as well as from 40 years of teaching music. His other interests and hobbies include Amateur Radio (K8NU), exercising, reading, and karate. Carl is married to Debbie Shaw and lives with her by a wonderful ravine in Columbus.
Carl is now a full-time musician. He is the author of several Mel Bay books, "A Banjo Player's Guide to Jamming", "A Flatpicker's Guide to Jamming", "A Mandolin Player's Guide to Jamming", “A Bass Player’s Guide to Jamming”, a Dobro Player’s Guide to Jamming”, and “A Fiddle Player’s Guide to Jamming”. He plays banjo in “The Timbre Wolves” , "The Folk Ramblers”, and “Clintonville Grass”. He plays bass with “BluesSwing”.
With a voice which Columbus' critic Lee Brown once described as "a cross between Tom Jones and Bo Diddley," Bill Kerwin is at home both with the Blues and with the standards of the Great American Songbook. Local music fans have enjoyed his rich baritone, perfect diction, and vast enthusiasm in various bands off and on throughout the last thirty five years, including Uncle Bill's Trout Band, Bill and the Balladeers, The Deltones, and Five Guys Named Moe.
Jackie grew up singing and listening to her Dad play the tenor banjo and her Mom play piano. She was the lead vocalist and nose flute soloist in a college bar band that played for free pizza and beer before she learned she could earn pocket change playing guitar and singing for fraternity rush parties. In the late 90’s she was encouraged by fellow tenor banjo player Ray Pauken and started jamming with him and a few others at the Radio Cafe in Bexley. That led to other jams and teaming up with some other folks to form Loosely Strung -- a bluegrass-style band -- around 2000. She sang leads and harmonies and played upright bass. For the past year she's been singing and playing electric bass as one-half or one-third of the duo/trio Patchwork Parlor Band. Always a fan of the tenor banjo she is happy to get back to it as part of BluesSwing.
John has mainly been known nationally as an arranger and player of Celtic music for fingerstyle guitar., but over the years he's been active in the local scene in a wide variety of American folk, Celtic and old- time traditional music ensembles as well. John has lost count of the number of groups Carl, whom he's known for nearly 40 years, has roped him into at one time or another. This latest foray into the blues and swing genres has John re-visiting licks he hasn't looked at since he last owned an electric guitar (before he met Carl; you do the math) but he's "having a ball with my new Les Paul ! "