The sound of High Strung Reunion is rooted in the traditions of bluegrass music with influences from the genre’s leading contemporary artists. Their repertoire includes selections from the six decade span of the “high-lonesome” sound, plus lively bluegrass arrangements of familiar popular songs. High Strung Reunion performs this material with a passion for the drive, harmony and fun of bluegrass music. The result is an energetic, flat-picking, down-home, entertaining experience.
Meet the band members:
James Edgerly: Guitar/Vocals
Jim traces his musical pedigree back to his grandfather, Albion Stuart Edgerly, who played tenor saxaphone with the Green Serenaders of Dartmouth College and shared the summer stage in Old Orchard Beach, Maine with the great Bennie Goodman! Jim's music career started on the congas, playing with Cap n’ Blues in high school and Randa McNamara in college, once sharing a bill with the late, great BB King! He took a three year detour from college to perform with the New Hope Singers International, touring throughout the US and across Asia. Jim kept his voice in shape singing lead in every imaginable church setting, and finally caught the bluegrass bug jamming with Mark Hickler (hicklerbanjo.com) and his dobro playing brother, Andy (White Twang; Elamy and the Twang). With help from Tony Watt, he founded HSR together with Mark Tanzer and Hayes Miller in early 2014.
John Savold: Bass
In the midst of a 36 year career in investment management, Hayes encountered Nickel Creek and decided that just listening to bluegrass wasn’t enough. A few mandolin lessons later, the path was set and his family hasn’t recovered yet. He can also occasionally be spotted with a bouzouki or guitar. Singing has been a long term affair, having performed in church, glee and Broadway style groups in high school and college. Age has brought Hayes into a more natural baritone range, where he assists HSR through lead and harmony in the mid and lower registers. Despite the fact that Boston is a hotbed of bluegrass, he believes his Kentucky roots add a smidge of credibility to the band.
Mark Tanzer: Guitar/Dobro/Vocals
Mark's musical journey began at eight years old. He begged his parents to let him take guitar lessons after seeing Elvis Presley in Viva Las Vegas. Mark got his lessons and continued to play into his late twenties. He naturally gravitated toward the country rock and bluegrass genres. However, his musical passion morphed from playing to recording and production. Mark kicked off a new musical pursuit in 1986 as an intern at Blue Jay Recording Studio, one of New England's premiere recording facilities where he eventually became the chief engineer. Mark had the opportunity to work with a host of international and local artists like Carly Simon, Roy Orbison, K.D. Lang, NRBQ, Aimee Mann and Ellis Paul to name few. Years later, after Mark decided it was time to pursue a different career path, he dusted off his old Takamine acoustic guitar and began playing again in 2000. Mark explored a variety of musical techniques and genres, but Bluegrass was always a genre he gravitated to. And somewhere along the way Mark picked up the Dobro. Fast forward to 2013. In an effort to get out and play with people, Mark started going to weekly Bluegrass jams hosted by Tony Watt in Cambridge, through which Mark met Hayes Miller (Mandolin, Vocals) and Jim Edgerly (Guitar, Vocals). This was the genesis of High Strung Reunion.
Michael likes playing violin in his spare time. He learned playing the instrument at an early age although he continued with classical and jazz piano into his adult years. This changed in 2008 when he discovered folk music and focused more on the fiddle. His stringed musical interests are rather eclectic and range from Irish fiddling to Bluegrass to Gipsy Jazz and Argentinian Tango.
Chris Boucher: Banjo
On a Tuesday night in 2002, Chris Boucher shoved his way through the crowd at the Cantab to ask local bluegrass celebrity Chris Pandolfi (The Infamous Stringdusters) for banjo lessons. Since then, Chris has performed at such heralded venues as the Pemi Valley Bluegrass Festival, the Cantab, the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival Showcase Stage, Club Passim, and Bluegrass on the Bogs. Chris lives in Watertown with his wife, the musician Lisa Bastoni, and their two children. He teaches writing and literature at Boston College, and he’s the author of the novels How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive and Golden Delicious – for more information about his writing, please visit christopherboucher.net.