Bob Altschuler- Banjo and Dobro
Bob has written for Banjo Newsletter and was showcased in the May 2011 issue. Over 100 of his online instructional articles have been published, including many for the prestigious Mel Bay Banjo Sessions. Gene Senyak’s 2008 book,Banjo Camp! (which includes chapters about Pete Seeger, Tony Trischka and others), has a workshop chapter about Bob.
An in-demand teacher, Bob has headed the Banjo Camp North beginner track since 2003. He teaches many private students and has given workshops at various bluegrass festivals. A certified Wernick Method jam instructor, Bob has also taught at Pete Wernick's bluegrass camp.
Bob is a 2012 graduate of the International Bluegrass Music Association Leadership Bluegrass program in Nashville.
His playing has been heard on National Public Radio and radio and TV commercials. For the past three years, he organized and performed at Banjo Masters in the Round at the legendary Caffe Lena. Retired from his day job, Bob now devotes his time to performing and teaching. Three Quarter North is thrilled that Bob has joined our ensemble.
Mark Bagdon (Fiddle, Vocals) Mark studied classical violin beginning in fourth grade. Mark has played violin or viola with various orchestras over the past 50 years and in several traditional groups since his arrival in the Capital District of New York in 1978. Mark is currently concertmaster of the Delmar Community Orchestra.
Mark fell in love with traditional fiddle attending a contra dance at the Fox Hollow Festival in 1978. Over the years he has played with various traditional groups including Small Potatoes (with David Barnert and Sandy Goldring in the 1980's), Apocalypso String Band (with Glenn Weiser in the 1980’s), and Clef Hangars (with Peter Siegel and Margaret Mathews from 2000 - 2005). He has been a periodic guest fiddler with Spare Parts (with Liz Stell and Bill Matthiesen) since 2004. He joined Three Quarter North in 2010 and figures he will learn to play bluegrass fiddle one of these days when his kids go off to college and he has time to practice.
Nelson came of musical age while growing up in the San Francisco Bay area in the 60’s and early 70’s. As a guitar player, he was drawn to acoustic music after hearing Norman Blake’s solo on Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline Rag. Nelson enjoys flat-picking as well as finger style guitar like that played by Merle Travis and Reverend Gary Davis.
It was soon after developing an avid interest in bluegrass and fiddle dance tunes that Nelson branched out to the mandolin – his current love. Since the 1980’s Nelson has played with several local musical luminaries such as Dave Crump and the acoustic trio “Yankee Doodlas.” With Three Quarter North, Nelson has hit his full stride by lending his unique style of swing and gypsy jazz to the band’s performance repertoire. Nelson was born in Albany and resides in Delanson, New York.
Dave regards himself, first, as a songwriter. His tunes have aired on the Songwriter’s Network (www.musictogousa.com), Martha’s Vineyard Radio (www.mvyradio.com), and with Three Quarter North on Crumbs Radio (crumbs .net/bands). Dave also has songs placed with Pump Audio, Jingle Punks, and Pacifica Music Libraries among others. Dave penned three of the songs on Three Quarter North’s CD, “North By Northeast.” and four on the band's latest CD "Back Home."
Dave is a member of the Albany Musicians Union and American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. He plays bass with Three Quarter North and trombone with the Georgie Wonders Orchestra and the Nisky Dixie Cats. It’s with Three-Quarter North that his songwriting ambitions find their fullest expression, for which he is pleased and grateful. Dave is a resident of Delmar.
Mark Smith was not born with a guitar in hand but found one there early and hasn‘t let go since. His first instrument was the trumpet, but it didn't rock, and it didn't last. Then he heard the Beatles and his fate was sealed. At different times over the years he experimented with the banjo, piano, drums, synthesizers and other instruments, but the siren song of the guitar always called him back. He wrote songs and played in coffee houses during his college years, both solo and with a group, and later with a couple of bands that never quite made it to a stage. But he kept at it, jammed with a lot of good people, and learned a few guitar licks along the way.
And, he never stopped writing songs. Mark plays a mix of folk, blues, bluegrass and rock and roll. Mark’s musical heroes include James Taylor, John Fogarty, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Chuck Berry, Ralph McTell, Leo Kottke, Hot Tuna, Norman Blake and Tony Rice. A native of Voorheesville, Mark resides in the town of Bethlehem.
Pete started down the Sound Guy path while still in high school where he first landed a job in productions. After graduating from college with a degree in media, he went to work using his video and graphics skills at a local college. Pete volunteered at the Fox Hollow folk festival for a couple of years, then became involved in sound reinforcement for the bands Natchez Trace and Aardvark Crossing in Albany, NY. Later, he reconnected with his old high school buddy and banjo player Jim Atkins. Jim mentioned that Fire in the Kitchen, a group he was playing with at the time, was looking to do some recording. Pete started helping out and was hooked back into the Sound Guy seat. Shortly after Fire in the Kitchen was extinguished, Jim asked Pete to work with a new band, Three Quarter North, where he is happy to remain until his dying day.