We play a mixture of Traditional,
Contemporary, Country and our own compositions. Our instruments
consist of 5 String Banjo played by Charles (Buzz) Matheson who
also sings Lead and Tenor. Up-right Bass Fiddle played by Patricia
Matheson who sings Lead and Baritone. Dobro (Or Resophonic Guitar)
played by Cindy Matheson who sings High Lead and Tenor. Buzz
also plays Frailing Banjo on few numbers in our shows.
Mitch Meadors, Jr., joined the band almost 12 years ago. His driving mandolin playing has been a great assest to the full sound. He also sings lead, high baritone and baritone. Coming from his family's gospel group, he has been a great addition to our band. Mitch can also play banjo, guitar, bass and just about anything with strings. So the combination of Mitch and Buzz (able to play all instruments as well) give the band great diversity.
Ronnie Bonkowski got "adopted" into the family band 11 years ago. He immediately fit us like a glove. Ronnie is a strong lead singer and driving rhythm guitar player. He contributes many different styles of bluegrass to our repertoire including many traditional "Stanley" tunes as well as newer bluegrass.
The Family Pride is very PROUD to call these boys "part of the band"
Our group has played almost all
of the local festivals in our area, won two international contests
, Buzz has played Opry Land Park for the season of 1989. We have
played WWVA Jamboree several times. Buzz & Pat have had their
own radio show for several years in Warren Ohio and played on
a weekly TV show several years ago. Also played season shows
at Sea World and Geugia Lake park. We are a family band mostly.
We have recorded four cassettes in a professional studio over
the past 10 years , one CD and have these for sale or for promo.
Matheson Banjo/Banjer Player
He started playing also at an early
age in North Carolina. Being in a musical family, he also developed
a love for vintage country and bluegrass music. He is a third
generation banjo player (called banjer with the frailing style.)
When arriving in Ohio and missing music, he started a band to
play in. He started on the guitar and then later mandolin and
banjo. He has collected many bluegrass instruments and loves
to talk about them, especially the pre-war style Gibson banjos.
His prize banjo and very rare, is an original RB-18 top tension
flat head Gibson. Made around 1939, he purchased it back in the
50's with a trade in of a new Gibson banjo of that era. Buzz
also likes to ride RV's with his grandchildren and to fish. He
has his own analog studio, which a lot of the band's CDs are
made on. He loves to write new songs and instrumentals for the
Bonkowski Guitar Player
He started playing around the Akron area at a young age. Ronnie
had also played with a few other bands before joining our family
band. He had played with Greener Grass and the Kentucky Club
Ron adds much to the band with
his smooth and driving rhythm. Ron likes the older traditional
style as well as the newer bluegrass music and sings both styles
very well. He is currently playing a D-28 Martin guitar and sings
both lead and tenor in the band. He is very fussy over being
in tune and wants the band to be that way as well! Listen close
to Ron's singing and you will be hooked. He is one of the best
Mitch also started playing at a young age with his family band
"The Meadors Family" playing mandolin and lead guitar.
Mitch is considered by most to be a musician's musician. He is
very quick to learn new tunes and keeps the band straight on
technical matters such as complex chords and proper notes.
He plays a new Gibson mandolin
copy of a "Loar". He is also known for his power and
solidness on the mandolin and lead guitar. Even with the loud
banjo he can still be heard clearly. This is very hard to achieve
with a mandolin or a fiddle as they are small body instruments.
He does some signing lead and baritone, mostly.
Mitch loves to fish, and rides
all types of RV's in his spare time.
Pat Matheson Up-right Bass Fiddle
Pat plays a 1950's original S-9 Kay bass fiddle. She has an unusual
slap that sets her apart from most bass players. She makes all
the bass sound, not just the strings or the fingerboard click.
Her timing gives the band their drive and the full bottom sound
it needs. She has been playing along with Buzz many years in
the northeast Ohio area. When the family came along, Jess, our
son, and Cindy joined the band. Jess went on to other interests
but still plays guitar and sings occasionally. He is on a few
of our tapes we've made, with his low bass voice and guitar.
Pat has been part of three bands
over the years along with Buzz. "Dixie Mountaineers"
and now the "Family Pride Bluegrass Band." She loves
to jam with other bands and has received a lot of nice compliments
from professional musicians and local ones on her drive, power
and slap (which she learned slapping Buzz, ha!) She has a very
large collection of Kay basses and loves to talk about them.
She enjoys talking and playing with her grandchildren. She and
Buzz have one other daughter who plays the piano and sings. A
very musical family, indeed!
Matheson On the Dobro
Cindy started playing dobro at
a young age with our family band. She owns an original Regal
dobro that she has used on all our CDs, tapes and stage shows.
This dobro with Cindy's touch, gives her a really nice tone that
is hard to achieve with the new ones of today. Because of her
age, she was exposed to the first generation bluegrass music
as well as the later new styles that came along. She likes to
play both styles.
Cindy has a really high voice which
lends itself to high lead or tenor in the band. She is very critical
of the band's harmonies and want them as perfect as possible.
A little over a year ago, Cindy
and Mitch, our mandolin player, gave us a grandson, whom we all
love so much. He has his own fiddle and will be joining the band
soon as he really loves the bluegrass music and loves to show
Any one interested in booking our
group please contact Charles (Buzz) Matheson at
330-637-8119. Our rates are reasonable and we believe in good