The Rumpke Mountain Boys combine signature vocals, a unique command of string instruments (acoustic guitar, mandolin, upright bass and banjo) and dynamic special effects into a singular musical experience. An emotion filled musical stream of consciousness with no setlist, minimal structure, and intuitive improvisational flow. In this way, they summon the energy of the crowd as their guide in linking just the right music to precise moments in time.

Grateful Dead Hour host David Gans proclaimed, “One of the things I love about the Rumpke Mountain Boys is that there’s a fundamental honesty in their presentation. This is something they share with my other heroes, Donna the Buffalo and the Grateful Dead. They don’t make set lists ahead of time, they don’t rehearse their songs to a fare-thee-well-- they perform in real time. All four of them write, which is very important, and they draw songs from a tremendous variety of sources... being a musician is a life-long learning experience, if you’re doing it right, and they are.”

Like playing around a campfire, the Boys take turns calling the next tune, distilling shows from a sea of infinite notes created from years of jamming. Drawing upon a growing catalog of originals and and an ecclectic mix of covers, the Rumpke Mountain Boys blend music like a fine Irish whiskey-- the result affectionately dubbed Trashgrass. The Boys titled their 2012 album release with the same name, followed by their 2013 release, Moon, which was recorded at the famed Royal Studios in Memphis. 2016's High Time, Low Tide marks the release of their 4th self-produced album.

2016 was outstanding for the string quartet. The Boys  broke new ground throughout the the country including Colorado, California, Oregon, and the Southeast. Finishing up the year with two stellar highlights, their own Snuggleween and the Rumpke Mountain Boys New Years Eve Ball in their hometown of Cincinnati.

The guys released a live album "In Good Company" in November 2018. The album was recorded live over 2 nights at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, OH. They continue to pave the way in the jamgrass scene today with their unique trashgrass style. Look for more new releases coming soon!

 

JD Westmoreland

Bass & Vocals

J.D. Westmoreland is a jazz composer and performer, born September 13, 1973 in Fairfield, California.

Westmoreland is a multi-instrumentalist mostly playing improvisations and eclectic compositions. Earning a degree in Theory and Composition from the University of Memphis, Westmoreland showcased his talent as a composer being awarded the Smit Composition Award.

Composition credits include string arrangements for Christian rock band Clear, North Mississippi Allstars (Polaris (2003)), and Beanpole. Session work includes Willy DeVille "Horse of a Different Color" where Westmoreland plays Tiples. 1992-93 Westmoreland was a member of touring percussion ensemble "Patoombah" performing on the 1993 HORDE TOUR. Forming an improvisation ensemble in 1994 "Delta Grass" w/ musician Beau Crouch, Westmoreland started a musical movement of constant change.

Westmoreland worked as a member of Memphis rock/anti-pop band "BEAM" (1997-99). In 2000, Westmoreland released a solo CD consisting of many composition styles "SOON BE CROWS IN THE GARDEN". The recording got a 4 star review from Commercial Appeal writer Bill Ellis, "Westmoreland covers more ground in 30 mins than most composers bother to do in a lifetime".

Westmoreland began to play bass in early 2000. In 2003, custom bass maker "Robwave" began to sponsor Westmoreland, later to design the "WESTMORELAND BASS". JD Westmoreland began to play shows with jazz legend Herman Green, and touring with Willie Waldman. Westmoreland continued to do other styles of music, with Memphis favorite "MINIVAN BLUES BAND". Minivan released debut recording "LIFELONG TURBULATION" which features two Westmoreland compositions, title track "Lifelong Turbulation", and gypsy styled "Albino Trout".

J.D. joined the Rumpke Mountain Boys in November of 2011, playing his first gig as the full time upright bassist November 13th in Boulder, CO. Since joining RMB JD has contributed to the growth and popularity of the band while composing a number of tracks for both Trashgrass and Moon.

 

Adam Copeland

Guitar & Vocals

Adam Copeland was born in Dayton, Ohio on December 18, 1979.  Adam is an inventive singer-songwriter, and  an accomplished musician on the guitar. Adam joined the Rumpke Mountain Boys in 2005.

Adam has had an infatuation with music his entire life. Growing up, he was exposed to a broad range of musical influences leading him to his first guitar when he was 12, a right handed Sears electric that he flipped over and painted.  Adam fell in love with guitar and for the next couple years took lessons learning to play mostly grunge rock. Nirvana's Insecticide and Bleach (lefty), Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, and then onto classic rock-- Hendrix(lefty) Floyd, Zeppelin, Allman Brothers.

Over the next few years, Adam's skill on the guitar increased and he started to appreciate acoustic music more.  He was exposed to more complex music, especially the works of Bob Dylan and the Greatful Dead. Those influences led him to recognize Jerry Garcia on the cover of an Old and In the Way cd in the discount bin at the grocery store.  As Adam puts it, “best four dollars I ever spent...which solidified my love of bluegrass.”

By 2002 Adam had started a band with some friends called Amber and the Dirty Bathwater Boys. They played throughout Ohio and Kentucky for a few years, even opening for Rumpke a couple times, until disbanding in march of 2005. That day Adam called the booking agent for RMB and asked who was on guitar at the time. The answer was no one as they had been playing guitar-less for a few months. Adam asked for an audition and the band said yes he could, at a show in a few days.

Adam has been playing with Rumpke ever since.

 

Ben Gourley

Mandolin & Vocals

Ben Gourley was born in Champaign, IL on October 21, 1982.  He is an accomplished singer, songwriter, and musician who plays the the Mandolin.  Ben joined the Rumpke Mountain Boys in 2001 and has since composed over 25 songs.

Ben traces his first musical memories to music in the car as a child, looking forward to long drives where he could “really soak it in”.  He played snare drum in his grade school band for a few years before moving on to the guitar, eventually landing on the mandolin.

Opening up his musical universe were influences including the Beatles, Dylan, the Grateful Dead, and Old and In the Way; the latter serving as Ben's introduction to bluegrass.  Primarily a self taught musician, he was heavily influenced by his Middle School science teacher Gary Knight.  In addition to teaching science, Gary was a part time musician who played guitar.

While in high school Ben played with Electric Sunrise where he developed the skill, “to pull off long jams to counter our lack of material!”  After high school Ben sowed his musical oats playing solo acoustic guitar gigs.  Then, one day while reading the paper, Ben spotted an ad in the local paper posted by a bluegrass band seeking a fiddle or mandolin player who could sing.

While performing at his audition, he and Jason Wolf sparked an immediate chemistry. As Ben tells it, “Wolf and I made the room bend for a second” and has been with the Rumpke Mountain Boys ever since.  After joining Rumpke, Ben began creating original compositions, favoring the creative influences of Jerry Garcia, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Leon Russell, John Hartford, Jimmy Cliff, and many more.

 

Jason Wolf

Banjo & Vocals

Jason Wolf, born September 25, 1980 in Cincinnati, OH is a musician, singer and songwriter who plays Banjo,Resonator guitar,12 string, Dobro, Saw, Harmonica, Mandolin, and Pedal Steel. A founding member of RMB, "Wolfie" has a colorful past of influences and experiences which allow him to create some of the most innovative and original bluegrass around. 

Born in Cincinnati, OH on September 25, 1980, Wolfie traces his original musical influences back to time spent driving through the Blue Ridge mountains while vacationing with his parents, listening to dozens of compilations, memorizing the lyrics, and joining his parents in singing along. Singing has been a passion ever since. Jason received his first instrument when he was just five years old and his brother gifted him a Small drum kit. As Jason grew older he experimented with the harmonica, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, all eventually leading some years later to his first Banjo.

Jason arrived home from school one day to discover a brand new Gibson Mastertone ESS banjo. At the time he did not play banjo, but his father told Jason of his grandfather's love for banjo music and, if he was willing to learn, he could keep this Cadillac of banjos. The banjo 

was so nice looking and sounded so sweet that Jason couldn't confess getting expelled from school lest he risk losing his new found prize!. 

Wolfie pretended to go to school for awhile just to keep the five string, eventually getting lessons and ultimately being found out-- though he was allowed to keep on with the Banjo. Vernon Mcyntire, son of the late great Steamboat Mcyntire (a southern Ohio favorite and a hell of a banjo picker), instructed him over the next year, teaching Jason all of the “vitals”. Wolfie to this day holds Vernon's banjo pickin' in the highest regard. 

Jason lists a great number of musical influences-- starting with his parents introduction of doowop, early rock, country, Elton John, and Ray Charles; Frank Zappa oozing out from under his brothers bedroom door; and falling asleep to the sounds of his sister's radio-- Lionel Ritchie, Michael Jackson, etc.. Wolfie's brother gave him his first tape-- Sgt. Peppers. From there he and his Banjo began exploring the music of Jerry Garcia, along with Bob Dylan, and early Osborne brothers. 

Early in Jason's teenage years he read a lot of poetry, wrote some, evolving to become more emotional with his writing, “I tried to start putting it all to music in any way possible-- some stuck, most didn't, but I always wrote more, and still do”.

“One of the main reasons that I enjoy writing is reading, and listening to people like Bob Dylan, Irving Berlin, Woody Guthrie, the Carter family, Willie Nelson, and into my later years I am seeking inspiration from the writings of Tom Waits, Robert Hunter, David Bromberg, The McCoury's, Tim O Brien, and last but certainly not least John Hartford, my hero.” 

Wolf's first band was called Schmuck and the Dyslexic Cheese Beavers. His next project was HOMESKILLET, an 8 piece band that eventually spawned Rumpke, and several other successful local touring bands……. You used to be able to catch them on Thanksgiving in Cincy every year. 

Wolfie plays a customized Bishline Midnight Moon Banjo built by Rob Bishline out of Tulsa, OK, a 1996 Gibson Mastertone Earl Scruggs Standard, a custom made B-Bender resonator guitar, a 1977 Fender pedal steel guitar through a Peavey nashville 400 amp, and a custom made 12 string acoustic guitar. All running through Fishman pickups into Fishman amps (except the pedal steel), Wolfie is a big fan of anything that makes noise, just catch one of his distortion jams for proof!