Brynmor (Welsh for great hill) originated in 2010 after Robert Gabb craved to return to his Celtic musical roots. He had been playing in Wales and Ireland prior to moving to the United States in 1998. He knew a slew of great musicians but wanted just the right ones, those who were talented and capable of adding a rock edge to the music. He knew the instruments he needed in the band- fiddle, tin whistle, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass and drums. Stanley Widener, lead guitarist extraodinaire, was already on board, and North Carolina School of the Arts alumni Sharon Fogarty joined playing whistle and flute. It is difficult to find a quality Irish fiddle player in this area but he knew of one, Rex McGee, with whom Robert had played music with in the past. Rex joined and brought his cousin Tim Hill, a master bass player. Now he needed a solid drummer. Robert knew one of the best, but he lived about 4 hours away in central Virginia. Slinky Cobblestone had played music in the past with Robert and Rex. Slinky visited Robert, heard some tracks recorded by the band, and was sold.
Thus Brynmor was born!
Robert Gabb was born in Bedwas Wales United Kingdom. At the early age of 6 he started playing cornet with a brass band and moved onto guitar at the age of 12. He began playing in punk rock bands in the late 70's and early 80's. In 1995 he started playing banjo, winning several awards for his clawhammer style of banjo playing. He has shared the stage with Chris Moreton, Billy Thompson, Chris Ewings, and Alan Finch. Robert has recorded with United Kingdom's guitar flat picking champion Chris Moreton, along with Ned Edwards (Van Morrison and the Red Hot Pokers), and Tony Williams of Jethro Tull. He has played many music festivals in Wales, England, Ireland and the United States. He still continues to hone and craft his musical skills in North Carolina since moving to the United States in 1998.
Rex McGee King NC. His versatile playing spans Appalachian, Bluegrass, New-England, Cape Breton, Quebecois, Irish, Jazz and other influences. Beginning on fiddle at age 4, and later 5-string banjo at age 12, Rex gave private lessons and played fiddler's conventions with future bluegrass greats Wayne Benson and Clay Jones before graduating high school in 1988. He got his private pilot's license, performed for contra dances on the East Coast with Moose Chowder and was a studio musician on numerous recordings before graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Pharmacy in 1993. He was on a Grammy nominated recording session with Tony Williamson, mentored jazz fusion banjoist Ryan Cavanaugh and released a critically acclaimed CD 24 Creations for Solo Banjo in 2000. In his travels with Footloose, Larry Keel Experience, and John Cowan Band he shared the stage at prestigious festivals in the USA, Canada and Ireland with acoustic greats Vassar Clements, Tony Rice, Sam Bush, Pat Flynn, Bela Fleck, Stuart Duncan, Jeff Autry, Mike Marshall and Led Zeppelin rock star John Paul Jones.
Stanley Widener Fancy Gap VA. He has won several awards for his guitar. He has performed in the past with country singer Norma Jean from the Porter Wagner show, and grammy nominated celtic artist Alicia Merritt. He has performed at Dollywood Festival of Nations. He was a participant in the 2007 Smithsonian Folklife festival shared the stage with celtic musician Gerry O'Connor. His guitar playing was featured in the first Galax Leaf and String fest guitar showcase with Kenny Smith, Wanye Henderson, Josh Pickett and Scott Fore. He studied classical guitar under Aaron Shearer at the North Carolina School of the Arts and also learned rock guitar from Mark Edwards of the Greg Allman band.
Slinky Coblestone based in central Virginia. He has performed throughout the US and internationally from Europe to Sri Lanka to Canada, China, Brazil, and Mexico...sharing the stage with noted performers such as Michelle Shocked, Leftover Salmon, Vassar Clemens, Joe Craven, Keller Williams, Larry Keel, Kester Smith and Les Thompson of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. He has also recorded with Artimus Pyle of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Sharon Fogarty Winston Salem NC. She comes from a family of Irish dancers. She started on the whistle at age 5 and then started her classical training at the age of 15 under the instruction of Debra Pivetta. She received her performance degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she studied for four years under Philip Dunigan. She has been a solo performer for 14 years. She is currently employed at The Community Music School of UNCSA, has a home base studio, performs and is hired to record for other local groups
Tim Hill from King NC. Tim has toured and played with local and national acts across the country. His musical journey has lead him to play different genres of music."I'm always appreciative of the time i get to spend making music with fellow musicians".
In addition to Rural Hall, Brynmor Celtic/Rock Band will also travel to Germanton, King, Bethania, Tobaccoville, Pfafftown, Pinnacle, Walkertown, Winston Salem, Walnut Cove, Lewisville, Belews Creek, East Bend, Clemmons, Kernersville, Westfield, Pine Hall, Siloam, Danbury, Wallburg, Advance, Stokesdale, Pilot Mountain, Boonville, Oak Ridge, Colfax, Ararat, Yadkinville, Lawsonville, Madison, Mayodan
and many other locations in and around the Rural Hall area.
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