The Band


Alan Char­tock

Alan Char­tock, the Ram­bler’s ban­jo play­er, is Pres­i­dent and CEO of WAMC, North­east Pub­lic Radio. He is a polit­i­cal sci­en­tist who thought up and is now pub­lish­er and project direc­tor of “The Leg­isla­tive Gazette; The News­pa­per of State Gov­ern­ment” that takes stu­dents from many col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties and allows them to cov­er state gov­ern­ment under a pro­fes­sion­al edi­tor. Char­tock earned his BA at Hunter Col­lege, an MA at Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty and a Ph.D. at NYU. Char­tock is now pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus in The Uni­ver­si­ty at Albany com­mu­ni­ca­tion depart­ment. He is a colum­nist and par­tic­i­pates in sev­er­al pub­lic radio pro­grams. He is con­sid­ered the pre­mier pub­lic radio fund rais­er in the Unit­ed States.

Joe Browdy

The Ram­blers began with the meet­ing of Joe Browdy and Alan Char­tock at the Bronx House Emmanuel Camps. Joe was the music coun­selor, fol­lowed lat­er by Alan. Joe was fea­tured in a con­cert at what was then known as “Carnegie Recital Hall,” along with oth­er greats like the Traum Broth­ers and Win­nie Win­ston in a 1960’s ear­ly Hoo­te­nany. Joe went on to be one of the top New York City lawyers with the dis­tin­guished law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Gar­ri­son and Whar­ton. When he retired he moved to Hills­dale, New York where he had always main­tained a sec­ond home with his wife Sue, and his chil­dren. Joe is a grad­u­ate of Ober­lin Col­lege and NYU Law School, and earned his jurist doc­tor­ate at NYU where he served as edi­tor for the New York Uni­ver­si­ty Law Revew. At Ober­lin he host­ed a folk music radio show. Alan Char­tock says of his old friend who now serves on the WAMC Pub­lic Radio Board of Trustees, “I always knew that he rather be play­ing ‘Mid­night Spe­cial’ than prac­tic­ing law.”

Roselle Char­tock

Lead female singer Roselle Char­tock was Pro­fes­sor of Edu­ca­tion at the Mass­a­chu­setts Col­lege of Lib­er­al Arts. She has writ­ten exten­sive­ly on the Holo­caust and has pub­lished a book, “Can It Hap­pen Again? Chron­i­cles of the Holo­caust,” on the sub­ject. She holds a BA from Skid­more, an MA from Hunter Col­lege and an Ed.D. From the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mass­a­chu­setts. She has also edit­ed the text “Edu­ca­tion­al Foun­da­tions: An Anthol­o­gy” pub­lished by Pren­tice Hall now in its sec­ond edi­tion. She is cur­rent­ly work­ing on anoth­er Pren­tice Hall project on mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism . She is the Ram­bler least like­ly to want to play a gig and was high­ly insult­ed when play­ing on top of a truck at a gath­er­ing when Joe Browdy said, “Boy did we stink.” She has nev­er quite for­got­ten that even though she agreed.

Sel­ma Kaplan

Sel­ma Kaplan is an accom­plished pianist, com­pos­er and arranger, and plays the ulti­mate sen­si­tive and inven­tive piano accom­pa­ni­ment with rock sol­id rhythm and swing. She is one of the East Coast’s fore­most request­ed dance musi­cians, and has record­ed and per­formed with ver­sa­tile fid­dler George Wil­son, Rude Girls, Jane Roth­field and oth­ers. She is also a great har­mo­ny singer and teacher.

Michael Eck

Song­ster, mul­ti-instru­men­tal­ist and not­ed music jour­nal­ist Michael Eck began his career play­ing punk rock, so it seems right that he’s shared the stage with Pat­ti Smith and Pete Seeger. His four solo albums of orig­i­nal songs — includ­ing the lat­est, “In My Shoes” — are filled with roots-rock that traces the blood­line from Blind Lemon Jef­fer­son to Hank Williams, and from Tim Hardin to Tom Waits.

Currently—on man­dolin, ukulele, tenor ban­jo, dobro, jaw harp, jug and broom—Eck plays “78 rpm Music for the 21st Cen­tu­ry” with Ram­blin Jug Stom­pers. He adds gui­tar and man­dola to that arse­nal to play “His­toric Amer­i­can Music” with Lost Radio Rounders—a duo whose pro­grams about The Carter Fam­i­ly, Abra­ham Lin­coln, Amer­i­can Spir­i­tu­als and Folk­ways Records have been praised by Seeger him­self. Eck — a Fea­tured Artist with Nation­al Reso-Phon­ic Gui­tars, Inc. — also per­forms “folk and blues on four strings” under the moniker Ukulele Mike. This year, he is cel­e­brat­ing Woody Guthrie’s cen­ten­ni­al with his new show, “Bound for Glo­ry: 100 Years of Woody Guthrie.”

Dwight O’Neil

Dwight O’Neil, hails from Mem­phis but now lives in Canaan, NY. Dwight is a crafts­man and artist, both of music and stained glass. Dwight owns a home stu­dio busi­ness called Octo­ber Moun­tain Stained Glass which called Pitts­field and Great Bar­ring­ton home for years before mov­ing in-house. Dwight played his first gig in 1968 at age 17 and has been play­ing ever since. He took a break to raise his kids with his wife, Karen, but music was nev­er far from his heart. Dwight’s major musi­cal influ­ences have been Bob Dylan, The Bea­t­les, Hank Williams, Mer­le Hag­gard, and George Jones. He also plays lead and rhythm gui­tar for the band but it is his gen­uine south­ern vibe that keeps fans want­i­ng more and more of this fine musician.

Dona Frank-Fed­eri­co

Grow­ing up in the tail end of the 60’s in the bay area of Cal­i­for­nia with a gui­tar in my lap at age 10, not a bad idea. Hitchik­ing to Gold­en Gate Park and venues to hear the best music ever, Dona wrote, sang, played and lived her youth through music. The gui­tar set aside for a while she start­ed using her vocal chords in bands, choirs, and her front porch with friends. She raised her only child, Olivia, to love it all and to do it all and as a result she cur­rent­ly has an indie /punk/original band of her own in Nashville. Dona and Dwight have a clas­sic coun­try band of their own, The Spurs USA.

Don McGro­ry

Don McGro­ry is a native of Mem­phis, Tenn., and is best known in these parts as the leader of Don McGro­ry and the Delta Soul Trio, a band which per­formed reg­u­lar­ly in area for many years. He plays at local gath­er­ings with his friends as often as he can now. A killer slide gui­tar play­er, Don is the pro­pri­etor of  Don­ald McGro­ry Ori­en­tal Rugs, in West Stock­bridge, MA,which keeps him very busy.

Alice Old­fa­ther

Alice Old­fa­ther has been play­ing music a long time. She was first intro­duced to the Berk­shire Ram­blers by her neigh­bor, friend, and jam ses­sion bud­dy, Jonas Char­tock. Alice live in Albany where she writes and is a life coach. She plays with sev­er­al bands, most­ly in the area, pro­vides great vocals, and enjoys her gigs with the Ramblers.

Sarah Char­tock

Sarah Char­tock, orig­i­nal­ly from Great Bar­ring­ton, Mass­a­chu­setts, is a res­i­dent of New York City and is Assis­tant Pro­fes­sor of Polit­i­cal Sci­ence at The Col­lege of New Jer­sey (TCNJ). Her research and teach­ing revolve around issues of social pol­i­cy, race and eth­nic pol­i­tics, socioe­co­nom­ic inequal­i­ty, polit­i­cal par­ties, and social move­ments, large­ly in the Latin Amer­i­can con­text.  Like her broth­er,  Sarah has been play­ing on and off with the Ram­blers just about since birth, and is hap­py when she can make it back to the Berk­shires (or wher­ev­er they are play­ing), to join in the hoo­te­nany fun.

Jonas Char­tock

Jonas Char­tock is a native of Great Bar­ring­ton, MA, and was lit­er­al­ly born into The Berk­shire Ram­blers, start­ing out on wash­tub bass and is now fea­tured on rhythm gui­tar and vocals.  He resides in New Orleans and is the Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer of Lead­ing Edu­ca­tors.