Bub & Simpkins join Rowan & Rice Quartet

Peter Rowan, Mike Bub, Tony Rice - at the War memorial in Trenton, NJThe Peter Rowan & Tony Rice Quartet has undergone a couple changes recently. In addition to Rowan & Rice, the quartet formerly consisted of mandolinist Sharon Gilchrist and bassist Bryn Davies.

Both ladies have recently moved on to other pursuits and accordingly, Rowan & Rice have brought two new pickers onboard to fill the vacancies.

Joining the quartet on mandolin, and I presume fiddle, is Ricky Simpkins. Simpkins has played with Rice for many years in The Tony Rice Unit, and it seems natural that he would called on for this gig.

Multi-award winning bassist Mike Bub has been called in to hold down the low notes. Mike is well known throughout the bluegrass world for the years he spent in the Del McCoury Band. Bub is a busy man these days. He has been touring with Dale Ann Bradley, and keeping himself busy with other pursuits as well.

Yes, I am playing with the R&R Quartet and Dale Ann Bradley. So far there have been very few conflicts on dates. I am also doing a couple of music camps this year including the Transatlantic Blugrasss School in Wales, UK , Rockygrass Academy and the Augusta Heritage Workshop in Elkins, WVA. Oh yeah, I am also working with a fellow named Jimmy Stewart here in Nashville who years ago played dobro and fiddle with Doyle Lawson. He has been a utility player for Brooks and Dunn for about 12 years and will have a record out on Warner Brothers this year. Oh and one more….still working with songwriters Verlon Thompson and Shawn Camp. We have been doing the Station Inn for about the past year with Chris Henry and hope to get something on CD soon.

In addition to all his musical jobs, Bub is also busy being a dad to his three year old son, a job he relishes.

Riley is the joy of our life. He’s already aspiring to be a musician, pilot, race car driver, railroad engineer and lady killer.

Commenting on the quartets recent performance at the Birchmere, the Washington Post had this to say concerning the new band members.

The quartet’s lineup remains first-rate, with Simpkins and Bub providing smoothly integrated accompaniment and soulful vocal shadings.

I’m sure they’re correct. Bub and Simpkins are long time favorites of mine on their respective instruments. I’m looking forward to the chance to hear them in this context.