Formed in 2013, Rock Hearts brings together five veteran musicians from Southern New England who love to sing and pick bluegrass, old country tunes, and seek out newer tunes from other genres to “bluegrass-ify.”
Joe Deetz’s career on banjo spans over 40 years. A New England Bluegrass Boy with Joe Val, Joey has also worked with Frank Wakefield, John Herald, Back Eddy and many others. He has recorded with John Herald, Will Scarlet, the Beach Boys and Carol King. Joey was also featured on the Sesame Street recording of The Garbage Man Blues. His passion for bluegrass is evident in his tasteful, yet driving banjo and harmony singing. He lives in Mendon, MA with his wife.
Alex MacLeod grew up in bluegrass. His father and mother, Sandy and Geri, exposed him to the music early on. While his dad Sandy played in the band, his mom clogged with the Ralph Case Cloggers in Maryland. With a classic leading voice and rock-solid rhythm guitar, Alex has served as front man for several bands in the region including Northern Lights, Southern Rhode, Back Eddy, and the Iron Skillet Band. He lives in Charlestown, RI with his wife and daughters.
Billy “BT” Thibodeau boasts an undeniable bluegrass pedigree and he brings his high tenor and lead vocals, along with his fastidious mandolin and splendiferous guitar playing to Rock Hearts. A multi-instrumentalist, Billy has been picking and singing bluegrass for several decades. Cutting his teeth with his Dad, Sam Tidwell and Uncle Bob in the Kennebec Valley Boys, he would later lead his own band, The Bill Thibodeau Band. He has also played with the Descendants of Bluegrass, Bluegrass Supply Company, and Union River Band, just to name a few. Billy currently teaches music and works at Rick’s Music in Cumberland, RI. He lives in Cumberland, RI.
Danny Musher is rock solid on fiddle and brings his high-intensity chops, lead singing, and sharp ear to the group. Danny counts his father and grandmother, who taught music for over 40 years, as major influences in his musical development. Making a name for himself with Chasing Blue, this Maryland-native is an often sought-after fiddler in the New England area. Danny also picks a mean mandolin and guitar, while continuing to learn bass and banjo. Give him an instrument and he’ll learn how to play it. Danny lives in Providence, RI.
Pete Kelly fills out the low end on the upright bass, singing baritone and lending his years of touring and recording experience to shape the arrangements and sound of the group. An alumnus of the Dale Ann Bradley Band and Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, he now plays bass with Rock Hearts. Pete lives in Farmington, CT.