(Bass, Children’s Toys, Homemade Instruments, Reluctant Vocals)
Born with a bassist’s demeanor and physique, it took 13 years and a brief cello detour for Chris to find his way onto an Ibanez Roadstar II bass in 1985.
He has enjoyed the gentle caress of 41.2Hz and jammed with abandon in the key of E ever since.
Chris’ eclectic musical journey, playing in bands with styles ranging from old school country to new school metal and nearly everything in between has created versatility in his playing frequently misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder. Being in The Roadless Travelers helps Chris keep the balance between his mania and depressive states.
We have a saying in the band room, “when Chris is moving, the music is grooving.” His versatility and musical ear gives the band a secure foundation in the low end.
Chris has listened to (and occasionally learned from) bassists such as: Charlie Haden, Jack Bruce, Phil Lesh, Mark Egan, and Dave Holland.
(6 and 12 string Guitars, Vocals)
Phil Garfinkel has been playing guitar and singing since middle school. He has sung on street corners and festival stages and pretty much everything in between. With his 6 and 12 string guitars and a pedalboard he lovingly calls “The Hive of Bees” (“so many things to step on,” he says) Phil adds his unique approach to tone and texture to The Roadless Travelers’ sound
He is also a renowned live audio engineer and he brings that expertise to The Roadless Travelers’ stage sound. “I want the audience to hear the band the way we hear it.”
Phil’s playing is influenced by the attitude of his musical mentors, “they taught me, whatever song you are playing, make it your OWN. That is the core of The Roadless Travelers approach to the music we play, you will recognize the tune but you will know that it’s US.”
Some of those mentors are; Arlo Guthrie, Buddy Miller, Jorma Kaukonen, Tom Rush, David Bromberg, and Jerry Garcia
(Drums, Percussion, Vocals)
After discovering he wasn’t cut out to be a barrel-riding daredevil in his native Niagara Falls, NY, Michael Beach decided to hit things for a living instead.
Michael is the founder of the Grammy Nominated World Music band Brothers of the Baladi, where he sang (in 7 different languages) and played percussion and drums. He brings his World Music influences to The Roadless Travelers’ sound; several of the band’s interpretations of classic rock n roll songs have been spiced up with his global rhythmic approach.
His versatility has made Michael an in-demand musician; he has played live and recorded with many local and regional Blues, Rock, Reggae and Folk bands through the years. Playing with The Roadless Travelers gives him an opportunity to mix his love of World Music with straight ahead “4 on the floor” Rock n Roll
Listening to artists as varied as Jimi Hendrix, Peter Gabriel, Sirocco, Ibrahim Tatlises, Prince, and the Foo Fighters has helped shape Michael’s approach to drumming.
(Lead Guitar, Vocals, Sonic finger painting, and Mayhem)
In 1982, an obsession with sound, electronics and tinkering paired with a profound lack of skills interacting with other primates paved the road for Bill to take up the guitar. Through the years, the guitar connected him to a rogue’s gallery of colorful and insightful mentors who helped him learn, explore and play in bands of various styles with elements of Blues, Jazz, Rock, R&B, Bluegrass, Country, and Psychedelia.
Before moving to Oregon, Bill played in the San Jose, California scene, sharing the stage with musicians such as organist Duke Jethro (B.B. King) and Billy Johnson (John Lee Hooker).
Called a “Guitar Superman” by the Portland based Cascade Blues Association, Bill has shared the stage with many Blues and Rock greats, including Oregon legends D.K. Stewart (piano) and Mitch Kashmar (harmonica).
Bill’s near-obsessive quest for the right sound for the right song has him tinkering like a mad scientist with pedals, amplifiers, and guitars. Not satisfied with off-the-shelf instruments, Bill began building his own guitars, apprenticing under the legendary Red Rhodes, and then starting Chapin Guitars in 1995.
Bill’s unique approach to tone, chord voicings, and soloing serves as the sonic signpost taking the audience on a Roadless Adventure.
Bill’s playing was greatly inspired and influenced by players such as Bill Frisell, Jim Hall, B.B. King, Peter Green, Earl Hooker, Muddy Waters, Clarence White, David Gilmour, and Billy Butler