Rum River Blend, based in Troy, Ohio bill themselves as ‘Unprofessional Entertainment’! The band takes its name from the Rum River that flows through Linda’s hometown of Milaca, Minnesota. They perform a blend of traditional bluegrass, folk, Gospel and children’s songs. The audience is encouraged to join in on the fun as kazoos, spoons, washboards, and various other noise making instruments are often passed out to the crowd.
Linda Tatarian, the ‘leader of the band’ plays 5-string banjo and sings like a good Minnesotan should. Chris Tatarian plays rhythm guitar and sings back-up vocals in a California style that only he knows. Chris and Linda are the “roots” of Rum River Blend and have played together since 1992. After moving to Ohio in 2000, they have played with a variety of talented musicians. The bass beat for the band is provided by Mr. ‘Smiling’ Bill Benning, playing acoustic/electric bass guitar. Bill plays with a flair developed over time playing a wide variety of musical types with many different bands. Mr. Carl Phillis joins us on fiddle. Carl has years of professional musical experience, having played with most bands and orchestras in the area at one time or another. He is the 1948 Ohio State Fiddle Champion, and is a past professor of Bluegrass Fiddle Music at Sinclair College in Dayton. His fiddle playing brings a new level of energy and a host of new songs to the band. Carl will be celebrating his 91st birthday in July, 2013! On special occasions, RRB is joined by Mark Acton (the former Mayor of Potsdam) with harmonious vocals and Mandolin. Put ’em all together and the result is music that makes you want to tap your foot and sing along!