Dick is the patriarch of the family. He began an interest in acoustic bluegrass music at a young age. His father introduced him to bluegrass on the record player with the sounds of Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers and traditional country music, with the songs of Jimmy Rogers, Hank Williams, Sr., Ernie Tubb, and Roy Acuff to name a few. He leads the band with his syncopated banjo playing. Dick plays a Deering Tenbrooks and is an endorser for Deering banjos, a Gibson Gold Star and a 1928 Gibson arch top. He also finds himself playing guitar on a few numbers with the TAMA that belonged to his father. Dick has written numerous songs which you will find on one of the many recordings the Atkinsons have produced. He also finds time to produce and record the projects of the Atkinsons in his studio.
"I had the pleasure of hearing the Atkinsons. They possess a special vocal blend that deserves to be heard. They sing with power and con-viction. I'm proud to call them neighbors," said Eric Gibson of the Gibson Brothers. We are a family band, rooted in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. We play a style all our own, an acoustic genre of Americana, bluegrass and folk music with a refreshing sound. We compose a lot of the songs we perform, which tell the stories of our lives in the northern mountains of the Adirondacks. Even though our members change, some stay and some go, we are still a family band, have a sound unique to us, and believe that you will enjoy the sound we produce.
Shelene is the matriarch of the family, playing rhythm guitar, and singing lead and harmony. She plays a small bodied "Atkinson" guitar built by Dick or a TAMA. Shelene started playing guitar and singing after the children were grown. When the children were growing up, she spent her time listening to Emmy Lou Harris, Linda Rondstat, New Grass Revival with John Cowan, and other acoustic music. She has written several songs that are on the Atkinson's recordings. Shelene does the graphic work on the projects and designs and develops the web page. Stop and say hello!
Liza is one of the original members of the family band and has been performing and loving it since she was a small child!! She is chopping the mandolin or playing rhythm guitar and singing lead and harmony vocals! Liza has developed her own style of singing, through the many years and hard work of playing with her family's band. It's been said she can "peel paint off the wall" with her vocal power! She is also a strong rhythm guitar player and sings any harmony you want to throw at her!
Sara, the youngest daughter of the Atkinsons joins us, playing bass. She is joining her sister and mother, singing some lead and harmony vocals as well to make a unique three part female vocal sound. Being brought up in a musical family, there is no doubt she can do the job! She keeps a strong steady beat with the bass. We are excited to have Sara along!
Dave comes to us from the eastern Adirondack Mountains, finding his home in a small town named Chilson. In 2003, he ventured to the National Resonator Guitar contest in Todd, NC and took 1st place, making him the 2003 National Champion! We are honored to have him as part of our family band! He is one of the most tasteful inventive players in the northeast. Dave's dobro playing will stand up to any player in the country. Dave plays a Gordan resonator guitar, built by Gordon Lyon and has become an endorser for his instruments. He has performed with some of the best musicians in Nashville, inluding Dan Tyminski, John Cowan, the Country Gentleman to name a few. He is a north country man and finds his roots in the Adirondack Mountains, like the Atkinsons. Dave is a part of our family!