The RFD Boys
over Michigan and the Midwest, and as far away as Germany, France, and Malta. In the last three decades they've shared stages with a who's who of bluegrass and country musicians, from Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley to Ricky Skaggs and Randy Travis.
At a recent concert at the Ark, where they've been the house bluegrass band for the last twenty years, the audience ranged from three-year-olds to grandparents who might have gone to college with the "Boys." The atmosphere is festive, the crowd clapping and stomping from the first tune and hollering out requests between songs. The more reticent write their favorites on napkins and stuff them in the red mailbox standing beside the stage. The Boys check their "mail" regularly, and with a repertoire of nearly 750 pieces, they're tough to stump.
They have originals, like guitarist and lead singer Charlie Roehrig's "Sit by the River," a lovely ode to the Charles River, and to his grandfather, who had Charlie convinced it was named after him. It's been recorded by the Country Gentlemen and even wound up on their "best of" album. Charlie's heartfelt tenor is perfectly suited to bluegrass, and decades of singing together have blended the Boys' three-part and four-part harmonies to the smoothness of Kentucky bourbon.