THE LAST WALTZ ENSEMBLE MAKES THE MUSIC OF BOB DYLAN AND THE BAND AN EXPERIENCE! ATLANTA GA-Webster dictionary’s fourth definition of “ensemble” is a group of persons (as musicians) acting together to produce a particular effect or end. In no other group does that definition ring truer than Atlanta’s Last Waltz Ensemble. The group is an amalgam of the best players in the nation presenting the legendary and timeless music OF 70’s supergroup, THE BAND, whose influence is still felt in music nearly 30 years after its last performance.
Kris Gloer is a music aficionado and player – and finds himself the ultimate catalyst as the founder of The Last Waltz Ensemble. Gloer grew up in the glow of musical friends and its these relationships that bring The Last Waltz its most unique and special trait; each night Gloer presents a musical guest or two from his plethora of music pals. Anyone from Colonel Bruce Hampton to Efrem Townes (The Dirty Dozen Brass Band) may be asked to join The Last Waltz for a few songs. The core line up of The Last Waltz is so strong that the addition of musical guests pushes the ensemble to enticing heights for fans and players alike.
The core lineup of The Last Waltz Ensemble features:
Kris Jellyroll Gloer – guitar/vocals Kris literally grew up in the Great Southeast Music Hall, holding court as a boy with the day’s leading rock and roll musicians. Kris has shared stages across America with musicians who love his differentiated style: Widespread Panic, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Derek Trucks, Dave Matthews, Hootie & The Blowfish, Tinsley Ellis, Sean Costello, Tommy Talton, The Blue Dogs, Barry Richman, and Willie Green. He also knows his way around a recording studio with credits on ten albums with four different bands: Jellyroll, Houndog, Arlan & Jelly and The Wayside Riders.
Mark Kramer – vocals/guitar Mark, a NC native, cut his teeth at a street musician in San Francisco. He moved to Seattle in the 1980s and became involved in the burgeoning folk scene. He has shared the stage with Michelle Shocked and The Love Mongers. Mark is highly regarded for this sense of style and interaction with audiences.
Kevin Little Budda Rutschman – drums. Kevin blew out of his native Kansas, graduated from the elite school of music at Emporia State University and upset the field to win the Outstanding Performance Award at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival in 1995. He has shared the stage with the likes of Blues Traveler and Indecision.
Benji Shanks – Lead/slide Guitar. Benji has gained lots of attention in the last couple of years in his role with southern rockers Captain Soularcat and his work as a guest artist with Tishamingo . Benji was also featured on the Bluestring Jammy nominated release Pick Me Up (Flying Frog Records).From rock opera (OPUS 9) to bluegrass, Benji is known for his dramatic solos delivered with a stoic almost serene facial expression. Benjis slide style is often compared to Warren Haynes.
Ted Pecchio- Bass. Ted’s impressive theatrics, basically dancing with his upright bass while performing with The Codetalkers, endeared him to fellow players and fans alike. Ted has played with a multitude of groups and special projects from Susan Tedeshi, Oliver Wood, Scrapomatic, Ike Stubblefield and many others. He describes music as “a ritualistic healing process” and to those who witness him play, Dr. Ted delivers the ultimate feel good vibe medicine!
Tony Giordano- keyboards. Known around the southeast simply as Tony G, this astounding keyboard player was recently described by Swampland.com as “one of the best key men in the country.” Tony G’s unmistakable musical essence seem to make him one with his instrument. It is apparent he totally loves music, those who make it and those who listen. He’s played with Tishamingo, Captain Soularcat and many more.
Jason Fuller – keyboards Jason is without a doubt one of the more talented musicians in Athens, a town known for hot players. He’s also one of the most versatile players around, able to leap from barrelhouse boogie to nasty New Orleans swing to rollicking honky tonk to tasty jazz. Jason has had touring stints with Ween, Marc Ford (The Black Crowes) and Tishamingo.