The Too Tall String BandBruce Lawson, Rod Driscoll & Hap Wheeler Celtic, Adirondack & even some Country!
The Too Tall String Band was formed 31 years ago, in 1984. One of our first performances was at the first Palmer Street Coffeehouse in Plattsburgh.
The original members were Al Reisman (accordion, guitar, banjo, backup vocals), Pat Duniho (vocals, guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, bodhran) and Rod Driscoll (vocals, 6 & 12 string guitar, banjo, bodhran, dulcimer, hammered dulcimer). Rod is the only original member of the band still in the group. There are a number of wonderful local musicians who have sat in with us over the years. Among them are: Scott Hopkins (stand-up bass, bluegrass banjo), Tim Hartnet (bass), Steve Iachetta (fiddle) and Jeff Couture (fiddle). The current lineup includes Rod Driscoll (same as above, plus Irish bouzouki), Hap Wheeler (vocals, dobro, banjo, mandolin, guitar) and Bruce Lawson (vocals, bass, guitar). We have been in this configuration since 2002.
Over the past 30 years, we have performed all over northern & central New York, southern Quebec and northern Vermont. We have been featured at the Lake Placid Goodwill Games, The Adirondack Folk Festival, the Watertown Goes Green Irish Festival, Concerts on the Bluff, Saranac Lake First Night, the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival and the Battle of Plattsburgh Celebration. Our eleven year run performing authentic pub tunes at the Battle of Plattsburgh’s Israel Green’s Tavern is one of the highlights of the festival, drawing large and enthusiastic audiences.
We take our musical queues from many places. Bruce is our country music specialist, performing roots country tunes from artists like Tennessee Ernie Ford and Hank Williams. Bruce and his wife Jodi have kept the, long running, Palmer St. Coffeehouse going in Plattsburgh, along with a willing group of volunteers from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Bruce is a retired sales director at WPTZ. Hap is our link to groups like the Kingston Trio, performing songs such as "Charlie on the MTA" and his own songs. Recently, Hap has added the dobro to his fine instrumental work on the 5-string banjo and the mandolin. Hap is the network manager at Plattsburgh State and a leader in the local Trout Unlimited chapter. He has also assisted in the "Bluegrass For A New Generation" program at Plattsburgh State. Hap will be taking over the running of the Palmer St. Coffeehouse this year.Rod takes his influences from ragtime music, fiddle tunes, American/Celtic/English folk, early country/string band, traditional pub tunes and bluegrass. Rod has been performing on, and building, the dulcimers that he performs on since the mid 1970’s. Rod teaches government, economics and psychology at AuSable Valley high school, sometimes subjecting his students to sing-a-longs in class. Over the past few years, the band has been adding in its own interpretations of 50’s, 60’s and 70’s pop music to our performances, which has been extremely popular with our audiences, who love to sing along with us on their favorites. The band’s current CD, it fourth recording, is a collection of live performances called “While We Are Together”. It gives the listener a good sampling of our live concerts.