Harvey Riekoff - 5 String Banjo / Vocals
Harvey began playing the guitar in 1963 at the tender age of 16 but didn’t pick up the 5 string banjo until 1968 when he was transfixed at a concert in Madison Wisconsin by the New Lost City Ramblers. After that concert, he was convinced that the 5 string banjo was the instrument that he was destined to play.
A short time later, after attending a Bluegrass Hoppers concert a UW Madison he fell in love with bluegrass music and realized that in order to play it a banjo was purchased.
Bill Monroe’s Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival in 1970 had an enormous impact on him. At that festival he saw Jimmy Martin, Ralph Stanley, Bill Monroe, Jim and Jesse, Bill Monroe and the Country Gentlemen. He stayed up for two days straight watching concerts and picking with other musicians until the wee hours of the morning. He was hooked for life.
Harvey has performed with a multitude of bands in his 40 plus years of playing bluegras such as: The Lost River Ramblers (a forerunner to Grass Food and Lodging), Stony Creek, Southern Exposure, The Industrial Valley Rangers and Cream City.
His major banjo influences are JD Crowe, Ralph Stanley, Ron Stewart and Sammy Shelor and he loves straight ahead hard driving Scruggs style banjo playing.
Harvey lives in Racine WI with his wife Sandy and their two cocker spaniels, Chester and Emma.