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About Us

Freshwater is exciting Bluegrass music!

Drawing from a broad spectrum of musical styles and influences, the band consists of an outstanding rock guitarist who always had an appreciation for Bluegrass but never found the right musicians to play it with until now; a rock/jazz/classical musician who secretly hid his love of bluegrass from his friends for years; a Harley rider with an appreciation for big bikes and resophonic guitars and two lifelong Bluegrass fanatics--one of whom is a Wisconsin Hall-of-Fame Track Coach and computer wizard, and the other a multitalented solo performer and healthcare professional.

From the deepest pools of traditional and contemporary Bluegrass to original material, Freshwater is sure to suit the tastes of every discerning listener.

Freshwater's got it all! With Bill Garvey on guitar and vocals, Don Damaschke on mandolin and vocals, Harvey Riekoff on banjo and vocals, Dennis Waltman on Dobro and vocals and Doug Clum on bass and vocals, this band performs tunes as refreshing as a pure mountain spring and as moving as a western sunset!

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.

Don Damaschke - Mandolin/Vocalsdon

Many of you may know him from his duties as our sound man up until recently. But Don is a Renaissance Man when it comes to music! He's a great singer and a terrific guitar player. He knows his way around a mandolin and our first few rehearsals together have been inspirational! We can't wait to get on a stage so you can hear our new sound! When he's not brushing up his bluegrass chops, Don plays in an amazing Rock trio, Groove Factor, and on Sundays you can find him at Evangelical United Methodist Church in downtown Racine, directing and performing in their Praise Band.

Doug Clum - Bass/Vocals

No one is more surprised to be playing Bluegrass than he is himself; Doug Clum came to Freshwater in an oddly roundabout fashion. Starting piano lessons at the age of nine, he soon began playing trombone in the school music program in Rockford, Michigan, where he was raised. In sixth grade, he borrowed a guitar from a neighborhood buddy and taught himself to play it, inspired by his first 45—the Monkee's "I'm a Believer."

Prior to graduating with a degree in Music Education on trombone, Doug heard a Bluegrass band at the Grand Rapids Raft Race during college, and from that moment on, he hid a growing affection and appreciation for this wonderful music.

In the worlds of Rock, Jazz and Classical music, as a trombonist, pianist and guitarist, Doug has performed in virtually every conceivable musical avenue—from marching band to chamber music, from Top 40 rock bands to jazz combos. When he's not at his "day gig" as a Principal in the Racine Unified School District, or working with Freshwater, Doug arranges and performs with a local ten piece Rhythm and Blues band, Party of Ten, and plays piano with a jazz quartet.

Happily married for 31 years and the father of three great kids, Doug delights in the authenticity of the music Freshwater performs.

Bill Garvey - Guitar/Vocals

At age 13, Bill picked up the guitar that a brother brought home and never gave it up.  He has been knee deep in Bluegrass since the early 1970’s when a friend introduced him to the music of the first generation Bluegrass players. He quickly came to appreciate the creativity and brilliance of many of the contemporary Bluegrass and Acoustic players.  

Bill’s day jobs have included working in healthcare as a Registered Nurse and in the pharmaceutical industry. Musically, he has stayed active by performing with a variety of local musicians and bands, as well as keeping up his solo acoustic gig.  

For Bill, Freshwater provides the perfect vehicle to play the fun, driving stuff and find the musical energy of the duets and trios. Bill's soulful Bluegrass voice and precise guitar playing will be an absolute treat for all of our audiences. 

Originally from Appleton and Neenah, WI, Bill and his wife have called Racine their home since 1976. They have 2 adult children.

Dennis Waltman - Resophonic Guitar/Vocals

After some childhood attempts at learning guitar along with his older brother, Dennis immersed himself in fingerstyle guitar and slide guitar studies during the late 1980s at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. With interests in many musical styles he has dabbled in playing mandolin, electric lap steel guitar, non-pedal steel guitar, electric guitar and resophonic guitar.

Following a solid twenty-five years of playing and caterwauling on the back porch of his home for the sheer fun that it brings, Dennis was asked to polish up his vintage Dobro guitar and add some steel-on-string tones to this group. Honored to be involved with the accomplished musicians of Freshwater, he has been concentrating on resophonic guitar playing and occasional lead vocals.

His day job in the motorcycle industry allows him to combine his passion for motorcycling with his livelihood. Dennis makes his home in the township of Norway, Wisconsin and is blessed with a wonderful wife who is incredibly tolerant of his many interests.

 
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