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Cosmic Cowboy Revival and What is Americana Music. 

CCR is a band that performs Americana music.  The best way I can explain Americana music is that it combines rock, country, and bluegrass.  What gives it away is normally no electric guitars, electric keyboards or horns but includes amplified acoustic guitars, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, Dobro, drums and bass. Some current examples are Steve n' Seagulls, Dead South, The Cleverlys, Hayseed Dixie and Goodnight Texas. 

The genre first began to be formalized in the late 1990's at the famous South by Southwest festival in Austin Texas. Out of that came the Americana Music Association whose festival and convention has now grown by 2008 to a four day event in the Ryman Auditorium (the old Grand Old Opry). In 2009 the Recording Academy added Americana as a musical category. 

CCR consists of Bruce Andersen (vocals, guitar, Dobro, banjo, mandolin, and harmonica,  Tom Haller (vocals, bass), and Gary Mellen, fiddle

Bruce Andersen, Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Dobro and Harmonica

Bruce Andersen started playing the guitar when he first heard Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 revisited. Soon afterwards the wheel was discovered. After several bands he ended in the Sound Caravan that played in clubs in South Florida. Later in Gainesville he played in many local bands and even opened for Tom Petty as a small claim to fame. Many years later he formed the Bluesbusters who played in Orlando area clubs and released three original cd’s. After that he performed a Neil Young Tribute for several years. Recently he formed the Cosmic Cowboy Revival, an Americana band where he now plays the guitar, harmonica, banjo, mandolin and Dobro. 

Tom Haller, Bass

Tom was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1961. He picked up the guitar as a freshman at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Influence by the great Chicago blues scene like Muddy Water and B.B.King. Prior to playing bass in the Cosmic Cowboy Revival, he played in the Markham Presbyterian Church band in Orlando, Florida

Gary Mellen, Fiddle

Gary was born near Boston in 1954, moving as a child to South Florida in 1961. He took some private classical violin lessons in his early 20’s, but soon developed a love for Old Time mountain fiddle tunes, attending local jam sessions in the mid 80’s in Hollywood, Florida, and later the Orlando area into the 90’s, as well as large festivals like the Old Time Fiddlers convention in Galax, Virginia. One of the jam sessions, that often played for free weekday-evening New England Contra dances, evolved into a fun-loving band called “Uncle Waldo’s Ant Farm”, playing at other Contra Dances in the nearby region on weekends. 

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