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Stan Greene – vocals
 
Stan Greene has been a singer for as long as he can remember. Although the story line is familiar enough to be a cliché, he really did get his start singing in church as a child. “Oh yeah, my grandmother was sure I was going to be a preacher,” he laughs. “I did all the youth choirs and male quartets at church and in school. Then there was the Boogie Band in college, where I got my first taste of performing R&B, rock and blues. I can remember the first time I told an audience to stand up and clap their hands – and they did it! I thought, ‘Whoa!’ I can look back and say that it was my first experience of mojo.”

After realizing that performing was “something I gave up on the way to other stuff I thought was important,” Stan began to reconnect with that performance buzz in 2002, hitting open mike nights, meeting musicians and jumping on every chance he could to find a live microphone. He’s simply “Stan from Michigan” when he hits Club 544 on Bourbon Street in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. “The All Purpose Blues Band has a standing gig there. I’ve sat in with them three years in a row, including taking the stage to close out Fat Tuesday this year.” Three days later Stan debuted with Tailshaker.

Stan notes that blues is about stories. “I tell people that the stories might be sad but the music isn’t. If you can sing about hugging your pillow where your baby used to lay, that means you came out the other side of pain with some attitude intact. My job as a blues singer is to pour that attitude into every lyric.”

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Stan Greene


Dave Taalman – guitar
 
Dave Taalman is the founder and leader of Tailshaker. He is also the band's guitarist. Dave has been playing guitar since the age of eight and credits his grandfather as a major musical influence in his life. His grandfather, who was born in the south, was a multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, harmonica, and piano. Dave was also influenced - and enlightened by - his mother's 1965 Ventures album, "Knock Me Out." Ask him about it when you have the chance.

Taalman is a well-known studio musician in the Grand Haven area, a long-time supporter of the Spread The Music Foundation, and is on the planning committee for Walk The Beat, a Summer 2014 event designed to connect small businesses and local musicians with the communities of Spring Lake, Grand Haven and Ferrysburg.

Dave has played country, blues, rock, metal, prog rock, and even some surf. Says Taalman,"I love all kinds of music, but the blues is my favorite!"

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Dave Taalman


Dave “Rip” Miller - harmonica
 
Dave "Rip" Miller credits his early interest in the harmonica to friend and teacher Dave Borgman. "Borgie" introduced Rip to a number of musicians (there are stories that can't be told here), and an eventual date with his musical destiny.

In the summer of 2000, Rip heard Billy Rider play with the Mighty Little John Band on a stage in downtown Grand Rapids. He was hooked. Rip asked Billy if he would teach him his craft. Rider, who had toured with "Shakey" Walter Horton, Carey Bell, James Cotton, and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, took Rip under his wing. For the next four months, all they did was play. Rip learned. And he learned well.

It didn't take long for Billy to tell Rip to "get his ass on stage." Rip laughs as he tells the story. "Rider actually told me 'he wouldn't teach me no more.' I started looking for a band." Soon thereafter, Rip joined his first band, Blues Stew, followed by stints with Straight Up and Bluz Dawg.

Rip is grateful to Billy Rider for his influence and teaching, and to this day refers to Rider as "The Prophet."

"Thanks to Billy, I got to share some of the best talent in the world of blues." says Miller. "If you ride a bus with as many talented musicians as he has, some of it rubs off on you."

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Dave Miller


Rudy "Bloozer" Martiano - bass
 

Rudy started his musical career at the age of 14 behind a set of drums. He played some bass, but then moved to guitar for many years. In the early 90's, Bloozer found the blues and the bass -- and he was home. The rest, as they say, is history.

Playing with The Azulez Blues Band for over 12 years, Rudy is well known in many of the region's hottest music venues. He's also played the area's premier blues festivals on numerous occasions, including the Kalamazoo and Cow Pie Blues Festivals.

With bass influences like Tommy Shannon of Stevie Ray Vaughn fame (Bloozer met Tommy once -- ask him about it) and Jojo Garza of Los Lonely Boys, Rudy brings a load of pocket and a distinctly percussive style to his playing. Playing Washburn 5 string basses and Hartke amps, Rudy is truly at home holding it down in the Tailshaker rhythm section.

According to Dave Taalman, Tailshaker founder, "Rudy is the final piece of the puzzle we've been looking for...for a long time. He's a great guy and a great player!"

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Dane Corbin


Michael Brown – drums
 

Michael Brown is one of the original members of Tailshaker. He has been playing the drums for over 30 years, and credits the late legendary Hastings (MI) percussionist Wolfram Fechner as a key musical influence in his life.

Says Brown, “First and foremost, Wolfram taught us all how to count. He stressed the value of technique and the importance of dynamics in every lesson. He was also hell on wheels if you didn’t practice. Swearing in German directed at you isn’t much fun when you’re 11 years old. Anybody who studied with Wolfram practiced -- a lot.”

Michael has been a blues aficionado since the late 80’s when he came across a B.B. King recording of “The Thrill Is Gone.” At the time, Brown was living in Florida, trimming trees for a living, and had about $60.00 to his name. “That song resonated with me unlike any music ever had up to that point in my life. Looking back, I now know why it affected me the way it did. I honestly don’t think you can understand the blues until you’ve had ‘em.”

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Michael Brown


Ray "Sweet Ray" Burke – keyboards
 

Ray "Sweet Ray" Burke brings a load of experience and sound to the band. Ray considers himself a student of the blues, believing that the deeper you go, the more there is to learn. Ray has toured with James Armstrong and played famous blues venues like The Ark, in Ann Arbor, MI, The Lafayette Tap Room, in Buffalo, NY, the Marshall Civic in Marshall, MI, and The Chord on Blues in St. Charles, IL.

Ray loves the Michigan blues scene and will travel great distances just to participate in a jam session. You'll find Sweet Ray with a smile on his face when he's working with the sound of a Fender guitar, blues harp, and a great vocalist. For Ray, the blues are about "character and range." And he's got plenty of both.

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Ray Sweet


Puttin' Our Stamp On It
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