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Frank Kara (mandolin, guitar, vocals)
Eric Spaulding (guitar, vocals)
Gary DiGiovanni (banjo, guitar, vocals)

Nina Dryer (fiddle, vocals)
Rusty Boris (upright bass, vocals)

Frank Kara grew up listening to his dad play fiddle and guitar around the house.  After playing electric and acoustic guitar through high school and into his twenties, Frank started experimenting with the mandolin.  After discovering the music of Tony Rice and attending his first Winterhawk Bluegrass Festival he decided to concentrate on playing bluegrass mandolin.  Forming a duet with musical partner Eric Spaulding, the two worked up an array of fiddle tunes and classic bluegrass material.  Answering an ad for a Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association function got them in contact with other players, and soon No Brakes was formed with banjo player Ken Flowers.

Eric Spaulding also had a father who played guitar.  He and Frank started playing together in the early eighties in a variety of local bands and were converted to bluegrass at the same Winterhawk Festival.  Eric's guitar playing reflects the influence of his heroes Charles Sawtelle, Tony Rice and Doc Watson.  

Gary DiGiovanni has been a part of the No Brakes family since about 2001, substituting for Ken Flowers on several gigs.  Born in New York and raised in New Jersey, Gary's first musical instrument was the trombone.  After becoming aware of folk music in the early 1960s he fooled around with the guitar and harmonica, but got bitten by the banjo bug after hearing the playing of Allen Shelton.  Gary has played in many bands and became a regular member of No Brakes in January of 2004. 

Rusty Boris, from Kingston NY, is an "in demand" sideman with many Hudson Valley bands.  He can play all styles of music on both acoustic and electric bass.  Rusty has even been known to bow out a fiddle tune or two on the upright bass and is a fine songwriter as well.  No Brakes is pleased to have our bottom end in Rusty's capable hands.

Nina Dryer, our most recent addition, has been playing concert cello, viola and violin most of her life.  Currently a music teacher in Connecticut public schools, her musical taste is wide-ranging, and she has quickly adapted to the bluegrass style. 

Occasional members:

Andy Bing (dobro, mandolin, vocals) started his musical career on the five-string banjo.  Andy became interested in the Dobro while working in the Washington, D.C. area after seeing the Seldom Scene perform live.  He went on to study with Dobro great Mike Auldridge.  After playing the Dobro for a while he became a huge fan of Bill Monroe and added the mandolin to his musical arsenal.  Andy has played with No Brakes for about 3 years and also plays with the Burnt Hills and Wickers Creek Bands.

Doug Marcus (bass, vocals) is a California transplant who can play all styles of music on both acoustic and electric bass.  A chance meeting with founding banjo player Ken Flowers at a jam in Woodstock led to Doug becoming a member of No Brakes.  Besides bringing a wealth of great material to the band, Doug also does a great solo bass show.  

Ambrose Verdibello (fiddle, vocals), who joins us on special occasions, can play all the instruments.  If he could clone himself he could be his own band.  We're glad he can't, and we try to keep him on the fiddle so he doesn't show the rest of us up.