Buddy Merriam - Mandolin

"Virtuoso mandolin playing!"   ~KET TV

Born 10/7/52 in Hartford, Connecticut, he formed Buddy Merriam and Back Roads in 1980 out of his love and respect for traditional Bluegrass music. He became close friends with the Father of Bluegrass music, Bill Monroe, and got to learn and eventually perform with him.
On Sept. 19,2015 Buddy was honored to receive the "Long Island Sound Award" from the LI Music Hall of Fame "For Outstanding Contributions to Long Island's Musical Heritage."  Buddy's second book of original mandolin music "Back Roads Mandolin Vol. 2" will be released in October of this year as well.
Buddy brought Back Roads down to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville to perform a few times. They've also performed at the Grand Opening of the BLUEGRASS MUSEUM AND HALL OF FAME and Country Music's Fan Fair in Nashville, TN. The group has played at most of the Northeast Bluegrass Festivals (including Grey Fox &Podunk) and at Long Island venues like Hecksher Park in Huntington, Bald Hill Cultural Center, Agawam Park in Southampton, and concerts for LITMA, Huntington Folk Music Society and the Museums at Stony Brook Folk & Fiddle Festival.
They were also featured at the International Bluegrass Music Association's WORLD OF BLUEGRASS SHOW in Owensboro, KY and Fan Fest in Louisville in 10/04. In Nov. of 2004 & 2007 the band did a successful tour of Ireland, Scotland & England.
Featured in Mandolin Magazine, Bluegrass Unlimited, CMT's "Bluegrass Sound", Flatpicking Magazine,WKET TV, PBS "Jubilee", PBS "Farming the Future", Independent Films; "Bluegrass Journey", "Bobs Rolling Reefer", "Iowa State Fair",and "Bradstock-The Movie and"The Wes Houston Show", Local publications; Newsday, Long Island Pulse, North Shore Sun, Good Times Magazine.
 Buddy has 7 CD's released on Lily Pad Records and a book of 30 original mandolin tunes (Back Roads Mandolin) newly released in 2011 with TAB. Vol. 2 will be released in 2014 with 30 more original tunes.
He host's the popular weekly Blue Grass Time radio show on WUSB 90.1 FM in Stony Brook, NY. since 1991. www.wusb.fm for live streaming. all shows are archived for one month.
Buddy’s 2009 Release, “Buddy Merriam-Back Roads Mandolin” features 14 of his original mandolin tunes; bluegrass, waltzs, gypsy jazz and some contemporary interpretation of his very original style. He has composed over 1000 instrumentals presently being transcribed and recorded.
Buddy is just putting the finishing touches on his latest CD "The Farm"of original vocal & intsrumental tunes including a couple of Buddy's favorite Bill Monroe songs. Release date is sometime mid October 1, 2014
Buddy is proud that the year 2019 marks his 39th year heading his band.
Buddy performs & records on a Monteleone Grand Artist and a Gilchrist F5 mandolin with D'Addario EXP 74 strings and Planet Waves accessories. He also endorses MI-SI mandolin pickups, LR Baggs picup and preamp.

Ward Cloughen- Bass/vocals

Born November 17, 1978, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  Grew up most of his early years in a Lutheran church where his father was the Minister.  His mother was a Registered Nurse.  Brought up by his father on big band jazz and his mother on classic country but still loved the harmonies from church.  His first experience with bluegrass from memory was seeing a bluegrass band performing at a shopping mall.  As the Waylon Jennings lyric goes he "got his first guitar when he was 14."

 He learned chords and theory from Ralph Tobias at a small music shop outside of Reading, PA.  Eventually he moved to Long Island for college.  After taking a few years off of music he started working at a restaurant - Shandon Court in East Islip, NY.  Listening to the live bands every night got him interested again in performing.  He started playing guitar and singing again and honing his craft.  

10 years later Buddy Merriam asked if he would be interested in joining his bluegrass band - playing upright bass - something he had done jamming with some friends a couple times.  Jumping at the chance he bought a 1937 blonde Kay upright and fell in love.  

He is also an ordained minister through the Universal Life Church and has performed multiple weddings.  Studying bluegrass bass and upright bass in general his influences include:  Barry Bales, David Spicher, Mike Bubb, Travis Book, Willie Dixon, Larry Taylor, Jack Bruce, Marshall Grant and Tony Palumbo.  

He finds performing with Buddy's band inspiring.  "The guys in the band are nothing but top-notch musicians and the kindest people."  In nothing less than 4 months of being in the band he's already has radio play for a song that he wrote and finds that very humbling.  And he's looking forward to nothing but great things for the group.  "Thank you Buddy!"


Beaumont Tamchin - Lead guitar

Born in Smithtown New York in 1971 and raised in Setauket New York. Music was always being played around the house as far as can be remembered. His oldest brother had guitars around the house so the learning process started around the age of 10. Beau developed his own style of guitar however through the years of practice on acoustic guitar the influences of the early pioneers of flatpicking and modern players alike are presented in the delivery of the music.


Nicole Evans -  Vocals

Nicole bring her powerful voice to the band this season. 

Adam Becherer- Fiddle

Adam Becherer is a Long Island based multi-instrumentalist who has been playing mandolin & fiddle on and off for the past 30 years. He was introduced to Bluegrass and Old Time music at an early age while watching his father’s band compete at bluegrass festivals at South Street Seaport in New York City in the 1970’s. He currently plays fiddle with Buddy Merriam and Back Roads, and mandolin and fiddle with banjo player & singer, Maria Fairchild.  He is an active member of the Grafton Street Irish Sessions that meet at various venues around Long Island, and when time permits he attends the Eastern Long Island Old Time Jam