Northern Lights -- The Players
TAYLOR ARMERDING (mandolin, lead/harmony vocals) grew up in a musical family, learning classical piano from his mother and harmony singing in church, but turned to the guitar during the folk and rock explosion of the '60s. He was converted to bluegrass after one night listening to outdoor jam sessions at the 1972 Old Time Fiddlers Convention in Union Grove, SC, but didn't get to start playing it professionally until 1975, when he joined the Boston-area band "How Banks Fail," which quickly evolved into Northern Lights. Three of his songs have reached the top five on Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine's National Bluegrass Survey, and "Winterhawk" was a finalist for IBMA "Song of the Year" in 1990. His songs have been covered by the Dixie Chicks and others. He has recorded with country singer Jim Eanes, gospel/pop composer Michael Kelly Blanchard, Scott Cleveland, Gail Rundlett, Orrin Star and Elmer Hawkes. He lives in Ipswich, MA, and is a newspaper editor by day.

BILL HENRY (guitar, lead/harmony vocals) started flat picking with friends in high school in Mystic, CT, after being blown away by the genius of Doc Watson. To encourage his interest in music, his father hand crafted a guitar that Bill played on stage for many years, and still uses for practice. The jazz influences that now mark his playing, composing and arranging were nurtured by a year at Boston's Berklee School of Music, plus stints with the jazz/swing group Hot Off the Frets and New York's Charged Particles. A chance meeting with Taylor Armerding in 1981 led to the reformation of Northern Lights in 1982. He has recorded with Marty Cutler and Orrin Star, and contributed original instrumentals and songs to all four of the band's most recent albums. Bill lives in North Stonington, CT, and is a designer for Electric Boat in Groton.

MIKE KROPP (banjo, guitar) started playing banjo and guitar in high school, and went from folk to bluegrass upon hearing Earl Scruggs, who changed his life - he "had to learn the banjo!" He is now a master of traditional, progressive, old-timey and classical banjo, and fingerstyle guitar. A veteran studio musician and record producer, Mike has recorded or performed with artists who span pop, folk and bluegrass, including Carole King, Don McLean, Jose Feliciano, Eric Weissberg. At Columbia Records in New York, he produced Pete Seeger. Prior to joining Northern Lights in 1984, he played with Bluegrass Special and Special Delivery in CT. He also hosted the "Bluegrass Express" radio show on WICN-FM, Worcester, MA, for several years. His original instrumentals appear on all four of the band's recent albums. He lives in Richmond, RI, and is President of Kropp Sales, a sales company serving New York and New England, representing major manufacturers of musical instruments and pro audio equipment.

CHRIS MILES (4-, 5-, and 6-string bass, lead/harmony vocals) joined Northern Lights in the summer of 1996. His vocals, ranging from baritone to very high tenor, and his standout bass breaks fit the band well. He comes from an eclectic musical background. His mother, a soprano, was the protege of Maestro Victor Trucco of the Metropolitan Opera Company, and his father was a great jazz enthusiast. He has recorded and performed with a wide variety of rock, jazz, and country artists. His contemporary Christian rock band LMX has performed in the U. S. and Canada with such notable acts as Grammy winner Steven Curtis Chapman and Charlie Peacock. He is currently in the studio with Steve Hunt of the Allan Holdsworth Band recording original progressive rock compositions. Although his musicial influences are many, his greatest love is the Beatles. Chris lives in Georgetown, MA.

JAKE ARMERDING (fiddle, mandolin, lead/harmony vocals) is already a veteran of the stage and studio at age 19, having studied both classical violin and bluegrass fiddle since he was 5. He won the bluegrass category of the Lowell Fiddle Contest in 1991 at age 13, joined Northern Lights a year later, got rave reviews for his playing on 1994's WRONG HIGHWAY BLUES, and contributed two original tunes to the band's 1996 album, LIVING IN THE CITY. Jake has always been an admirer of the musical trails blazed by Stuart Duncan and Mark O'Connor, but he has never let that entirely eliminate his other interests, including soccer, track, and jazz band. He has won Most Valuable Player awards in state high school jazz band competitions and has been concertmaster of the Northeast Regional District Orchestra. Jake is currently a freshman at Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, and joins the band whenever his academic schedule allows. When not in school, he lives in Ipswich, MA.

© 1996 Northern Lights and Bicoastal Com
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