Long before the advent of The Bluegrass Battleship, we can trace our origin back to the days when Terry and Scott met and started playing banjo/guitar duets. You can make your best guess as to the date of this newspaper photo...it was a while ago, back when shorts were actually short. For almost forty years we've managed to maintain our friendship without the aid of Facebook...it's a miracle.

Marc Alperin (Bass)

Marc Alperin's introduction to string instruments came in third grade when the conductor of his elementary school orchestra was desperate for a bass player. With the help of an overturned milk carton as platform, Marc was nearly able to reach the fingerboard of a quarter-sized instrument. After studying classical bass for a number of years, Marc picked up a Fender and experimented with rock, blues, and country before moving to Fairbanks, Alaska where he found his true calling: bluegrass bass. He has played with a variety of bluegrass and acoustic bands including Mando Commando, Nenana River Pig Farm Fugitives, One Size Fits All, Tree Surgeons, and most recently, Right Turn Clydes. Marc now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Terry Baker (Banjo, Dobro)

Terry Baker bought his first banjo during the folk music revival when he was fourteen because he was told it would be a chick magnet. He's still waiting. But in the meantime, he fell in love with the sound and has been playing ever since. All those little points of sound that the banjo produces add energy and rhythm and help to create the unique bluegrass sound.

"When I started learning the banjo, there were no teachers or books other than Pete Seeger's. Mostly we learned by playing our 33rpm LPs at 16rpm and imitating what we heard. Since then, my banjo, and more recently my dobro, have taken me to countless jam sessions and festivals, and introduced me to some of the best people one could ever hope to meet. Folks who aren't part of the bluegrass community will never know what they're missing."

Mel Freedman (Mandolin)

Mel Freedman, a humble Jewish carpenter who grew up in the Holy Land, plays a mean homemade mandolin. In his spare time, he enjoys building and repairing stringed instruments, mucking about in boats, frying fish, and hoarding exotic lumber.


Danny Gotham (Guitar, Mandolin)

Growing up in upstate NY in the 1960s, Danny Gotham got the bug to play guitar when the Beatles were televised into his family's living room. Since that time, Gotham has developed into a master flatpicker and fingerpicking instrumentalist.

Gotham cut his musical teeth playing in various rock, jazz, blues, bluegrass and country bands. The Racquette River Rounders — an eclectic trio based in the Northeastern US. His next group — Summit, a bluegrass band that featured 1984 National Bluegrass banjo champion, Chris Leske. In 1980, Gotham took Second Place in the prestigious National Fingerpicking Guitar Championship in Winfield, KS.

His most recent musical collaborations have been' as accompanist to the great folksinger Tom Paxton and original "Prairie Home Companion" music director, Peter Ostroushko.

As a teacher, Gotham's incredibly wide range of musical experiences has given him the ability to teach almost any student — regardless of style, instrument or level of expertise.

Gotham has performed on the nationally syndicated radio broadcast Michael Feldman's "Whad'ya Know?" He appeared on the soundtrack of the PBS film "Hungers of the Soul." And, in one of his more unusual gigs, Gotham was the ukulele tutor for Tom Selleck as the actor prepared for the Broadway production of "A Thousand Clowns."

Gotham has released four well-received solo recordings — "Luzerne," "Old Friends," "Guitarheel" and "Sundays."

Catherine Grodensky (Vocals)

Catherine hails from Winston-Salem, NC, where she studied piano for many years before realizing that singing is MUCH easier. At that point, she started performing in school musicals and asking her church-going friends to invite her to sing in their church services.

In college, she discovered a love of singing a cappella and joined the raucous a cappella group The New Dominions, directed by none other than Jon Provan. Little did she know that several years later, shortly after moving to Chapel Hill, she'd run into Jon's parents (Scott and Jane Provan) and start a wonderful musical partnership with them singing a wide range of music in the Community Church of Chapel Hill choir, church musicals, and the group Folk by Four. She subsequently begged the Bluegrass Battleship to let her sing with them, and they said okay. So now, here she is!

Jane Provan (Vocals)

Jane got hooked on folk music listening to brother Skip singing Kingston Trio hits on his ukulele. At Carnegie-Mellon, she was in the student-written musicals produced by their drama club, Scotch 'n Soda. She met Scott at a mixer, and it was love at first sight, including making music, singing Simon and Garfunkel and Peter, Paul and Mary duets into the wee hours of the night! Marrying in 1971, they went off to the Silver Bay YMCA conference center, where they were leads in their summer musicals. They met Terry Baker when he directed them in Guys and Dolls. Terry quickly got Scott hooked on bluegrass. Lucky for them, they successfully convinced Terry and wife Jill to retire in Carrboro.

Jane has sung with various choruses, trios and quartets over the years and performed in musicals at The Community Church of Chapel Hill UU. A proud mother of 3 sons and grandmother of 7, her happiest musical moments have been performing with her talented family!

Scott Provan (Guitar)

Scott started playing guitar when he was twelve, disappearing into the basement with three monophonic Peter, Paul & Mary vinyls. He came out several months later talking kinda funny, but with all the songs learned note for note. It was all downhill from there. He worked his way from singing duets with his sister in campgrounds to various folk trios that consisted of his wife and anybody else who was willing to put up with them. They took the plunge to folk quartet singing with their current group Folk by Four, three-quarters of which also sing in the Battleship. Scott decided at that point he had reached his limit, since arranging 5-part harmony makes him dizzy.

He started playing bluegrass with Terry in the mid-70s, when they competed in – and lost – the banjo competition at the Newfield Bluegrass Festival (see grainy photo at top). Bluegrass is less taxing, since they don't give the guitar many breaks and the harmonies can be put together in a reasonably comfortable living room. After 45 years of playing bluegrass, he thinks he'll stick with it.

Eileen Regan (Fiddle)

Eileen Regan grew up just outside Philadelphia. She has sung all her life, starting with the church choir of St. Andrew. Locally, Eileen has sung in the Community Church choir and an a cappella group called Equivox. Subsequently, her mother persuaded her to try the violin. It was love at first sight. She has played ever since — only classical violin at first, but she later discovered the joys of Irish fiddle music.

Eileen plays in a band called Big Celtic Fun with her husband, Tim Smith. They play concerts, contra dances and in the many Irish sessions around town. They are currently making a CD. Eileen also plays in a Celtic, all-women band called Ladies of the Lake.

Eileen has recently made the leap into bluegrass fiddling and is having a great time learning the tunes and vocal harmonies of bluegrass.