The Whistlin’ Rufus musicians bring a lot of experience to
the stage and have roots in Classical, Irish, Folk, Bluegrass, Rock and Roll and Jazz music. When you stir it all together combining their exciting knack for arrangements, their three and four part vocal harmonies, original ballads and toe tapping fiddle tunes, well, you end up with Whistlin’ Rufus. The band has been together since 2003, celebrating their 14th anniversary this year.
Pat Connell- Mandolin, Octave Mandolin, Vocals – Founding member of Whistlin’Rufus, Pat also acts as the booking agent, web-guru, equipment manager, and press agent for the band. Pat has been performing in bluegrass and country rock bands for many years from Bend to Portland. Pat and Ritchie co-write much of the original compositions of Whistlin’ Rufus.
Ritchie Wernick- Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals – Founding member of Whistlin’ Rufus, Ritchie is the tunesmith, arranger, producer and resident happy face in the group. Ritchie learned his craft in numerous coffee houses on the East coast.
Natasha O’Neal – Fiddle, Vocals – Natasha hails from Wisconsin and her fiddle playing and high vocal harmonies are the highlight of a Whistlin’ Rufus show. Nat stays fit by chasing around husband Seth and kids Finn and Eliza.
Patrick Connell – Guitar, Vocals – Patrick joined Whistlin’ Rufus
after playing for several years with a Bluegrass band out of Ashland, “The Mighty Lonesomes”. Now playing with his old man, Patrick is the lead guitar player and his flat picking solo’s are the centerpiece of the Whistlin’ Rufus sound.
Zachary Banks – Cello, Vocals – Zach is the newest member of Whistlin’ Rufus and completes the band with his amazing cello and high lonesome harmonies. A classically trained musician, Zach brings composure, youth and great good looks to the band.