Dan O'Brien - guitar and vocals
Dan O’Brien moved to Madison, WI in the spring of 1997, and shortly thereafter founded bluegrass band the Nob Hill Boys with fellow Drifter Jon Peik. During his time in the band, Dan played alongside two former members of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, performed on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, and the group received a number of awards - a Wisconsin Area Music Industry Award for Best Bluegrass Band and the Madison Area Music Awards for Best Bluegrass Band and Best Bluegrass Album. Jon and Dan have also played in the Lonesome Aces with Nob Hill Boy madolinist and 89.9FM WORT radio personality John Fabke. For several years Dan also hosted a popular Monday night open stage and jam session in Madison with Fabke. Dan’s first instrument is guitar, but he has also performed on string bass with Bill and Bobbie Malone, and Kevin Tubb and the Lonely Stars.
Matt Nafranowicz grew up playing piano and studied jazz at UW-Stevens Point. In addition to the piano, Matt plays the accordion, Hammond organ and pedal steel guitar. Matt has played and recorded with several Madison-based bands in the past including Kevin Tubb and the Lonely Stars, Love High, and the Nafranaphonics.
Jon Peik has been actively performing and recording with various bands in the Midwest since 1986. From blues and classic country to gospel and bluegrass, his playing is well rounded and tasteful on several instruments. Jon is accomplished on guitar, mandolin, 5-string banjo and acoustic bass. Jon played mandolin, banjo, and keyboard for 8 years with The Pitneys, a gospel band from Rockford, IL, and is a founding and current member of the Nob Hill Boys and Milwaukee’s Above the Town. Jon teaches banjo, mandolin, guitar, and jam classes at Spruce Tree Music and Hartland Music and works as the music coordinator at his church.
Greg Smith performs on clarinet, saxophone and flute in a wide variety of musical organizations and styles including the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, “Madison’s Own” Capitol City Band, The Reptile Palace Orchestra, Yid Vicious Klezmer Ensemble, the Avenue Sizzlers, his own Greg Roberts Jazz, and Madison’s newly-formed Merenge and Salsa band, Grupo Candela.
Jon Vriesacker has studied at the Berklee College of Music with Matt Glaser and has worked with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gunther Schuller. He has performed with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and with violin legends Johnny Frigo and Johnny Gimble. Jon has played on promotional materials for Lands’ End and Miller Brewing and can be heard on Freedy Johnston’s Right Between the Promises, Willy Porter’s Falling Forward, and Grammy-nominated Version 2.0 with the rock band Garbage. Jon also played on “Al Otro Lado del Rio” from the movie The Motorcycle Diaries, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2005.
Ben Wolf is a life long drummer currently living in the Madison area. He's recently recorded and toured with numerous folk, rock, and Americana groups including Corey Hart, Anna Vogelzang, Count this Penny, Evan Murdock, Nick Brown and many more.