Bill Shaffer

plays bass, sings lead and harmony vocals, and is our  MC. Bill lives in Coopersburg, PA. and is founder of Willow Creek Bluegrass Band, a 20 year tradition in Bucks, Montgomery & Lehigh Counties. He is a member  of the Appalachian Fiddle & Bluegrass Association.  Bill got his first guitar when he was 15 years old as a gift from his mother. He practiced with a school mate until he could play some the the 50’s rock-n-roll songs by ear. For many years afterward he mainly picked at home, playing and singing occasionally for church functions. Then in the early 80’s, Bill and two others formed a bluegrass band called the “Pleasant Valley Boys”. The band was short lived but Bill continued on by forming a country gospel band with some of his church friends called “The Overflow Singers”. They played churches and other functions for about 13 years. Then in 1995, the “Pleasant Valley Boys” got together for a reunion, enjoying it so much, some of the original players started the “Willow Creek” Bluegrass band. During this time Bill started playing bass fiddle. Bill also played mandolin for about three years with a group called “Garage Kept Bluegrass”.  These days, Bill not only leads “Willow Creek” he also is a music mentor for “Flint Hill Express”. In his spare time he enjoys jamming with bluegrass friends every chance he gets!

 

Rich Laughlin

began playing guitar and singing in 1977 as part of the Bucks County Folksong Society. In 2002 he joined the eclectic folk band Faith and Practice, composed of several Quakers (hence the name) and performed with them for 10 years. During this time his interest widened to include bluegrass and he became a member of the Doylestown Jam, based in Hilltown, PA. To improve his performance skills, he studied with flat-picking champion Mark Cosgrove and began to participate with the bi-monthly Washington House bluegrass jams.  Since 2007 he has been a member of the Willow Creek Bluegrass Band. He has an ongoing membership with the Appalachian Fiddle and Bluegrass Association (AFBA). He has performed at many venues, including, Chimayo Gallery, Perkasie, PA., Perkasie Patchwork Coffeehouse and AFBA’s Wind Gap Festival. 

 

Dave Stever 

began his musical journey taking accordion lessons when he was a kid.  Those lessons helped him develop an ear for music that is so important in bluegrass. He picked up a guitar in college and played folk music whileat a fiddle festival in Mariposa, Canada, around 1972 and washooked. He saw John Prine at that festival which has really beenan influence on the type of songs he likes to sing and the style of his performances. He has dabbled in song writing and took second place in a song writing contest a few years ago at Smoked Country Jam bluegrass festival. He started a band around 1974 called Mail Pouch Express The pinnacle of that experience was several shows at Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors during the summer season. Mail Pouch played up and down the East coast for about 20 years. 
That experience taught him a lot about singing and especially harmony parts. He picked up the mandolin while playing for Mail Pouch in order to provide rhythm and sing. Today he is with Willow Creek and enjoys the comradery of the current members and is happy to be accepted into 
the group. These days, he concentrates much of his time to ole time fiddle music. He won the Pocono folk and bluegrass fiddle contest a few years 
ago.

Dennis Schuler

began playing guitar and banjo in high school. He took lessons from Wes Clemmer. In high school and college he played banjo with Mickey Bieberfeld and the Franconia Cowboys. After graduating from college he picked occasionally with Jim Williard, his brother-in-law. Denny returned to playing bluegrass shortly before retiring, He now plays banjo for Willow Creek and Without a Paddle Bluegrass Bands.   He’s a member of AFBA and enjoys going to area jams and bluegrass festivals.