Band Bios

Jim Bertolin - Banjo, Dobro, Vocals

The "drive behind the 5" has been playing bluegrass since the '70s when he played with the Windy Ridge Ramblers and the Prairie Union Bluegrass Band touring the Midwest. Self-taught, he plays a variety of styles from classic Scruggs to melodic fiddle tunes and old-time frailing.

Attending bluegrass festivals since 1972, he was fortunate to see many of the bluegrass pioneers on a regular basis including Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, Don Reno, Ralph Stanley & Roy Lee Centers. This provided a deep understanding of bluegrass that is at the core of Jim's vision for the Stanleytones. He also saw the great brother acts of Bobby and Sonny Osborne, Jim and Jesse, and a rare performance of The Allen Brothers. His musical influences for traditional banjo playing are Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley and J.D. Crowe; for his melodic influence he credits Bob Black and Jack Hicks. His main dobro influence is Josh Graves.

Photo: Clarke WrightClarke Wright - Fiddle

Since the early '70s, Clarke has been playing bluegrass in some form or another. He worked with David Ferretta and the Sunday River Boys in Denver and appears on their Biscuit City recording "You Can Dress 'Em Up, But You Can't Take 'Em Out." He spent over 30 years with The Hollywood Rodeo Band and later, their pared down acoustic version High, Wide and Handsome. They recorded 7 albums and toured extensively, visiting over 40 nations and territories, entertaining our nation's Armed Forces.

He picked up the fiddle "sometime back in the 20th Century", is self-taught and says "when I hit a wrong note or clam-out a break I just blame my teacher".

Photo: Nathan SwartzNathan Swartz - Mandolin, Vocals

Nathan Swartz began his musical journey playing piano at the age of five then later on, shifted his talents to guitar by studying Classical, Rock and Jazz improvisation at Berklee College of Music. After leaving Boston he focused on playing Mandolin. Influenced by Bill Monroe, he got the bluegrass bug and experienced firsthand the magic of greats such as Jimmy Martin, the Osborne Brothers, Jim & Jessie, Ralph Stanley, Charlie Waller, Larry Sparks and many more. Heading to Alaska, Nathan and a childhood friend established the traditional bluegrass band Clark County.

Their brother like harmonies, driving sound and legendary stage presence allowed the band to travel extensively and share the stage with some of the best in the business including David Grisman, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Peter Rowan and Colorado's own Bluegrass Patriots. He studied with Mandolin master Bernard Glansbeck and played full-time with the Bernard Glansbeck Quartet.

Nathan joined the Stanleytones in 2014 picking and singing the high lonesome sound of bluegrass.

Photo: Tracy DensonTracy Denson – Bass, Vocals

Tracy grew up singing on the family farm in New Mexico. Her rural roots and simple country raising are evident in the pure beauty of her voice. Tracy sang in high school choir, but her God-given gift to sing is something that you just can't teach. With a voice as clear as a mountain stream, Tracy has performed for crowds at bluegrass festivals and other venues all across Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Kansas. She also plays bass to add to her list of talents.

Her bluegrass influences include Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton and Rhonda Vincent but the ladies of country music, Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline also play a role. One of the first times that Tracy sang with Sebie was on their wedding day and they have been harmonizing ever since.

Photo: Sebie DensonSebie Denson – Guitar, Vocals

Sebie first performed to a crowd at age 3. He was hooked after finding that people would applaud and cheer. A multi-instrumentalist, he plays guitar, bass and mandolin. Growing up he listened to classic country stars including Jim Reeves and Red Foley and watched Hee Haw on TV. Performing in a gospel trio with his mother and father from age 10 until he went to college, Sebie was introduced to bluegrass in his early teens. It was then the bluegrass seed took root. J.D. Crowe and the New South with Rice, Skaggs and Douglas plus Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver inspired him with the modern (at the time) approach to bluegrass and harmonies that were a perfect blend of voices.

He studied Music Education and Bluegrass Music at South Plains College in Levelland, TX. The perfect duet was formed when he met Tracy and 29 years later he still get the same chills singing with his favorite vocal partner of all!