The Foothill Bluegrass Band

The Foothill Bluegrass Band

The heart of the Foothill Band's music is traditional bluegrass with three-part harmony and played exclusively with acoustic instruments. The band also performs many gospel numbers in traditional four-part harmony.

Former schoolmates Scott Rowell and Dave Beaumont performed bluegrass music together on many occasions as teenagers. Several years ago, at a local picking party, they heard the golden voice of Bill Neely and the Foothill Band was launched. The present Foothill band also includes bass sensation Ronnie McGalliard, renowned bluegrass banjo picker Ron Rimmer, and multi-talented Donnie Harvey.

Since its formation the Foothill Band has performed at bluegrass festivals, city functions, reunions, parties, political functions, The Florida Opry, the San Ann Rattlesnake Festival, the Dade City Kumquat Festival, county fairs, VIP dinners, and other events throughout central Florida. The band recently released their first CD Things That Endure.

The Band Members



Dave Beaumont

Dave Beaumont

Originally from the San Antonio, Florida area, now residing in Tampa, Dave started playing bluegrass music at the age of 12. He has been a member of several bluegrass bands including A Piece of Bluegrass, and The Hired Hands, but has spent most of his 27-year musical career performing with his three brothers and two sisters in the Beaumont Family Band. Dave is accomplished on the banjo, acoustic bass, and guitar. As a member of Foothill, Dave plays acoustic guitar and sings lead or baritone. Dave's innovative musical ideas and special arrangements add has helped to create the current Foothill sound.

Robbie Beaumont

As the second Bass player for Foothill, Cousin Robbie plays acoustic bass and fills in on baritone and bass harmony on many gospel numbers. He also grew up in the San Antonio, Florida area. Listening to his dad play guitar and wanting to participate in family sing-a-longs gave Robbie the encouragement to start playing the guitar at the tender age of seven. With plenty of experience behind him, Robbie left San Ann while still a teenager and spent the next twenty years as a professional country road musician mostly playing electric guitar. However, Robbie always had a deep seated love for Bluegrass and once he finally returned to San Ann, he jumped right in the middle of his cousins Beaumont bluegrass band playing fiddle. Robbie's country and jazz background is very much appreciated by the Foothill band.


Ron Rimmer

Ron Rimmer

Ron Rimmer injects both excitement and beauty to the Foothill sound. Ron has been a member of several renowned bands including Marty Rabon's American Bluegrass Express, and the national touring Orange Blossom Bluegrass band. With the support and encouragement from his dad, Ron began playing banjo at the young age of 10. As Ron worked at learning the banjo, he gained much support and encouragement from bluegrass festival performances such as Little Roy Lewis, who eventually became a great friend. Today Ron is well known in the bluegrass circuit and is welcomed by the Foothill Bluegrass Band. Ron grew up and has lived most of his life in the Lakeland, Florida area.



Bill Neely

Bill Neely

Bill comes from the hills of West Virginia, where bluegrass is in the soul of many. Bill started singing as a teenager with his brother and two sisters in a gospel quartet. In the Foothill band, Bill does most of the lead singing and often provides bass vocal on gospel numbers. He has written several of Foothill's most prized numbers. Bill plays rhythm with his 1999 Martin Vintage re-issue HD-28 guitar. Bill has been playing and singing old-time gospel and bluegrass all of his life, actively performing with the bluegrass gospel group Hallelujah Side back in Virginia. Moving to Florida in 1992, Bill now resides in Zephyrhills, Florida.



Scott Rowell

Scott Rowell

Scott's interest in music began when he learned to play the harmonica from his dad. He soon learned to play the guitar and fiddle as a teenager and eventually moved into bluegrass. Formerly with A Piece of Bluegrass, he was a winner in both a state harmonica and string-band contest. Scott, who has lived his entire life in Dade City, Florida, has returned to the bluegrass scene as a member of Foothill Band after being away from music for a number of years. Scott plays the mandolin and fiddle for the Foothill Band and supplies tenor or lead on many Foothill numbers.



Mike Beaumont

Mike Beaumont

A good bluegrass can never have too many Beaumonts. Mike is the sixth man of the Foothill band, helping the Foothill band whenever needed. As the younger brother of Dave, Mike has played bluegrass music virtually all of his life. Along with being in the Beaumont Family Band, he was also a part of the well respected Fire Ants band for many years. Having a formal education in music, Mike is a published composer and has worked in commercial recording, midi for business applications, and is a freelance video/music producer. He is accomplished on many instruments including the mandolin and fiddle. Now residing in the St. Petersburg, Florida, Mike plays the both the acoustic bass and mandolin for the Foothill Band and provides baritone harmony when needed

 

Ronnie McGalliard

Also from Lakeland, Florida, Ronnie Mac is the newest member of the Foothill band playing acoustic/electric bass. One would describe Ronnie's bass playing as hard driving with a soft touch. Like most of the foothill members he started young. While in elementary school Ronnie and a schoolmate (named Alan) had a passion for music and started learning the guitars together. In just a few short years, both boys were road-worthy musicians and Ronnie joined The Lacy Family gospel band. Besides gospel, Ronnie also plays country and bluegrass and has been a member of several bands including The Poley Creek Band and The Gilbert Hancock Band.

Donnie Harvey

To the delight of the Foothill band, Donnie Harvey has become the second banjo and full member of Foothill. Donnie's banjo playing talent along with great baritone singing has opened up many opportunities for the band including some unbelievable double banjo music (with fellow band member Ron Rimmer). Donnie has an extensive background in bluegrass music. Starting on the banjo as a teenager, Donnie was also heavily influenced by the legendary Little Roy Lewis. As a young adult, Donnie and his brother formed a band called Hickory Wind which eventually was considered premier in the state of Florida. Donnie is welcomed with open arms to the Foothill band.