Bob Pope

Bob Pope

Bob plays flat top guitar and sings for the group. He started learning how to play the guitar in 1963 while living in Puerto Rico. He was strongly influenced by local, Spanish, classical and flamenco guitarists, as well as the '60's era folk boom. It was not until his Army days in 1977, when Bob attended the All America Bluegrass Festival in Louisville, KY, that the bluegrass bug bit him. He bought his first and only steel string guitar that same year and has been playing bluegrass music ever since. He has enjoyed playing in several local bands and can be found "pickin' and grinnin'" once a month at the Nashua Senior Center in New Hampshire. Bob has 3 daughters and 5 grandchildren, and lives in Nashua, New Hampshire with his fiancé Lisa Greenleaf.

Craig Engel

Craig Engel

Craig sings and plays mandolin for the group. His musical interest started with the saxophone when he was in fifth grade. He started electric guitar lessons when he was twelve, playing in a variety of rock bands. Jimi Hendrix inspired him. Craig first played his grandfather's gourd mandolin at home, learning chords from a book. He also fooled around with the ukulele. Craig became interested in bluegrass music when he moved to New Hampshire in 1989 and met some Bluegrass Picking Buddies. First playing rhythm guitar, Craig switched to mandolin and hasn’t looked back since. He lives in the Meredith, NH area with is wife enjoying time with his three grandsons, playing open mic at the Common Man in Ashland and playing with NewFound Grass.

Roland Young

Roland Young

Roland plays upright bass and sings. He started playing the electric bass at 14 and joined various local rock & roll bands at 17 performing rock n' roll, Top 40 and weddings. His family always listened to country music but he never really cared for the style. However, he always enjoyed listening to bluegrass music while watching old country music TV shows like "Hee-Haw" and the "Porter Wagoner Show". Roland developed an appreciation for acoustic instruments, especially the upright bass, and the level of music that could be made without the use of amplifiers. In 1997, Roland joined the Lowell-based bluegrass band known as Gravy Train. Gravy Train eventually disbanded, but in 2001 he teamed up with Jon Cumming and Dave Norton to form a new bluegrass band that was to become The City Council.

Keith Hillyard

Keith Hillyard

Keith sings and plays the 5-String Banjo. Keith adds over 30 years of experience to the band, having performed all over New England with many of the area's top bluegrass bands. His interest in the banjo and bluegrass music started in the early 1970s listening to WBCN, Boston's innovative alternative FM rock station. It was on that station where he first heard Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys playing "Foggy Mountain Breakdown", the infamous theme to the Bonnie & Clyde movie. But Keith was a big Aerosmith rock fan at the time! His mother Lois and his Aunt Karen gave him his first banjo at the age of 15. With the help of his banjo mentor Herb Rolls and the "Earl Scruggs" instructional book, Keith was soon realizing his dream.

Elise Laflamme

Elise Laflamme

Elise sings and plays fiddle. She started playing the fiddle at the age of 14 when she received a fiddle from her parents as a Christmas present. Elise spent the next 8 years taking lessons with Carl Rebello, a veteran bluegrass fiddler in Dartmouth, MA. It is enough to say that the fiddle is her passion. She loves to fiddle all the time. You can sure tell by her playing. Her influences include Jason Carter, Alison Krauss, Stuart Duncan and Mike Cleveland. In addition to Monadnock, you are likely to see her sit in with several bands in the New England area. And be sure to catch her latest venture; Elise Marie and the Flames!