The Folk Ramblers: Bill Cohen and Carl Yaffey.
The Folk Ramblers perform the popular folk songs of the 60's made famous by Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, the Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul and Mary, and many others.
Catch us at farmer's markets, churches, coffee houses, hootennanys, nursing homes, etc.
Bill Cohen and his brother Bob grew up in a typical 1950s home in Bexley, sons of a radiologist and a homemaker. At the age of 14, Bill taught himself the guitar and seemed to gravitate to folk music. “Michael, Row the Boat Ashore” – an African-American spiritual that had been recorded by folksinger Bob Gibson in 1957, then later by The Highwaymen in 1961 – was one of the most popular folk songs of the early ‘60s and one Cohen remembers well.
“People who didn’t live through that time think the ‘60s began as this wild, explosive decade. It didn’t,” says Cohen. “It was fairly calm, a continuation of the beliefs and lifestyle of the previous decade.” “Michael, Row the Boat Ashore” was typical of the music of that time. Dylan, Ochs, Seeger and Baez came later.
Carl Yaffey, a Multi-instrumentalist (banjo, mandolin, bass, and guitar), grew up in Norfolk, VA and has been playing music on and off since 1962. During the “folkie days”, Carl played banjo and guitar in several Kingston Trio “clone” groups in Norfolk. He moved to Columbus, OH in 1966, and has been involved in the Columbus music scene ever since. Early on he played bass in a country band and several Rock and Roll “oldies” bands (“Bill and the Brunettes”, “Streamliner”). Carl played clawhammer banjo in several old-timey bands (“Turkeys in the Straw”, ”Pit Bull String Band”) and played 3-finger banjo and bass in the bluegrass band “One Riot One Ranger”.
Carl’s professional life began with his move to Columbus to accept a job as a systems analyst/programmer with Bell Laboratories, now Lucent Technologies. After retiring from Lucent in 1989, Carl established his own business, Yaffey Software Development, in order to do independent software design. His other interests and hobbies include Amateur Radio (K8NU), reading, walking, riding a bicycle, and dancing (contra, folk). Carl is married to Debbie Shaw and lives with her by a wonderful ravine in Columbus.
Carl is now a full-time musician. He is the author of several Mel Bay books, "A Banjo Player's Guide to Jamming", "A Flatpicker's Guide to Jamming", "A Mandolin Player's Guide to Jamming", “A Bass Player’s Guide to Jamming”, and “A Fiddle Player’s Guide to Jamming”. Carl formerly taught clawhammer and 3-finger banjo, guitar, mandolin, and and bass and is now retired. He plays banjo in the old-timey band “The Timbre Wolves” and the bluegrass band, “Grassahol”. He plays bass with “BluesSwing”.