The members of The Pleasant Family Old Time String Band are neither family nor always pleasant! We are just friends who met a few years ago through a jam group that played old time music in Largo, Florida. We started performing at local parks, mainly for festivals. Among our credits are a concert for former President Jimmy Carter, at a private celebration in his honor, and headlining the Florida State Fair's Cracker Country for two years in a row. Our band also won first place in the 2005 Florida Old Time Music Championships. Our favorite place to pick is still at the Mercantile Store or the log cabin homestead at Heritage Village in Seminole, Florida. You never know when you might see us there, picking on the front porch of the old log cabin. The 'Family' Chris Frontiero (mandolin) - Chris came to Florida from Gloucester, Massachusetts, known as the eye of the perfect storm. Coming from the northeast, one wonders how he found old time music. "It's the sounds of life from the heart of this land" he says. His mandolin is a "one-of-a-kind" instrument. It's made of zebra wood with a cedar top, and was hand-crafted in St. Petersburg, Florida. While Chris' only real musical background is his love of music, (he insists he fakes the mandolin) he is an important part of the band's rhythm and sound. But he does wish he could play better - so Lauren will quit picking on him. Chris also lends his business expertise to managing the "family." Craig Seastead (banjo) - Craig grew up in the hills of Western Pennsylvania listening to country and western music on the radio. He's been playing the 5 string banjo since his college days. Inspired by a Pete Seeger concert, he abandoned the ukulele (his first instrument at age 11) and also the guitar, for a "new" sound - the banjo. Now retired, a snow bird, and living in Bradenton, Florida, he has narrowed his musical interests toward the old time banjo styles and tunes of the Appalachian Mountains. He plays a unique style of frailing, sometimes a more melodic clawhammer style, and occasionally a thumb-lead two finger picking style...all without finger picks. Kevin Donachy (guitar) - Kevin comes from a family of musicians and disappointed them all when he took up the guitar. Having moved from Erie, Pennsylvania, he is now a full-time resident of the Sunshine State. Kevin lays down some of the best guitar rhythms in the Tampa Bay area and plays on occasion for several other groups. He also works as a bus driver supervisor because, "I can't support the indulgent lifestyle I am accustomed to just by playing music, unfortunately." Lauren Mayeux (fiddle) - Originally from St. Petersburg, and now graduating from college in Orlando, Lauren has lived her entire life in Florida. Lauren dabbled in classical music for a couple of years before she got bored and found old time music, and then quickly became immersed in this rustic style. She has developed an extensive repertoire, and has been a consistently high finisher in state-wide fiddle contests the last few years. Her musical influences include Bruce Molsky, The Freight Hoppers, and a number of local fiddlers. Lauren's strong style of fiddle playing is at the center of the band's authentic sound. Patsy Dollins (bass) - Born in Plant City Florida, Patsy is one of the two members of the band that are original Floridians. She moved away to Tennessee at the age of ten and lived there for thirty three years before returning. Her love of music comes from watching her Momma play the piano and singing in the choir at worship services. Over the years she picked up country, gospel, and southern rock music, to name just a few. Her treasure in life is a hand made guitar that hangs on her 1920's farmhouse wall. It was made for her father when he was a boy, by his uncle. She learned her first tune on that guitar, 'She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain'. After all the musical travels in her life, Patsy still gets excited about playing old time music.
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