Craig Keil was nine years old when he first began accordion lessons. Unfortunately the accordion teacher hit his fingers when he played the wrong notes, which was quite often. Craig endured six years of lessons until he was fifteen, when he was introduced to 60's and 70's soul music. He then began playing the Hammond B-3 organ and singing lead vocals in local bands.
In addition to The Allman Brothers Band; Tower of Power, Santana, James Brown, King Curtis and Miles Davis were all major influences on Craig's playing style. Craig has toured with blues legend Rory Block and recorded with a host of major artists in the Hudson Valley area of New York. He has also worked as a studio musician for Fania and Move 'N Groove Records. Last year Craig joined the RRR roster and offered additional support as “Jam Band Counselor”.
Mike started taking drum lessons while attending Hudson Junior High School and was chosen to play the cymbals, woodblock and triangle in the All-County Band in 1969. He was first introduced to the Allman Brothers Band in 1971 with the “Live At The Fillmore” album and subsequently “Eat A Peach,” which were both staples in Mike's herbal cleaning accessories. Ironically, Mike met Butch and his wife Melinda 27 years later in Palm Beach, Florida and became instant friends. Butch has been quoted as saying, “Mike is on my list of the witty, crazy people I've known.”
Mike served as director of “The Butch Trucks Drum Workshops” and was considered to be Butch's “left-hand man.” Mike's role at Roots Rock Revival is as a special liaison between campers and the Roots Rock Revival Band members. He is determined to ensure that all campers will have their expectations exceeded!
Melody Trucks is a life-long student of music. Being born into a musical family, she was surrounded by incredible musicians from the start. She began studying flute at the age of 7, but expanded to all woodwinds as she progressed through high school. She switched to percussion in college, studying ethnomusicology with a focus in Balinese and Brazilian music. While she did sing occasionally with her brother, Vaylor Trucks of the Yeti Trio, it was not her main focus. After deciding to surprise her father, Butch Trucks of the Allman Brothers Band, by singing at an open jam hosted by Hub Chason at the Bradfordville Blues Club in Tallahassee, Florida, Melody was invited to tour with his latest group, Butch Trucks and the Freight Train. The Melody Trucks Band emerged as a way for her to carry on the legacy he began, as well as a way for her to voice her own musical ideas.
Heather Gillis is the complete package as a guitar player, lap steel player, songwriter, singer and arranger. She and her band have the stage presence and confidence to appeal to a variety of musical tastes be it rock, soul, jazz, roots or gospel. At 23 years old, Heather has not only formed a following at a local level, but has played alongside and befriended members of The Allman Brothers Band, Col Bruce Hampton, The Lee Boys, North Mississippi All-Stars, Matt Schofield, and many more. In 2015 Heather was drafted by (legendary Allman Brothers drummer) Butch Trucks to be a member of his touring band, Butch Trucks and the Freight Train Band (2015-2017) Heather’s live shows are energetic and consist of her original music as well as rock, soul, and roots music