The Ocean State Ramblers is a four-piece bluegrass band based in southern New England. We play bluegrass standards, bluegrass-flavored folk and country favorites and original songs, providing fresh, fun and local entertainment. We began picking together at various local bluegrass jams and events. Then one day, we decided to perform as a group at an open mic night and the Ocean State Ramblers was born. Since then, we’ve been playing at venues across Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. We’re a Rhode Island Bluegrass Alliance member band.
We were voted Favorite Bluegrass Band in the 2021 Motif Magazine RI Music Awards. Here’s how Motif Magazine described our band:
FAVORITE BLUEGRASS BAND: OCEAN STATE RAMBLERS
If this isn’t the most warm and inviting assemblage of kindly neighbors I’ve ever witnessed, I don’t know what is! The sweet souls who make up this quartet carry the torch for a traditional form of distinctly American music that endures solely because of the love and labor of musicians like these. If you aren’t fortunate enough to catch them at your local farmers market or various festivals around New England, their website offers tips for the best settings to experience their Soundcloud. I would like to nominate the Ocean State Ramblers for Most Endearing Musical Act, if possible. Protect them at all costs!
Meet the Band
Guitar is Stephen’s first musical love and his intricate flat picking is the perfect fit for the Ramblers’ songs. You’ll also hear him picking banjo with the band, and you might occasionally see him playing upright bass. Steve seems to be on a mission to conquer as many stringed instruments as he can. Stephen has written a number of songs on the OSR set list. His signature number is In a Circle, which is a tribute to his love for bluegrass jamming and chronicles how the members of the Ocean State Ramblers met: attending local bluegrass jams. He likes to tailor song lyrics to the audience and locale, often making up appropriate words on the fly. Stephen’s vocals add a mellow texture to OSR performances.
When not playing with the Ocean State Ramblers, Anne-Marie is a storyteller and musician who has been “edu-taining” youngsters for nearly 25 years. A former teacher and children’s librarian, she performs at schools, libraries and festivals throughout Rhode Island, Connecticut and southern New England. She plays a variety of instruments including guitar, fiddle, banjo and ukulele. Anne-Marie’s main role with the Ramblers is playing fiddle. She started playing the violin as a kid but quit after junior high, taking it up again 15 years ago after a long hiatus. You’ll also occasionally find her playing guitar with the band. Anne-Marie says that her favorite aspect of bluegrass is improvisation, which she says is an important skill in storytelling, too. Her enthusiasm for music is clear in her singing and ability to engage the audience.
Dave’s real-world experience as a writer and a poet shines through in his prolific songwriting. He penned some of the Ocean State Ramblers most popular songs, including the upbeat Coal Miner’s Daughter and the lovely waltz, Marguerite. Dave has a knack for arranging songs, always willing to try something new and coming up with ideas for adding interesting twists to the standard bluegrass format. Dave provides the rhythmic foundation for the Ramblers on upright bass. He also plays mandolin. Dave’s strong voice is well suited to both lead vocals and harmony.
Diane started playing guitar in her early teens, singing John Denver songs with friends around the camp fire at summer camp. Much more recently, she took up the fiddle and mandolin. Hoping to again play music with friends, she started attending local bluegrass jams and joined the Rhode Island Bluegrass Alliance, somehow found herself elected Secretary of the organization. With the Ocean State Ramblers, Diane plays mandolin and guitar. She sings lead and harmony, and has written several original songs, including one with local Rhode Island flavor: Jerimoth Hill Blues. A communications professional by day and a technology geek at heart, Diane has delved into amateur sound engineering, doing recording and post-production, and live sound for the band.