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Chris Silver and The Good Intentions
The Good Intentions have been playing driving bluegrass music for over a decade. Silver says that “we were originally inspired by the sounds of Bill Monroe and other first generation bluegrass pioneer, but we created our own blend of bluegrass that taps into some of my original compositions and other contemporary songwriters. Our success has been based on the complimentary picking and singing skills of some of the best known names in the area’s bluegrass scene.
Formerly of the bands Stoney Lonesome, Tangled Roots, and the Kate Mackenzie Band, Silver plays fiddle and mandolin with a deep appreciation for traditional bluegrass music. His solos stretch beyond the boundaries of bluegrass including hints of jazz, blues, and roots music. Chris has amassed a credible sized discography featuring bluegrass, Americana, and global acoustic styles.
Banjo player Heath Loy enjoyed growing up in a “bluegrass music household.” Heath’s fiddle playing father, Bob Loy, owned a music store in Rochester and was one of the founders of the Minnesota Bluegrass Music Association. Heath’s playing is rich with the styles of J D. Crowe, Earl Scruggs, and Ralph Stanley. He also performs with his wife, Becky Schlegel.
Guitarist Mike Cramer is a music major from the University of Northern Iowa. His award winning flatpicking technique has earned him championship titles in both the Minnesota State Fair Flatpicking Competition and Wisconsin’s Upper-Midwest Flatpicking Contest. Mike is a four-tool player who is as comfortable playing jazz standards as he is playing instrumentals from Bill Monroe. His technique is fluid and powerful.
J D. Shaffer holds down the bass role with precision and tone. A fellow music program graduate from the University of Northern Iowa, he sings tenor in a clear and powerful voice. Some of that ability might be related to his training in classical and opera techniques. He has the unique ability to blend with any vocal style and his range seems limitless. He also sings lead vocals on a couple of the group’s contemporary tunes.