The Band

The Skiffle Minstrels is a Western Swing dance band. Founded in 2003, the group cover the songs of Bob Wills and all the great Western Swing bands of the 30s and 40s and perform original material written in the same style. In 2015 the band released its third CD "Happy Hour." The album was nominated by the Academy of Western Artists as Best Western Swing record of the year. They also have two independently released CDs: "Homespun" and "All God's Children Gotta Dance" - the later produced by Grammy nominee Dwane Hall - owner of the legendary Sportsmen's Tavern in Buffalo, NY where the band has played a monthly Happy Hour show for over a decade. The Skiffle Minstrels have received awards in categories ranging from Best Country Act, Best Genre Defying Act to Top Original Group. The Skiffle Minstrels travel the North East playing at festivals, clubs and parties and are always looking to expand!

Paul Todaro - Bass Fiddle, Vocal

Paul is a devoted follower of Hank Williams, Hank Thompson, Hank Locklin, Hank Penny, Hank Snow and all the other Hanks of country music. He is a self taught bass player and a founding member of The Skiffle Minstrels. Paul enjoys the challenge of writing music in specific styles. He has written several vocal scores for the plays of Bertolt Brecht, hours of incidental music for the theatre, commercial jingles as well as old timey country and western swing songs for The Skiffle Minstrels.

Phil Knoerzer - Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica

Phil is no stranger to Americana music - back in 1971, he was a founding member of The American Flyer Jug Band. He is the band's official archivist and librarian, God bless him.  A self-taught guitarist and harmonica player, he's also a founding member of the Skiffle Minstrels.

Bill "Hutch" Hutchison - Drums

Bill is and has been a well known figure in the Western New York music scene since the late 70s. Although known as a jazz player, for his recording work with Gospel group Strike The Rock and member of the national award winning Sikora Post Legion Band, Hutch's main influence and favorite music to play is Country and Texas Swing.

Chris Jones - Fiddle

Over the last ten plus years Chris has sang and played guitar and banjo in several Mid-western bluegrass groups including "The Whistlepig Stringband" and "Pochontas County."  He enjoyed playing theaters, music camps and festivals all across the Mid West and Canada. Chris studied traditional music at Chicago Illinois's Old Town School of Folk Music in the early 90's  All along Chris has been a fan of old time fiddle music. "Truly one of my favorite things in life to make music that makes people dance."

Dave Mussen - Clarinet

Dave "Lockjaw" Mussen is a multi-instrumentalist who enjoys writing and playing music in a variety of genres. In addition to playing with The Skiffle Minstrels, Dave is a member of the Robot Holiday collective, and can be found stompin' around town with his clarinet in the 12/8 Path's eclectic Afro-Latin parade band.

Jim Whitford - Steel Guitar

 Jim Whitford is a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist. Playing mostly in the Buffalo area (Country, Bluegrass, Blues, Rock, Folk), he works in a number of groups playing pedal steel, dobro, lap steel, guitar and bass. He was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall Of Fame in 2006.

Gary Meixner - Steel Guitar

 
G. Elwyn "Gary" Meixner began playing music in the 1970s and quickly emerged as a significant figure in the vibrant music scene in Oswego, New York, which arose on Water Street and the famous Lowlife Caffé. After a brief sojourn in New Orleans, Elwyn settled in Western New York. He has spent the past 20-plus years there singing and playing country blues on guitar, banjo and harmonica, and now–with Bob Dunn as his inspiration and Queen Lili'uokalani his muse–Elwyn has embarked on a passionate exploration of the Hawaiian steel guitar as a member of the Skiffle Minstrels.