The Band -
The Skiffle Minstrels is a Western Swing dance band. Over the last 15 years they have received multiple popularity and "best of" awards from local publications and music organizations, including "Best Band of 2018" from the Sportsmens Americana Music Foundation. They have played everywhere in the Buffalo, NY area from The Colored Musicians Club to Nietzsches - as well as venues and festivals in Central NY, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Their monthly Western Swing Happy Hour at the Sportsmens Tavern is now in its second decade.
The music is a fun, upbeat mixture of country, jazz and blues. The band features the tunes of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, Hank Williams, The Boogie Woogie of Louis Jordan, as well as big band tunes with a country kick from Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington.
The current lineup includes: Buffalo Music Hall of Famer Jim Whitford on Steel Guitar, multi-instrumentalist Dave Mussen on Clarinet, Midwest Fiddler Chris Jones, veteran jazz and polka drummer Bill Hutchison and original members Phil Knoerzer on guitar and leader Paul Todaro on Upright Bass.
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
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.