The Roland White Band

The Roland White Band


Mandolin legend Roland White’s infectious rhythms lead this agile and swinging bluegrass band, with out-on-a-limb banjo adventures and old-fashioned country duets. The band exudes a joyful drive that earned a Grammy nomination in 2002 for their CD “Jelly On My Tofu.”


The Roland White Band

Roland White is known as one of the few unique stylists on the mandolin, with his own unmistakable sound and touch. In his distinguished career in bluegrass music, Roland has played in some of the most influential and popular groups in the music's history, and has played a large part in creating that history. Roland's soul and impeccable rhythm enable him to seem to dance through his instrument. Add to this his mastery of ensemble playing, harmonic sophistication, and warm voice guided by a swinging sense of phrasing, and you have the legend of bluegrass that Roland has become.

The Roland White Band is Roland's current venture with bandmates Diane Bouska on guitar and vocals, banjo master Richard Bailey and versatile bassist Todd Cook. The band's debut album "Jelly On My Tofu", named after one of three of Roland's original instrumentals on the album, was nominated for a Grammy in 2003.

The Roland White Band's repertoire consists of old and new bluegrass classics, traditional country songs, original instrumentals, traditional instrumentals with a special fondness for Monroe, and a few favorites from Roland's years with the Kentucky Colonels and Country Gazette. Roland and Diane Bouska sing textured duets in the classic country and bluegrass styles; Diane specializes in blues-flavored numbers in her distinctive voice, and in-the-pocket rhythm guitar. Richard Bailey provides a sparkling and often mischievous banjo, fluent across the spectrum from the straight-ahead Scruggs to melodic and swing tunes. On bass, Todd Cook shores up the bottom with a solidly swinging jazz sensibility and a big, warm tone. Roland's reputation as a master of timing is borne out in the band's rhythmic solidarity and drive.

More about Roland White:
Springing from a large family of musicians, Roland, along with brothers Eric and Clarence, first played together as youngsters in their native Maine. Moving to southern California in 1955, The Country Boys (later to become The Kentucky Colonels) won talent contests and appeared on local television shows and even landed appearances on The Andy Griffith Show. The Kentucky Colonels' influence has far exceeded the band's short tenure as an active band. Their "Appalachian Swing" album remains one of the most influential albums of that era, a landmark in the history of bluegrass. During the years the Kentucky Colonels were together, they featured such great musicians as Roger Bush, Billy Ray Lathum, Leroy Mack, Bobby Slone, and the legendary fiddler Scott Stoneman.

Moving from The Kentucky Colonels into a position as guitarist for Bill Monroe in the late 60's, Roland absorbed the traditional feel and repertoire from the Father Of Bluegrass that remains a strong element in his music today. He also took part in several landmark recording sessions while a Bluegrass Boy, among them The Gold Rush, Is The Blue Moon Still Shining, Crossing The Cumberlands, Sally Goodin, Kentucky Mandolin, and The Walls Of Time. From Monroe's band, Roland moved on to that of another bluegrass pioneer, Lester Flatt, playing mandolin and recording several albums as a member of The Nashville Grass from 1969-1973. In 1973 a short-lived reunion of The White Brothers was brought to an untimely end due to Clarence White=s tragic death. Roland then began a thirteen-year tenure with the progressive west coast group Country Gazette, first playing guitar and then mandolin, with such bluegrass luminaries as Byron Berline, Alan Munde, Joe Carr, and Roger Bush. Roland's most recent musical affiliation, with the highly decorated Nashville Bluegrass Band, began in 1989 and ended when he left that group at the end of 2000. The Nashville Bluegrass Band distinguished themselves as the premier bluegrass band of their generation, winning two Grammies and Grammy nominations on all of their albums.

Richard Bailey
Banjoist Richard Bailey hails from Memphis, Tennessee, and has performed with innumerable bluegrass, country and pop artists, among them Vassar Clements, Larry Cordle, Kathy Chiavola, The Cluster Pluckers, and Curly Seckler. He's also a studio pro, having recorded with the likes of George Jones and Tammy Wynette, Al Green, and Kenny Rogers, and on Roland's 1994 Sugar Hill release, as well as many others. Richard is featured as one of the banjo masters in Pete Wernick and Tony Trischka's book, Masters Of The Five String Banjo.
Diane Bouska
Guitarist and vocalist Diane Bouska is a native of Overland Park, Kansas and has made Nashville her home since 1978. She plays and teaches banjo and studies jazz guitar in addition to writing and performing original songs Diane appeared on Roland's 1994 Sugar Hill album "Trying To Get To You", and has worked as a guitarist for dances around Nashville and as a member of Roland's New Kentucky Colonels over the past twelve years. She and Roland have performed as a duet at numerous venues, ran


What's The Matter With You

Written By: Diane Bouska

What's the matter with you
That you never cry
And you're nearly always satisfied
What's the matter with me
That I'm never blue
What's the matter with me
What's the matter with you

Chorus 1:
What's the matter with us
That we never fight
And we always do
Each other right
Where did we go wrong
It's a mystery
What's the matter with you
What's the matter with me

What's the matter with me
That I don't blame you
For all the foolish things you do
What's the matter with you
That you forgive me too
What's the matter with me
What's the matter with you

What's the matter with us
That we tell the truth
And we're not alarmed
By our fading youth
Could it be that love
Is all that we can see
What's the matter with you
What's the matter with me


Repeat 1st chorus
What's the matter with you
What's the matter with me


Jelly On My Tofu (CD album- 2002 Grammy nominee)
Trying To Get to You (CD album-1994)
Roland White Discography:
extensive, includes Nashville Bluegrass Band,
Country Gazette, Kentucky Colonels, Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, and Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass. See

Nashville Bluegrass Band's two Grammy winning albums
The White Brothers: Live In Sweden
Kentucky Colonels: Appalachian Swing

Set List

A typical show consists of two 45 minute sets with a 30 minute intermission.
A typical set list:
Jelly On My Tofu - original instrumental, jazzy uptempo bluegrass waltz
Toy Heart - classic Bill Monroe bluegrass song
I Might Take You Back Again - bluegrass song from Roland's Kentucky Colonels days
Flesh, Blood and Bone - "jump" blues originally sung by Little Esther Phillips in the 50's
Alabama Jubilee - standard done as a jazzy instrumental
Hoping That You're Hoping - classic Louvin Brothers country duet, uptempo
Roland's Rag - original swing instrumental
Loose Talk - uptempo country duet originally sung by Buck Owens and Rose Maddox
Bermuda Drive - original, hard-driving banjo instrumental
The Last Letter - country tear-jerker
What's The Matter With You? - original country song in Hank Williams style
Clinch Mountain Backstep -bluegrass banjo staple instrumental
New River Train/Ya'll Come -fast medley of song and instrumental breaks to close, with audience participat