The Gin Mill Pickers
– Our Sound – Eric Ellis – lead guitar and harmonies; Randy Sarton – finger-style guitar and lead vocals. Both dabble in kazoo. At a typical performance, GMP might play a few tunes from the 60’s British Invasion – the Beatles, Kinks, Zombies, then segue to an original or a 1930’s Bessie Smith / Piedmont Blues number or a folk classic. “We have been told our repertoire is wide-ranging, different, interesting, and enjoyable. We love when we see audiences swaying to our sound, tapping their feet and smiling.
Randy Sarton’s career in music began in his early teens playing guitar, saxophone, and vocals on the rock n roll club circuit throughout Chicagoland. Later in college, he discovered folk music and acoustic blues, performing in numerous coffeehouses, night clubs, concerts and festivals. His finger-picking style and vocals cover an eclectic range of music and have been noted for creating instant connections with his audience. He holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Notre Dame. In his professional career, Randy has also enjoyed his work as a college professor, entrepreneur, and ecotour guide. He is based out of Black Mountain, NC.
Eric has worked as lead guitarist for several national touring artists including ZZ’s Best, Jim Morris & the Big Bamboo Band, and the Ronnie Morgan Band opening for dozens of Nashville headliners including Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Toby Keith, Diamond Rio, Rascal Flatts, and Little Big Town. Eric has been writing and performing his original music in venues across the country for several years and has produced two CD’s of his own. Heavily influenced by the Texas blues styles of Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Billy Gibbons, Eric honed his skills as a blues guitarist and became a sought after sideman. Eric is a native of Canada and holds a business degree from Loyola College. He is based out of Hendersonville, NC.