MEET THE BAND
Carol Bracken (lead vocals & keys): Growing up as a child of the early 80's in New York, Carol had many musical influences. However, her father is the one who inspired her with his love for rock 'n' roll. Even though she didn't fully appreciate this genre at first as a younger child, her continued exposure cultivated a deep respect for classic rock. Carol sang and played piano for fun throughout high school and then moved to Boston for college where she performed with the Northeastern University rock ensemble. In 2011, after singing a few karaoke songs at a local Italian restaurant/bar in Milford, MA, Carol was asked to join the “Karaoke All-Stars.” Here she joined several other singers to provide vocal entertainment each week for patrons. It was at this venue that Carol was discovered by drummer Dave Gruber, who invited her to become the newest member of the South Street Band.
Carol's vocal style is influenced by musicians ranging from Janis Joplin to Tool to Adele. When she's not rocking out with the boys, Carol works nights as a Registered Nurse in the Cardiothoracic ICU. Despite her busy schedule, Carol always finds the time to unwind with the South Street Band!
Ken Rapp (lead guitar & vocals): Ken began his musical career playing in a rockin' band in high school named Crystal Voyage. During college, he jammed with a variety of friends and gigged off-and-on in Boston. When not gigging with a band, Ken enjoyed playing and singing around the campfire with friends.
With the start of the South Street Band, ambitious music choices catapulted Ken's guitar skills into the next level with incredible solos that rival some of rock's greatest. Ken's musical influences include The Beatles, Jimmy Page, Roger Daltry & Pete Townsend (The Who), Jon Anderson and Steve Howe (Yes), and Al Dimeola.
Rich Hamel (bass guitar & vocals): Music has been part of Rich's life since the very early days listening to his mom's 45's on a little toy turntable. After dabbling with guitar, a couple of friends who were jamming in high school needed a bass player, and once Rich saw Joe Bouchard's bass solo at his first concert, Blue Oyster Cult in Worcester in 1982, the conversion was complete. His favorite bass players to this day are Geddy Lee, Steve Harris, Joe Bouchard, and T. Bone Wolk.
Rich has played in all kinds of bands from hard rock to acoustic duo's and general business bands, both cover and original band. After a fairly long hiatus from playing while his daughters grew up, the opportunity came to play at a charity gig a few summer's back and that led to the formation of the original band Sgt. Kurt with some long time friends (all the way back to 1st grade!) and he's been back at it ever since.
Rich listens to "anything with good hooks and good harmonies" heavy metal to acoustic, but you'll find him listening to BOC, Rush, Iron Maiden, Foo Fighters, and Mark Knopfler most often - and with two daughters who sing and are just as into music as he is (they sang backups on one of Sgt. Kurt's recordings), there is always music on at the Hamel household!
Dave Gruber (drums): Dave’s love for rhythm and music started at a very young age, inspired by his mother who loved Jazz and played the piano. Starting out playing the piano, Dave quickly realized that rhythm was his passion, “drumming” on the kitchen table and then joining the school band. Rock & Roll was his passion, so he quit the school band, emptied his bank account to buy his first drum set at age 11, and quickly formed his first band, Free & Easy. Dave’s love of music and innate rhythm served him well, and recalls his first stage performance in front of a 200+ person crowd as “inspirational and thrilling” at the young age of 14. Free & Easy performed regularly for the next 3 years throughout southern Maine at school dances, fund raisers, and “booze-cruises” in Casco Bay.
Dave went on to expand his musical tastes, playing in a country rock band in college. Ironically, drums played an integral part in how Dave met his future wife while in college. Meeting at a dorm party, he boldly asked Lynn if she wanted to come up to his room to see his drums. Her response: “Sure, why not?” And that was the beginning of a blissfully happy marriage lasting for
over 30 years and still going strong!