It was once said by the American jazz singer and trumpet player, Louis Armstrong, that ‘Musicians don’t retire; they stop when there’s no music in them.’ If that is the case, the members of Burke St. Band will be playing for a long time, entertaining with their covers of classic rock and blues. The five guys that make up Burke St. Band all come from different backgrounds, personally and professionally, but each brings with them an ability to get their audiences moving, singing and dancing to music that everyone knows.
John Riddle – Lead Vocals
For John Riddle, music has always been a part of his life, from singing in churches to managing restaurants in Charlotte and working with bands. “I grew up in the Charlotte, NC area, but now live in Southmont, NC with my wife and son, Gage, who is 7 years old. My day job is in commercial construction and I’m a stay at home dad, but music is my passion. Most of us have been playing together in some capacity since 2009 at Sunrise UMC in Clemmons, NC, but really came together when Eric Coulson, a founding member, brought all of us together as a band to play for a charity event to benefit a friend with cancer. When I’m not singing, I enjoy writing music, mainly blues,” said John.
Ron Reed – Bass Player
Although bass player Ron Reed didn’t grow up in this area, this Illinois native and Marine has called Winston-Salem, NC home for 15 years. “I picked up the bass when I was in the service in Okinawa, Japan, and formed a band there. I eventually played at Sunrise UMC, along with the rest of the guys and discovered that after a long time of not playing, I loved it more this time around. Life is busy with my wife and three daughters, as well as my job as a physical therapist with Gentiva, and playing golf when I can, but whenever we can all get together, it’s great to play with these guys,” Ron commented.
Ron Fobes – Drummer
If you ask Ron Fobes how he came to play the drums, the answer might surprise you. “I was singing at church, Sunrise UMC, and didn’t have any musical experience except taking guitar lessons and having my mom pay me not to play. When the church drummer quit, I stepped in and then joined this band. I think they just let me play with them because we practice in the basement of my business, Next Connections, on Burke Street in Winston-Salem, NC. My role is simple….I stay rock solid on the tempo and let these guys do what they do best,” stated Ron.
Scott McCall – Lead Guitar
Lead Guitar player Scott McCall, a native and resident of Kernersville, NC, began playing guitar when his brother, who was taking lessons, taught him a few chords. “After learning those chords, I eventually took folk and classical lessons from Ron Kickasola who performed with Peter, Paul and Mary, Joni Mitchell and others during the ‘60s. I played in bands throughout high school and college. About 10 years ago, I started playing in church with Ron Fobes and Ron Reed. We briefly formed a group called Waiting on Wings that did Christian covers. In 2009 I was contacted by a former coworker, Eric Coulson. Eric was helping with a benefit for a friend with cancer and asked if I would join in him in a two-song gig to raise money for her treatment. I agreed and we immediately started practicing for the event. We had some difficulty keeping time on a particularly slow song so I suggested bringing in a bass player – Ron Reed. Ron joined us and not too much later, Ron Fobes joined us on drums. Eric made the statement that we had something going, and he knew a guy that could really “belt out the blues.” That’s when we added John Riddle on vocals. Burke Street Band was born,” Scott commented. During the day, Scott is an executive at Trinity Transport in Lexington, NC.
Mike Holmes – Acoustic Guitar and Background Vocals
During the summer of 2013, Mike Holmes joined Burke Street Band at several gigs as a special guest. Mike brought a fresh perspective with his addition of acoustic guitar and vocals to the band. Mike was offered a job several counties away and was absent from the band until recently. Now after returning to the area, Mike is once again joining the band with his talents and will be appearing with the band in their upcoming events.
Eric Coulson – Guitarist
Even though Eric Coulson is no longer performing with Burke St. Band, he is the reason the members are together. “Eric is a great guy and he brought all of us together and we had a great time with him, but his architectural business grew and he had to quit the band,” John said.
With their varied backgrounds, the members of Burke St. Band share the same perspective on why they perform. “There really is something about connecting with an audience and knowing that they enjoy what you do,” said John.
For more information on Burke St. Band, check them out on Facebook for upcoming events and how to book them for your next event.