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The band

Bill Butler    www.thetroupersdanceband.com
Lives in Burlington, NC with his wife Laura. They are proud grandparents of four granddaughters, enjoy flower gardening, and love their dogs. His son, James, (Heartwood’s earliest groupie/roadie/mascot) lives in Raleigh and works for Hospice of Wake County. Bill retired in 2010 as business manager at The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. He studied classical piano for nine years, performed at the 1964 World’s Fair (Durham High School Wind Ensemble), appeared in concert with Stan Getz at age 16 (baritone horn), and played guitar with the ECU Jazz Ensemble. After Heartwood, he founded Nightshift, and has continually played thoughout the Southeast US with Johnny White, Mainstream, The Fabulous Shades, The Tarwater Band, and Stanley Baird. In 2000, Bill founded The Troupers a successful dance band playing jazz, R&B, and pop dance classics, and occasionally plays at his church. He has caddied for a PGA tour event and enjoys the occasional golf game.

Tim Hildebrandt    www.timhildebrandtmusic.com
Has been performing and recording music throughout his life but, first and foremost he is a songwriter. Born in Woodstock NY Tim grew up in a military family and traveled the world until settling into North Carolina for high school and college. Although Elvis, the Everly Brothers and the Beatles were his earliest influence, Tim’s songwriting reflects the breadth of his musical career from soul to country rock. He paid his way through college playing in a group that for a time worked as a house band backing up old soul acts like the Dixie Cups (“Going To The Chapel”) and Major Lance (“Gypsy Woman”). He signed his first recording contract playing in a band called Heartwood and was produced by the legendary Paul Hornsby who also produced the Marshall Tucker Band and Charlie Daniels. While with Heartwood Tim shared the stage with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Delbert McClinton, Jerry Jeff Walker, Earl Scruggs, Vassar Clements, and Steve Martin. In 1992 Tim won an Emerging Artist grant for songwriting and moved to Nashville where he met writer and publisher Jerry Capehart who had penned arguably one of the best rock ‘n’ roll songs of all time “Summertime Blues”. Jerry also wrote “Turn Around Look At Me” for Glen Campbell. Jerry became Tim’s publisher and friend until his death in 1998. As a testament to Tim’s songwriting one of Tim’s works “My Old Summertime”, was chosen by the Disney Channel for its TV show “Even Stevens” which is now in syndication. Tim describes himself as a song writer who is a story teller. His songs meld his past musical experiences with lyrics that chronicle our shared stories. Listeners find his music both compelling and accessible. In 2011 he released the CD “Hombres” followed in 2012 by an EP “6 Of 1”. In November 2013 he released the CD “Loco Love” and most recently is finishing up his new CD “After All These Years”. His CDs are available on itunes, CDBaby, Amazon.com and at his web site www.timhildebrandtmusic.com. Tim currently lives in Rochester, Minnesota where he owns and operates CamelBack Studio and is the Concert Coordinator for the Mayo Clinic’s weekly concert series.

Robert Hudson    www.roberthudson.org
Lives in Durham and has been working at an EPA Human Studies Facility in Chapel Hill since Heartwood disbanded. He has continued playing in bands since then and currently plays in the Pagan Hellcats. Over the years he has had the great good fortune to play in Germany with The Tim Stambaugh Band, and in Ireland with Rain Dance and with The Brenda Linton Band. Visit his website to find out what else he has been doing in the intervening years.

Gary Johnson
Lives in Cary, NC. We were unable to locate Gary at the time of our reunion and so he did not participate in the shows. He has retired from playing music.

Joe McGlohon    www.joemcglohon.com
From the early days of playing pedal steel guitar with Heartwood way back in 1972 to his five-year stint as Reba McEntire's sax player and musical director, Joe has played with some of the best. And some of the others too. There's no question that anyone who survived six years with the notorious Good Humor Band is a wild man. Or insane. It's a fine line. And a sweet sounding line it is.
Joe sat in with Gov't Mule for a tribute to BB King at Shepherd's Bush Empire, joined by Elliott Randall and Bernie Marsden.
Joe joined the Jamal Thomas Band on a small tour of Crimea!
Joe sat in with Gov't Mule on this year's July London tour, joined by Bernie Marsden from Whitesnake and Don Airey of Deep Purple.
Joe will be teaching sax at yet another fine London area school next year. Find out which one here!
Joe played Wimbley Stadium with Reba!
Joe joined headliner Reba McEntire at the International Festival of Country Music.
Joe's moved again! This time to London. Seriously. To get married. Seriously!

Carter Minor    www.robertgriffin.com/musicbio_bluespot.html
Lives in Carrboro and works at Cary Christian School where he teaches music and band and is also the Facility
Administrator. He also is an Associate Minister and worship leader at Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Chapel Hill.
After Heartwood he sang and played harmonica in various bands including Nightshift, Lagniappe, Steps, The Gorilla Blues Band
with Scott Sawyer, The Powerhitters and Blue Spot in C Minor with Robert Griffin.
After a long absence from performing he now plays occasionally with Armand Lenchek and Bluesology, Danny Gotham, Robert
Griffin and others.

Byron Paul
    www.byronpaulband.com
Lives in Raleigh and provides technical support for the customers of a software company. After Heartwood disbanded, he received an invitation to audition for the touring band of BJ Thomas; spending four years playing rhythm guitar and singing harmony.  He is married and has 3 children. His wife Barbara says he plays a mean radio.

Guest Members for our Reunion shows - October 2015

Beverly Botsford
  (Friday night show)    www.beverlybotsford.com
Beverly is a cross-cultural percussionist, blending music, movement, and spoken word in solo and ensemble presentations.  Embracing drumming traditions of Africa, Cuba, South America and her native North Carolina, Beverly weaves colorful rhythmic tapestries with her infinite array of collected and homemade instruments.  She has worked full time as a professional musician since 1978.  Her experience includes work with the African American Dance Ensemble, American Dance Festival, as well as hundreds of school and community residencies, performances and workshops.
She brings decades of global music experience, touring with Grammy nominated, jazz vocalist, Nnenna Freelon in major venues around the world. Highlights include shows at the Kennedy Center, the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, Monterey Jazz Festival  as well as many performances in Europe, Africa, Brazil, Asia and North Carolina!

Ed Ibarguen    www.golf.duke.edu
Ed was the lead guitarist for the Chapel Hill, North Carolina bands, South Wing Band, Nightshift, Ringdove, and Matthew Henson Coalition Professional.  He became close friends with the members of the Heartwood Band during their heyday.  When Heartwood and the South Wing Band broke up, he joined Carter Minor, Tim Hildebrandt, Bill Butler, JP Mitchell, Joe DeLuca in forming the Nightshift Band.   He has been the PGA master professional and director of golf at Duke University since April 1988 and is ranked as one of the top 100 golf teachers in America by Golf Magazine. 

JP (Jim) Mitchell  (Saturday & Sunday shows)
Born in Monroe Louisiana, JP was immersed in music from an early age. Gospel and AM radio as well as his Mom's music collection of standards and show tunes were always in the air. JP started playing professionally at the age of 14 and by 16 was playing at LSU fraternity parties. In 1968 JP's family moved to Chapel Hill but after high school, returned to Louisiana for college.  He played with bands working the vibrant club circuit at the time and eventually ended up in New Orleans in the early 70's. An old friend got him a job at Lou & Charlies's, the now legendary jazz club on Rampart St as doorman / bartender. House bands and clubs were fertile ground for his musical signature.  He moved back to Chapel Hill in 1974 and began playing with Bro. T Holla, Southwing and Nightshift. Nightshift was comprised of members of Heartwood (Bill Butler, Carter Minor & Tim Hildabrant), Bro. T Holla (JP Mitchell) and Southwing (Ed Ibarguen) as well as Brooklyn native, Joe DeLuca who found his way to Chapel Hill via the Bland Simpson / Jim Wann connection. JP still gigs and cherishes his long history with all the members of Heartwood and is honored to be included in this wonderful reunion. 

Steve Watson
Steve and Byron were high school classmates and played together in their Senior year talent show. After high school they went their separate ways with Byron joining Heartwood and Steve playing with many of North Carolina's finest rock bands including Cripple Creek, Breckenridge, and Two Dollar Pistols. There were lots of recording sessions with Bruce Frye, Drew Kennedy, and the legendary Squirrel Nut Zippers for which Steve earned a gold record for his session work. In 1992 Steve joined The Tim Stambaugh Band where he first met Robert Hudson. Steve and Robert played lot of gigs with Tim including a two and a half week tour of Germany. Afterwards Steve was back on the road touring the United States with many bands and playing pedal steel and guitar as a side man on numerous recording sessions. In 2014 Robert called Steve up and invited him to come hear his new band with Byron Paul. Not only did he come to hear the band but brought along his guitars and pedal steel. When Byron arrived at the gig Steve had already set up to play. At first Byron didn't recognize Steve as they had not seen each other since high school, but once he started ribbing Byron about their high school gig Byron realized who he was. The two of them, along with Robert, played the gig and it felt like he had always been in the band. And that was the night the new and improved Byron Paul Band was born.

Paul Westlake   www.jazzlake.com
Paul is a graduate of the University of North Florida where he earned a BA in Music Jazz Studies. He is recently from Chicago and has performed with Rob Denty, a member of the Chicago Jazz Ensemble for many years in their trio DW3 (FKA Denty/Westlake). Paul has also performed with Lynne Arriale, Nat Adderly, Longineau Parsons, Ira Sullivan, Jimmy Bruno, Noel Freidline, Harold Blanchard and countless others. He lives in Raleigh, NC with his lovely wife Michelle.

Opening Act

Wyatt Easterling
    www.wyatteasterling.com
Wyatt has enjoyed success in the music industry over the years as a performer and songwriter as well as a record label and publishing executive. His experience and success in all of these areas have given him a full understanding of what it takes to succeed in this industry.
When Atlantic Records opened their Nashville offices, Easterling signed on as Chief of A&R. As a seasoned songwriter, Wyatt found that his new role as record company executive fed his art in a new way. “That position had a huge influence on me. I was listening to songs all day long constantly searching for what made a great song and where they fell short, and ultimately, what made a hit. I was working with some of the best songwriters, artists, musicians and audio engineers in the world. The opportunity to work in the studio with that level of talent was invaluable to me; I felt like I was given a million dollar education.” Easterling's track record of acomplishments at Atlantic Records included signing artists Tracy Lawrence, Michael Johnson, Neal McCoy and John Michael Montgomery. Easterling produced Montgomery's multi-platinum debut album, Life’s A Dance, which has sold well over three million units worldwide to-date.
Following his tenure with Atlantic Records, Easterling partnered with Miles Copeland (I.R.S. Records, The Police and Sting) to form the Nashville Division of Bugle Publishing Group and Firstars Management as Director of Operations. Easterling brought Keith Urban to Firstars Management, and worked at length with Urban in the studio recording the project that landed Keith’s first major deal at Warner Brothers Records. Easterling then brought alternative roots artist Paul Thorn into the company for management and publishing. Easterling co-produced Thorn's album, "Hammer & Nail" for A&M Records, Los Angeles.
In addition to ushering notable artists into the mainstream, Easterling created Bugle Publishing’s Printemps de Troubadours, a songwriter's retreat held twice a year at his publishing company partner Miles Copeland’s Chateau de Mourette in France. This event saw great success with a long list of esteemed artists and writers such as Carole King, Peter Frampton, Cher, Olivia Newton John, Squeeze, Ted Nugent, Jon Bon Jovi, Stuart Copeland, and Keith Urban coming to collaborate with Bugle Publishing Group staff writers. “It was very satisfying be able to give my writers such an extraordinary opportunity to work outside the confines of Nashville. A lot of hits were written at “The Castle.” It’s quite a compliment too to see that event now emulated by numerous other major publishing companies throughout the world.”
After Bugle Publishing, Easterling decided it was time to get back to the creative side of the street and signed with API/DreamWorks Publishing and with EMI Publishing.
In addition to touring extensively on the heels of his new cd release Goodbye/Hello, Easterling is currently rolling out MusicBusinessMentoring.com which brings together a stellar cross section of working music industry professionals all on one site for mentoring sessions with other artist and professionals. Quoting Easterling: “It would take years of working within the industry to rub elbows with some of these folks and here they are available on one website.”
Other artist who have recorded Easterling’s songs are: Dierks Bentley (”Modern Day Drifter”), Paul Thorn (Better Days Ahead), Robby Hecht (Papa’s Dead and Gone), Joe Diffie (“Life’s So Funny,” “Wrap Me In Your Love,” “All Because Of A Baby Boy”), Billy Joe Royal (“If The Jukebox Took Teardrops,” “How Hard Can It Be?”), Neal McCoy (“This Time I’m Taking My Time”), Sons of the Desert (“The Devil's Been Working Over Time”) and hilljack (“This Could Get Good,” “Bigger Than Dallas,” “I Kissed Miss Mississippi,” “The Day Katherine Gregory Died” and ”Still”) along with many more.



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