The SpareTime bluegrass band is thoroughly grounded in "traditional" bluegrass and performs numbers from the first generation bluegrass artist.
Bob Batyko has his roots in the Pocono Mts of Pennsylvania and was raised near Akron, Ohio. He learned his Country music in Cleveland from Nellie Arnold and his Bluegrass in Bloomington, IN (close to Bean Blossom where he had a chance to jam with Brother Birch Monroe). He’s also resided and played Bluegrass in Virginia and North Carolina. Early on he played the guitar and began working in church music, playing for some of the first guitar masses. He then “found” bluegrass music and worked at the songs of Doc Watson, Norman Blake and Bill Harrell. He is also involved with the Four Lakes Traditional Music Collective, promoting live music shows and the Sugar Maple Music Festival. Bob has a day job — in the wireless communications industry.
Jim Robarts was born and raised in Southern California. His early musical influence was Spade Cooley, the “King of Western Swing.” He became interested in bluegrass in high school, but didn’t begin to pursue an instrument until after his return from Vietnam, where he spent two years as a uniformed representative of the United States government. He also worked at the Lava Lamp plant in Chicago…and knows the secret. He moved to Chicago and took up the banjo. He then moved to Madison to gain Masters Degrees at the University of Wisconsin, and began playing in various bluegrass bands. His banjo is a 1999 Gibson Granada. He retired his 1926 Gibson TB-3 conversion.
Dale Ward brings a hard driving mandolin to the band as well as high lonesome vocals. After years of forays into country and rock, he’s embraced bluegrass. A multi-instrumentalist (he’s been known to pick up a guitar, fiddle and Dobro), Dale puts his high tenor to good use in harmonies or lead vocal work. A Dale Ward bobble-head is in the future…..
Lorie Docken anchors the band with a solid bass beat. She does not sing and will not talk into the microphone, but she is in charge of the band, keeping us in line from behind.
Lisa Case Doro is from Bluegrass rich Southern Indiana. She performs on fiddle and sings. She has played in Nashville, TN, Ann Arbor, MI, and now with us in Madison. Her fine fiddling and vocals have added a spark to SpareTime.
This free event is intended for UW-Madison students, faculty, staff, Wisconsin Union members and their guests. Anyone can become a Union member.