Mandolin, Lead and Harmony Vocals
Randy Cook plays mandolin and sings lead and
harmony vocals with the Commonwealth Bluegrass Band. Randy began his musical career during his high school days when
he started playing electric guitar with a local country band. While attending Virginia Tech, Randy became
interested in Bluegrass music and started playing guitar with the June Apple Band, which performed at various college events
and festivals in southwest Virginia.
to the Richmond area after graduation and helped form the well-known country-rock band, Second Helpin’.
While playing with Second Helpin’, Randy started playing the pedal steel guitar, being influenced by great players
such as Sneaky Pete, Buddy Emmons and Tom Brumley. The group enjoyed great regional success for many years
and appeared on shows with national acts such as Ricky Skaggs and Johnny Paycheck.
His love of Bluegrass music kept him interested in playing acoustic guitar and mandolin.
In the late 1990’s Randy joined with banjo great James Bailey (formerly with The Country Gentlemen), Malcolm Pulley
and Doug Ganey to form James Bailey & Company. The group recorded two CD’s and
introduced Randy to Bluegrass music at the national level. When not performing with the Commonwealth Bluegrass
Band, he continues to play the steel guitar with The Honky Tonk Experience. Randy resides with his
wife and two daughters in the Mechanicsville area of Hanover County.
Banjo and Harmony vocals
Banjo player Malcolm
Pulley started playing banjo around age 12 under the tutelage of his father, Malcolm Pulley, Sr. After
high school, he joined several local bluegrass bands including Dixie Reign, and Virginia Rail.
Malcolm recorded with several local groups and eventually
recorded a demo of 10 original songs, including "In The Gravel
Yard", which was later recorded by Blue Highway and nominated
for IBMA song of the year in 1996. In the mid 90's, Malcolm met renowned banjo
player, James Bailey. Malcolm and James set out to form a band, and with Randy Cook on guitar and Doug Ganey on bass, formed James Bailey & Company. The band recorded two well received CD's before disbanding.
2005, Malcolm joined the Jackie Frost Ensemble playing banjo and mandolin. Their first CD, "Calliope"
was nominated for song of the year and album of the year at the 2006 independent
Music Awards. The band recorded one more CD in 2007, "Cold Lonely Blues".
As a songwriter, Malcolm has had songs recorded by Blue Highway, Doyle Lawson
and Quicksilver, James King, Tina Adair (with Jerry Douglas and Chris Thile), Paul Adkins, James Bailey & Company, Mill
Run, Michelle Nixon and Drive, and Jackie Frost, as well as many other local and Regional bands, including groups from Italy,
Australia, and Canada.
Bass and Vocals
Joe has been playing bluegrass in
Central Virginia most of his life. He is well known for founding and leading the Willis River band, playing guitar and
singing lead. Joe now plays bass and handles some singing duties with the Commonwealth Bluegrass Band. His guitar
playing and singing influences include Tony and Wyatt Rice, Josh Williams, and Rickey Wasson. Joe makes his home in
Powhatan, VA. Joe is also an excellent song writer and contributed one song, Dreaming of a Dream, to the new CD - Love
Fiddle, Lead and Harmony Vocals
Wally is an excellent singer and multi-instrumentalist
originally from Delaware, now residing in Northern Virginia. Wally started playing Dobro with his parent's family band
when he was 11 and then moved on to the fiddle and other instruments. For a number of years he fronted his own band
in Delaware while recording and playing with other groups from the area as well. He recorded and played in a band with
Steve Huber in the early 80s and has performed with Valery Smith and Liberty Pike, Mike Auldridge, Bill Emerson, Mike Munford
and many other top DC bluegrass musicians since moving to Northern Virginia.