BANJO/GUITAR/FIDDLE/VOCALS Dean Sapp grew up in a musical
family whose roots go back to the
beginnings of bluegrass music.
His picking started at age 6 on the
guitar, moved to banjo at age 8,
and continued to evolve through
his formative years. Taught by his uncle (the late Sonny Miller), his brother (John Miller Jr.) and his grandfather (John Miller Sr.), Dean has honed his singing, picking and songwriting. One reviewer has written: “It is going out on a limb to rate Dean Sapp as one of the most underrated singers in bluegrass today”. No, it isn’t. If you like traditional bluegrass, just give a listen to the man from the shores of the Chesapeake.
With fifteen recording projects to his credit, Sapp has earned the respect of his songwriting peers in the bluegrass genre. Original material with a sound that Bluegrass Unlimited says “sounds like it could have been written 30 or 40 years ago”, is the base on which each project is based built upon solid cover songs and driving instrumentals”. A 14 day tour of Australia and appearances at IBMA’s Songwriters Showcase validate the strength of Sapp’s songwriting. He is often called upon to do songwriting workshops at festivals where the group performs. Dean heads the Harford Express playing banjo, he also finger picks the guitar and sometime plays fiddle. His style was honed by watching Earl Scruggs at the legendary Sun Set Park in West Grove PA.
Bobby Long is no stranger to
Bluegrass Music. Being the nephew
of Fred Long, Fred is one of the top
notch banjo players to ever grace our
area. Bobby plays excellent Bass
with perfect timing, something needed
for a hard driving band like the Harford Express. He is also a great singer and song writer. The band likes to exchange instruments while performing, putting Bobby on guitar to do some lead singing on a few numbers. Another great entry to the Harford Express history of talented performers. Bobby started slapping the bass for the band in January of 2009.
GUITAR/BASS/VOCALS Tom Valiquette, better known to the
bluegrass community as Tom James,
started his musical career at the
young age of 13. By 15 he was
playing in a country/square dance
band in central Ohio. Buck Owens
and Ray Price are among his earliest influences. Tom played with several bands all over the world during his 20 year enlistment with the U.S. Air Force. In 1991 he was hired by a local country/western radio station to produce and host a Sunday evening bluegrass show, during this time he met Dean Sapp and they became fast friends. In 1993 Tom became the founding member of a local bluegrass band. After 6 years with that arrangement he left to join Mike Van Hoy and the Sycamore Boys. Tom retired from the service in1996 and in early 2007 joined The Harford Express and has been doing a great job since.
Tom Beers has been playing acoustic music in the Baltimore- Washington area for more than
25 years. Most notorious among the groups he played in was Frontier Justice, a progressive bluegrass band with swing, jazz, blues and dawg influence. For about 11 years, Frontier Justice played in local clubs, concerts and other venues in the Virginia and Washington DC area. Eventually, job transfers caused the band’s demise. Some 10 years ago, after a hiatus from playing organized music, Tom joined/founded the versatile bluegrass band Jericho Bridge along with John Alexander, Brian Pelisek and later, Tom Lather. Tom sings lead and backup vocals with a knack for harmonies. His favorite instrument is the mandolin with influence from early Sam Bush and David Grissman. Tom can play lead and rhythm guitar as well and will break out the hammerd dulcimer when requested. A year or so ago Dean said “I like your style” and Tom has had a blast playing with The Harford Express ever since.
Dean Sapp & Harford Express; a traditional bluegrass band that has been in existence for over 30 years and has played from New England to Florida and as far west as Bean Blossom, Indiana In 1998 Dean and the band did a 10 date tour in Australia,. A very successful live album resulted from that venture.
The band appeared at the Wheeling Jamboree on December of 2012 and May of 2013 and has been invited back for another return engagement. We perform at Boordy Vineyards at their annual spring Reds, Whites, and Bluegrass event. Also return engagements to several State Parks in Delaware, and festivals, shows and wineries in MD, DE, VA and PA. We played at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival in 1984,85 and 86. Original music is a large portion of the bands material. We also hosted a semi- monthly program; an Evening of Bluegrass in the Elkton, MD area for 20 years. For 30 years we have been performing at the Georgetown Delaware Fire Company's annual Oyster Eat, the 2015 was the 78th and we are already booked to perform at the 79th event in 2016.